On Tuesday June 16 we had the pleasure of hosting a Harmony AMA in our Telegram group. The turnout was excellent and in total we gave away $200 in ONE during the AMA. Thanks to the Harmony team for dedicating their time to tell our community a bit more about their business.
Below is a summary of the AMA.
Today I have Li Jiang (COO) of Harmony here with me. Please can you introduce yourself and give us an overview on Harmony ONE?
Great to be here. Trust wallet has been one of our earliest partners since our binance launchpad a year ago!
I’m the chief operating officer at Harmony which means I do a little bit of everything on the business side - ops, finance, bd.
Here’s my long form bio:
Li has founded a logistic startup during college with the highest revenue. During his six years at GSV Capital, Li organized Pioneer Summit and Global Education Summit with 1,500 attendees including Bill Campbell and Barack Obama.
Li holds an economics degree from Northwestern University. He is an adjunct professor at Northwestern’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Li trains on ultimate frisbee daily and owns an amateur team that won nationally in 2017.
and now about harmony:
harmony is a fast and open blockchain for decentralized applications.
our protocol has achieved secure and random state sharding. harmony mainnet supports thousands of nodes on multiple shards, producing blocks in a few seconds with instant finality. Our staking mechanism reduces centralization while supporting stake delegation, reward compounding, and enforcing double-sign slashing.
are we decentralized yet? harmony aims to build an open network of nodes operated and governed by a large community.
Thanks for that intro! Can you give us an introduction to the team? Why did you choose the name Harmony? And name your token ONE?
Perfect! As infrastructure engineers who used to work at the world’s top companies, our approach is to bring the best research results into production.
Our full-time team of 30 includes 7 engineers from google, amazon, apple and facebook; 7 graduates from stanford, harvard, berkeley, penn and oxford; and 4 phd’s.
meet our team: harmony.one/team
The project is called “harmony” because it is the beautiful music when we sing in different notes but resonate. it’s analogous to our high-performance protocol of multiple shards but reaching consensus.
Our token is the token called “one” because harmony’s vision is “for one and for all,” creating open consensus for 10 billion people. Our team is really amazing and i’ve made some of my best friends here during this journey
Awesome, thanks for sharing that with us So, what are the strengths of the Harmony protocol compared to other projects?
Really great question. In fact, we have learned a lot from our peers and those that have come before us, especially the best research ideas!
What we are proud of is: our production mainnet supports 4 shards of 1000 nodes, producing blocks in 8 seconds with finality.
2 other features we can share are:
- secure, random state sharding
we divide not only our network nodes but also the blockchain states into shards, scaling linearly in all three aspects of machines, transactions and storage.
and 2. fast consensus w/ instant finality
we achieve 8-second block time with view changes in production against adversarial or unavailable leaders.
Can you give us more details on Harmony’s recent staking launch?
Yes, definitely excited to share that on 5/13 we launched open staking to tackle cross-border finance and auditable privacy on our 1000-node mainnet.
now 3.5 billion ONEs are staked, a strong validation that our consensus mechanism epos is robust and attractive to draw more than 55% of the circulating supply
by the way, we’ve been featured on stakingrewards.com, the ratings change often, but we are usually in the top 3-5
but 1 more thing we are proud of is this:
we built an open network of nodes operated and governed by a large community called pangaea which consists of volunteers and validators from more than 100 countries and most of them have never run a node before.
we give a full update in our may newsletter: harmony.one/2020-05
Can you please elaborate more on the mechanism for effective PoS? And Harmony’s token economic design?
Yes! thanks for asking this as it is a core feature and unique to harmony
we have designed a novel proof-of-stake (pos) mechanism for network security and economics. our effective proof-of-stake (epos) reduces centralization and distributes rewards fairly to thousands of validators.
our staking mechanism supports delegation and rewards compounding. to support 100% uptime but fully open participation, epos ensures only validators that sign blocks are rewarded, and slashes validators who double-sign.
our economics model caps the annual insurance at 441 million tokens (about 3% rate in long term). our model gives validators a simple and predictable return. all transaction fees are burnt to offset the insurance, naturally leading to zero inflation when our network usage becomes high.
i have to share this video with you guys - it’s made by our creative director (yes we have a creative director on our team!)
it’s a tribute to some of our industry peers! vitalik bieberin - staking is yummy (deepfake) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2pSvx4wiEM
How is the business doing with its 2020 goals? & Why did the team choose cross-fi as a direction?
Our goals in 2020 are cross-border utility, decentralized development and auditable privacy.At the beginning of the year, we also asked ourselves these questions!
Why finance? blockchains enable many marketplaces but banking services are the native use.
Why cross-border? open platforms work locally but global users are the most underserved.
We are bridging high-growth economies in countries such as china and india, hence crossfi for cross-border finance. we remain an infrastructure layer; our local partners serve customers with country-specific products and compliance.
Read our full 2020 plan and crossfi plan: harmony.one/2020
How far have you got on decentralized development? Do you have any exciting things in the pipeline that you can share?
We have announced harmony grants of usd $7m for fiat fintech integrations and zero-knowledge proofs products.
we are now accepting grant applications, totaling more than $300k monthly for our #crossfi grants and $400k monthly for our #zkproof grants.
the unbundling of financial institutions, we believe, starts with an open platform equivalent of stripe api or financial services such as gusto, expensify and bill.com.
we aim to solve real-world problems outside crypto and blockchains. the team understands the challenges of remittance but sees opportunities in the new global economy. moreover, new cryptographic primitives such as range proofs are prime for broad adoption of privacy with compliance.
Telegram chat question and answer
In this section the Harmony team answered questions from the Telegram chat.
Could you please explain what EPOS mechanism is and how it differs from POS?
we already posted our staking guide above, but take a look at how the returns work in EPOS: https://medium.com/harmony-one/demystifying-expected-return-4f35a22924bf
How do you plan to develop the developer community? What incentive programs for developers exist in Harmony?
We are just getting started on our $7m grants! see harmony.one/example-grants for all of our ideas to work with developers!
BUSD on Harmony Mainnet? How important? Why do we need it?
Adding Binance’s USD stable coin —which is NYDFS approved, fully audited, with $170M market cap — is the first major step towards our vision of enabling cross-border finance on Harmony.
How will the $BUSD launch on Harmony be beneficial for both users and Harmony?
To commemorate the one year anniversary of our Binance launchpad ieo, we announced another major partnership with binance: BUSD on harmony. adding Binance’s usd stablecoin —which is new york state approved, fully audited, with a $170m market cap — is the first major step towards our vision of enabling cross-border finance on harmony.
On which type of Businesses & Marketplaces, Harmony project is mainly focusing on for project’s progress?
Our goals in 2020 are cross-border utility, decentralized development and auditable privacy.
harmony focuses on bridging high-growth economies in countries such as china and india, hence crossfi for cross-border finance. harmony remains an infrastructure layer; our local partners serve customers with country-specific products and compliance.
Today, there are many blockchains for creating DApp. So, why should any developer choose HARMONY Blockchain to create their DApp? What additional incentives does HARMONY Blockchain provide developers with for creating DApps?
Apart from fast finality with 8 seconds block time, we recently launched our grants program for developers to seize the opportunity to build viable dapps on our blockchain. Check our https://harmony.one/grants to learn more.
Hot news is that $ONE will be listed on CoinDCX exchange - one of the fastest growing Indian cryptocurrency exchanges. Is Harmony approaching to India market? How is it potential after un-banned crypto?
The india market is very important especially because we now have coindcx and frontier wallet and wazirx as fiat partners/gateways. we want to bring real utility also to non crypto people!
What is the difference between testnet and mainnet? Is testnet totally different from mainnet?
Our Testnet is where we carried out all the testing scenarios before we launch products for public use on our mainnet. For example, we had our open staking tested on the testnet (test network) for some weeks before we were satisfied of the economic, security and infrastructural performance of the platform.
Do you think it is an advantage that your project is based in Silicon Valley, cradle of innovation?
We started in Silicon Valley, but our team is now global - Amsterdam, Athens, Kiev, Moscow, Lagos, Beijing, Hawaii, Australia! All time zones are covered
The technology looks great, but how can the community take part in the development of Harmony? how complete is decentralization?
Join our validator community: there are now 1,000 harmony nodes – 320 of them run by the community. we are also planning to open up to 640 seats this month!
become one of our validators: harmony.one/stakers
We are cultivating the following three communities for growth: foundational nodes, pangaea ops captains & community, and elected validators.
What is, or will be, the most important role played by Trust Wallet in its partnership with Harmony?
We are working with the Trust wallet team to integrate staking of ONE asset from the mobile app, thereby making it reachable to a larger audience and as well, allowing Trust Wallet users to have seamless staking experience from the app.
tell us more about the SEED token?
The SEED token is be the first utility token issued on Harmony and will represent a value pegged to the staking rewards produced by the delegators of the Sesameseed community (sesameseed.org). Sesameseed has used the Token Standard Protocol HRC-20, which is the most simple method of issuing a token on Harmony.
DAY ONE announcement of SEED token.
A) Which are the benefits for Validators at Harmony ecosystem? And What are the requirements to become a validator of Harmony?
B) What is the INCENTIVIZE of HARMONY to convince users to invest in long-term ?
Why Harmony use 1.5 days as 1 epoch in Mainnet? I saw some other projects use lower time for 1 epoch.
An epoch is a period of time when the beacon shard (i.e. shard 0, the coordinator for other shards) produces a fixed number of blocks. In Harmony mainnet, an epoch is 2¹⁴ = 16384 blocks (~1.5 days) in the beacon shard. Once an epoch is completed in the beacon shard, that change is also passed onto the other shards, thus all shards are synchronized by epoch. Learn more here.
Harmony contains a beacon chain and multiple shard chains. Could you explain what is this 2 chains in simple words?
Section 4. Shard Chain and Beacon Chain on harmony.one/whitepaper
The Harmony beacon chain is a special blockchain that serves additional purposes compared to
the shard chains. Staking transactions are processed on shard 1 i.e. beacon chain
Which are the benefits for Validators at Harmony ecosystem? And What are the requirements to become a validator of Harmony?
Any non-technical people can set up a validator node on Harmony in 20 minutes!
machine requirement is very low among the industry : CPU: 2 cores; RAM Memory: 4GB
read our docs.harmony.one for validator setup
DeFi is one of the trendy subject matter in the blockchain space. Can you share your opinions and insights on DeFi with us. Do you think that DeFi will disrupt the existing financial system? What is $ONE approach towards the DeFi sector? We would love to see $ONE on Defi
Yes we are going all in on defi and cross border finance. we call is #crossfi.
We look forward to demonstrating how Harmony’s high throughput, fast settlement time, and low cost make it ideal for financial uses.
Harmony, this is a change in the world for the better, right?
Yes! open the world for 10 billion (future) people
Will be any possibility in the future to reduce the time per block less than 8 seconds?
Yes, in fact our engineers are working on this now. It’s a key feature for us to differentiate.
Have you thought about developing a mobile version of Harmony Wallet?
yes our team is working on this too! we will launch it once we have tested it thoroughly…though we love Trust Wallet
What are your strategies in building a big and strong community? Do you agree that the power of the community will lead your project to grow globally? What are the services you offer to the community?
We believe in the power of the community to launch us to the next stage of visibility and adoption, as a matter of fact we have a grant for community initiatives read: https://harmony.one/grants. We are also considering the start of an angel program.
By investing in harmony can investors be sure that their purchasing power will not dissolve?
Our well designed token economics will lead to zero issuance unlike most POS chains which are highly inflationary
How does the HRC20 work? Please tell us what kind of use you are preparing.
The first HRC20 token was already launched with SesameSeed. it’s a derivative for staking rewards. But the big one coming up is BUSD stablecoin. The start of many more!
How does Harmony achieve numerous parallel transactions without having confirmation issues? We know that users who stake their tokens are rewarded, but what type of users are rewarded? Can those with a small amount of ONE be rewarded or is there a certain amount of tokens in order to receive rewards?
Each of the 4 shards run asynchronous, but then relay their transaction history to the beacon shard. As for the rewards you can read more on the Block Reward section of our Definitive Guide to Open Staking
What innovations could we see regarding DeFis and dApps?
We are just in day ONE! imagine all of the world’s transaction on an open platform - fully transparent, fully auditable, no scams or unknown financial crisis.
That’s the dream of blockchain! Let’s build it together. come talk to use in harmony.one/telegram
In addition to your partnership with Binance and BUSD, are you open to other types of stablecoins?
yesss! see our grants doc: harmony.one/grants, we aim to onboard more stablecoins: busd, usdc, dai as cornerstone of DeFI