After their mainnet launch at the end of June and an expanding network of partners, Ontology has been on a roll for the first half of 2018. As they get ready to embark on the next steps of their ambitious roadmap, the team took some time out for a Q&A with their community.
On August 3, Ontology co-founder Li Jun and Chief Strategy Officer Andy Ji went live on the English Telegram channel to answer questions from their community in real time. Below are a few highlights of the session.
With the looming milestone of the mainnet launch over and done with, some community members asked the obvious question: What comes next?
Li responded that the Ontology team intend to focus on improving the blockchain infrastructure and trust collaboration platform, and they have scheduled an upgrade for every quarter. They will also devote a lot of resources to building up the ecosystem, engaging with different partners, and creating new dapps.
By Q3, they intend to hit the goal of 10,000 transactions per second, solve scalability issues with sub- and side-blockchains, as well as R&D for sharding, which they will be working towards implementing through 2020. By the end of August, they will launch a bug bounty program on their website.
Li also received some questions about Ontology in regards to other blockchains, particularly NEO. As the Ontology team intend to rank among the top blockchains of the world, Li foresees a fair amount of competition. However, since different blockchains will cater to different industries, he also believes there will be potential for cooperation.
In direct comparison to NEO (also by parent company OnChain), Ontology actually provides better support for business and enterprise applications, as with Ontology you get the technical as well as legal and regulation support. Also, since Ontology focuses on business and legal scenarios, and has different infrastructure and programming language, it actually operates in a very different sphere from NEO.
Some basic questions were answered, such as how Ontology’s 28 consensus nodes will launch on August 24, and the second round of nodes will begin the first week of October.
Then there were more complex questions, such as whether Ontology intends to decentralize. By keeping the consensus mechanism open, Ontology ensures that anyone can be a node, either by applying or by putting their ONT in a smart contract.
And with thousands of nodes in the ecosystem, VBFT (Ontology’s new consensus mechanism that combines PoS, VRF [Verfied Random Function], and BFT [Byzantine Fault Tolerance]) can support high performance as well as long-term decentralization. There is no minimum amount of ONT required, which evens out the playing field somewhat.
Li also clarified how consensus nodes on the Ontology platform work, and how users can earn cryptocurrency both for running a node themselves or by putting ONT in a smart contract that supports other nodes. He also laid out what the fees are for ONT holders (4 ONG per day for every 10,000 ONT held) versus nodes.
Ontology is an identity verification platform primarily, but Li also referred to distributed data exchange capabilities, distributed electronic contracts, and signature service which Ontology will provide in their next phase. This should be applicable to a wide range of business scenarios.
Li also hinted to partnerships at the enterprise and government level that Ontology is currently working on, but they are still in the testing phase. He referenced the company Points, which has built an identity verification dapp on the Ontology testnet, with more in the pipelines.
ONT, ONG, and the Market
The Ontology team remain confident in their project weathering out the recent bear market, while sticking to their projected schedule of 1 big upgrade per quarter.
Li spelled out the purpose of the utility token ONG, which is used for making transactions and deploying smart contracts on the Ontology platform, after which it is returned to ONT holders. Furthermore, it’s cheaper and faster to use ONG for a transaction than the more mainstream BTC or ETH.
Also, Ontology is talking with major Western exchanges to be listed, including Bittrex, Kraken, Gemini, and Coinbase.
When 1 community member questioned the logic behind having to spend ONG to claim ONG, Li responded that since claiming ONG is a transaction that uses data and storage space, it should have a corresponding fee. Currently, there is a free ONG claim, in preparation of ONG being listed on exchanges. But the jury is still out as to whether this will be made permanent or not.
The Future of Ontology
Li addressed concerns about the possibility of releasing the rest of the ONT tokens into the market. He assures the community that the remainder of the ONT tokens will be released slowly and transparently, over the course of 2 years. And while he had no predictions of future value of the coin, Andy Ji promised that ONT will always remain indivisible.
The team described future aspirations they have for ONTO, a dapp built on the Ontology platform that allows clients to manage their digital identities and store digital assets with complete privacy. These goals include services to allow for more direct individual management of their identity verification. Li promises KYC and AML functions, OTC exchange, candy box airdrops, and data exchange.
Finally, Li debunked a rumor about Da Hongfei, co-founder of NEO, coming to work full time for Ontology, stating that:
Since Ontology is supported by the Onchain team, and since Ontology and NEO are strategic partners, we are still doing technical cooperation.
Although some of Li and Ji’s answers may not have been what community members might have wished, their Q&A was extensive, and they clearly took a lot of time to respond to questions and concerns. This transparency and straightforwardness is a positive sign of confidence in the project as Ontology works on the process of both decentralizing and reaching out more to its Western community members.