Transcript of BiKi X Harmony AMA

Transcript of BiKi X Harmony AMA

Time: 2020/02/28 10:00 (GMT +8)

Host: Welcome Harmony CTO Rongjian Lan! Could you begin with your impression about BiKi?

Rongjian Lan: In our opinion, BiKi is an exchange with many active members and high liquidity. BiKi is able to help Harmony tap into some users that are previously untapped, hence we entered into a strategic partnership with BiKi.

Host: Could you intvroduce yourself and the Harmony team please?

Rongjian Lan: I was previously an infrastructure engineer at Google, and have published several academic papers on spatio-temporal querying and map-based visualization. I have been studying decentralized contracts since 2017. Currently, as Harmony CTO, I lead my team in core development.

Regarding our team, we have quite an interesting backstory. Harmony was conceived in America by our founder, Stephen, at a Google entrepreneurial meeting for staff. Stephen’s previous startup, Spotsetter, was bought over by Apple and after being a director for two years, ventured out to seek more opportunities to innovate. The weekly Google staff meeting, where I was present as well, was where most of Harmony’s core team met.

From there, we hired a few more members, expanding to 20 team members today. Our engineers had previous experiences spanning from Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple; have graduated from top universities including Stanford University, Harvard University, Berkeley University, Pennsylvania University and University of Oxford; and amongst them, 4 have PhDs.

Host: Could you introduce the project? As well as introduce Harmony’s Sharding Process and Effective Proof-of-Stake (EPoS) mechanism?

Rongjian Lan: We know that sharding is an important way to expand capacity, and Harmony uses state sharding.

First of all, let me objectively explain the problems of public chain. Let’s assume this scenario: there is an ongoing task, which is divided into two steps, followed by calculation and recording. Traditionally, all participants’ tasks are exactly the same. Once the calculation task is completed, participants verify each other’s results, and the results are recorded after the verification has passed before the next step can take place. It is not difficult to find that in this hypothetical mechanism, the overall efficiency of the system is lower than the efficiency of a single participant. But if you want to tamper with the results, you need to bribe at least half of the participants, so from another perspective, the system has strong security.

This is the bottleneck that public chain faces. The solution proposed by the researchers is to break down the tasks and let different participants do different tasks to complete more tasks at the same time. However, if the tasks performed by each participant are different, it means that the results cannot be verified. Therefore, the compromise is to group participants, each group completes a different task, and each group verifies the answer. The solution in this way is called sharding in the public chain.

Shards are usually divided into network fragments, transaction fragments, and state fragments.

Network sharding refers to the ability to divide different nodes into different groups at the network layer. It is the basis of transaction and state sharding. Corresponding to the above example, the task is divided into two steps, namely calculation and recording. Transaction sharding is equivalent to assigning computing tasks to various teams for completion, while the state sharding is equivalent to assigning recording tasks to each team. If only transaction sharding is implemented, and state sharding is not implemented, it is equivalent to the above example, where each group performs different calculation tasks, but each group still needs to record the calculation results of all other groups, so the overall workload does not decrease. It is not difficult to see that only transaction sharding can achieve efficiency improvement to a certain extent, but since the recording work has not been reduced, the improvement is limited. Therefore, in order to truly improve performance and achieve linear expansion in the true sense, we must implement state sharding. This is exactly what harmony is doing. In order to achieve real expansion, we have done a lot of basic research and development work.

Host: Could you explain the EPOS mechanism? We know that Harmony is about to start open staking testnet. Are these related?

Rongjian Lan: I think everyone in the group may be interested in our upcoming open staking. I can explain EPoS from the staking perspective. In EPoS, there are some dynamic mechanisms to adjust our staking return rate to ensure community participation. At the same time, it prevents excessive centralization.

The first is how to choose a validator. At present, most PoS blockchains have the concept of a “committee”, that is, a group of validators who have the right to generate and verify blocks. Here is a very important question: Who gets a place on the committee? Harmony believes that the mechanism of selecting validators based on on-chain token collateral is the most effective and economically safest way, because token collateral tightly binds the interests of the verifier with the security of the blockchain itself. Together, after a large number of tokens in collateral, validators will not have the motivation to attack the chain where their tokens are.

However, in order to prevent large traders from staking too many tokens on a single node, we have introduced the EPoS mechanism. In short, after you reach a cap on a single node, your yield will decrease and the mining rewards you receive will slow down.

At the same time, those nodes that do not have a large amount will get some compensation and rewards to encourage them to participate more actively in our campaign.

Our open staking can be commissioned, and our EPoS mechanism is believed to provide a good staking opportunity for the majority of retail investors in the exchange. I hope everyone can participate in our open staking.

Host: Speaking of open staking testnet, please tell us more about it and what are their returns?

Rongjian Lan: As mentioned earlier, Harmony’s staking supports open staking testnet, that is, whether you are a trader with a large number of Harmony ONE tokens, or an ordinary token holder, you can participate in our public open staking.

For high volume traders, you can build your own nodes, or you can reach an agreement with our partners to let them build nodes for you. Of course, they will charge a part of the service fee. We have reached cooperation with multiple service providers you can choose from.

Host: Thank you!

Rongjian Lan: Thank you!

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Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Singapore, BiKi is a global cryptocurrency exchange that provides blockchain technology and digital asset trading services