Welcome back to Launchpool’s AMA sessions!
We were happy to have Trym Bruset and Pavlo Babenko from IAGON with us earlier this week to discuss the their project, working with Launchpool, and where they hope to go in this space.
Guests: Trym Bruset (Lead Algorithm Developer) and Pavlo Babenko (Marketing Manager)
Date: Wednesday February 9, 2021
Host: Mickie Ann Perez
Location: Launchpool Community Channel
Q: Please would you give our Community a quick reminder of the Iagon project.
A: Iagon is the first shared storage economy that bridges decentralisation with regulation, enabling us to provide digital utilities to enterprise clients for Web 3.0. We are building on Cardano.
Our vision is to create a decentralised and compliant storage/computing solution for Web 3.0.
We have grants via Innovation Norway, which is government funded and closed a 3.6 million USD funding round in July 2021, including a great input and interest from the Launchpool community. That is very valuable for us.
Currently, we are headed by 4 PHDs that are experts in decentralised computing, AI, cloud computing architecture and business development. We have recently expanded our team to 19 people and are in the process of opening offices in Poland and Australia.
Q: Could you tell us about the main developments since the raise?
A: A lot has happened since the raise, both for the company and the development. In light of the move to Cardano, we wanted to review the design of the product as it was implemented on Ethereum, and there was a lot of optimization that could be done, in terms of business model, system design, security, scalability and more; especially with the added power that Cardano brings with their EUTXO model, capital efficiency, scaling solutions and more.
Design-wise we have made some sweeping changes, with some real benefits to the user experience such as moving to a subscription model with deterministic pricing, enabling automated yield generation for resource providers, introducing a validator network to offload work from end users, increased security in the file-sharding model, and much, much more.
Development-wise we have been mainly focused on making an MVP on Cardano. This has just passed some internal testing, and we are doing a demo & test for our selected partners.
The MVP is not yet meant for public release, but it nonetheless serves quite a few purposes; in particular onboarding of enterprise resource providers, testing, demonstration, and enabling other projects to build their MVPs with our decentralised storage solution.
The MVP is an important step in the production, but it will unfortunately be a little longer before the full public release of nodes. This requires a few more steps to be completed, such as porting of our token, wallet integration etc. which is currently held up by external blockers. We will absolutely let you know when that time is close.
So just to summarize what we have done:
✅ MVP on Cardano Testnet release
✅ Utility/Rewards model for $IAG staking
✅ High-level architecture design of Cardano modules and storage network
✅ Connected the API gateway to a private IPFS cluster
What we are focused on:
⌛️ Deploying the Plutus Application Backend service
⌛️ Registering IAG token on Cardano Testnet
⌛️ Preparing to open source code for resource providers
Q: How are you tracking against your roadmap? Could you please talk us through the next steps.
A: We are currently hard at work to finalise the product for the MVP demo test for selected partners. We have been doing some internal demos of it already and things are looking promising. This will be a great trial run of our current infrastructure and will help us do some benchmark tests. In addition, this will enable us to provide the storage framework some of our partners need to further decentralise their solutions.
Following this we want to make the node software open-source and implement our new UI and bring on some public testers through our alpha test.
Feel free to check our roadmap and progress so far in our blog — https://blog.iagon.com/iagon-latest-roadmap/
Q: What are the potential barriers to the project hitting its roadmap targets in 2022 and how are you preparing for these challenges?
A: There are a few challenges at the moment, as we are pushing the boundaries of tech in many different aspects at once. Some of the technical challenges we are up against are being solved, but will take a bit of time to implement, so we are working on a MVP that is future-proof meaning we will be able to seamlessly integrate it into the full solution once everything is in place. This is similar to how IOHK (now IOG) designed the network protocol of Cardano and contributed to the operation of the network until they were confident, they reached full decentralisation, at which point they transitioned to a fully decentralised solution.
Some external challenges are with the current state of the user and developer experience on Cardano. IOG is entering the scaling era of Voltaire in 2022, after the smart contract capability was launched in September last year, so some of the current blockers are being worked on by them, and they have several hard fork combinator events planned for the year, introducing great solutions like Hydra, Mithril and likely a DApp enabled light-wallet. We are working on alternative solutions should there be major delays for these deliverables, and have great communication with other Cardano projects that are also in the building phase.
Q: What marketing plans do you have in store for Iagon in 2022?
A: There are two main principles for our marketing strategy:
Product first. It’s the cornerstone of further adoption, and it’s something the team is working hard on to deliver this year.
Organic growth is a baseline for our marketing. Our main marketing strategy goal is organic audience development and brand awareness for now.
We have started to demo & test our MVP on Cardano for selected partners, and we have a great feedback so far.
Also, it’s important to mention that we have our Trusted Tester Program, and I would like to invite the Launchpool community to be a part of it.
You can still apply for Tester Program (https://blog.iagon.com/iagon-trusted-tester-program-announced/#trusted-testers-program-questionnaire-form)🚨
Next step is the launch of our Ambassador program soon.
In general we will be accepting a selected number of users in each stage that fill the different roles.
Once you become an IAGON ambassador, you will access our reward program. It will be open for anyone.
Ambassadors of IAGON are the engines of change across the globe.
Just want to mention some stats. Our social media is growing from month to month by ±5–10%. For example, our twitter audience outreach is 200–300k users monthly.
For now, we are focused on high-quality and mindful content creation to describe our solution in detail and also to highlight industry challenges and trends.
So I want to encourage everyone to spread the word about us on your socials.
Like us. Share us. Comment on us.
Q: What is the best thing to do with the token at the moment? Should our users be staking for example.
A: The ERC20 staking has been available a few times through exchanges but as we are building on Cardano, our current goal is to enable the next era of $IAG staking on Cardano. A blocker towards this effort is converting our ERC20 token to a cardano native token (CNT), and enable the bridging of tokens. As many of you already know, chain bridges are the new attack vector, only some days ago there was a hack on the Solana-Ethereum bridge Wormhole costing users millions.
Our priority is the safety of our user’s funds and tokens, so we are considering the bridge very carefully to avoid any undue risk. There are a few different ways to do it, and we are exploring each one thoroughly, and will announce when we have settled on a suitable solution.
When it comes to the token, I cannot offer anything in terms of financial advice, but my strategy is to hodl while we work on the bridge. If you’re in a buying mood it’s not a bad time to accumulate price-wise, but make sure you invest safely and always do your own research.
Q: Can you share on why Cardano in general?
A: In general as I briefly mentioned above, the EUTXO model, improved capital efficiency, great security, low tx costs, and the philosophy and scope of Cardano is a great value point
The research driven approach is perhaps not as popular in the “move fast and break things” crowd, but when we’re designing the future of the web and our financial and social operating system, I think there is no better platform than Cardano at the moment
When it comes to the security of people’s files, the “correct first” approach is very important!
Q: Do you have any upcoming news or partnerships you would like to share?
A: We are regularly updating on partnerships on our blog, we recently announced Genius Yield which is a partnership I am thrilled about, as well as Netvrk, Metalamp and more
We are working on expanding our partnerships — the main reason for partnership for us is the need / importance for both parties, not for the sake of hype.
We have a couple of signed MoUs with #BuildingOnCardano projects right now. Unfortunately, we can’t share names right away.
But still, to highlight — we can’t wait to announce but need to wait a bit. We have one extensive partnership with a world-leading digital infrastructure company from the traditional world that operates more than 250 data centers worldwide.
We did a couple of our MVP demo tests with them, and they are very excited about the results.
So this partnership will be announced very soon, with some final approval needed as they are from the traditional business world and some processes take much time to finalize.
It would be a great push for the adoption of our product as well. So we are on this way!🚀
We aim to have a wide range of partnership agreements from different industries based on the actual use/benefits of solutions for both sides. Great news is coming!
We also have frequent discussions with new projects both in the Cardano ecosystem and the wider blockchain world, it is a very connected world, and some of these partnerships have very promising developments going into the future
Q: Can you talk us through the longer term vision for the token, how it interacts with the industry and what are the uses within its own ecosystem?
A: The $IAG token represents a ‘share’ in the IAGON ecosystem, providing holders with a portion of the revenue generated through the decentralised storage marketplace as dividend.
There will be 3 main methods of staking, each providing a passive revenue stream:
- Staking $IAG towards your storage commitment, to earn the base reward (the value of your storage in the marketplace) in stable coins, as well as a portion of the compounding yield generated on the locked rewards, also in stable coins.
- Stake $IAG towards one or more of the validators to earn a portion of revenue generated from yield and the marketplace
- Provide liquidity to trading pairs with $IAG in DEXes to farm yield
A minimum amount of $IAG tokens will be required to stake when you’re setting up a node. Although there are no concrete numbers set yet, we want to ensure a low barrier of entry, so the minimum amount of stake will be lowered as the price of $IAG goes up, so it will be easy for anyone to join whatever the token price.
We have a blog post about the token utility if you’re curious to learn more:
I think there will be some great value add for people who have storage they’d like to commit, people who want to invest and get a passive income and people who want to do long/day trading
Q: I noticed that Iagon is focusing on storage now, but will you work on cloud computing as well? Offering VMs like gcloud, azure, aws for example?
A: Yes, absolutely.
We are providing a marketplace for computing resources, and start by providing support for storage.
There are some difficulties bringing computation into the mix, but we will be providing some of the services of computing through our validator network from the get-go, such as staging servers, encryption/decryption services, platforms etc.
Q: When to you think we can expect beta testing for the Cardano MVP any estimation?
A: We don’t have a hard target date for this, but it will not be very long
You can still apply for our Tester Program and be the first to test.
Q: Will ERC20 tokens be fully migrated to Cardano?
A: Our goal is to enable multi-chain support, as such we plan to move a portion of the token supply over to Cardano and enable $IAG holders to move or leave their tokens as they please.
Q: Compared to competitors in the crypto space, what is the selling point of Iagon?
A: We have done a competition comparison, but we have quite a few advantages depending on which project you’re thinking about.
In general though we will be providing a solution for cheap p2p cloud services with in-built GDPR compliance and user control of their data.
We have some (in my humble opinion) major design and use case advantages over projects like FileCoin and Arweave. For example a subscription model has benefits for users who need frequent access to multiple files, such as NFTs, streaming services and metaverse applications
We are working on some updated benchmarking with the recent projects as well, but for now I can share with you an old benchmarking , just to give more insights about the solution we are building.
You can read more here: https://goo.gl/Zr9cMw
Telegram chat @Iagon_official
Follow us on — https://bit.ly/3lwlMfd.
Also subscribe to our blog to stay tuned with updates : https://blog.iagon.com/