TOP Network ✕ Ontology AMA Recap (Part 1)

TOP Network and Ontology hosted a joint AMA on Jan. 20, when TOP CEO Steve Wei and Ontology CEO Jun Li met in Singapore to answer dozens of questions from both TOP and Ontology community members. If you were unable to join the live webinar, no worries, here comes our recap!


1. What is the nature of your cooperation besides financial investment and perhaps technical cooperation? Is there a symbiotic relationship?

Steve: We have multiple decentralized apps that we can leverage on the Ontology platform. For example, ONT ID can be used on our Dapps like decentralized VPN app for account registration. That’s the purpose for the collaboration between TOP Network and Ontology.

Jun: Ontology provides the services for applications, and TOP Network has decentralized communication apps. What TOP really needs is the infrastructure that Ontology can offer and Ontology needs the communication applications in our ecosystem.

2. Is TOP an ecosystem partner of Ontology? How will this collaboration benefit or impact the Ontology Triones Consensus Network and its ecosystem?

Steve: TOP has a lot of volume on the decentralized communication services. In the end, the large volume of transactions will be moved onto the Ontology ecosystem. Our decentralized communication app with millions of users will generate a large number of transactions, and these transactions will go to the ONT platform. Ontology’s infrastructure services including ONT ID and ONT DATA will provide strong technical support for TOP Network. If we use ONT ID for account registration on TOP Dapps, it will also bring a lot of volume and activities to the ONT platform.

Jun: Ontology is designed for different scenarios of applications in different industries. Communication is one of the basic infrastructural services on ONT ecosystem. TOP Network will provide distributed cloud communication services for developers on Ontology, enabling developers to create high-performance communication and social apps easily and to reduce costs by utilizing spare resources on the network. TOP will also develop apps directly on Ontology, bringing a large number of users to the Ontology ecosystem.

3. On what layer of TOP Network will Ontology infrastructure be used and of what benefit is that to Ontology ecosystem?

Steve: There are two layers that we will collaborate on. First, the blockchain layer. Ontology will provide the underlying blockchain technology for TOP. The second is the service layer like ONT ID. We’re going to leverage both the blockchain layer and the service layer on Ontology.

Jun: As we mentioned before, the communication services is on the medium-level infrastructure. That’s what TOP and ONT are collaborating on. We need this kind of decentralized protocol and services.

4. Which Ontology Dapps or tools will TOP Network adapt/integrate?

Jun: ONT ID and ONT DATA. ONT DATA is a decentralized data exchange program. The decentralized communication has a lot of data to exchange. ONT DATA offers a solution to settle these transactions.

5. Currently there is a hot topic about 51% attack in the blockchain industry. How do TOP Network and Ontology provide network decentralization and protection again different types of attacks?

Steve: For TOP Network, we don’t have the problem of 51% attack. What we’re doing is actually decentralized communication services, not a blockchain platform. Anyone can contribute the node to provide communication services. For example, if someone adds 10,000 servers to the system, we’re fine because these 10,000 servers only provide communication services and the content is encrypted. The nodes only provide communication services, but not for consensus verified transactions. So we don’t care about the 51% attack but want to bring as many nodes to the system as possible.

As for the public blockchain, as Ontology does, they have DPoS consensus to protect that.

6. Will TOP be added to an in-app (wallet) exchange of Ontology?

Jun: Token economy for public blockchain is very important. The traditional public blockchain, for example, Ethereum, uses utility token for the transaction fee. But one problem is that it will not benefit other token holders. No matter how much transaction fee being charged, other token holders, like ETH holders will not benefit from it. So Ontology designs a dual token mechanism. One is the utility token, Ontology Gas (ONG). Another is the governance token, ONT. ONG can be used again and again to circle. Once ONG is used in the Ontology system, we will return the ONT token, but not directly. If ONT holders make contributions to the consensus network like putting some stakes and joining the consensus process, they will get those returned tokens. That means when you hold ONT, not can you generate ONG every day but can also receive system-generated ONG. In the long term, you will get the benefits from transaction fees. That is the important token economy and the dual token mechanism of Ontology.

7. Does TOP Network have token airdrop for Ontology holder? If you have, how to get airdrop?

Steve: Yes, we actually allocate some tokens for airdrop in Ontology communities. Details and dates are not decided yet, but I’m sure it will happen. ONT ID could be used for KYC to connect seamlessly with the airdrop.

8. As we mentioned ONT ID, is ONT ID connected to the TOP scenarios?

Jun: ONT ID is the decentralized identity network. It can provide support for many scenarios not only including KYC, but KYC is an important scenario. Wherever your users come from, you can go through the KYC process in a decentralized way. More importantly, users themselves can manage the KYC results. They can store the results and reuse it next time. Besides that, you can also create your own KYC process. For example, you can link your Facebook or Twitter accounts to prove they belong to you. You can prove your own digital asset holdings, so the KYC will become different data services for yourself.

9. For TOP Network, what niche market are you expecting to be a leader in? How will TOP differentiate itself among the market?

Steve: The communication services market we’re in is actually not a niche market but a huge one. For example, the VPN market is about $100 billion, and the VoIP market is worth $140 billion. In this market, we’re the first one to offer decentralized communication services. There’s even no competitor in this field. However, we’re competing with the centralized world, but our decentralized services have a lot of benefits. For example, the cost would be much lower. The services are more secure and better protect user privacy. If a developer wants to develop a communications app on TOP Network, it will cost less, and he does not need to deploy the backend servers and bandwidth. The development cycle will be much shorter. Building a communication app in-house is a huge task.

10. Is Ontology a partner with TKY (THEKEY)? Is SenseTime a direct competitor with TKY? Is SenseTime funded by the Chinese government? And how will this partnership increase the value of Ontology token?

Jun: Ontology is an infrastructure that can link different services in different industries. All those infrastructural industry partners will provide specific services, and by integrating all of them together we will have a complex platform. People can do all kinds of decentralized collaboration based on the Ontology ecosystem and platform. That is what we’re looking for.

11. Both of you are in the tech industry for a long time. How does your past experience inspire you to get into the blockchain industry?

Steve: Of course, my past experience has a huge impact. Let me tell the whole story of how we got started. Back to one and half years ago, we were building SkyVPN. After we just released the app we quickly realized that we should build a decentralized VPN because it’s much more secure and cannot be blocked. Then we thought, why don’t we build a network layer for every developer to build their own communication apps on? That’s how we got started TOP Network.

I have been in the communications industry for 23 years. Twenty-three years ago I led a team in China building the original demo for WebEx, and later we moved the team to Silicon Valley. TOP Network is also about communication services. It’s all based on my past experience in the communications industry.

Jun: Before Ontology I worked in the traditional financial institutions and found the blockchain technology would be important for financial services. I then realized blockchain has a lot of opportunities to change the current situation of how people collaborate in different industries. It will lower the cost of collaboration and the business models. That’s why I joined the blockchain industry four years ago. At that moment blockchain did not refer to an industry, but solely a name of technology. Years later we found we would need to have a blockchain infrastructure supporting real business in different industries. What is important is the real business process behind the digital assets can be accepted by not only the technical field but also the legal system. That is what Ontology wants to do.

12. TOP Network has gained investments from both NGC and OGC. Some community members think these two investors are quite different. TOP Network is on the portfolios of both of them. Could you please explain the relations among TOP Network, Ontology and NEO?

Steve: NGC is one of the investors of TOP Network, not NEO. NEO might be the LP (Limited Partner) of NGC, but it does not directly invest in TOP Network, while NGC, the capital fund of Ontology, did invest in TOP Network. Each project has a unique marketing position, although there might be some overlaps. For example, TOP Network is focusing on communication services, but Ontology is focusing on enabling real-world business on the platform.

Jun: As Steve mentioned we’re focusing on different marketing positions and provide different services. I believe all those blockchains can be integrated by different protocols and build a larger platform to link them together. We can provide specific values to each other and build a more complex ecosystem.

13. This question is for Steve only. what is the point for using blockchain for decentralized communication?

Let me give some examples of the benefits of moving the communication services to the blockchain. Let’s start from the VPN service. A traditional VPN developer, let’s say, owns $100 VPN servers and knows a lot of your personal information like what kind of websites you visit. It’s super dangerous and makes a lot of trouble for users if the app owner is evil. But for a decentralized VPN, the user information and history are stored in a decentralized way and encrypted on the blockchain. Nobody can get your information. Additionally, the decentralized VPN has so many nodes, let’s say at least 10,000 nodes and with so many decentralized the nodes, nobody can block it. So the network become unstoppable.

That’s the benefit of VPN services, and let’s talk about the messaging service. In centralized messaging service, like Facebook Messenger or WeChat, you don’t have a lot of privacy as they can see anything about your personal information, your messages, your friend lists and can sell your data to anybody. That’s a really dangerous situation. And if we move the messaging service to the blockchain, your messages and friend lists are no longer visible to a centralize owner. That really protects the privacy and makes your communication more secure. Each communication service has its own different benefit after moving to the blockchain platform. For some services it’s mainly a cost issue. The cost of a decentralized streaming service is much lower than the CDN (Content Delivery Network). Because for streaming service people don’t care about privacy and security issues, the low cost would be the biggest benefit.

Due to a large amount of information, we separated the recap into two parts. Read the second part to learn more about TOP and Ontology.


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