Interview with Mr. Churyumov and how he thinks about witness and distribution of Byteball

Tony Churyumov(tonych), the founder of Byteball, was willing to answer Junya Hirano’s questions in an interview: 

Tony Churyumoff
Tony Churyumoff is the founder and chief developer of cryptocurrency platform Byteball. He launched the platform in December 2016 after 2 years of development aimed at creating a safe, open, and decentralized environment for peer-to-peer transactions. Previously, he co-founded, developed, and sold several companies in the fields of payments, information security, and telecommunications. Tony has a PhD in physics and math.(quated from https://www.hub.berlin/en/speaker/tony-churyumoff)

Junya Hirano
Junya Hirano is the founder of VWT,limitead and an individual investor for cryptcurrensies and venture businesses. @junya_1991

Hirano : Today, as a byteball user, I would like to ask you a lot about Byteball and its prospective ecosystem. First of all, could you please briefly explain what the Byteball is for those who are not very familiar with Byteball?

tonych : Byteball is a platform that employs DAG rather than blockchain. It has several features compared to preceding blockchain-based systems, such as low transaction fee, smart payment which enables prompt remittance and smart contract which is easy to develop.

It has been almost one year since Byteball launched in December 2016. As a founder, what do you think about current situation?

I am guessing you are asking about the progress of Byteball project.
In terms of development, many applications are already running on Byteball platform which have been developed by third parties as well as me.
Applications specifically include asset swaps, forecasting markets, insurance, games, ICO bot etc, and many of them are working with so called trustless.
Thus, I think progress during this year is good.

Examples of applications developed by third parties,
Luckybytes: The Provably Fair Byteball Lottery
Binaryballs: Binary Options Trading with Byteball Bytes

How many developers are there at Byteball team?

Currently, three full time developers are working on the project.
In addition to the core team, several independent developers are involved as contributors.

There are now many cryptocurrency-related projects. Compared to them, what is the competitiveness of Byteball?

In short, Byteball is aiming for the platform which is sufficient for practical use.
For example, Byteball designed each functions represented by smart contracts and asset making so intuitive that non-technical people can also understand them as much as possible.
This enables everyone to exchange their owning values without trusting each other.
In addition, Byteball made each transaction fee inexpensive.
By adopting DAG, transaction costs on smart contracts and ordinary value sending have been both improved much more than conventional blockchain.
Furthermore, Byteball is highly customizable.
We can easily make original assets with immutability and anonymity, and even develop new applications by making use of contract function.
Byteball is a decentralized platform which can provide these possibilities for all people.

In theory, DAG is considered to solve the scalability problem on blockchain, and I strongly evaluate the fact that a DAG-based system has actually been operating on the main net since last year. However, from the viewpoint of decentralization, Byteball’s DAG seems to have challenges because it is difficult to give the node an obvious incentive for transaction confirmation. What do you think about this?

Byteball’s DAG chooses a small number of trusted nodes when making transactions. This is 12 number of witness nodes.
Since Byteball network can keep operating even if a part of the witnesses were to stop, we can eliminate a single point of failure by distributing the 12 witnesses.
That is, decentralization and scalability can be compatible.
Currently, the witness nodes selected by default settings on Byteball wallet are all concentrated on the ones owned by core developers including me.
Your concern about decentralization is right, and I intend to settle this as soon as possible.
We would like to make Byteball decentralized step by step, by transferring the control of witnesses to individuals or companies that can contribute to the ecosystem.

I see. May I ask about the concrete timeline regarding the transfer of witness?

I would like to complete the decentralization as soon as possible.
I understand how important this task is for Byteball platform, so that will make every possible effort, but I cannot promise the concrete timeline at present.

Actually, the Byteball community in Japan recently launched witness node as an experiment. We might solve the problem by handing over the default setting of one witness node to a reliable community having sufficient members and enthusiasm (even it is not Japanese community).
I really feel that the necessity of decentralization is one of the biggest tasks on Byteball as one user.

I think several means are worth considering. However, at present, I cannot make any concrete announcements for the delegation of witness nodes.

I am surprised to the number of applications developed by third parties on Byteball. Can we implement it easily?

Of course. It is very easy to make. A developer kit is also available on the Byteball.org website. You can create a chat-based application that can easily operate smart contract, and you can list your application in the bot store which is built in Byteball wallet.

Can we develop with interfaces other than chat?

Yes. You can confirm the develop environment for web browser application by accessing developer wallet. Some developers have already made applications that work on web browsers.

Let me please ask about distribution as a next topic. In DAG with no mining, we must think about the way to distribute the native currency. I personally have a good impression to Byteball approach which aims to the fair distribution with AirDrop, not depends on ICO.

In Byteball, the 98% amount of total supply will be distributed to users. 1% is for developer fee, and remaining 1% will be stored to use for Byteball ecosystem. We would like to deliver the 98% to as many people as possible.

On the other hand, some people are concerning about the sharp price decline after airdrop in the past few months, and some say airdrop has already accomplished its purpose in the sense of gathering as many users as possible. How will you plan on the future distribution policy?

Distribution policy is now shifting from airdrop to cash back program. This is a program where 10% to 20% will be cashed back when Byteball is settled at a registered retail store. You can also apply from Japan in the case of retail store. However, although this program promotes using Byteball in settlement, it is less effective in expanding new users in comparison with the initial airdrop.
We will probably continue airdrop, but its supply and frequency will be both considerably decreased. Airdrop was, as you say, to increase the user base of Byteball platform.

I certainly think several methods on distribution worked well. For example, in the initial step, bytes were distributed to the people who linked their bitcoin address, and in the next step, bytes were allocated to both Byteball and Bitcoin holder at different ratios.
This is a fair distribution design different from PoS in that it has succeeded in giving incentives to early participants while setting an upper limit on total supply.

In Byteball distribution, the highest priority is to increase our user base. This is consistent in the future distribution as well, and we are currently considering a new efficient way for letting many people recognize Byteball.

In order to increase the number of users, some investors recommend Byteball to do more marketing. I do not like spending too much resources on marketing activities as many ICO projects do, but honestly speaking, I sometimes feel that Byteball should do marketing a bit more.

In my view, the best marketing is to build an excellent project on Byteball. To achieve the purpose, we first have to make our user base, it corresponds to the aforementioned distribution methods.
Then, it would be necessary to develop a comfortable platform for developers who interested in Byteball to create applications which actually work.
Developers who would like to implement on Byteball platform are now increasing little by little.

I understood your open source-like policy. By the way, in which countries do Byteball users grow mainly?

I am not so sure about certain numbers since Byteball users are anonymous, but we can monitor the growth rate based on the wallet download. There are many activities in Europe including Germany, Netherlands and other countries. Also, I confirm that the activity in Japan is gradually growing.

How about your development base: Moscow in Russia?

It is almost the same with Japan, having a small but growing activity. For example, a Russian company is trying to make an asset for titanium on Byteball.

Titancoin

The Byteball community in Japan is now being formed. May I contact the core development team if we would like to consult about application development, community, etc.?

Sure, please contact on Slack or other channels. I am pleased that there are people from Japan who are interested in Byteball. We recognize that Japan is beginning to lead the global cryptocurrency industry even it includes a strong speculative demand.
I hope you all enjoy using Byteball which enables various things.

Special Thanks to:
@knskito, and Taigo kuriyama(@taigokuriyama) translated this article.