Transcription of the original interview with Jose Fco AP (co-founder of The Palm Tree Network and Spanish Ambassador). You can listen to the interview here: Audio
Q: There´s a lot of buzz about Elrond. What is The Elrond Project?
Yes, there has been a lot of buzz about it. Beniamin, Elrond’s CEO, and his team have a vision of creating a new decentralized financial system, both efficient and just.
While other blockchain projects focus on the design of the network itself, having a lot of technical orientated projects, Elrond has a strategy based on 3 products:
First, a public network which is able to scale as and when required by the relative market, in a safe way, all thanks to its technology.
Secondly, the eGLD token, a reserve token of value with the economical characteristics we find in Bitcoin , in terms of scarcity and limited supply.
And finally Maiar, a totally disruptive mobile app that improves the user experience while dealing with crypto currencies.
Q: Let’s go back to the beginning. How did the project start? How did Elrond come about?
Beniamin has been involved in the blockchain sector since 2012, both in development as well as in hedge funds and helping start ups in the industry to become successful. We could say he is like an Elder member in the blockchain world, he knows a lot of people in it. A very well known character in the industry with 8 years invested in this sector.
To give you a better idea , he is from the same era as Charles Hoskinson of Cardano, Gavin Wood of Polkadot and Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum. They all started around 2012 and 2013.
What a great group
Yes, exactly , remarkable group.
Beniamin has played an important role in project NEM 4 years ago. He tried on several occasions to provide solutions to escalate and get higher speeds. But around that time the NEM team didn’t think much of it.
Beniamin abandoned project NEM to focus along with his brother Lucian in researching and developing all the theoretical designs that would make Elrond possible. For 1 year they both worked on this disruptive design. Lucian is a network expert and his background has helped to create a very innovative design.
Two and a half years ago, they presented the idea to investors and they received venture capital funds of 2 million dollars.
This allowed them to assemble a small team to develop prototypes to demonstrate their theories. This team has already begun implementing them.
Over a year ago, Binance noticed their work and what they had been doing so far. After months of auditing , they came to the conclusion that it was a great project, so they launched the IEO where another 3 million were raised.
Q: What is the status of the Project today?
At the moment the project is on fire. Currently we have the mainnet running 2169 nodes since July 30th of this year . With a processing capacity of 15.000 transactions per second. Just to give you some context, Elrond has today 10 times more nodes than Polkadot.
Q: Not bad , not bad
Not bad at all, it is a pretty decentralized network.
I always joke about how we can process all the daily Ethereum transactions in just a little bit over a minute and still have 23 hours and 59 minutes left to add other projects. The capacity of the network is enormous, and already functional.
Regarding the eGLD token there is a contrasplit swaping 1000 old ERD tokens (pre-mainnet token) to 1 eGLD in mainnet. From September 3rd several exchanges will have eGLD available and will complete the swap.
In terms of Maiar the app, we have received 72.000 registrations to test the app. Each week we add a bigger group of testers. The app is in continuous development iterations , we get feedback , changes are made and we start testing again. We estimate that in just over a month we will have the final Maiar version available in the iOS app store and in Android’s play store.
Q: If Elrond is on fire, the word DeFi is incandescent. What’s the relationship between Elrond and the DeFi industry?
We all know that the DeFi industry as a whole is growing rapidly, not just in the number of project, but also in the amount of assets running on the DeFi platforms.
We are also aware of the issues Ethereum is bringing and how they are escalating the fees of the transactions.
Elrond is fully prepared to migrate DeFi platforms we know of and upcoming platforms emerging in the blockchain space. Thanks to the Ethereum bridge that they have developed with Orion Protocol, at this moment if a project like Uniswap decided to switch to Elrond , it could combine Ethereum and Elrond without any issues, in a simple way and coexist on both networks.
Lowering the average transaction time to 5 seconds and the cost per transaction a 1000 times lower than on ethereum.
Q: What is the difference between Elrond and other candidates?
One of the main differences is that the network is already proven and running , it is not a theoretical projection of how will it be in 1 to 2 years from now.
We are the fastest blockchain network based on Sharding in the market, nobody has been capable of demonstrating in a public test with 1700 nodes run by members of the community in 60 countries at a speed of 264.000 transactions per second. That is a fact.
This number is enormous but also the conditions of the testnet. There are lots of projects out there that claim they had tested and reached 1500 transactions per second but they do not detail the conditions of the testing process.
It also stands out from the rest because it acknowledges the importance of a non-precedent user experience (Maiar) for the long term, which will attract millions of new users to the blockchain industry.
It is not enough to just have good technology; this is the foundation necessary for the project but is not the final goal.
Q: You have mentioned Maiar a lot, what is Maiar?
Maiar is an app that Elrond will be launching. It will bring the same freshness to our industry as the iphone and app store did to the mobile phone industry. It breaks a lot of myths in the blockchain industry.
For example, you install the app and It just asks for your mobile number, as if you were installing WhatsApp. You receive a sms with a code and that’s all you need to set up the app and be able to receive money right away.
Even though the set up of the app couldn’t be any simpler, the security technology behind it is incredible. The app creates an encrypted wallet based on your mobile and the digital fingerprints of your terminal’s hardware. The Maiar app does this directly with the blockchain without any middle man. Meaning , there is not a Maiar database in the Elrond offices ,just to be clear.
There is always the doubt of what if I lose my mobile phone, or I change my mobile number? For these cases, Maiar offers a social recovery function; you will select 2 Maiar trustworthy users. Let’s say your wife and her brother. With both of them you can start a very simple recovery process where half of the code will be sent to each one of them and just like that you can restore your wallet on your new phone terminal with your new phone number in 2 easy steps.
This function eliminates the need for the user to save 24 words, to write them down on a piece of paper .This represents a huge psychological barrier for many users, who don’t trust crypto because of the number of technicalities and the fear of losing their keywords.
An advanced Maiar user will always be able to check on their seed words in order to recover their Elrond wallet and any other compatible wallet within the network.
It is a concept similar to the one used for Apple products in the case of not remembering your password, sending a message to someone in your family group, so in the end it uses your contacts to create a simple recovery process.
I think it is excellent, safe and simple. And the Hot Topic of the week is to do with what’s coming on September 3rd, eGold. Tell me more about eGLD.
Elrond Gold or eGold is based on the principle that it is important to have a limited supply in order for something to hold its value. This is why there is an economic model named Elrond pi in Elrond’s source code. This model issues tokens to incentivize node validators for 10 years, in a progressive way it lowers the inflation until reaching the 10th year when no more new eGold tokens will be minted.
The total supply will be between 20 and 31 million in 10 years time, depending on the use of the network. Each token transaction fee is taken out from the inflation model so therefore, we will never reach the maximum of 31 million tokens.
The team is also working on DeFi projects to use eGLD as one of the main collaterals within the next 3 years.
There is also a very high demand for tokens for staking, because the network’s design allows 29% delegating rewards to be earned and it is estimated that it will be able to yield over 14% during at least 2 to 3 years.
The Elrond community is huge. How do you organize yourselves?
The Elrond community is one of the strong points. Even though it might seem like a project worthy of a centralized team, this is a project with a culture of decentralization, both the founders and the community aim for decentralization.It will be the community who will decide the future of the network in the coming years. We have about 50.000 people who follow us in over 40 dedicated channels on Telegram.
There is something I would like to point out. None of the Elrond admins charge for their services, we are all volunteers who work daily to achieve the vision we all share with Beniamin and his team. This makes for our opinions to be frank and not bought, we are not Elrond’s employees.
There is a group of core admins of about 50 people who run the local communities. If we then add up all the people that help the admin-core in each channel we are talking about 200 people highly involved individuals running the community.
An important amount of people
Especially taking into consideration that they are not paid staff. With payroll you can have hundreds of admins working for you, but we are all volunteers.
What can we expect in the upcoming months? If you have so many volunteers and people involved in the project it is surely because big and important things are coming, right?
Yes, one of the things that set us apart from other projects is our long term vision, we are talking decades from now, this is just the beginning, the birth of the project.
In the upcoming months we have the launching of eGold on September 3rd and of Maiar a few weeks later.
During the autumn we will see all of the projects developed during the summer start to use the Elrond network for their products, as well as new and exciting partnerships yet to be announced.