Updated: Jun 30, 2021
Video coming soon.
Informal Discord AMA w/Jeff Stalhlnecker
June 22, 2021
Jeff: Apologies for not having the recording set up for this time, but the plan long-term is to turn the AMA into a podcast type of thing so that other people can listen to it after the AMA has happened. I can theoretically also configure OBS to work with this and record Audio and then stream it even. So there are options I just haven’t had a chance to get to because I’ve been working on Tech stuff. That said, welcome to the AMA today. We are going to try and keep this one to an hour. Last time we went for about 2-3 hours. I know there are a lot of questions, I just also have to ride a bike home which takes about an hour and I need to get home today on-time. So I’m just going to start things out, I’m just going to open it up, you guys can just ask questions. That’s what we are here for, right?
Q1: About the miner fuel, how much do you need to mine the base $10-$14 a day?
Jeff: In order to maintain the base rate you have to have 100% miner fuel in the system. The effect of miner fuel was reduced in response to the community, so that has been improved upon. Instead of affecting earnings by 90% it only affects it by 50%. It’s still an effect, but it’s kind of like in the sense of, at least how I think about it, it’s like self-halving. If you want to mine fully that is fine, you just leave it there. If you need to pull something out then not a problem, you are just reducing your base by a little. At any time feel free to withdraw the token. We are not trying to tell people you can’t withdraw your token. It’s more along the lines of rewarding people for holding it for longer. That is the goal of the system.
Q2: So essentially if you want to refill the miner, let’s say you want to get your $3,000 RoI back, in order to get back to 100% (fuel) under the new scheme do you have to put in like $1,800 to get your money back? Is that how that works?
Jeff: No, not at all. So you don’t actually have to put anything into the fuel, right. So if you just plug the miner in and leave it alone for whatever month period people are saying you need to leave it for to achieve RoI for you, then you just do that. You leave it, let it sit, and it will continue mining just as it always has, right? The only time it is reduced is if you were to remove the fuel. Even at that point, even though it is reduced (this is an example I use quite often) it will never go up to 100% again. The percentage of fuel will continue to rise even after you remove it because that is just basic math. So if I have… let’s say my fuel tank is 99 size (capacity) and I have 0 fuel in my fuel tank, and then the next day (let’s make the equation simple) I mine 1 MXC. So then I have 1/100 MXC, so I have already gone up to 1% after that. I’m not saying it is a fast change, but the percentage does increase. Let’s say you are getting to the point where you pull your RoI out. So you pull your RoI out, it still mines at 50%, and over time that percentage will continue to rise as you leave it plugged in.
Reply: So a 10 month RoI becomes a 20 month RoI since it goes to 50%?
Jeff: No, as long as you don’t pull it out it is still a 10 month RoI. If you do pull it out then it will obviously be a little longer. It will be doubled. This is the thinking behind how we did this, behind miner health. We could have instituted where we do a whole network wide halving and done it where we just say everyone is down a half, but we didn’t want to do that. I know the marketing sounds really cheesy on this, and didn’t come out really well and didn’t sound really well (especially without this perspective). But instead of saying we’re halving everybody’s token we want to halve all the mining… we said ok, how do we make it to where people who want to support, who leave things staying put, who will support the liquidity in the network long-term… these people how do we reward them? Well then we were like ok, if people want to take it out fine people can go through the halving, but if people leave it in they receive a little bit extra. We could have swiped it around to a different model where we did a whole halving for the network and then we brought it (fuel) in as a reward system. This seemed (in foresight) a simpler solution. In hindsight maybe it should have been done the other way around.
Q3: Last question, I was just going to say. I’m not necessarily going to do this and I would say 90% of the people would not do this, but as an option to make you guys look more flexible… before the project changed mid-stream, and unaware or whatever I was, I put in $10k MXC & DHX in for 2 years. Now, I’m not saying I should be able to yank that, and most people wouldn’t yank it, right, but it might be to your advantage to say to people that because of the project change if they would be allowed to stake that to MXC instead. Just as an option. I’m not saying most people would do it. I’m not saying most people would do it. But it would at least make you guys look like you have some flexibility in that area. So just a suggestion. Jeff: That’s a common suggestion. I’ve heard it quite often. I think it’s a great suggestion and a great opportunity. I just don’t think that will happen at this stage. I think the focus will be to move forward to future developments. As I’ve said in a number of these conversations, the 3 I had last week as well, is focusing on the foundation of mining to improve the entire structure. And part of that is improving transparency. I’m going to go ahead and share this link here. I’m working on it, it’s a slow burn because I have a lot I’m working on so I apologize for that. If you guys go to this github repo I just shared in general (https://github.com/mxc-foundation/developer-documentation). This is going to be a full developer documentation. Which means everything we build will be documented here, probably even before it is released. So, let’s hope marketing is on-board with that. Everything will be documented there. So, the next thing coming out is device provisioning. I’ve been talking a lot about device provisioning. It’s epic, it’s awesome and I personally believe, I mean we’ve done a lot of searching for this. It’s the most secure LPWAN device provisioning protocol ever built. The goal is to keep the encryption keys out of the hands of the factories and the manufacturers so we created a handshake that allows the encryption to be built between the server itself and the device. The device is then provisioned with an encryption key from your phone I think. It's extremely cool. It’s been through QA about 3 different times, I’ve been very careful with this. It’s going to be available first for people who know development because the API will be available first. Basically, the API is gonna be available for developers to work with right when this rolls out. There is documentation being built so the goal is to be more transparent. Part of this documentation is a developer blog, and I can’t promise I can do this every week. I’m super busy, but I’m about to hire some new people that are about to take up about 75% of what I’m trying to do so I can focus really heavily so this communication goes out. Both managing the team and making sure all this stuff manages to happen. A weekly tech blog post is also something is a dream. Maybe myself or some of the tech support engineers or the product owner can write a weekly tech blog that can update you guys.
Q4: When do you think the mining for the next coin (token), which I think is Polkadot, will be available? Is it going to have any effect on the fuel?
Jeff: So that is a future thing, and like I said I’m looking at the foundations of mining, right? So that means some of those future things that we were looking at doing more quickly will actually be.. It may take a little longer. With this release of the health I’ve realized there needs to be a different kind of level of transparency between the team and the community, and what we are building in the community. That level of transparency takes some time to get prepared and roll out. So, what I can see with that is we might do a trial, sort of like the Das Kaiser Project (DKP), maybe. Right now I just want to focus on the foundation of mining and improve on that and make sure we have this transparent communication before we start adding new items. I know it sounds like I am pushing things off and I am pushing things off but I want to make sure it is done right.
Q5: Is there a release date for bitcoin mining for all miners? Maybe by the end of the year?
Jeff: Maybe, it also depends. This test was already planned before miner health. If I am rehashing the foundation of mining, that also plays a role into how that functions. The test was planned so it’s out right now. It’s good for the people and it’s good for us to learn things but again, the full rollout of the multi-token mining, it depends how we develop the model going forward and how I roll things out to make sure it is very clear how things work, and to make sure all the documentation is there in advance. That’s really just the focus right now. I know that it sounds like.... My team is pretty small for the stuff we accomplish, to be honest, and I am working on massively expanding the team. As the team expands, we can build more of these systems with this documentation to make sure there are people dedicated to that as well. This should make sure we can speed back up on development time. So, maybe by the end of this year but I’m not going to promise you that date.
Q6: Hey Jeff, I have 2 questions related to Bitcoin mining. First, will it be a 30 day test, or will it be longer?
Jeff: The plan is 30 days, is the plan. Depends on the roll out of the test and how it’s working and what we find during the test… I’m not going to hold to 30 days either. Maybe we find an issue and we have to stop that and fix it before we continue. Or maybe we don’t find an issue but we want to give it more breathing room to see where ok… it’s kind of working but something is funny and we just need more data. There are a number of things that can happen during a test. I would assume we will stick with 30 days for the test. It’s possible it could be shortened or lengthened.
Q7: For the Bitcoin mining, for the final roll out - will it be on a per miner basis or on a per account basis, the bitcoin mining?
Jeff: Ideally, it would be on a per miner basis. But there are a lot of things that go into that to make that possible. Right now it is on a per account basis to keep things simple, but ideally it would be on a per miner basis.
Q8: I saw the update about the tax downloads being rolled out, will that also include DHX?
Jeff: Not yet. It’s strictly MXC, it’s strictly for miners. The foundation is now there though, so it will be easier to roll out the additional tokens like staking and DHX mining.
Q9: Do we have custody of our wallets?
Jeff: The wallets are in a Cobo custody solution (https://cobo.com/custody), similar to an exchange. You have a top-up address and the token that belongs to you, but the seed belongs to us. To withdraw you have to have the authorization and the authorization by the team here. Which, at some point, will be automated where it will only require your authorization. The reason we have it as a set where there are 2 different authorizations is because in the early stages of developing the supernode we wanted to have another way to check things in case something happened in case someone would be able to withdraw more tokens then they actually had in their account. It was part of the early phases as a security measure. I do foresee the additional check on withdrawals will fall to the wayside.
Q10: You said potentially down the road, is that something that’s a back-log request that could get prioritized in a future sprint? I’m just thinking more towards the end of the calendar year when we start preparing taxes for next year having that ability would be really helpful. I just want to make sure that doesn’t fall by the wayside.
Jeff: Ok, I can tell you what is exactly happening with our current sprint. I can tell you what is exactly happening. Over the course of the last 6 months we’ve had a lot of great ideas. We started them and then we kept having priorities come up. This sprint is to wrap up all of those priorities that we started and didn’t finish. Device provisioning is included in that, and has been ready for the past 3-4 months. We just haven’t had the capacity to roll it out, and to educate, and to write documents on it. There are other things we are trying to do to contribute to the DataHighway. If there are any developers in the call, I’m going to say this is a call to developers to work on the Data Highway. It is to be a DAO, it is supposed to be a DAO, it is a DAO. That means everybody can participate and help develop the future of the Data Highway. Let me go ahead and send this to the chat. The DataHighway github repo is public (https://github.com/DataHighway-DHX). Everybody can look at those and see what is there. One of my tasks for my team this week is to make sure every possible issue that we know about is in the Data Highway repo. So, whether there is a node or one of the apps that we’ve been working on. Right, so it’s all supposed to be in the Data Highway repo so that anybody can take on an issue and work towards that. Eventually, since governance is built on-chain, there are developer rewards built in on that. So that, if you take on an issue you would also get tokens back for developing that, but that is not built yet. Kudos to anyone who wants to take on that issue and build it in. Obviously, we will continue building on it, but I just wanted to make sure everyone was aware that it is open and anybody can build on it and solve issues and work towards building up the data highway.
Q11: Just a question on that note; is there any movement on the peripherals that are going to connect to this network? For me, I’m seeing that if this project tanks, and we have all these machines that can create a network if there are already peripherals out there then it doesn’t really matter what the price of the token is or how much you can take out… if it has a use case beyond mining tokens then you have the possibility of really having that investment work out for you.
Jeff: Yeah, that is where this device provisioning comes into play. There are peripherals that work on the network. There are some bugs with them right now, which make them not work so well. Which we are trying to roll out and fix. So with that, this device provisioning I am really excited about that. It’s a step forward in the entire way devices are managed on these LPWAN servers, or LPWAN in general. What we have then is MatchX is developing some really exciting, like super exciting devices that will go on these networks, right? It’s multi-faceted approaches to building the network. There’s MXC building the software and that’s going to be opened up very soon. So that you guys can look at that and participate and submit issues. I’m really excited to get the mobile application code out there. We are just doing a scrub right now to double check that there is nothing that somebody at some point committed. Shouldn’t have happened but it’s good to double check before making something public. That’s being scrubbed, and once that is public then instead of having those that are participating use the beta channels to submit bugs, they can go right into the github and say, “There is a bug, here’s a suggestion, here’s how I would improve that.” Then I can prioritize that directly through to the team. So with that, there is a multi-faceted goal to get peripherals on board. We’ve talked with, well MatchX has talked with, a number of companies who are interested in the network; however, they have been waiting for the network to be bigger. I know this is vague, but I don’t want to talk names in ongoing conversations because if they drop out you’ll be like, “But you mentioned this company awhile ago…” and it’s just not a good thing. There are conversations happening and there are people looking to leverage the network. We do have ongoing contracts with governments; particularly in China where we have provided test scenarios and where we have had miners and devices in the city as a test scenario for a broader roll out. So that is happening. When it comes to the future of the network, I can tell you we are building the devices (MatchX) to ensure there are state of the art, amazing devices, that are basically built to work on the MXProtocol. Let me tell you guys, I’m a super tech-nerd. I love tech, right? I’m just nerding out on it and it’s that cool. I just want to say this - turn key AI. It’s blowing my mind. If you want to test something you’ll have the AI stuff built for you. You scan a QR code and it just works. You’ve got that… it just works, it’s done. It just blows my mind and I’m just super, unbelievably excited for that. Next question?
Q12: I have one. It was a bit off for me when I started to look in the MXC project because it was proof of participation; yet at the same time it was speaking about the coverage and it doesn’t go together because as was already mentioned you can place them in one place. Then in a previous AMA, it was found that actually when we stake or lock MXC, for example for a year or more, then it’s more like you are buying index fund stocks and I’m giving you money to invest somewhere. If I’m doing well then you are earning the MXC token will go up. I see those two business different puzzles but maybe it was not clearly explained to people, and for example, I initially wanted to expand the network but I don’t understand why I need to stake those tokens or why I need to have that fuel which makes more sense if I’m locking that money which you can invest. Can you add something to this?
Jeff: Ok, I will start with the proof of participation model. Looking outside the networks, I talk about it like this. I feel like I’m going to repeat and if you feel like I’ve already said it like this let me know. When I first started approaching companies with this whole idea of a publicly owned wireless network of things that anybody can set up and anybody can use it; the response was commonly, “Sounds cool, would be fun to use it, doesn’t exist now sorry. We can’t, we’re not going to work.. When it exists, come back and talk with us.” Or, “Why would we set up a network if we can just pay for it?” That was also something. We had this chicken before the egg issue, right? Do you have the network or do you have the devices first? Because people don’t want to set up a network unless there are devices on it. People don’t want to put devices on a network that doesn’t exist. What the PoP model is, is it is getting around that. It’s saying no matter where you are in the world… if you are in the middle of Antarctica with no devices around you, if you are in the desert, if you are in the middle of the USA where there is absolutely nothing around you yet... you are still participating and building this network. You are still providing a useful service since you are still demonstrating that there is coverage. That’s where coverage comes in. You are demonstrating that there is coverage so when companies are looking at it, they are like, “Oh they actually have some coverage here, I can help expand that.” Or, maybe, “If you expand here we would be super excited to do that.” Then we can go and put a call out to the community and say, “Hey, we’ve got people saying they want to put devices in this region but we have no miners there, does someone want to put a miner there?” There’s all these opportunities like that. But the participation is, that if you have the miner you make something off of it. I can’t say that forever or the exact something that will be made, but there’s always going to be something. It’s always going to cover the cost of that miner in operation. I know the miner is super low power, but we have full interest in keeping you connected. We need this network for this whole movement to work, we have to have this network since it all starts there.
Reply: Can I interrupt you?
Jeff: Yes, definitely.
Reply: I understand the PoP, and I understand the coverage, but I don’t understand because the people that pick up that they don’t need to do the coverage they just need to stack them in 1 corner to get that participation money. That was the biggest thing that turned me off. Because like you said, I wanted to expand the network, but without checking the coverage you won't be able to. Maybe in the beginning it would be ok, this part of payment you will get for participation and this additional money you will get for coverage. You need some incentives to expand them (miners) so people just don’t stack them in a corner.
Jeff: That’s where the health model came in with the Proximity. It’s not deployed right now because we’ve had a lot of feedback on the entire health model so we want to reevaluate that. We are aware, we do want to expand the network, but there are people that bought in under that idea that it doesn’t matter how far apart it is. We want to find the solution for everyone involved. At the end of the day, it’s the supporters that make the project possible. It’s you guys. Without you guys we would just be a bunch of guys in an office saying, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could do this?” And that was what we were 3 years ago. We were in a co-working office/space saying, “Wouldn’t this be cool?” Then we started building it. Then 3 months ago all of you wonderful people started showing up and participating. It’s been quite exciting for us actually. I do see the need for the coverage, and I do see the need for the Proximity. Just, how it was originally designed needs to be taken a look at, and in that case we just need to take another look at it.
Reply: What about the thing I mentioned about staking and locking your MXC, because people dug in those wallets and they said that when people are staking from one wallet that the MXC is used, for example to buy other tokens and such and then people stake those…
Jeff: If you are looking at transactions in the Cobo Solution that is just the Cobo solution. That doesn’t necessarily mean we are doing something with that, that is just the Cobo custody solution. It’s just how their system functions that we integrate with. With that, at this time what is actually happening when tokens are locked is it is just sitting there, right? With staking, the goal for staking (and this is how it is designed to work) is the percentage of token you have staked takes a percentage out of the network fees as described by the supernode is how it is to work. So as more and more devices come onto the network, right, and as they try to pay for those downlinks, those transactions end up having a percentage fee that goes to the supernodes, and a percentage of that fee goes to the people who staked and support the supernodes. Staking is sort of like, proof of stake, that shows the supernode is trustworthy. That’s how it was developed. More people that staked in it or demonstrated the supernode is trustworthy it showed the person managing that supernode is trustworthy. Since the initial design things have changed a little bit, and maybe we need to adapt the publications to match that. Or rather, maybe we need to make it more transparent in how the intent of staking intends to be. There is a very old article, I think the google search would be, “How to launch a supernode” where I actually outline how the supernode… how the fees from the supernode are distributed among stakers and other things. And then a portion of that is burned. So all this stuff was outlined about 2 and a half years ago, so maybe we just need to create some fresh content on that to make it more clear on how that all works. It’s like a proof of stake model. It’s literally just sitting there. There’s nothing really being done with it. In time that will be going on, as more and more supernodes go online… (talks about the goal of 100 supernodes).
Reply: Why is it bad if people don’t stake and take that over because that fuel was implemented to keep people staked. Why is it bad not taking that money out?
Jeff: Like I said before, we are trying to find a solution, a revolutionary solution, and it hasn’t been that revolutionary the way we communicated about it. Again, I apologize, the communication could have been much more transparent. A lot of tokens or mining processes go through a series of halvings over time, right. The fuel in and of itself comes in as a solution for multiple different factors. There’s the having token in the network, and there is also the, ok how are we going to approach this type of halving type thing? With fuel, it gave us the opportunity to provide a halving solution that is decided by the community. In a sense that if you pull it out, you’re halved, right? That’s just the way it is. That was kind of, we were like that was super exciting and this has never been done before. And as we got the feedback, we were like alright.
Q14: My view is why is it not just staked at a long-term 2 year rate as you hold the fuel in the miner health? If the project is going to succeed it probably would not be that big of a hit, would it?
Community response: You’re already getting rewards for having it as fuel, so why would you get rewarded twice?
Reply: Yeah, that is a point too. I’m just saying there would be a lot less squeaking if it was like, “We need the liquidity guys, and we will jump in here and stake you for it, but maybe it isn’t possible.”