Tagion conducted its second Ask Me Anything event on 8 October 2020 via Telegram Chat. This session saw the participation of 65 attendees from the Tagion community on three continents. The main purpose of the event was to have quality conversations regarding the Tagion platform and the development of the DeFi industry. A transcript of the event can be found here.
The AMA covered topics as diverse as:
- The Tagion Exchange
- UI (sneak peek!)
- Proof of People Pivot
- Did someone say Third Party?
- Marketing & Outreach
The Tagion Exchange
The community asked about the decentralised exchange (DEX) that Tagion is building, how we plan to compete with, for example, Ethereum 2.0, and about the simplicity of the proposed system. Tagion CEO Theis Simonsen says that the project is looking at a broader scope of parameters than just raw speed. Security, interoperability and a full DEX feature set are also important. He emphasized a vision of a DEX that, “it is not so much a question of actual tx/s, as storting of bids and asks, price discovery, matching, and settlement. We are aiming to do the whole thing.” Moreover, Theis pointed to another layer of problems: a DEX needs liquidity in different currency pairs.
Tagion CTO Carsten Rasmussen noted that in terms of speed, device limitations will have an affect, and while laptop use may throttle validation to about 20k signatures, running a desktop with a GPU can bring Tagion’s throughput to 100k levels and beyond, or equal to projected Ethereum 2.0 speeds.
Ease of use was an important question for the community, especially in terms of having an easy to use wallet. Tagion Project Manager Vlad Pazych lifted the curtain on a prototype mobile wallet from i25s.com, which will be a commercial project. Carsten pointed out, though, that Tagion itself will have a built-in Name Record System that acts like a decentralized DNS.
Vlad Pazych described the security features of the wallet, which, he stated, would only be vulnerable to theft if someone stole the physical device and guessed the correct pin-code. This wallet will be a non-custodial wallet, which means that all private keys will never leave the device. Moreover, it utilizes one dedicated library for seed generation, seed recovery, and the encryption and decryption of private keys never leaves the device. The library, which is thoroughly tested, uses industry standard encryption methods, is open source, and doesn’t store decrypted keys.
Both iOS and Android versions of the wallet are being created, and they should be identical in look, feel, and use.
Moreover, Tagion Wallet will differ from the rest of the pack by offering a limited-function “incognito” mode for those who require anonymity.
Losing the wallet’s password will be handled by seed restoration, which is self-defined when creating the seed in the wallet, and self-processed if there’s a problem. This will be much more user-friendly than the 12-word backup commonly found, and will require the user to remember the answer to simple, yet private questions even without connecting to the internet. This method was chosen due to the open source nature of the wallet, which would show everyone any sort of back-door access.
Might KYC involving people showing their faces drive some people away? Tagion CSO Roxana Nasoi stated that Tagion does not retain KYC data on the DART. Carsten Rasmusssen added that KYC is not part of the network, and that you can create a Name Record without KYC and a wallet-user does not need a Name Record. The way that we see it, the network stays non-political, and third parties can adhere to local regulation.
Tagion Proof of People Pivot
After a good community discussion, we have moved from a Proof of People protocol to one that uses two basic sets of scoring attributes: stateful and stateless attributes. Theis Simonsen explained that Tagion has a stateful attribute, which is based on a social community score derived from the age of a trust claim and taking into account the spread/distribution of the grouping of an account’s trust claims. We call it community score for short.
We say that community score is stateful, because it is something that has a state; it is built over time. On the other hand, stateless attributes are like a proof of burn concept, like burning energy in Bitcoin. These [two types of, ed] attributes would need to be balanced, which requires testing.
Tagion uses a two-pronged approach to proof, so that third-party service providers can easily exchange data with each other to make sure the user owns the data. It is a DRMS built on the name-record.
And More Speed
One participant wanted to know what Layer 2 solutions other than Lightning Network was Tagion exploring.
At this point, says Kristian Vestergaard, the Tagion exchange still needs development, and once that is done, extensive testing with Lightning Network will be done in order to see if the network can hold up. “If not,” Kristian added, “If not, we will need to do our integration to the networks we wish to support (this we have already looked into, and it is absolutely a viable path, but nice if we wouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel here too.”
Did Someone Say, “Third Party”?
The project’s process for coaxing developers to build applications usable for the Tagion Ecosystem was discussed. The upcoming AlphaTwo release will include the Software Development Kit (SDK).
The Long View
The team’s founders referenced their horizons several times in the AMA. For example, when asked about how Tagion will separate itself from scams, Theis Simonsen claimed that it will take time to show integrity and traction to convince people.
There are practical implications, and Theis maintained that ⅔ of banking is lending, but that this requires a mature market infrastructure and an intrinsically stable, free-floating currency that is not bound to the “old” market structure.
In the same vein, a mainnet release will come once a stable beta version appears and the community decides upon it. At the same time, if a Beta release has been stable for 3-6 months, it’s time to talk about it. Kristian affirmed, and added that as the DEX is the major driver of adoption, the DEX should follow, “not too long after.”
Further out, Theis sees it like this:
Basically: 3-5 years basic adoption of proof of product/platform, 5-10 years main adoption and after that we have enough traction and volume to start creating decentralised lending protocols.
On tokens and fiat
Regarding fiat currency support in the wallet, Vlad stated that such support is planned, but not coming soon.
When it comes to the tagion being a revenue-generating or a utility token… The Tagion team has spent a lot of time and money on examining the legal aspects of the project, and how to avoid regulatory pitfalls. Kristian emphasized that as a token, the “Tagion is a normal monetary token, as Tagion [the project, Ed.] is a monetary system - [it is, Ed.] not a revenue generating token.”
Kelvin, one of the participants, recommended opening up the Tagion DEX to “real legit cryptocurrencies”, citing the fees elsewhere and potential ease of operation.
The team was asked about Tagion’s financial situation. Theis said that the project is pretty good in that regard, and is funded mainly by i25s, and we will remain ICO-free.
Note: for further information regarding the financial/investment side of Tagion, contact Kristian at kv[at]i25s[dot]com.
Kristian said that the major technical hurdles had been left behind, and that ensuring very high quality code was in focus. “We still face some risk,” regarding the DEX, “but, based on the time that we already spent looking into this, we are sure that we can reach what we have set out to. Theis added that there is still the need to implement and test the whole governance layer - both node and monetary - which is quite extensive as well.
A lot of real data from the network is needed to get this fine-tuned, said Kristain.
Marketing and Outreach
Roxana explained that Tagion currently has a Marketing department with four people. A video production company helps with video marketing.
Marketing efforts include a bounty program for social media, which was recently launched, and the just formed Tagion Ghana Official - the first official Tagion community in Ghana. We’re getting a lot of support, even if we haven’t launched any products specifically for the country. We are also working on a Country Representative program which we expect to launch over the summer next year, when we have a more mature product line.
Another, more immediate plan is to attract developers through a hackathon. “These are always fun to do,” Roxana noted. Moreover, “We are planning more content of different kinds, an Open Forum series with guests, as well as more virtual town halls (virtual conferences). We should be more proactive on speaking at events too in the crypto space for additional exposure.”
She underlined that all marketing is rooted in the release of the Beta testnet, wallet, and DEX, in order to avoid overpromising and underdelivering. It informs the gradual approach to marketing and positioning the project.
Also under the header of marketing, she pointed out that there are regular check-in calls with potential customers for the subDART implementation and loyalty point engine, but these are still at the level of discussions.
Who controls Tagion?
While Tagion is currently under i25s, the community of users will some day take over. Theis does not expect to see a central foundation created, as the project will be run by the active members of the community. However, some participants doubt that participation would be high enough to let the system go.
Elastic money supply
Participants were curious about when the elastic money supply would kick in. Theis confirmed that at first, there would be a fixed supply to start with node/user rewards.
Wrapping it up
In the two-hour session, a lot of ground was covered by the attendees, and both founders and freshly-minted participants came away with ideas to think upon and implement. Tagion will certainly be directing attention toward Africa and the communities developing there, and the interest shown will influence the project’s marketing and use cases. And while we’ll continue with our pattern of debuting commercial testing in Ukraine, where we have an office, we are open to further testing in other European, Asian, and African countries. Moreover, the emphasis shown by the team on getting things done correctly the first time, and playing a long game, gives participants a clear understanding of the vision the Tagion team shares for the future.