Ankr AMA review with Vite community on 07 Jan 2020
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On 07 Jan 2020, Vite welcome the special guest Ryan Fang, COO – Co-founder at Ankr joining an AMA with the community at Telegram
Ankr has built a globally distributed computing network that leverages idle cloud resources in data centers and edge devices. The Ankr platform is connected to top-end specification servers, hosted from data centers owned by some of the largest companies on the planet, to provide the highest quality to the Ankr nodes.
With technologies like Kubernetes and Docker containers, Ankr is making the new cloud cost-effective, easy to use, more secure, and more eco-friendly.
• Website: https://www.ankr.com/
• Twitter: https://twitter.com/ankr
• Telegram announcements: https://t.me/anrknetworkann
• Telegram chat: https://t.me/ankrnetwork
• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/ankr/
• Discord support channel: https://discord.gg/kFETwMD
• Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ankr_cloud/
Vite admin: Welcome Ryan, pleasure to have you here, can you introduce yourself?
Ryan Fang: I am Ryan Fang, Co-founder, and COO of Ankr. I have a background as an entrepreneur and data scientist, and experience as an investment bank analyst at Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and China renaissance. We are quite connected in the blockchain space all over the world and met many blockchain founders during our journey which started in 2018.
Vite admin: Since the inception of the Ankr project in 2018, it looks like you have shifted towards a pragmatic business solution, which contains real-world products that end-users can already utilize. Can you tell us a bit more about your current focus and the business model of Ankr?
Ryan Fang: In the beginning, as a project, we designed everything conceptually; how do we see the platform working from a computer-science perspective. But gradually as we began to implement more and more features it was apparent that pragmatism and common business sense would need to prevail if we were to build a platform that would attract both cloud users and large-scale resource providers. We, therefore, adopted our proposed technical solutions to fit something more engaging, scalable, and economically viable. In short, we realized our investors would rather be backing a lucrative, practical business than a computer science project. We never get wedded to our ideas! The most important thing is to always be prepared to adapt and change direction if it is clearly the best approach.
Vite admin: There have been many developments by the Ankr team in 2019. The mainnet launched in July, together with the distributed cloud computing platform, which includes a desktop wallet and the App Store for node hosting applications. Can you tell us more about the functionalities and usage of the Ankr cloud platform?
Ryan Fang: First, our distributed cloud computing platform is built for real-world usage. Initially, it is focused on enterprise customers, high profile blockchain companies, like Vite, and end-users who want to run nodes for app development or staking. The best thing is that the platform already being used now. We have released 20+ blockchain node hosting applications and are in the process of finalizing the integration of another 20+ high-profile blockchains. Some of these blockchain companies will host their nodes on the Ankr cloud, and others will promote our application to their communities as the preferred platform for easily hosting a node at favorable prices. This is also interesting for community members who want to run a Vite node! You can find our platform at app.ankr.com.
Vite admin: Ankr is launching a stream of blockchain nodes hosting applications, such as Vite, Harmony, Matic, Cosmos, TomoChain, Zilliqa, and many others, to host their nodes on the Ankr cloud or provide affordable and easy node hosting to their communities. What are the benefits for these blockchain companies in using the Ankr network?
Ryan Fang: So first, I was quite shocked to recently learn that over 95% of public blockchain companies are still hosting the many of their nodes on centralized public cloud providers, such as AWS and Azure. The centralized nature of these services makes them subject to a single point of failure. Like Ethereum, 60% of Ethereum nodes are hosted on the top 10 public clouds, while 34% of these nodes are hosted on centralized servers in the US! There is simply no single public cloud provider that can achieve geo-distributed availability zones for node hosting. Next to the single point of failure issue, aspiring blockchain node hosts are also usually held back by the high pricing and poor user experience of existing cloud services. Current cloud services and their support teams are not very blockchain-friendly, and it might require a lot of time and knowledge to configure and manage a blockchain node, some of you might have experienced this in the past while setting up a node for a blockchain for the first time. So, with Ankr, our solution takes away these struggles and aims to facilitate blockchain adoption to a broader crowd. We expect to onboard many more public blockchain companies onto the Ankr Cloud, which will make us one of the very few blockchain-based companies to generate real-world revenues.
Vite admin: What are your plans to ensure enough idle resources for all these blockchain companies who are signing up to host their nodes on Ankr? And how will resource providers benefit from the Ankr business model?
Ryan Fang: So, it is very important to be aware of the problem current data centers in the market are struggling with. Due to the highly inflexible data center model, existing data centers can be very slow to deploy, the costs press heavy on the Capex of the company and they utilize an average of only less than 40% of their capacity, which is not very cost-efficient or eco-friendly. It is estimated that more than 10 million physical servers around the world are not even being utilized at all. Also, public cloud giants like AWS and Microsoft Azure are driving small cloud providers and data centers out of business. Ankr provides a solution for both ends of the market, which is based on the sharing economy model. We aim to balance the equation by monetizing idle resources and providing them at affordable prices to end-users. To ensure that every customer of our cloud network can carry out the tasks they signed up for, we are always working to add more data centers and their idle resources to the current list of data providers. We are already working with reputed enterprises such as Telecom giant Telefonica, DigitalOcean, and BCP, which own some of the high-end data centers that are connected to our cloud network. We are in talks with some very large companies around the globe to add to our footprint and are always looking for more data-centers to grow our network. So, as mentioned in the whitepaper, the Ankr revenue model is based on transaction fees of our cloud platform, which is basically a percentage of every deal. The platform transaction fee is made up of 3 parts: a fee paid to the resource provider, a fee paid to the Application provider (in case this is not Ankr), and finally, also a fee paid to Ankr. Our future staking model for Ankr tokens will be based on the revenues generated by the Ankr platform. By bringing more public chain nodes onto the Ankr cloud we are generating a steady revenue stream, which will automatically serve to bring value to the Ankr token. As a key element of this model is the direct correlation of the staking rewards to revenues generated on the Ankr platform, meaning that increased revenues lead to a higher staking reward pool. This is really the only way for us to provide a sustainable and long-term business model and bring intrinsic value to the Ankr token.
Vite admin: And follow-up the partnership, what will Ankr offer for Vite in their node hosting application and how can we and our community utilize this blockchain-friendly and affordable solution?
Ryan Fang: This is the interesting part. We have been very busy building and testing all these node hosting apps before bringing them to the market. So, for Vite, we have built 2 applications. These applications are available in our cloud platform and can be used by anyone, paying for the service in Ankr tokens. One to run a full node and one to run a Supernode (the SBP). One to run a full node and one to run a Supernode (the SBP). As we know about the hard fork of Vite, there have been some changes, I guess. As mentioned before, to spark adoption, but also to check once more if the applications are running like the community desires them to run, we have decided to grant 5 rewards of 200 USD to the first users who deploy a Vite Supernode on the Ankr app and return their test results to us. Because we build these applications for the community and really want to be sure that we cater to all their needs. We have a large team of engineers working overtime to optimize these apps and we are flexible enough to consider the wants and needs of our potential end-users. What they can expect is an easy to deploy and affordable way to run a node for their favorite blockchain project, which in this case is of course Vite! Instead of studying all the documentation and deploying the node on an expensive and centralized public cloud server.
@Hg144: Ankr has cooperated with many good partners such as Lition, hyper ledger, Zilliqa ... So what are the benefits that partners bring to Ankr?
Ryan Fang: This is a very good question. So, the answer lies already partly in what we have just been discussing. Ankr and Vite have partnered with the goal to strengthen each other’s ecosystem. In this case, there are even multiple angles served:
- Ankr token is listed on ViteX to give us even more availability, also on a decentralized exchange.
- Ankr built applications to host Vite nodes. Our collaboration with Vite will make sure that the apps work properly and cater to the needs of the community.
- Both our communities will contain potential users, which we can easily reach by working together.
- Ankr provides an easy solution for people who want to contribute to the Vite network and this also contributes to further strengthening and decentralizing the Vite network.
@CallMeBaby012345: How would you introduce the concept to people who have not heard of ANKR before?
Ryan Fang: We like to use the analogy of the widely known sharing economy companies, such as Uber and Airbnb who also make their resources (in these case houses and cars) available at a fairer price and in an easy way (with the app). Now it is time to bring even more resources to the global sharing economy! We like to use the analogy of the widely known sharing economy companies, such as Uber and Airbnb who also make their resources (in these case houses and cars) available at a fairer price and in an easy way (with the app). Now it is time to bring even more resources to the global sharing economy! So, if you look at the blockchain space, many see projects such as Golem, IExec, and SONM as our main competitors in this space. The main difference with them is that they focus more on compute power generated by regular PC’s, as we are focusing on both retail users as large enterprises and resources from their worldwide data centers. So, we like to look more at public cloud providers (AWS, Azure, etc) which offer centralized servers and are not very blockchain-friendly. Moreover, they’ve to are very expensive to use. Also, don't forget that Ankr provides an eco-friendlier solution as it utilizes idle resources instead of adding more resources to the global footprint.
@Mission2000: What is the reward distribution scheme for Ankr stakeholding? What future developments would you expect would be most appealing to larger institutions
Ryan Fang: Next to global giants like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and IBM Cloud, new solutions are emerging which leverage the use of blockchain and other distributed technologies to provide cheaper and more secure services to businesses around the globe. Moreover, this market presents incredible opportunities for us to grow our user-base and even just a small market share of this would represent tremendous growth for Ankr.
@Nuhollic: How do you secure the Ankr cloud platform? Can external attacks (hacking attacks, phishing, identity theft, etc.) enter the Ankr cloud system? Can it change or destroy data? What procedures does Ankr's security team implement in case of potential security issues?
Ryan Fang: Ankr ensures apps utilize the latest version of Docker containers that carry with them up-to-date security patches. Containers are segregated within a host using namespaces; it is not possible for containers to communicate between namespaces at all, even when on the same host.
@Nuhollic: The Lition project will use the Ankr cloud platform. How do you evaluate this? What advantages does Ankr provide to the projects that will use the cloud platform? What do new partnerships mean to Ankr?
Ryan Fang: We provide the same advantages to other public blockchain projects as we do to Vite, which were explained above. Also, for Lition we will provide the node hosting app and work together on adoption within our mutual communities to grow both our ecosystems and strengthen and decentralize their network.
@NO4M3: When you looking back on 2019, what did the ANKR achieve? Which steps are you most proud of? Can you tell us about your important steps in 2020? Q2: 8th of October 2019, ANKR announced Vite partnership. How ANKR and Vite, both sides BENEFIT to this collaboration? What is the importance of it?
Ryan Fang: Thank you, same to you, and all Vite community members! Q1: you can find an overview of our 2019 achievements on our Medium blog. I am most of all very proud that we have completed so many achievements, on the technical and business development front. We have some great partners who help grow our ecosystem, are listed on the top exchanges in the space, but most of all the release of our mainnet and the Ankr cloud platform are what matter most. I want to sincerely thank our team for having made this possible!
For more information about Ankr, please refer to Ankr website: ankr.com. Special thanks to Ryan Fang for joining the AMA.