[AMA Recap] Litentry Roadmap, Team Structure & Utilities (20th October 2022)
Catch up on the latest discussion of the Litentry team during an AMA on their official Telegram channel. A big thank you to the members of the Litentry Team; Hanwen (Speaker), Jonathan (Speaker), Remy (Host), and Kai (Speaker). The aim of the AMA is to provide some clarity and insight on the latest Roadmap, Team Structure and Utilities provided within the Litentry Ecosystem.
[Note: some of the text may have been edited for clarity and grammar.]
Segment #No1: Our x4 Team Members gave a brief intro and said ‘Hi’ to the group
[Jonathan]: “Hello everyone, this is Jonathan. I am the Web3 Product Team’s Tech Lead. I am in charge of overseeing the technical aspects of the development of our soon-to-come new dApp. I’m involved with Planning and take part in Product decisions too”
[Kai]: “Hi I’m Kai, I’m working as the protocol team lead at Litentry (Parachain + Web3 Products). I’m mainly making sure the two teams are co-working seamlessly and steering the decision-making of strategic directions.
[Hanwen]: “Hello everyone, I am Hanwen, the founder of Litentry. My focus is to fulfill the architecture described in the Litentry white paper, and to ensure the whole organization grows towards the same direction”
[Remy]: “In previous days we received many comments and feedback from the community. We are happy that you guys could schedule some time to respond to some of the concerns of our community members. The inflation model and token utility/staking pallet will be discussed, please comment and tag me if I am missing a topic that you want to approach”
Segment #No2: We went through the 10 most concerning questions by the community which the team answered one by one, accordingly.
[Q1]: “Can you help us understand what challenges you are facing in the development of Parachain?
[Kai]: We have been facing challenges both internally and externally:
1. Internally: We have been going through team structure and organizational changes and the engineering power hasn’t been the best.
2. Externally: We have to maintain two production parachains (Litmus + Litentry) while developing the sidechain inside TEE, which is very resource-intensive. In broad outline, we have to develop three chains concurrently, with extra effort on the off-chain activities as well as the communication between chains.
[Q2]: “Why is the Litentry parachain still not functional yet?”
[Kai]: It depends on the definition of “functional”. The parachains are functional in terms of “normal” operations and interactions. We are gradually rolling out the planned modules too, although I must confess not at the fastest pace due to the challenges mentioned above.
If you refer to the protocol itself, yes it’s still under development and we expect the first version to be complete before the end of this year. It’s challenging but we are willing to relish challenges 🙂
[Q3]: “You guys have been working on the Identity Hub, the community is looking forward to the development, particularly the release of the product. @Jonathan, could you share with us more details about the roadmap?
[Jonathan]: In short and in practical terms, we are putting all of our efforts into rolling out the first dApp that makes use of our Parachain identity modules.
[Q4]: “How are you working with the Parachain team to put together effort and achieve the goals?”
[Jonathan]: “That’s big… To achieve this we are committing to two major milestones at the same time. On the one hand, The Parachain will feature the first versions of our core Identity module. On the other hand, a dApp will be available for users to interact with these blockchain functionalities. This dApp we named Identity Hub.
At the moment we are working at full speed to provide usable prototypes and get early feedback. You all will soon see more noise about this new dApp and opportunities to sign up for early testing. The Identity Hub dApp will come right after the release of the Parachain’s first versions.
[Q Follow-Up]: “What is the current progress of IDH? Is there anything about the product you want to share?”
[Jonathan]: Hmmm, at this point, we could say that conceptualization and designs are in a very advanced stage. Btw, I love how the UI looks — We did thorough planning with passionate discussions to make sure this effort represented all of the learnings from other products and experiments.
Development and the implementation of dApp, started last month. We are using the Mocked Identity Pallet to work in parallel with the Parachain Protocol while in development.
We can’t wait to see our first usable Prototypes up for our beta testers to try and share something more visible with all of you 😄
[Q5]: “Many members were commenting about the spinned-off products in Litentry; What are Web3Go, PNS, and Admeta’s relationships with Litentry? We heard rumors that say Web3Go is not a litentry project, is that true? Does Admeta have any updates we should be aware of?”
[Hanwen]: Web3go originates from the Litentry team in order to be an oracle of Identity, but at that time the parachain is progressed much slower than Web3go, and Web3go already growing very fast, it has the extra capabilities to serve the whole ecosystem, it is a company decision to spinning off Web3go, we believe 1 + 1 is bigger than two.
In short, Web3go is not a Litentry project anymore, it serves the whole web3 industry non-exclusively. However we work closely, Litentry is Web3Go’s first data customer and web3Go is one part of Litentry Identity Oracle. Some collaboration like the Staking panel is a work in progress.
Admeta has a similar story, the founder Han.Z was the core developer of Litentry Parachain, and he finally develops his own idea on how to make use of the aggregated identity in the Advertisement industry. We find it has great synergies with the Litentry protocol. However, developing the upper layer application really requires a lot of work, for example, to build a front-end app to interact with metaverse games, and build extensions to handle browser histories. It will distract us if Litentry starts building advertisement-related apps(remember we are layer1 blockchain), but if Han could use his own network and start the project, that would be a better solution. We strongly believe that Admeta has great potential to make its voice in the industry and combine Litentry protocol to make its product great.
I am afraid I am not authorized to publish any update of Admeta, because it is still in the early-stage. I regularly brainstorm with Han.Z, I would say it is a very promising idea combined with the Litentry Protocol.
PNS, on the other side, is founded by an independent team, Litentry invested in PNS and helped them a lot in the early ages, they have the plan to onboard Litentry parachain as a pallet from the beginning, that’s why we collaborate on the Parachain Auction. At the same time, there are more users in the EVM-compatible world that PNS want to attract and they find it is easy for them to deploy a Solidity/EVM smart contract, that’s why they decide to first deploy their smart contract on Moonbeam.
[Q6]: “One of our members asked about Identity staking — Will there be identity staking features or is there anything economic I can obtain with my identity using IDH?”
[Jonathan]: Identity staking. It sounds so smart! It won’t be a thing on these first versions but users will definitely have a medium to use their identity.
In the end, Identity has no meaning if you can’t actually do anything with it. The IDH will come with a feature that we call “Identity Quest”. I won’t go deeper into details, but it will allow users to get rewards from Projects by sharing part of their data.
If you participated in our MCP x PhalaWorld partnership, you may already have an idea of what this is about. Identity Quest will be one of many features users will find on IDH to manage and use their data.
[Q7]: “You have mentioned team restructuring before. Could you share with us the new structure of the team? What are Litentry’s priorities looking like?”
[Hanwen]: The new structure is more development focused, regarding the protocol as the core of the organization. We used to have multiple products developed at the same time and it was hard to coordinate. Currently, there are only two products we are focusing on, Parachain and Identity Hub. This is the biggest change.
Another thing is, the organization is now adopting the OKR for the whole team, from organization to teams, to person, which means;
1. Litentry to have better objectives alignment across different teams, internally and externally
2. Litentry has clear deliverables as Key results every 3 months, we break down our tasks in pieces and try to make better estimations.
Our priority is development. We try to offload most of the management tasks from technical team leaders and get more focused on the research and architecting of our parachain and identity hub. For example, @Kai is doing research in Litentry Protocols and has a close eye on the new technologies in the Dotsama ecosystem. At the same time, the management work is handled mostly by our operation team. Similar things happen to @Jonathan.
[Q8]: “In terms of the Litentry rollout plan for Litmus and Litentry parachains. Can you share with the community the stages and how soon to see native staking in parachain?”
[Kai]: For the native staking we have completed the technical preparation. The whole rollout is divided into 5 phases, you will find them in our parachain GH issues. We are currently at phase 2 where we want to extend the current collator set size to allow the community to participate in the collation process. My colleague will deliver the application form to become a collator. We are also actively exploring collaboration with external infrastructure service providers to strengthen the stability of the network. The staking/delegation functionality will be enabled shortly after phase 2 is done.
[Q9]: “IDH will be released soon. The community is wondering why the team hasn’t defined the LIT token’s utility. And it’s not defined clearly yet when it will be shared ?”
[Hanwen]: On the Identity Hub we have created a space to experiment, test & simulate new business models & value chains which will include the LIT token. The first few launching partners will be pioneers and innovators that discover together with us and the identity owners what the value of identity data is and in what ways LIT tokens will be used besides transaction fee costs, collator staking, rewards, and potential incentives. (They are basic utilities of LIT)
We are also actively exploring the different utilities of LIT and we have several ideas in mind. You already heard what @Jonathan says about the Identity Staking. Yet these need more market research, prototyping with partners, and to be run in an experiment environment before final implementation. More information will follow as we get closer to the IDHub launch.
[Q10]: “We announced the new inflation model last week — The community would like to know if there is a better time to implement it. Why inflation now? Can we postpone it?”
- Source: “👋 We just raised a proposal for the new Inflation Model!” https://litmus.subsquare.io/post/1
[Hanwen]: In principle, we can postpone collator staking and inflation, but we are currently pursuing this strategy for several reasons:
- Opening collators to community participation is an essential step towards community governance in Litentry parachain. And maintaining a collator requires a certain investment of time, technology, and hardware by the candidate. So we need to pay for this collator maintenance with LIT token
- LIT holders can participate in building network security by staking their LIT and helping power the collator selection process. Long-term holders of LITs are also given incentives by staking.
- Technically we want to be able to run our staking pallet smoothly before removing the Sudo pallet, and if there are any problems with the staking pallet before then, our technical team will be able to fix them quickly.
Last but not the least, under the current proposal, we are not doing inflation/issuing new tokens; all the incentives for collator and LIT staking come from the ecosystem wallet as you can see here https://etherscan.io/address/0x82698865f49881764bba42f2be6ee42f7300901e#tokentxns — and inflation does not issue a new LIT. At the same time staking can keep a certain amount of circulation locked in, which will help our overall coin price in a bear market.
Segment #No3: The group was given the opportunity to provide some live questions, and the team proceeded to pick some questions to answer.
[LIVE Q1]: “Members are concerned about bridge exploit. Maybe you can share with us details of how it works from the tech side. I believe Litentry bridge is using chainsafebridge?”
[Kai]: Yes Litentry is using chainsafe’s solution for the bridge right now:
- The contract itself is audited and widely used by other projects too (e.g. Phala).
- We intentionally keep the contract simple to minimize the attack interfaces (= without extra unnecessary functionalities)
- We run our own relayer services to have full control over the event parsing and processing flow
- We have on-chain logic to double-check the maximumIssuance and externalBalances
- We are building monitor tools to discover abnormal behaviors as early as possible
[LIVE Q2]: “While Hanwen spoke about Admeta he used the phrase — ‘Han.z — was — a lead developer for litentry’ — Does that mean he is no longer working for the team or on the protocol?
[Hanwen]: Han.Z was the parachain developer and now he is not working for the parachain but building the admeta-related logic on a pallet now.
[LIVE Q2 RESPONSE]: “Yes I see early development commits on GitHub signed by him. Someone here in this chat has already asked if it was you (both sharing the same letters “Han”)
~Admeta splitting out as an independent product
Web3go chooses to not mention its connection to litentry anyway anywhere
~As an investor/tech researcher who looks more at fundamentals, it makes me think if there could be different reasons behind such splits (financial and non Financial)
~Splitting up projects products (like say Ad meta) outside litentry Personal purview while it takes along with it one of the lead core dev of Litentry is the same as dev staying with litentry and building Admeta as a product of Litentry?
~Is litentry equipped to fill the lack of these human resource losses?
As highlighted many times even in this AMA that engineering resources are one of the concerning problems”
[Hanwen]: Good questions here. Han.Z has his own network/resource and as I said above, now Litentry can’t afford to start this area on our own (mostly management cost and we want to keep team focus), it is a very big field, Take web3go for example, it is now 10+ people in the team, if we do it under Litentry is not a good option.
[Jonathan]: As highlighted many times even in this AMA that engineering resources are one of the concerning problems.
That’s a great question. It indeed put pressure on the teams but thanks to the new organization and shift of focus to Parachain and IDHub only, we’ve been able to cope with it for the moment. We won’t stop though, actively looking for new talent.
[LIVE Q3]: “There has been no conversation or clarification with reference to timelines mentioned by @Teunhabraken in last week’s update. Do they stay the same or is the team looking to tweak it based on recent decisions to restructure and reorganize?”
[Hanwen]: The re-organization is already done. We are adjusting the estimations now, can’t tell by the end of this week, different teams will have an alignment on Friday.
[Hanwen]: Reference from Teun — After testing the proof of concepts of Drop3 & MyCryptoProfile we’ve focused our energies on defining the Identity Hub as a merged product of both functionalities. Our team has now adjusted to this product pivot and can update our roadmap & format to start communicating with quarterly targets and half-year roadmaps, we are very conservative with them though, due to the innovative nature of blockchain development and a lack of blockchain developers, a problem everybody in the industry is facing.
Key milestones, which I will address in this week's community update, and our team is currently looking at are the following:
- IDhub Public Sign-up Landing Page for early access & partners: End of November
- Parachain Identity linking and assertions pallet — (Internal/Staging network): Q4 2022
- Parachain Identity linking and assertions pallet — (Rococo network): Q1 2023
- IDhub Alpha Launch for internal & community testing: Q1 2023
- IDhub Beta Launch for Beta-testers & Safety Audits: Q2 2023
- IDhub Public Beta: Q3 2023
[LIVE Q3 RESPONSE]: “What does the team think of Binance BAB (I’m aware it’s centralized and a Binance initiative to a different way to reward loyal users)
But it clearly shows the potential of how market-making giants are going to switch to de-Soc and web3 DID Based behavioral patterns in the future apart from Binance BAB-like centralized exchange concepts.
Does the team not realize the importance of timing and how critical these assessments of external growth in areas relating to DID concerning before the original roadmap was provided (stretching up to 2023)?
The tables are turning and the team is working to change these now, but it becomes essential to identify the source of these issues to avoid future repetitions?
Does the team consider the delay in development normal (aside from external market developments)?
I read through entire chats in this channel and found @heawen110 not wanting to compromise on the Polkadot parachain auctions when a proposal to skip batch 3/4 was made.
He certainly wanted litentry running on Polkadot at the earliest without delays.
What changes to accepting such prolonged delays to have a DAPP?
12 months for a dapp that unites 2 already developed products with a “conservative estimate” tag doesn’t seem to match.
As per said timeline by Q3 2023 we would be 7 months into a new Kusama lease and 75% down on the Polkadot lease.
[Hanwen]: For Business proposals and marketing inquiries kindly contact the Litentry team at email@example.com
[Hanwen]: We talked with the Binance team in September, they are willing to explore the collaboration but were busy in development, and need follow-up on this.
However I want to address this is still in the research phase, and won’t come into real use case without parachain and IDH, if we don’t have the decentralized and privacy-preserving identity linking and VC generation features (parachain), if we don’t have a comprehensive front-end to make use of user’s identity data (identity hub), these kinds of business development would only float in the sky.
The team’s first priority is development and delivery.
To be honest, there are a lot of things happening behind us, it is not as simple as combining, but we are moving from centralization -> decentralization, it is a very big step that needs Parachain and Identity Hub team to collaborate together, and we have innovated many ways to protect user privacy data in IDH.
These are the hurdles we do not have a good awareness of, we do need to improve the estimation of the deliveries.
[LIVE Q4]: “How will the Litentry parachain be linked to the existing litentry governance app? Does Litentry aim to leverage the app along with the Litentry protocol for any further broad-scale requirements to the Dotsama community?”
[Hanwen]: The mobile app is suspended because we are trying to be more focused on the core product. Suggestions are still welcome, but we don’t want to be distracted at this time.
[LIVE Q4 RESPONSE]: “Is this a temporary suspension to focus on at a later time or a permanent decision to discontinue the product after the priority issues are handled?”
[Hanwen]: It is a temporary one.
[LIVE Q5]: “Do the token holders have the right to participate in the governance of the project? On what kind of decisions can they vote on the project?”
[Hanwen]: For sure, the on-chain referendum requires every LIT-holder to vote. Before the on-chain voting, we will post any topic first in our governance forum, as you can see we have absorbed the community’s suggestion and do not issue the new token according to the feedback here.
You can find more details about governance in this article.
Please feel free to join the discussion and attend the voting, your voice is highly evaluated!
Thank you for joining the AMA. I hope we have successfully answered questions from the community and clarified your concerns. If you have any further inquiries, please reach us on the community channel Telegram or Discord.
[End of AMA]
Litentry is a Decentralized Identity Aggregator that enables linking user identities across multiple networks. Featuring a DID indexing protocol and a Substrate-built distributed DID validation blockchain, Litentry provides a decentralized, interoperable identity aggregation service that mitigates the difficulty of resolving agnostic DID mechanisms. Litentry provides a secure vehicle through which users manage their identities and dApps obtain real-time DID data of an identity owner across different blockchains.
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