NKN AMA Q&A Highlights (October 8-9, 2019)



  1. What is NKN? Can you explain it in simple words?

NKN is building the largest blockchain for network sharing. If Ethereum is building a decentralized computer, we are building a decentralized communication network.

NKN is a software overlay network built on top of today’s Internet that enables users to share unused bandwidth and earn token rewards. This pool of shared network resources can help everyone enjoy faster, more secure, lower cost, and universally accessible connectivity.

  1. What can a normal person do with NKN?

There are several key use cases for NKN, and they are relevant for everyone since we all communicate with each other. This applied not only to humans, but also to machines or Internet of Things (IoT).

For example, we have this new kind of CDN product that can help everyone browse websites faster and watch video more smoothly. If you go to our official website nkn.org you are already using our nCDN. With this product, we are working with a tier-1 video content owners to help them distribute movies and TV episodes to the largest population in the world.

There are more products like secure chat and file transfer that do not need any centralized third party. Our developer community are actively creating new and innovative applications on top of NKN for everyday life and work.

  1. Why NKN is brilliantly moving in Crypto space? Is it because of the unique idea of networking?

We are focusing on a vertical domain, keep agile but smart, and a lot more!

  1. There are many blockchain projects out there which aim to solve the existing problems of traditional network. However, most of them have failed and disappeared or didn’t have contributions to this network revolution. So, as project which survived from bear market, which achievement did NKN team get that make you proud of? How was and how will NKN team be unique, be different from these existing projects in network field?

It’s a mix of tech, direction, and business. Try out d-chat, nsh, d-ftp, NKN t-rex runner, etc, and you will see why :slight_smile:

  1. What is the uniqueness of NKN project that cannot be found in other project that’s been released before?

We are focusing on data transmission vertical domain, and we are far more horizontal scalable than any other ones

  1. How is NKN different from other decentralized compute providers like says EDGE network or SONM?

We are focusing on data transmission but not compute, so we should (and indeed we are) work together

  1. How did you manage to get Dr. Wolfram as your advisor? What role does he play in NKN?

Believe it or not, he contacted us first :slight_smile: He’s our research advisor

  1. According to you, what is the role of community support for one project and what will you do for this?

Community is critical for our success. Without community miners, we won’t become the largest blockchain network in terms of full consensus nodes. In addition, our token holders have been our biggest advocates, helping us marketing, connecting with other projects, and introduce potential customers and partners.

We will continue to improve our community effort. especially if we get listed on Binance, we can jointly work with wonderful Binance angels and ambassadors to expand our engagement in more countries and communities.

  1. You are talking about the next generation of the NKN-based blockchain. The world is developing very fast right now and after your blockchain model an even more advanced model may appear. Are you sure your project will live long? After all, the direction that you have chosen will not be possible to upgrade. Or maybe?

We believe our code will live long after we are gone :joy:

but to be more serious, we are addressing a scaling problem that is ignored by almost all other projects. that is scaling in terms of consensus nodes. We are on our way to handle 25K nodes, and millions and even billions in the future. We have mathematically proved it is possible using our tech. in addition, our project is open source from beginning and it belongs to the community now. so as long as there is value in exploring scaling for nodes, NKN will be around.

Haha it’s a good one. Actually we don’t intend to be a general “the next generation blockchain”, but we are mostly focused on the data transmission part. As a data transmission network, we require extreme scalability, realtime data transmission capability, and reward needs to be related to data transmitted. None of the existing blockchains are even close to these goals. We are not saying we will always be the most advanced blockchain for this purpose, but at least for now and the near future, we don’t see any better choices than NKN :slightly_smiling_face:

And in addition, due to the nature of our consensus algorithm, upgrading in NKN is not a problem, and we’ve already done a few fundamental ones (to the protocol itself) in the past year

  1. What are the two main reasons that I should vote for NKN?

If you have to distill it down to only 2 reasons, I will give these:

  • We are already the largest blockchain network with more nodes than Bitcoin and Ethereum, and it is working stably on our mainnet
  • We have products that people use in their everyday life and work, and are addressing multi-billion dollar high growth business
  1. What is the purpose of NKN token?

NKN token plays a central role in NKN ecosystem, and is the life blood of NKN. There are a few utilities that NKN token provides:

  • By running a NKN node, participants can share their network resources and help others relay data and earn mining rewards. This encourages miners to keep their node running 24X7 and with a good Internet connection.
  • Consumer and enterprise users can use NKN to pay for Content Delivery, game streaming, group chat subscription, and many other services.
  • In addition, miners who host applications (such as CDN) for the NKN community can earn additional NKN tokens.
  1. What does it mean when NKN claims to be the largest blockchain network in terms of full nodes? Why is it relevant or important at all?

We have always believed that true decentralization is the fundamental value of blockchain networks like bitcoin. We do not believe in some of the recent big projects that sacrifice decentralization in the name of TPS performance improvements. If you only have 20 nodes making decisions, you centralize the power and introduce governance issues.

Therefore our NKN network is designed to scale to any number of nodes, let’s say 14,000 today, millions or even billions in the future. It is already bigger than Bitcoin and Ethereum, both of which report to have around 10,000 nodes each. And the NKN project team is only running less than 1% of the total nodes. So it is a network that is truly owned by the community and can live on its own.

In addition, there are billions of humans and potentially trillions of smart devices in the world. So our scalable technology fits the networking business perfectly.

  1. What is the biggest problem the NKN team sees in the industry? how do you intend to solve it ?

NKN target to solve below problems or challenges we seen in network and blockchain domain:

1: Inefficient Network utilization results in waste of resource
2: Centralization of blockchain systems diminish trust
3: Client-Server model is expensive, complex, and prone to failure & attack, below picture is more clearly. Wo solved them by our unique technical advantage (like creative MOCA consensus mechanisms, proof of relay)and good incentives model.

  1. This project is building a decentralized network, For normal people like me, I use traditional internet now and I’ve never seen a problem with it. Would you please explain what point do you think that decentralization will be important for us? For example, you said it can watch video smoother? I watch video smoothly on Youtube now and don’t see problems with it.

There are a few use cases:

1: Your connection to certain services or servers are blocked by gateway or private network. e.g. your home computer in Thailand want to send large files directly to your backup location in Finland, and you don’t want to use Google Drive or Dropbox.

2: Your connection is poor: e.g. between our US and China office, the default Internet routing gives us lousy connection speed. By using NKN, not only we can find faster alternative route, but also combine a few alternative routes together to aggregate much higher throughput.

  1. NKN is now available in more than 42 countries, but I think the focus is mainly in Canada and the US, in big countries like China and India, there are very few, your upcoming market expansion plan has towards these countries or not?

Hi, we are actually not that concentrated in the US and Canada. The problem is that the GEO IP address analyzer mistakenly put every node from Google and Amazon cloud into US. In reality, they are scattered to over 15 data centers around the globe, about equally in US, Europe and rest of world.

We have launched community node program to encourage node building in developing world such as our Africa and South America Challenge. In general, if you are the first node in any country, you get a special reward. We might need to increase that reward. :grinning:

  1. Today protecting users data and privacy has become a problem that many companies must face in their development. So Can you explain a bit about your security side?

The good news is that we do not store user’s data, and even better, all the user data are not only end to end encrypted, but can also be hop by hop encrypted. You should try the Whisper function of our d-chat for secure and private one-on-one chat, a bit like decentralized Snapcht. And also our d-FTP, which is super secure direct file transfer between anyone in any part of the world (and none of you need to run a server).


  1. Are there any competitors for NKN, and what are NKN’s advantages?

Yes, we have a few competitors. If we only look at the crypto space, you have projects like SpaceMesh, RightMesh, Skycoin, and BTT. The first two are only focusing on the wireless mesh access part, while we work over any existing Internet connection (be it wireless or through cable). The other projects have more narrow use cases such as file sharing, while we are more universally applicable to any application that needs to move data from one place to another.

But to be best in crypto world is like becoming the biggest fish in a fish tank. We want to compete with real world sharks, centralized platforms like Akamai. Because we have the largest blockchain network with over 14,000 full nodes globally, we can deliver content faster and cheaper than those existing billion dollar companies.

  1. Can it be good for a country where electricity costs are higher than network participation incentives? In case, if the NKN token price falls and if only a few nodes are mined, how stable is the network?

Electricity is not the main cost in NKN, but bandwidth is

  1. Do you aim to improve your network connection in the world more than global companies?

Even global companies like Vodafone and Singtel operates in selected countries. Cloud platforms like Google and AWS operates in 15-30 data centers around the world. We actually rely on crowd sourced servers that are more distributed than any of these big companies.

  1. Do you think you are a candidate to become one of the most important projects of the future? Do you trust your team to make your project much more successful in the future?

Yes we do as there are not many competitors in decentralized networking vertical but it is such an important pillar!

  1. Hello NKN Team; Will your investment in technology increase when Binance Exchange is released? Do you consider further cooperation with Binance ?

Yes, we will increase the investment in technology, as well as business development and marketing. We intend to compete in the real world outside of crypto, and bring in new money for the crypto market.

With Binance, we see lots of potential. First is joint marketing and promotion of using NKN and BNB in the networking business. In addition, our p2p network solution can help Binance website and Binance mobile app reach more countries and more people without restrictions.

  1. Will there be a decentralized ISP?

It will be mixed mode in future, there will decentralized ISP and also traditional ISP coexist, each of them has their own advantages in different domain

  1. What is the NKN economic model and how to use the token in the whole system?

  1. What are the commercial potentials of NKN?

Our products in use today are addressing some of the fastest growing markets, for example: Our New Kind of CDN (nCDN) is in commercial trials with a tier-1 video content owner (thinking along the line of Netflix) and has really good traction. There are insatiable demands for video streaming, it is a 12B dollar business with 12% annual growth.

Today NKN signed a commercial contract with NETNIC in China for its nCDN product. NETNIC provides application centric cloud solutions for enterprise customers and is the largest value added reseller for Baidu cloud and for Tencent Cloud in Northern China.

By working together with NKN, NETNIC can continue to improve its content delivery services for its clientele of more than 100,000 enterprise customers.

  1. does NKN plan to work with Amazon or Paypal?

Actually, Our Nodes already run on AWS and are part of the AWS Marketplace as well.

  1. CZ told us last week that gaming industry which is one of the biggest markets that will use blockchain and some project has workshop for game development. Will NKN have the same workshop?

We already have a 3D action game called Space Cats, which is really cool but need an upgrade for the mainnet. Our solution should be very suitable for game development, especially real game development. Not just those Crypto Kitties or gambling types. We can achieve millisecond latency for game controls.

  1. There are many users with unused or old mobile phone, any plans to extend miner software on mobile devices?

All mobile devices can access NKN using our client and leverage NKN to speed up their internet when accessing files, like pictures or videos. They also can get a unique NKN ID to communicate with other people and devices directly. The community channel is purely decentralized, encrypted without any centralized server, so it is safe and no privacy concern from user side

  1. In looking at the current position of blockchain technology, what would be the reason for mass adoption of NKN in the future?

NKN not just have the payment related function which almost 100% blockchain project have, it also has the unique highlight that it could support data transmission based on it, and fast, lower cost and safe. That means it could be integrated with most of current internet service and save cost & improve efficiency for them. Because data transmission is a huge market and almost all of internet services need it.

  1. Can I run my NKN NODE using Ankr Network cloud service? Or do you support only AWS or Azure as of now? What is the reward mechanism for running which attracts so many node runners for NKN network?

Yes you can certainly run a NKN node in container mode within Ankr cloud. We are partners and our CTOs are looking at the best technical solution together.


  1. Why did NKN choose Chord Distributed hash table?

Because Chord DHT topology is verifiable! And it’s critical for security as malicious people cannot choose who to connect to.

  1. NKN mainnet has over 16K (16250+) full nodes… How did you do that?

In short, because we are truly decentralized, permissionless, and easy to use :slight_smile:

  1. What will be the minimum requirements to be a NKN miner?

Almost any device (pc, raspberry pi, etc) and a public IP address or being able to do port forwarding on your IP address. That’s it!

  1. How does NKN deal with the issue of illegal content being relayed through nodes? Can nodes prevent this from happening in any way, and would this content be traceable back to them?

Everything is end to end encrypted without any centralized PKI, so no one can see the content unless he has your private key!

  1. What is NKN’s current network bandwidth?

Aggregated bandwidth is probably [100M * 16k / log_2(16k) * 2] assuming each node has 100M bandwidth :slight_smile:

  1. As an application developer, I am interested in quality projects like yours. May I know what kind of opportunities your project offers to application developers ? Can I also learn which application developer companies you intend to partner with in the future ?

Sure, we have a big dev community on discord and also dev incentive programs for good dapps. Welcome to join our discord group to get started :slightly_smiling_face:

  1. Does your team have a plan B for possible cyber attacks on the Blockchain network? How does a hack attack affect the network? will content sharing be harmed?

Yes, we spent a lot of effort studying possible attacks and have designed the protocol to be quite robust under various attacks. In short, in order to attack the consensus protocol, one needs to control a significant portion of all nodes in the network (around 1/3); as for the data transmission part, it won’t be affected as data is transmitted purely off-chain, and often concurrently in multiple path. So attacking off-chain data transmission not only is very costly, but also does not bring any economic benefit to the attacker

  1. When I send a message through NKN to someone, how can my message be saved so that the recipient can read it as soon as it goes online? Is decentralized storage required for this?

Typically nodes does not store msg but just relay as NKN client is mostly designed for dynamic, realtime data. However, sender client can also request node to cache the msg until the receiver client get online for a configurable period, but this is not a reliable storage but just a cache, so client should not rely on it. Nodes can choose the max space that cache can use

  1. Why nkn use Proof of Relay? what’s benefits of it? Why it’s better than pos, posv or other major consensus?

Because NKN focuses on network data transmission, we need to incentivize nodes to relay data in order to encourage everyone to join the nkn network. It is very natural to use “data relay” as work to measure the contribution of each node, and it is also a useful proof of work which is easily scalable to massive numbers. With our unique and creative consensus mechanism MOCA(majority vote Cellular-automate) we proved it worked well and was a perfect match with NKN’s mission. Now NKN already has over 20K full consensus nodes all over the world even surpassing bitcoin’s full nodes.

  1. What is a mesh network? How does it work? And Why NKN team working on mesh network? Is there any specific reason?

In a mesh network, the nodes in the network relay data for each other and does not need a centralized server or route to communicate with each node. This changes the current client-server model such that the clients can communicate directly. It is a stable and safe network topology and with end-end encryption, the user’s privacy and data is more safe. The nkn core team has a long history involved in mesh network background and blockchain developments, so we integrated them together.


  1. Will NKN replace existing CDN network as the largest network provider? Have you talked about it with any of the big internet companies (either for information exchange or direct collaboration)?

We will work together to provide a multi-CDN solution that works better.

Yeah we are testing nCDN with tier-1 video company in China and yesterday we signed an agreement with a big Internet company.

  1. Do the products built on top of NKN, i.e., d-chat, d-ftp and nkn-shell have real users and partners that use your services and what marketing strategies do you have to draw new users as without marketing no matter how good the product is nobody cares?

Let me give one piece of evidence. Our article about nkn shell gets onto hackernoon first page organically and it already has many tens of thousands of reads in a few days!

  1. I still don’t understand how your product nCDN work? Can you explain and make it easier to understand for a non-tech like me?

Everytime a user is requesting content, instead of requesting from a remote origin, he can just grab the content from an edge node close to him and it’s typically much faster.

  1. For what reasons you chose NSH over SSH?

For both security and convenience. See more at this hackernoon article: https://hackernoon.com/nsh-a-new-kind-of-remote-shell-that-is-more-secure-and-convenient-than-ssh-zw4o3404

  1. How secure and fast is d-FTP over centralized ones?

d-FTP is both end to end and hop by hop encrypted. And there is no central server that stores a copy of file. And different segments of the file can be transferred over many different and independent paths, so nobody in the middle can piece together the whole file.

In terms of performance, we are a few times faster than e.g. wechat or QQ when transferring large file between US and China offices.

  1. According to the tests made in China, nCDN is going to be 68% more faster than Cloudflare! What are the nCDN’s advantages over Cloudflare? Which applications can take benefit from nCDN?

We have more crowdsourced servers in China than CloudFlare in China.

Almost all media rich websites (photos, software downloads), as well as video streaming

  1. Can I add your CDN to my web projects or mobile apps?And you are largest blockchain network what about scalability?What about gas fee?Is it profitable for developers to use your products,dapps?

Yes you can add by a self-serving portal, very similar to CloudFlare. We are doing closed beta with a few customers right now, and should open during Q4 this year. We can scale to both large number of nodes as well good enough TPS performance for our network use case.

  1. You’ve mentioned about video content and its distribution in the presentation. Also named a lot of your competitors, but I didn’t see THETA project, which has a ready-made SLIVER platform, where users can share their PC and internet capabilities to stream video content. So people are rewarded in TFUEL tokens. You should just sign up and receive tokens. On the other side with NKN I have to set up the node, which can be a bit more difficult for the average user.

it is relatively easy compared to most projects, especially if you use 1-click cloud image or “Fast Deploy” by nknx.org community project. But we can certainly improve it. In China, we are testing several wifi routers and NAS network disk with special firmware (NKN baked in)

There are two things mixed up here: NKN node is using a different mining/reward mechanism than nCDN. For nCDN, we take a different approach than THETA by being compatible to existing HTTP protocol so every website can use nCDN, similar to Cloudflare

We know the Theta project well and we collaborate. Theta uses more of a peer-assisted model for CDN which is built into a users browser. We use a crowdsourced server model.

  1. With nCDN and PubSub, the NKN team has achieved great success, but with only 2 flagship products it seems to be incompatible with the ability of NKN. So, what’s next flagship NKN will launch in the near future?

I think for a typical startup, one flagship product will be enough. :grinning:. nCDN, PubSub, and Upcoming TUNA are all major products. And we plan to pace them quarterly apart, so we have enough time to build a good product, get enough customer traction, and build sustainable revenue stream. If we can make one of these three successful, I think we can already build a unicorn.

  1. Does your D-chat support MarkDown, can you tell more about it, is D-chat going to support anonymous conversations after a while when the message will disappear like messenger’s?

Good eyes. Yes D-chat already supports Markdown. And it supports file transfer already. There is this Whisper mode, which is secure and private one-on-one chat, a bit like decentralized Snapcht.

  1. Being a developer I used many CDN services, Google CDN also promises best quality and low latency, How NKN nCDN is better than it and what’s the best points?

Comparing with google CDN is more like comparing Uber or Airbnb to traditional Taxi or hotel companies. We don’t need to buy hardware to setup our CDN infrastructure, we are just organizing personal hardware and bandwidth via NKN mining software and offering an incentive mechanism. This makes it very cheap for end users to use such a service and it is very reliable. Also, there is less risk of attacks, such as ddos, in such a decentralized service platform as compared to centralized services.

  1. I saw eSports mentioned as one of the use cases for nCDN. What is the latency like?

nCDN uses a direct connection between the user client and NKN edge server node, so the latency is as low as your nearest neighbor. Thus we can support eSport streaming and game streaming (like Google Stadia).

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