Thank you to the NanoNews Community for participating in Ask Me Anything (AMA) with Umbrella Network January 16, 2021. This guest star Sam Kim, Partner Of Umbrella Network . If you were unable to join the live AMA, no worries, here comes our 99th AMA recap!
We are glad to meet here:
Sam Kim, Partner of Umbrella Network
For taking your time out from busy schedule for the AMA!
Q1: Can you introduce yourself to the community? What is your background and how did you join Umbrella Network?
For the past 10 years, I’ve focused on building really performant and scalable products, primarily in the digital advertising industry. i served as the CO-Founder and COO of Gimbal, a buy side platform that recently acquired TrueX from Disney. Frustrated by the lack of transparency in digital advertising, I decided to apply the breakthroughs in blockchain technology to solve this problem.
And so, my friends and I started Lucidity in 2017. Lucidity currently works with traditional brands like Toyota, Hyndai, KFC and GroupM
The underlying technology we used at Lucidity scaled to over 100,000 events per second easily. And so we decided to apply this technology in the blockchain ORACLE market where there are similar problems with scale and cost.
And thus Umbrella was born
Q2: Can you briefly describe what is Umbrella Network? and what makes Umbrella Network different from other competitors?
Umbrella Network is a community owned, scalable and cost efficient oracle for the emerging wave of decentralized applications. Umbrella believes a community owned oracle is essential to a truly decentralized system. We use a merkle tree based side chain to greatly reduce cost of bringing data on chain.
Current oracles require developers to compromise between security of the data or freshess of the data. With Umbrella, developers can have both
Q3: When will the token sale take place and how many phases are there?
There’s only one phase to our public sale
We’re currently scheduled for 4 February. The venue for the sale will be announced soon. So join our telegram for more details. And of course we’ll share here too
Q4: Lots of investors hit and run in the sales session and sell after listing on the first exchange, How is the Umbrella Network to prevent early investors from selling their token and what benefit will Umbrella Network give to them?
I assume you’re referring to our private sale buyers. We are a community owned oracle where close to ⅔ of tokens will be distributed to the community. And so it was important to protect our most important partners: the public token buyers. So, first my team and I bootstrapped the early development – meaning we paid for it ourselves. We then took on small private sales with 18 month linear vesting. There is no initial unlock or a large boost at any time. 18 month linear vesting. So they are incentivized to ensure the long term price viability of the UMB token.
Furthermore, rewards are given via a secondary token called rUMB. rUMB is redeemable for UMB tokens after certain business milestones are achieved or in one year, whatever occurs first. So once again, it doesn’t make sense to flip our token.
Q5: What is the use-case or MVP Product of Umbrella Network?
You are welcome to take a look at our demo application. While our system is meant to be used via a smart contract or API, we created this UI based access so the public can better understand how Umbrella works. There’s also a Medium post if you’re curious about how it works in detail.
In short, we give developers 2 ways to access our data. First we have data on chain that can be read directly. Second is our Merklized data that can be read via an API combined with our Merkle proof.
We’re currently testing our developer tools with our partners. And we hope to make it available to the public soon.
Q6: What strategies does Umbrella Network have in the future?
Global dominance of course.
We want to focus initially on key markets in DeFi:
1) projects working with tokens in the mid and long tail of the market,
3) derivatives and options,
4) calculated values like TWAP and VWAP and
5) Synthetics of real world assets.
We’ll ultimately expand to include much more.
Q1. I would like to know if you’ve completed any security audits? Perhaps by third-parties? We’ve seen dozens of hacks, exploits and stuff like that this year, what measures have been taken to protect investors and community from it?
Yes, i also believe there are too many hacks today especially the flash loan + oracle manipulation hack. And so Umbrella is designed to prevent that strategy among other attack vectors.
But back to your original question. We recently delayed our public sale because one of our two auditors were busy and couldn’t get started until this week. So we have a full audit being conducted by Slowmist. We’ll share that audit report whenever they finish. And we have a secondary audit. I believe what we’re doing is incredibly important to get it right. So we’ve partnered with 2 of the leading auditors in the market.
Q2. Nowdays So many Rug Pulls and exit scam happening . How Users can trust your project and how you are different from others?
I understand your concern. First, let me say that I am very open and visible about who I am. My LinkedIn profile is up to date. And the same for my teammates. Second, our public sale will be very small. And finally, we designed the tokenomics so that there isn’t a rug to pull. The tokens unlocked outside of the public sale are small. The development fund and the team allocation are vesting linearly over 4 years. We do not have an initial unlock nor are there any large unlocks for us. So, I would not risk my reputation and the team’s reputation. I especially won’t risk their reputation for something as small as what we’re raising.
Q3. Recently, you have partnered up with Hedget? What’s the main reason behind this partnership? What kinds of positive result can we expect from this partnership?
It’s great to see the market validate our strategy. Have a look at the recent Cointelegraph article on this: https://cointelegraph.com/news/zcash-zec-kusama-ksm-and-hedget-hget-soar-as-bitcoin-hits-40k?fbclid=IwAR2BcDRPvA9DIYUMu3kG1MFFoYG6C0thfsJzRMJTuPpnmG-x3DeiRJ9XMTM
We believe there will be a thriving decentralized options market in the future. And the solutions today have a hard time pricing options accurately. In fact, they are very naive pricing. And that’s largely a function of the fact that oracles aren’t providing this data. In our partnership with Hedget and Genesis Volatility, we are solving this problem. And Umbrella is investing further into this segment with our own options data feed. I have 2 wall street quants one of whom I went to business school with working on providing institutional quality data to the decentralized market.
Q4. Umbrella runs on a delegated proof of stake system. What are the criteria for choosing a validator? What behavior is considered “bad” in your concept, and how will you punish an unscrupulous validator?
Our initial validators will be chosen from some of the most established and experienced validators in the market. We believe they are the best positioned to help us optimize the technology and plan the general rollout. Once this is completed, we will begin to open up validator seats to the community. At first, the foundation and the board will select. However, I am working with Adam Levi of DAOstack and some others to create a decentralized governance model that includes validator selection as part of the overall governance.
Q5. What are your plans for getting adopted fast enough so that the market will not be saturated with other similar projects now and what benefits can you offer?
I’ve noticed that a lot of new projects are popping up with nice looking websites that use a lot of technical jargon to exaggerate what they will do. Creating some fancy name for what is effectively an API request as an example. Throwing in key buzzwords like AI. And we’ll probably see that not just in the oracle market but other parts of the crypto market as well. It’s rather unfortunate.
Fortunately, we’ve been working on our product for a long time. Our product will be on testnet next week. We’re working with some initial developers to integrate. We have actual product with actual use. And so we don’t have to take such aggressive and misleading marketing positions. And we’ll gain adoption by having the best product in the market. A product that delivers much needed data like our options data while being the most secure oracle in the market.
Being decentralized increases our security and limits the ability of hackers. In addition, we use a Proof of Stake system compared to others who use Proof of Authority and other less secure consensus mechanisms
So Umbrella and our token will be secure!
Q1.How does Umbrella Network plan to equitably incentivize all developers and stakers in the Umbrella ecosystem to ensure they thrive?
We believe validators and developers are critical parts of our community. And so we’ve set aside tokens to be distributed to them as part of our developer fund and validator fund. They will have a voice in the governance and design of the network.
Q2.What are the main differences between the Umbrella Network and other oracles? Why is Umbrella Network better?
We’ll be posting a medium blog on this fairly soon. But basically, oracles make you choose between having great security of the data transfer process vs liveliness / freshness of the data. With Umbrella you can have both.
Q3.Why UMBRELLA allocates 66.7% of $UMB tokens to the community. So What are the benefits of this allocation for both the community and the project? Where does project revenue come from?And How is it distributed?
We believe a thriving community is the most effective way to
1) increase the security of our network. Having broad ownership of the token reduces the chance of attacking our consensus mechanism,
2) allows us to have a global footprint immediately. We will rollout an ambassador program in the future and
3) It is the best and most effective way to grow Umbrella
Q4.Can you explain more about Umbrella Architecture and how interoperable is it with existing blockchain networks?
Umbrella is primarily a sidechain. The onchain activity includes anchoring the root hash of our merkle tree and it provides us the ability to run merkle proofs on chain in a secure and decentralized way. So, it is relatively easy for us to support other chains and we are actively planning on supporting other chains including DOT, solanda, ADA and more
Q5.What has been the most challenging part of developing of the Umbrella ? What is the biggest challenge you currently face in order to get Umbrella finalized?
Really good question. There are some unique things about running a crypto project. It’s global in nature and you have a passionate global community that you have to work with and energize. But generally, the challenges aren’t that different from running a regular technology startup.
In my experience, getting great people to believe in the mission and working passionately to achieve it is the most difficult and the most important thing
Sam Kim: Thank you everyone for your time. I really enjoyed being here with you. And thank you for the great questions. I apologize that I couldn’t answer more.
Faiz: It seems like most of the topics lead to umbrella network technology and I think this is very good, the community is enthusiastic about what umbrella Network will bring
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