IOST provides a complete framework with Smart Contracts, Dapps (Decentralized applications), Data storage, and voting & feedback systems. Smart Contracts can be developed using any mainstream programming language, which really bridges gaps between concept and adoption. Programming Smart Contracts on the Ethereum platform using Solidity is reserved for a selected few, while there is an ocean of C#, Java, js developers ready to start playing with their IOST tech.
IOST did not host a public pre-sale or an ICO, everything was privately funded. This inspires more confidence in this project and the potential price growth. A private investor which provides a lot of seed money early on, is more likely to demand proof-of-product and perform careful due diligence before investing, therefore increasing the likelihood of IOST delivering on their promises in my opinion. This is of course by no means any guarantees, but none the less, more reassuring.
IOSToken are currently doing a very successful referral program using portions of the community token reserve. This token reserve holds 12.5% of the total amount of tokens, a number much high than most cryptocurrencies. They are doing another giveaway alongside the Listing on the Huobi Exchange on the 15th of January at 14.30 (GMT +8) . The referral program seems to have closed as I was writing this, with 25k new members joining the second Telegram chat in less than two hours. The Huobi + IOST trading bonus is the next chance for everyone to grab a few free IOStokens by buying IOST, you can get up to 500 IOStokens for free .
IOST introduces several new concepts with their Blockchain, maybe the coolest being the EDS, or Efficient Distributed Sharding, which we will go further into later. Their goal is to offer a solid infrastructure for online service providers in all fields. Marketing their product as ultra-high speed (TPS, Transactions per second), scalable, secure, and with privacy protection .
Efficient Distributed Sharding is IOST’s solution to the scalability issues seen in the Blockchain networks of other cryptocurrencies. EDS uses dynamic partitioning of the IOS network, into sub-spaces via a secured, bias-free stochastic process. EDS is a Sharding scheme intended to make Shards sufficiently large and bias-resistant. This works using Client-server randomness scavenging mechanism and leader election via Cryptographic Sortition .
I highly recommend reading their detailed White paper to better grasp their technology. EDS isn’t the only new concept, technology, and cool words which IOST introduce, they also introduce: TransEpoch, Atomix, Micro State Block, and their own consensus mechanism .
IOST’s new consensus algorithm is called Proof-of-Believability, it uses a Byzantine consensus protocol with a “Believeable-First approach”. If you are not familiar with Byzantine Fault Tolerance, and the Byzantine Generals Problem, I recommend reading the links I will post at the end since understanding Cryptocurrencies, is understanding Practical Byzantine Fault Tolerance (PBFT) .
Even though this consensus mechanism uses a similar process to Proof-of-Stake, its not exactly the same. The issues with Proof-of-Stake Blockchain’s is that it runs the risk of becoming centralized, with a few large players holding a large portion of the coins. Proof-of-Stake also has the nothing-at-stake-problem with dishonest nodes transmitting dishonest data without having any coins at stake . Proof-of-Believability is intended to solve these problems, while still providing passive-income opportunities using your coins as transaction validators .
Proof-of-Believability aims to guarantee that Nodes have a negligible probability to misbehave, when in combination with Shards will provide a high transaction output by size-one-shard. One of the things which sets this protocol apart from Proof-of-Stake is their Believe-First approach. The protocol divides all Validators (Coins) into two groups, a believable league and a normal group. The believeable league processes transactions quickly the first phase. Afterwards the normal group sample and verify transactions in a second stage to ensure security .
The chance a node has of being elected into the luxurious believeable league is determined by its believeability score, sort of your established reputation. This street cred (believeability score) can be acquired in a number of ways; tokens in your wallet, contribution to the community, reviews, etc. . The tasks being done by these two groups are many, which are all detailed in the white paper, but the short version: more trusted nodes perform more important tasks, and are therefore rewarded more generously. The tasks that the normal group perform is more like other Cryptocurrency validation processes, they run the Byzantine consensus scheme based on ByzCoin .
Even though they provide no pictures of any of the team members, the lineup sure looks promising if its authentic. All team members have First-Class experience, education, and academic awards. Their team holds multiple PhD’s from the most wellknown schools on earth such as Princeton, Johns Hopkins, Hardvard, and Berkeley. One of their employees, Sheldon Mei has earlier worked as machine learning engineer at Facebook, and also as machine learning tech lead at Airbnb. Another employee named Stephen Ma, is a professor at Stanford, with a computer science degree from Princeton University. The rest of their team is just as impressive.
Other former employers include Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and LinkedIn. On their advisory board we find Jia Tian, who is an investor in Bitfinex and advisor to Zcash (Maybe this will provide a not-so-distant-future listing opportunity) . If Videos or interviews coming from Blockchain events or even YouTube promotion, I think this coin is gonna have a serious bull-run if they can deliver. At this moment, there is currently no Blockchain which has the capabilities of handling 100,000 Transactions per second, and much less any Blockchain with the customer base to fill the Ledger. If the team and technology checks out, I think this might be a bull-run waiting to happen.
Here are some of the investors and partnerships that IOST have acquired so far: