Welcome to the February 2018 IoP Transparency report. It’s been a busy few months for IoP, with many changes and several amazing community and development events. This report provides an overview of the most important developments.
We have made further progress in transforming and restructuring IoP to meet our goal of creating a global digital cooperative. Over the coming weeks, the Community Leaders will unveil improvements to the chapter system to better support the integration of new members and establish more IoP Divisions. Look out for more information in the Discord and Telegram channels.
Budapest Developer Conference
The 2nd Libertaria Developer Conference was held from 15th-21st January 2018. Like our September conference, it was once again held in Budapest. However, this time the conference was semi-public, in an open house environment. It was not widely advertised, but people who heard about the conference in the Libertaria Community Chat were invited to join the Friday and Saturday sessions and mingle with the developers and ask questions.
The talks were very successful, and we met many new people from the crypto community in Budapest. During the conference, we made many important decisions which I will share with you below.
IoP Ventures Restructuring
A very important development was the restructuring of IoP Ventures. Every core developer has become a member of the company, and future important decisions will be made based on votes. This means future developments will be in the direct control of the developers, rather than a board or marketing team. This is the best way to ensure that we create the best technologies that we can.
The members of IoP Ventures agreed that IoP Ventures should start working on other blockchain projects, including commercial projects, provided they will directly benefit the IoP ecosystem. However, the members also agreed that no more than 50% of IoP Ventures efforts should go into projects outside of IoP.
Several community members have expressed interest in the exact nature of IoP Ventures. IoP Ventures LLC is a membership-based company registered in St. Kitts & Nevis in June 2017 under Registration Number No. 123079.
This business structure was chosen to provide the developers with a secure income and a safe and stable environment so they can be free from economic and legal distractions and focus instead on what’s important: developing Mercury, the IoP SDK and supporting the Libertaria Initiative.
Distinction between Libertaria and IOP
In the community chat channels, we often see questions about Libertaria and the distinction between IoP and Libertaria. Our upcoming documentation releases and website changes will address this more fully, but I’ll provide a brief overview below:
The Libertaria Initiative was founded by me, Markus Maiwald, in May 2017 and was solely funded by me until the end of 2017. In late 2017, IoP Ventures joined the Libertaria Initiative and is now contributing developers and expertise to aid in the development of Libertaria technology. IoP is distinct from Libertaria, but will greatly benefit from Libertaria technologies, as IoP apps and profile servers can interact with and run on top of Libertaria protocols and infrastructure.
So Libertaria and IoP are distinct organisations, but they work in close collaboration and share many common goals. We hope that this will be the first of many such collaborations as more projects will join the Libertaria Initiative and contribute to building a decentralised society.
New Team Members
We are excited to announce a number of new people have joined our team, including:
- – Cristiaan (Discord ID: Memnon) the Discord Chat Admin. Dieter (dwk) has also proposed that Cristiaan should be the next leader of the IoP Community Care Division
- – Kaidi Laine (kaidi) joined the IoP Ventures. She helped making e-Government in Estonia a success and adds her experience to this company as the new operating manager.
- – Luka (Luka), a graphic designer who is curating the interface of the Titania Box
- – Lez (Lez), a Hungarian developer who has joined full-time to work on Mercury
- – Janette (Janette M), who will be the Leader of the IoP Member and Chapter Services Division
- – Cedric (Cedric), a proficient app developer who is the new leader of the IoP Developer Division.
- – Byron (Byron) is also taking on an important new role as the CTO of IoP Ventures.
You can talk with them and the rest of the team in our Discord chat.
We are planning a team site to include all new and existing members of IoP Ventures along with a corporate overview. This will be released along with our new website in April.
Consensus / Blockchain
Since December, we have been conducting in-depth research into the possibility of switching IoP to a PoS-like consensus system, moving away from the current PoW system. During this process, we learned that Algorand is a perfect fit for Libertaria’s Hydra project, and IoP will be protected via the Hydra Algorand Consensus. Arpad, a mathematician, has been hired to join Libertaria’s Hydra team and help build a prototype to implement IoP into this system. We expect to have the first progress report by the end of April.
Thanks to Istvan, Byron, and Victor, we have made great progress on the Mercury protocol, and we’re delighted to announce that development of the Mercury prototype is complete. A working proof of concept application is ready under the name IoP Connect. IoP uses Mercury and the Profile Server to allow users to interact in a truly private, peer-to-peer fashion. As always, developers and other interested readers can find the source code for this SDK in our public GitHub repo.
We are now working on refactoring the whole Mercury protocol in Rust, to provide enhanced security and many other improvements. Also, the IoP Division under the lead of Developer Cedric and Amon are working in Karlsruhe on the first usable app on top of Mercury: IoP Chat. IoP Chat will have all the features you expect from a modern chat app, while also having a wallet to give full IOP and BTC integration. Thus users can send each other tokens as well as chatting. The wallet is already finished and has entered internal testing, so we expect IoP Chat to be ready within 2-3 months.
Bittrex Compliance Check
As you have probably heard, Bittrex the second biggest US cryptocurrency exchange, is currently undergoing some changes. As a result, IoP is being subject to a compliance check to see if the IOP token can legally remain listed. This has caused some concern within the community, but I don’t personally see much risk here, as the IoP Token is not part of the Mercury protocol that IoP Ventures is developing. The IOP token is an account of value and can act as a commodity, but it is not currently a security or utility token. IoP Ventures is building apps and software on top of the blockchain, which is a community project. Bittrex has received our compliance submission and we haven’t heard any negative feedback from them. Naturally, we will keep the community updated and make an announcement as soon was we hear more.
New Exchange Listings
Our most thrilling news is that we are simultaneously establishing two headquarters: one for IoP Ventures in Budapest and another for the IoP Divisions in Karlsruhe.
I will personally move to Budapest and help set up our headquarters with offices, while Dieter will create a permanent office to establish IoP Divisions HQ in Karlsruhe. At launch, we expect to have 18 people working across both offices.
IoP Ventures LLC
Company Registration No.: 123079
13 February 2018