Altcoins: Interview with Jimmy Zhong, CEO of IOST

We sat down with Jimmy Zhong, CEO of IOST,  the next generation public blockchain infrastructure project, which launched on February 25, 2019 to chat about the new platform, user-friendly interfaces and how more large corporations can get involved in Blockchain.

1. Could you tell us a bit about IOST?

IOST is an application-friendly, next generation public blockchain infrastructure, helping decentralized app developers overcome some of the most challenging problems with mass adoption. First and foremost, IOST solves the scalability trilemma, or having to select between levels of security, scalability, and decentralization. Through a “Proof-of-Believability” consensus mechanism, IOST enables DApp s to build and deploy more meaningful online services and offer digital goods on its platform, helping more everyday users experience the mass benefits of blockchain services.

2. In the world of app development, dApps seem to be considered more of a ‘niche’ art. How can we push them more into the mainstream?

A breakthrough in mainstream adoption will depend heavily on the usability and popularity of the applications themselves. To push DApps toward mainstream acceptance and mass use, funding partners need to allocate resources to promising individual DApps that are relevant to everyday businesses and consumers. For example, Bermi, a social network that rewards users for creating and engaging with short videos, makes cryptocurrencies more familiar and appealing to wider audiences. This helps to introduce blockchain and cryptocurrencies to the masses in a simple and more engaging manner.

3. You said that blockchain acceptance hinges on how user-friendly the apps are to use. Do you feel that there is currently a market gap when it comes to that?

Many blockchain projects today are racing to build the infrastructure that may one day serve as the basis for exponential mainstream adoption. However, a breakthrough in mainstream adoption will depend heavily on the applications that come with it and not just the technology behind it. That is why we have launched our application-ready mainnet with a 150-strong partner network with more decentralised applications (DApps) set to go live on March 10. DApps such as Bermi, a social network that rewards users with cryptocurrencies for creating and engaging with short videos, lowers the barriers to entry for everyday users to the blockchain industry, while gaming DApps on the IOST platform allow for token rewards to be easily distributed to gamers in a more transparent manner through the use of smart contracts.  

4. IOST has many powerful firms among its backers. How can we get even more firms to see the value in backing a project such as IOST?

IOST is backed by a global network of top institutional investors and over 150 partners who are committed to seeing the mainstream adoption of blockchain technology. Each recognized the potential that a more scalable and secure public blockchain brings for creating efficient and user-friendly applications. As we begin to launch more DApps and grow our user base, more investors, partners, and developers will get behind the public blockchain that is best positioned to bring about widespread acceptance and adoption of the technology.

5. From logistics to finance, it seems the future is being built on blockchain. What can be done to further sensitize industries that are still reluctant to embrace blockchain?

Although blockchain is still in its nascent stages, we are seeing many industries “dipping their toes” into the blockchain landscape through exploratory concepts. Ultimately, industries will take notice once more efficient, real-world applications are built and able to improve the way enterprises operate.

6. It was revealed in a study that a large percentage of the top dApps are for gambling. Why do you think this is?

While the uptake of DApps will span many industries and use cases, the gaming industry is the current poster child for the adoption of smart contract technology. Tokenizing real-world assets such as art and real estate comes with the cost and inconvenience of auditing and custodial solutions, and since the majority of business logic in gaming is already coded online, blockchain adoption is made easy and human interaction is unnecessary. In this way, token rewards can be easily distributed to gamers in a more transparent manner.

7. Have you, so far, seen any trends in terms of what types of applications are most interested in IOST?

On March 10, numerous games, wallets, decentralized exchanges, stablecoins, and other applications launched on the IOST mainnet in tandem. Bermi is one key example, will introduce blockchain and cryptocurrencies to the masses in a simple and engaging manner. While cryptocurrency enthusiasts mine or trade coins on exchanges, Bermi aims to make cryptocurrencies more relevant to wider audiences in a way that is more familiar and appealing to the everyday user. The DApp does so by rewarding users with digital currencies as they watch and engage with viral videos online.

8. Now that IOST is live, what’s next?

We currently have 150 partners in our network, several of which launched DApps for their users on March 10. From there, we aim to expand our partner pool and supporting present partners by improving on our network and offering a more seamless experience for their growing base of users on their DApps. Launching our mainnet was, by far, the most important milestone for the IOST team and we are truly looking forward to welcoming even more innovative, game-changing DApps to our platform over the next few months.