Our team was delighted to talk to the Binance English 110k member community today. We shared the latest on our staking launch, 2020 crossfi roadmap, and $7m grants on fintech and zero knowledge proof applications.

Thank you to our host Binance angel Ari; here is the summary of today’s conversation:

Segment 1

Q: Can you tell me a bit about yourself and why did you get into crypto?

Answer by Stephen Tse, Harmony CEO:

Sure thing! I started off from an academic background. I have been obsessed with protocols and compilers since high school and graduated with a doctoral degree in security protocols and compiler verification from the University of Pennsylvania.

I was a researcher at Microsoft Research, a senior infrastructure engineer at google, and a principal engineer for search ranking at Apple. I founded the mobile search Spotsetter with institutional venture capital — Apple later acquired the startup!

Since 2017 many of the Harmony’s founding team members would gather every week for hours in the tradition of google TGIF to share world-changing ideas over drinks. We were all passionate about machine learning, then quickly blockchain. Read about our full story: https://harmony.one/story.

Q: Can you give us a brief introduction to Harmony and how to engage with you?


Our tagline: Harmony is a fast and open blockchain for decentralized applications.

Our protocol has achieved secure and random state sharding. Harmony mainnet supports thousands of nodes on multiple shards, producing blocks in a few seconds with instant finality. Our staking mechanism reduces centralization while supporting stake delegation, reward compounding, and enforcing double-sign slashing.

Much more at https://harmony.one/features.

Q: Can you give us an introduction to the team? Why do you choose the name Harmony?


As infrastructure engineers who used to work at the world’s top companies, our approach is to bring the best research results into production.

Our full-time team of 30 includes 7 engineers from Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook; graduates from Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley, Penn. Stellar https://harmony.one/team.

The project is called “Harmony” because it is the beautiful music when we sing in different notes but resonate. It’s analogous to our high-performance protocol of multiple shards but reaching consensus. Here’s our theme song https://harmony.one/song.

Q: And why ONE?


Our token is called “ONE” because Harmony’s vision is “for one and for all”, creating open consensus for 10 billion people.

Q: What is the strength of Harmony protocol compared to other projects?


Our production mainnet supports 4 shards of 1000 nodes, producing blocks in 8 seconds with finality.

Our effective proof-of-stake (EPoS) reduces centralization while supporting stake delegation, reward compounding, and double-sign slashing.

Summary: protocol features (8-second finality, 1000 seats), platform strengths (secure sharding, fair proof-of-stake), community values (open development, foundation grants)

Q: We need to talk about staking! Can you give us more details on Harmony’s recent staking launch?


Absolutely! Let’s start with a great video by our creative director — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8c06bxWyQc.

Open staking enables anyone to participate in our network with 1000 seats.

We wanted to get back to the level of Bitcoin and Ethereum for decentralization with thousands of people participating in a network. Now 3.5 billion ONE tokens are staked, a strong validation that our consensus mechanism EPoS is robust and attractive to draw more than 52% of the circulating supply.

Our beautiful dashboard: https://staking.harmony.one.

Q: Can you please elaborate more on the mechanism for Effective PoS? And Harmony’s token economic design?


Harmony has designed a novel proof-of-stake (PoS) mechanism for network security and economics. Our effective proof-of-stake (EPoS) reduces centralization and distributes rewards fairly to thousands of validators.

Full details: our staking mechanism supports delegation and rewards compounding. To support 100% uptime but fully open participation, EPoS ensures only validators that sign blocks are rewarded, and slashes validators who double-sign.

Harmony economics model caps the annual insurance at 441 million tokens (about 3% rate in the long term). Our model gives validators a simple and predictable return. All transaction fees are burnt to offset the insurance, naturally leading to zero inflation when our network usage becomes high.

Q: How the team is doing with its 2020 goals. Why does the team choose cross-fi as a direction?


Love this question. Simply put: our goals in 2020 are cross-border utility, decentralized development, and auditable privacy. The #crossfi for cross-border finance is our way to get much larger adoption and utility outside the crypto world.

Our team is very open about setting ambitious goals and keep the community involved in our progress. We share our monthly updates on our newsletter and twitter. Here is the latest one for May.

As a team, we have converged to the 2020 plan openly and published it at the start of the year, https://harmony.one/2020.

Q: How far have you been on decentralized development? Do you have any exciting things down the pipeline that you can share?


We have been an engaging community in all our development, sharing team updates from each of our teammates every Friday on #pow tweet. Even CZ loves our weekly #pow tweet.

Our roadmap, for the rest of the year: staking wallets, DAPP grants, 3-second finality, Defi middlewares, Ethereum bridges, 100% external nodes, community governance. Really wanted to share about our $7m grants, https://harmony.one/grants. We wanted the community to build out fiat fintech integrations and zero-knowledge proofs products.

Here’s the gist: Harmony aims to solve real-world problems outside crypto and blockchains. The team understands the challenges of remittance but sees opportunities in the new global economy. moreover, new cryptographic primitives such as range proofs are prime for broad adoption of privacy with compliance.

The unbundling of financial institutions, we believe, starts with an open platform equivalent of stripe API or financial services such as gusto, Expensify and Bill.com.

We are now accepting grant applications, totaling more than $300k monthly for our #crossfi grants and $400k monthly for our #zkproof grants.

Q: How can non-developers today participate in the Harmony ($ONE) ecosystem?


We love Binance angels! Hope to have the same success with our media and community grants as well.

Folks here can delegate tokens and build their influence through their groups. There are now 1,000 Harmony nodes — 320 of them run by the community -we are also planning to open up to 640 seats this month! We are cultivating the following three communities for growth: foundational nodes, Pangaea ops captains & community, and elected validators.

Some more from our grant docs: we also have community and media grants.

  • $10k per community bounties: onboard 10 validators (80% uptime and 50k one stakes) who stay for 3 months; weekly education survey/ama/article on project progress.
  • $10k per media grants: weekly engagement with 20 influencers (each w/ 10,000 followers and 5% click rate); onboard 5000 followers (each w/ 1000 followers and 1% engagement rate) for @harmonyprotocol (currently 72.3k followers).

Q: I read from your twitter that Binance recently announced BUSD on Harmony. What does it mean for Harmony?


Adding Binance's USD stable coin — which is new york state-approved, fully audited, with a $170m market cap — is the first major step towards our vision of enabling cross-border finance on harmony.

We look forward to demonstrating how harmony’s high throughput, fast settlement time, and low cost make it ideal for financial uses.

We have now fiat pairs with CoinDCS and Indian partners like Binance's Wazirx. https://twitter.com/CoinDCX/status/1265976168529920000

Segment 2

In segment 2, 5 questions are asked by the Harmony team.

Q1: We have fast finality. What is Harmony’s block time?

Q2: What is the meaning of effective median stake?

Q3: Similar to ERC20 — which one of the below is the first HRC20 token?

Q4: For rotating network validators, what is the duration of one epoch on harmony mainnet?

Q5: Come stake with us! What is the minimum amount of $ONE you can delegate?

The Answers for Segment 2:

1. 8 seconds

2. The Median amount of one staked on the top 320/elected slots in the network

3. SEED token

4. 1.5 days

5. 1,000

We will be doing several more AMAs in the coming days, so follow us on Twitter to get the latest updates.