The Decade in Retrospect: IOST from ERC20 to mainnet

By December 31, 2019DApps
Click here to view original web page at iost.watch
The Decade in Retrospect: IOST from ERC20 to mainnet

Three months from now will be the first-anniversary of IOST’s mainnet. It has been a wild ride for this relatively new distributed ledger technology (DLT) start-up to become one of the leading public blockchains in the industry. This momentous achievement was made possible through the concerted efforts of the IOST team, its node partners, IOST investors, IOST developers, and the IOST community who incessantly have given their tremendous effort and dedication to reach this status. As we reach the end of the calendar year, it is just fitting to take a trip down memory lane to trace how IOST become one of the top public blockchains in the industry.

IOST Whitepaper Released On December 2017

Like many great blockchains, IOST’s journey started with the release of its whitepaper almost two years ago on December 31, 2017. It envisioned a next-generation blockchain that is more scalable, as secure and more importantly, as decentralized as current leading blockchains at the time. The leading blockchains, Bitcoin and Ethereum, were not yet ready for prime-time as both networks cannot handle the influx of new users who were eager to partake in what seems to be the tipping point when cryptocurrencies will finally achieve mass adoption. However, this crypto euphoria was quickly quelled by ridiculously high transaction fees, uncertain transaction confirmation times and finally followed by the sudden downturn of the crypto market.

To date, this problem persists as blockchain developers try to solve the blockchain trilemma where they try to ensure security, scalability, and decentralization in their blockchain. The first-generation blockchain, like bitcoin, is certainly not up to the task as it is slow, energy-glut and does not have smart contract capabilities. Second-generation blockchain like Ethereum offers smart contract capabilities but inherited scalability problems as it uses the same consensus protocol as bitcoin, Proof-of-Work, a highly secure consensus mechanism but not energy efficient and simply does not scale at its current form. To address this problem IOST introduced its own proprietary consensus mechanism, Proof-of-Believability (PoB).

PoB is a unique consensus protocol that is not only secure and highly scalable, it also ensures that it maintains the most important aspect of any public blockchain its decentralization aspect. Aside from this revolutionary consensus mechanism, the IOST team revealed that it plans to implement Efficient Distributed Sharding (EDS), TransEpoch, Atomix and Mico State Block (MSB) with the main aim of achieving 100,000 Secure transactions per second in a decentralized environment. From the very beginning, the IOST team has been working towards incorporating Sharding and related technology into its blockchain. Interestingly this is the same technology Ethereum developers finally decided to implement in their own project year later.

January 2018— The Journey Starts

While the whitepaper clearly states what the IOST team has set out to do and how they are gonna do it, being able to do it is another matter. How many times have we seen in the past projects that looked promising on paper but were not able to take off as the project team was not able to execute their plans? Oftentimes this is due to the technical know-how, skill and budgetary constraints blockchain start-ups often encounter. IOST was a different breed of blockchain project as the IOST team consist of leading experts coming from top universities and companies in the world. As a testament to the supreme confidence of supporters of IOST was fully funded privately by leading venture capitalists worldwide.

Since there was no public initial coin offering (ICO), the IOST team conducted a referral bounty program that helped grow its Telegram community to over more than 100,000 members. However, not all are impressed with IOST gaining popularity. Some members of the crypto community have their reservations with the IOST project as most of its Team members remained anonymous and citing sizeable investment of Chinese investors into the project. These concerns were quickly addressed by the IOST team by explaining that the anonymity of the project team members is just temporary and informing the wider crypto community that they are not all that concern about these investments.

Following this slight and early FUD from the crypto community is a deluge of IOST team talent acquisition, crypto exchange collaborations, and IOST partnership that would finally quash any doubt on IOST’s blockchain initiative. Chung Teng and Joh Bass Joined the IOST team with the former helping in developing IOST core architecture and the later tasked in marketing and Public relations. Furthermore, IOST launched in several exchanges such as Big.one, CEX, DDEX, Huobi, and OKEx and Binance. The IOST was initially released as an ERC20 token. As you will see later on, these tokens will be taken out of circulation after mainnet via token swaps and token burning events.

IOST also partnered Dora, which is a hardware company focused on a self-serve kiosk. Dora and IOST share the same founders but will remain totally independent of each other. IOST Foundation will be headquartered in Singapore and will serve as the main organization backing the IOST initiative. The IOST team also brought several new advisors into their team. They will be taking roles in technology development, business outreach, and community development. Lastly, the IOST community is growing rapidly with more than 100K members in TG and another 190K+ member over at Twitter, making it one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency community in the industry.

February and March 2018— Growing the IOST Community Worldwide; Finished MVP private version

The overwhelming success of IOST’s referral bounty program was reflected in the influx of community members who joined social media outlets of IOST. The IOST Telegram community has grown so big that it is now necessary to divide them into different channels specific to the geographic jurisdiction of the community. This decision was made to address the growing problem of a lack of official statements and coordination due to the huge number of community members crammed in one channel. 14 IOST Telegram groups were created to divide the biggest IOST community groups. This group includes China, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Turkey, Spain, Netherlands, India, the Philippines, Germany, Portugal, Indonesia, France, and Italy.

The team finished building the first version of their MVP private test version dubbed as Apollo which was able to simulate over 1000 nodes with different node attributions and network conditions. The MVP also tested nad refined the MVP version of the Proof-of-Believability mechanism and enable the team to optimized algorithmic randomness generation process for faster performance. The IOST team also revealed new advisors Ken Huang and Michael Karnjanaprakorn who are both accomplished leaders and entrepreneurs in the blockchain space. IOST co-founders Jimmy and Ray flew to South Korea to set up a permanent IOST office who will be headed by Jaebin Lee as the Korean Regional Manager.

During their trip to South Korea, the duo took the time to engage with several Major South Korean exchanges like Korbit and some traditional media companies in an effort to expand their media presence in the country. South Korea is widely considered to be a major market and is one of the primary markets of IOST. A month later Jimmy Zhong and Richard Werbe, head of the global growth in IOST attended the CPC Cryptocurrency and Exchange Conference at Stanford University, hosted by the Silicon Valley venture capital group Cardinal Pitch Club. Their primary aim is to introduce IOST to the investor group founded by Stanford University graduates that focuses on funding potential technology projects and companies around the world.

Terry Wang, IOST’s CTO and co-founder, attended the Shanghai Blockchain Conference with advisor Ken Huang where they shared Proof-of-Believability consensus protocol and discussed with other thought leaders on the future of consensus mechanisms in blockchains. On the other side of the world, Josh Bass, the head of IOST US Public Relations, spoke in SXSW one of the largest events in cryptocurrency space in the United States. He discussed the many benefits of decentralization and tackled some of the obstacles that current cryptocurrency projects face in their journey towards mass adoption. As we can see the leadership in IOST was busy at work introducing IOST around the globe.

April and May 2018— Expanding IOST team, new exchange listings founding of Theseus R&D team; 8,000 TPS

Undeterred by the severe downtrend of the whole cryptocurrency space. IOST team continues to build its platform, its community, partnerships and spread awareness about its project. The initial results of their test net showed promise as they reach 8,000 transactions per second (TPS) while this is a far cry from its target of 100,00 TPS, the result is several magnitudes higher than the dominant blockchains at that time. In addition, IOST begins uploading a portion of their code to GitHub since April 9, 2018. It was explained earlier that the IOST team has decided to keep their code off GitHub to maintain a competitive advantage of their project but will gradually release them in the future.

As a demonstration of supreme confidence in their project and to protect the interest of its investors the IOST foundation has decided to place its fund of 7.35 billion IOST (35% of the total supply) in escrow until the IOST mainnet. In addition, one of the leading crypto exchanges in the world, Huobi, has included IOST in its Crypto Market Index consisting of the 10 most promising virtual cryptocurrencies based on trading volume, market capitalization, and technological superiority. On other news, the IOST team completed the initial layout for its Southeast Asia strategy where its IOST Singapore office will be remotely operating five other jurisdictions such as Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

While the leadership of IOST has been busy traversing the globe to spread awareness about IOST, the team has not forgotten its initiative to have IOST supported in as much exchange as possible. New listings included Lykke (Swiss) exchange last March followed by listing in Bitfinex (US), Bitgogo, IDEX, and Kyber network in April. The Following month IOST was listed Koinex (India), Airswap (US), Koinex (South Korea) and Hotbit. These different exchanges are founded and operating from different continents around the globe demonstrating the global expansion efforts of the IOST team especially in terms of being supported in different exchanges. This effort is being made way ahead of the launch of the mainnet.

Perhaps the most compelling news in these months is the formal launch of Theseus, which is an IOST-incubated R&D team dedicated to discovering innovative blockchain-based technology leading the way for the IOST developer community. Theseus will select different fields of study and chose which is best suited for blockchain technology and then determine the potential direction of future research and development in a particular field. The Theseus initiative was also invested in by several IOST early supporters such as Sequoia Captial, ZhenFund, Matrix Partners and K2VC. The coming months will see the result of this initiative and how this initiative contributed to the success of IOST to become one of the leading public blockchains.

June and July 2018— Bluehill $50M global fund, more exchange listings, and project partnerships; IOST v0.5 Everest

IOST’s initiative to expand globally continues to gain ground despite the prevalent market downtrend that has affected all cryptocurrency projects with many weaker projects in the brink of total capitulation. It is apparently clear that the industry is right in the middle of what would many describe as one of the longest cryptocurrency bear markets in its short history. Nonetheless, IOST continued to develop its ecosystem, expanding its market reach by listing in several exchanges such as Zebpay, HitBTC, BitMart, ERC dEX, Coinzest, Upbit, and KKCoin. This demonstrates IOST’s dedication and making IOST one of the most popular and widely supported cryptocurrency in the digital asset exchange industry.

As part of its strategy for the advancement of the IOST ecosystem, IOST has partnered with Bluehill, a blockhain incubator, and accelerator following a successful $50 million funding. Bluehill aims to provide crucial backing for IOST industry partnerships and projects built within the IOST ecosystem. It was established to support the growing interest from developers and entrepreneurs in the IOST. Bluehill has over 50 fulltime staff with plans to reach 100 employees by the end of the year. They plan to provide services such as funding, operations, marketing, HR, recruitment, advisors, and industry partners. Bluehill and IOST plan to collaborate to launch projects for the rapid expansion of blockchain technology.

On June 23, 2018, IOST won the “Annual Public Link Technology” award and IOST CEO Jimmy Zhong won “Blockchain CEO of the Year” in the 2018 Conference on Global Technology Development in the Science and Technology of the World organized by the People’s Daily and the 31st District held at the National Convention Center. The conference was organized for the purpose of clarifying the chaos surrounding the blockchain industry and create an objective, rational and neutral blockchain media. This recent accolade is a clear affirmation and recognition of IOST technology and as well as its growing influence in the blockchain industry.

IOST public testnet successfully launched v0.5 dubbed as the Everest. In line with the public testnet and to further accelerate IOST community global expansion, IOST launched its Community Hub Program. To celebrate the official launch of the IOST Community Hub, IOST conducted a week-long referral program to reward dedicated community members who help the community grow even bigger. It was among the largest referral giveaway programs ever, with massive rewards and individual prizes of more than 1,000,000 tokens up for grabs. One referral will earn participants 600 IOST. The main aim of the program is to have a common venue where the community can stay up to date on the latest developments in the IOST project.

August, September, and October 2018— IOST Community Hub relaunch, Everest v1.0 public release, and Testnet Update

August and September were relatively slow for IOST as there are so few announcements made during these two months. Nonetheless, there were significant activities happening in the background that have tied the hands of the IOST team. First off is the relaunch of the IOST community hub. The main aim of the initiative is to grow the community of IOST, due to the very generous token giveaway have attracted bad actors in the community that tried to game the referral system. The team has identified more than 500,000 spam accounts and over 3 million automated data entries. In light of these events, the IOST team has decided to relaunch with changes in the referral system and introduce new features.

Due to the accelerating pace by which new developments are happening in the IOST ecosystem the team also releases IOST’s Telegram announcement channel which will complement existing social media outlets of IOST. The IOST community will now have another common venue where the official announcements of important news and information can be disseminated. In addition to this, the team has also decided to move its blogging activities into its new website and decided to throttle down the release of new updates on Medium. However, despite this decision, Medium updates did not cease and updates and developments are just released on both the updates section of IOST’s website and IOST’s Medium blog.

While the previous two months were a bit slow for new developments and information, perhaps due to the recent changes of official social media channels, October saw a deluge of new developments. First off is the public release and testnet update of Everest v1.0. This is a significant milestone for the IOST team as this release now supports smart contract programming with JavaScript. More importantly, with this release, IOST has become the first blockchain to support Domain Name System (DNS) and Flexible Access Control on the upgrade/removal of contracts. In addition, It is also the first blockchain to support Multiversion Concurrency Control (MVCC) storage layer.

October 2018 is also the month the IOST revealed a new project that would help bring the benefits of blockchain technology to the masses. According to the IOST team, they have carefully selected some of the best talents from companies like Google, Facebook, Bloomberg and Mobike to form Berm Protocol. They describe the new project as an IOST-based Professionally Generated Content (PGC) led content-based platform. At the time of the announcement, there were no furthermore information was released by the team. The initiative, however, demonstrated the IOST relentless effort to bring blockchain technology to masses and achieve mass adoption.

On a side note, IOST continues to expand in Europe with its latest listing in Livecoin, one of Russia’s biggest exchanges.

November 2018— Flagship Dapp Partnership Progam and IOST Developer Bounty Program

The IOST team early in the project identified 4 key objectives to achieve their ultimate goal of bringing real-world and useable blockchain technology to the masses. The first of these objectives is building the base layer network, and they have done so as they are in the latter stages of development before the mainnet release of this network. The next objective is to establish the IOST community, which they have done through the many social and business engagement and events shown cited in this article. The third is to build use cases into real-world applications and finally Mainnet launch and further dapp development and user acquisition.

In November 2018 the team has entered the third phase of this strategy and has shared its strategy on how exactly they will execute this. In doing so they have revealed the Flagship Dapp Partnership Program whose participants will help create the flagship Dapps that will launch alongside the mainnet in the first quarter of 2019. According to the team, they will consult and work with a range of organizations and companies in high-value sectors that they think most suitable to benefit from blockchain technology. With this release the IOST team revealed the following sectors they are most interested with:

Charity, art, software development, education, Fintech and Insurance, Gaming, Supply Chain Management, Media and Entertainment, and Marketplaces and E-commerce

On top of this initiative, the IOST team also releases the IOST Developer Bounty program which is focused on building the IOST ecosystem and developer community. With this program, IOST hopes that more developers can participate and contribute to the project’s developments. According to the IOST team any developer can participate, contribute and earn rewards and bounties for their efforts in contributing to the development of the IOST ecosystem. The team identified 9 high priority task for the Developer Bounty program:

IOST Chrome plug-in Wallet, IOST online IDE, Smart Contract Development Framework, Multi-language SDKs, Language translation of IOST Docs, Hardware Wallet Integration, iOS/Android Wallet, PC/MAC wallet and Dapp DEmo and Courses.

These two initiatives are vital for IOST to realize its vision of becoming one of the leading public blockchains in the industry. Like any other blockchain project, it needs dApps that are easy to use, relevant and timely what offers solutions to real-world problems. It can be observed that IOST is targeting a wide range of blockchain-based applications for various industries. Previously they have formed a research group called Theseus that has the primary task of looking into various industries that might benefit from blockchain technology.

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December 2018— Bluehill’s $30 million Special Fund “Pioneer,” launch of Testnet v2.0 Everest and release of IOST node guidelines.

December starts with two important exchange listings for IOST. First IOST was listed in Bittrex, a major American exchange, and Bithumb, one of the leading exchanges in South Korea. The United States and South Korea are two of the many key markets IOST wants to expand to. Its listing in these two prominent exchanges is a major step in cornering market share from these important jurisdictions. In addition to this Bluehill foundation, a blockchain incubator and accelerator announced the establishment of its special fund called “Pioneer” with a total value of $30 million USD. The primary purpose of the Pioneer fund is to incubate and accelerate the development of high-quality dApps projects, especially in the IOST ecosystem.

The most important development of the month is the launch of IOST Testnet 2.0 Everest. This Testnet was viewed by many IOST community members as the last iteration before the release of IOST’s mainnet on February 25, 2019. The IOST team released a short but detailed article about Everest v2.0 explaining the various components of the Testnet. The team explained the IOST economic model detailing the project’s resource abstraction, transaction scheduling model, and resource stability compared to other blockchains. Then they discussed the Proof-of-Believability Consensus introducing important parts of the protocol such as the Servi Committee and how they randomize the selection of committee members.

Furthermore, the IOST team explains their smart contract implementations which they describe as a more flexible and powerful platform compared to other blockchains, highlighting several advanced features not found in any other existing blockchains. IOST Virtual Machine (IVM) was also discussed in the article and differentiates it from Ethereum VM and EOS VM. According to the IOST team, they have resolved many of the design issues that are present in the aforementioned virtual machines. Finally, the team explains its High-performance Storage Layer and Decentralized Network Layer which offers different performance advantages compared to previous generation blockchain technologies.

In line with the impending release of its mainnet, the IOST team release the IOST Node Handbook which detailed the rules for IOST node applications and voting. This serves as guidelines for individuals and organizations who want to hose a node on the IOST network. IOST nodes play a major role in the operation of the IOST ecosystem as they are the primary participants that are directly involved in block creation and verification of transactions in the whole IOST network. All the information needed to be an IOST node or Servi Node was indicated in the article.

January 2019— Stress Testing, IOST Candidate nodes, and guidelines for IOST voting.

IOST starts the year 2019 by officially opening the candidate node applications running up to mainnet the following month. They also explained some of the benefits being a node operator such as servi node rewards which is a share from a pool of 4% of total supply, an invitation rewards 10%-30% of fees incurred by the user referrals invited and an expected return of 40% to 4,700%. On top of these benefits, the IOST team can assist node candidates in the technical aspects of node operations, enabling them to concentrate on creating awareness and marketing IOST network. Those who are has an extraordinary plan for the growth of IOST ecosystem can also ask for financial assistance from the IOST team.

Node participants can either enter as a Partner node and Servi Node. Partner node is a light node that requires no server operations while Servi node are full node that can participate in block production. Partner nodes are participants who may not have the technical knowledge or experience to run a full node but still want to contribute to the IOST ecosystem in a variety of ways and earn rewards. Like Servi node candidates are required to get at least 2.1M votes. If the minimum amount of votes is reached then the candidate will qualify to start earning rewards. The reward pool consists of 4% of total supply which is around 840M IOST tokens which will be offset by a token burn and from the IOST ecosystem fund.

While some of the IOST team are busy sorting out qualified node candidates and inviting more people to participate in node voting, the core development team are busy preparing for Mainnet deployment, stress testing, bug fixing, and balancing. By the end of January, all the important parts of IOST network have been done with much of the activities involve last-minute adjustments and fine-tuning. Just before the mainnet launch, the IOST officially releases the IOST voting portal in partnership with one of the earliest node partners in the IOST ecosystem biss.com.

February 2019— Mainnet Launches; IOST continues to build community and its ecosystem.

All of the activities of the IOST team from last year leading up to this moment are in preparation for the IOST’s mainnet launch. The IOST core development team has been hard at work to bring us the most complete main launch to date. The mainnet launch is dubbed as Olympus v1.0 and was officially released at 12 PM Singapore time. A full 6 months ahead of schedule, demonstrating to the professionalism and work ethics of the IOST team. This is truly a momentous event for the whole IOST community but instead of resting on their laurels, the IOST team tirelessly continued to the next phase of their strategy to make IOST one of the top public blockchains in the world.

Now that the mainnet has been launched, the IOST team accelerated its efforts to grow its IOST community as well as community developers who are willing to build dApps in the IOST platform. Prior to the mainnet launch, they have initiated several programs with the main aim of growing the whole IOST ecosystem. First, of these programs is the developer bounty program which we discussed earlier in this article. Then there is the bug bounty program where the IOST team encourages community developers to help the core IOST developers with code reviews and identifying bugs. The other two include tech article contest and dApps ecosystem building.

The result of the IOST and Bluehill partnership now comes into play. After several months of some of the IOST development teams that have received support began rolling out their dApps. This was a result of what the teams described as a multi-faceted and multi-sector global ecosystem strategy, which has taken shape after months of tireless planning and tireless execution. The dApps include games like IOSTJoy, Real X, Liar Game, Cell Evolution, Endless Game, CryptoNinja; decentralized exchanges like DDEX IOST; and Cross-chain stablecoin like Rate3’s iUSD.

March 2019— ERC20 IOST Token Burn, Wallet partnerships and success of Endless Dice Game.

The next two months were critical for IOST as it continues to accelerate its efforts to become one of the largest smart contract platforms in the industry. Fortunately, after a month of operating, its mainnet is showing smooth performance. By March 1, 2019, its block height has reached 3050226 supported by over 200 Node Partners Candidates. These node partners include some of the most prominent names in the blockchain industry such as:

Huobi Wallet, AlphaCoin Fund, DappReview, Theseus, IOST Pacific, DDEX, DappPub, Endless@IOST, IOST Game, Float Capital, Digital Journal, IOST BEST NODE, Xinyang IOST, SSSminex, Harvard Kennedy School Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Association, Metanyx, IOSTABC, IOST Venezuela, Nirvana Capital, and IOST Lao Mao.

IOST has also entered into partnerships with some of the leading crypto wallet service providers in the industry. These wallet providers include TokenPocket, Cobo Wallet, Huobi Wallet, Secrypto, Trust Wallet, Monarch Wallet, and Magnum Wallet. Most of these wallets have dApp explorers that will enable users to explore the different dApps available for IOST that have been rolling out since the release of its mainnet. In fact, as early as the first month after IOST’s mainnet launch, TockenPocket supported Node Voting in its wallet app. In addition to this IOST began partnering with dApp information web services like DappReview to further increase its exposure to dApps users.

The IOST team has also initiated mainnet token burn and conducted its first batch of IOST ERC0-20 token destroyed to take them out of circulation. The first batch destroyed is 2,170,000,000 IOST ERC-20 tokens which represent over 20% o circulating supply. For those who want to inspect the token burn, you can see the transaction in Etherscan here. In other news, an Etherscan equivalent for IOST was also launched during this time, dubbed as the IOSTABC Block Explorer. Similar to Etherscan, this block explorer will enable users to explore the IOST blockchain, inspect transactions and other value-added services for the IOST ecosystem.

One of the most successful IOST dApp is the Bluehill-IOST funded Endless Dice game. Endless Dice is one of the leading EOS dApp developer and one of the first to embrace IOST blockhain by migrating its most successful dApp into IOST. Its IOST release was a huge success with transaction volumes exceeding 700 million IOST within its first day of operations, demonstrating the immense interest of the dApps gaming community as well as the scalability of the IOST platform.

April 2019— Buyback program, Stablecoin iUSD launch, and the announcement of Oasis’s Onblock and Berm’s Project Pegasus.

By the first week of April IOST and its community of developers have launch 10 dApps with Endless Dice breaking into Top 3 Dapps globally. According to the IOST team IOST have entered hockey stick growth trajectory with mainnet wallet registrations reading the team’s 100,000 wallet milestone. DappReview has also launched an exclusive IOST section joining the elite few blockchains platforms. This further cements IOST place as one of the leading blockchain in the industry.

April also marks the month when IOST Foundation embarks on Token BuyBack Program with its excess company profits which the team reveals substantially exceeded internal company estimates. IOST plans to channel these excess funds towards executing Token BuyBack across 2019 and 2020. The second week of April showed tremendous growth in the IOST ecosystem doubling the amount of IOST wallets registered to around 180,000. Compared to the other Big 4 public chain, IOST registered the fastest growth rates, in fact in just two months of mainnet release have processed more transactions than the whole Ethereum network.

Rate3, a Node Partner in the IOST ecosystem have officially launched IOST’s first stablecoin dubbed as the iUSD. This new stablecoin uses a frictionless token swap solution that allows a stale token swap solution pegged to USDC, TUSD and later USDT. This will enable IOST users to leverage the deep liquidity available globally on ERC20-based stablecoins. In addition, IOST unveils Oasis team whose primary mandate is to eliminate technical barriers to entry in the blockchain space. Oasis’s first product is OnBlock which is designed to address major pain points of the blockhain industry, from the complexity of creating accounts to the volatility of network and computing resources.

Back in October 2018, the IOST team revealed the formation of the Berm Protocol. According to the IOST team, Berm Protocol is decentralized data governance of information distribution and it will use its own cryptocurrency to power the growth, curation, and governance of data and information systems. IOST and Berm Protocol launched Project Pegasus which has been described as a global user adoption program that is poised to onboard millions of new users into the IOST ecosystem. In collaboration with IOST, Berm Protocol will be airdropping free BERM tokens to IOST token holders in a multi-year airdrop program designed especially for loyal IOST holders. There were two successful dApps released in Berm Protocol: Bermi and Berminal.

The multi-faceted and multi-sector growth strategy of IOST was in full effect in April as it engages various industries that might benefit from blockhain technology and at the same time help in growing the IOST ecosystem. IOST partnered with Binance Charity Foundation, the philanthropic arm of global cryptocurrency exchange Binance as well as with Ehang, one of the world’s largest UAV players to deliver a secure and reliable data management system for the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). The newest Partner Node of IOST in April is IOST Watch whose main objective is to raise awareness about IOST and produce simple tools to help IOST community developers.

May 2019— IOST’s Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) in AWS, Chainlink partnership, DappRadar support, iUSD Beta and First Defi Project on IOST.

It has been three months since the release of IOST mainnet and the narrative of the IOST success story has not changed that much as it continues to grow exponentially in terms of userbase, decentralized applications, and community developers. The different onboarding programs were working their magic as more and more dApps launched daily transaction volumes continues to surge. Despite their continued success, the IOST team continues to improve their project and provide new and exciting services that will help the project to flourish even more. One of which is the release of IOST’s Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) which is now live on the Amazon Web Service market.

The new BaaS offering will enable IOST developers to deploy their blockhain solution within minutes. Leveraging IOST’s high speed and secure blockchain platform has never been made easier. Through this service, developers can deploy a blockhain infrastructure with just one click. Moreover, the IOST team has partnered with Chainlink, the world’s leading oracle solutions services providers to bring real-world data on-chain for IOST dApps. According to IOST they chose to partner with Chainlink as it is the leading decentralized oracle solution that has been used by other leading blockchain projects. The IOST team believes that Chainlink is the perfect fit for IOST compared to other centralized oracle solutions.

The immense success of IOST since mainnet release these past few months has been noticed by the world’s biggest dApp data, discovery, and distribution platform DappRadar. DappRadar jas set a benchmark as the global dApp market data and analytics leader with its industry-leading fake traffic detection and spam filters. DappRadar provides developers and users with data tracking services that visualize market data by statistical charts and analytical insights. IOST joins DappRadar with an exclusive listing including full integration, data tracking, and analysis. To celebrate DappRadars support IOST conducted a 500K airdrop.

There is more cause for celebration as the first stablecoin in the IOST ecosystem has recently launched its beta. IUSD is a stablecoin swap solution with TUSD, USDC and soon USDT. The solution was developed by Node Partner Rate3 with the main aim of providing ERC20 liquidity and asset stability into the IOST ecosystem. Moreover, the first DeFi project in IOST also launched Liebi Pool, a new generation of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mining pool developed by Liebi team an IOST node operator. Users who hold VOST in Liebi Pool will be able to immediately start staking and enjoy special mining benefits such as automatic dividends, automatic compound interest, and free transfers.

June and July 2019— IOST updates its Website; new wallet, IDE and cold wallet support; Boomstarter partnership and new exchange listings.

The IOST continues to grow and showed no signs of slowing down. In line with its growing popularity and to have a common venue where information can be disseminated properly and in an orderly manner the IOST website has been updated. A new IOST wallet is also release dubbed as the PureWallet, released by IOSTABC, a partner node and the same developers who release the iostabc.com IOST block explorer. To help the ecosystem to grow, IOSTABC through its PureWallet is also giving out free IOST mainnet accounts. Moreover, White Matrix’s ChainIDE, an IOST Partner Node becomes the first online IDE to support Libra’s Move language in doing so IOST has integrated itself into Libra ecosystem.

Image result for iost libra

The move of Facebook into the cryptocurrency space seems to have sparked renewed interest in this burgeoning asset class as the market begins to post double-digit gains leading many pundits to believe that the long crypto bear market is finally over. The timing of this cycle of bull run could not be better as IOST tirelessly increasing its market share through partnerships, exchange listings, and dApp releases. To provide its users with a safer way of managing their digital assets IOST has partnered with a cold wallet service provider, ColdLar. It is not only an intelligent hardware cold wallet but also a full set of security solutions for crypto assets.

To whet the appetite of IOST crypto investors, the IOST team in partnership with some of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges in the world launch investment programs and trading competitions to give participants a chance to earn more cryptocurrencies. One of which is Kucoin who launched its IOST Cash Back Investment Program which begun on July 4, 2019. Upbit, on the other hand, launched a 5 Million IOST trading competition. Not to be outdone, another South Korean-based exchange, Bithumb also conducted a 1 Million IOST giveaway. Lastly, BIt-Z finally got into the action by supporting IOST and conducted a 350,000 IOST giveaway.

Image result for boomstarter

Crowdfunding is one of the industry IOST have identified that will benefit most using blockhain technology. With that in mind, the IOST team has partnered with Boomstarter, an established crowdfunding platform that was formed in 2012, to become one of the world’s leading crowdsourcing platforms. Boomstarter supported over 2,000 projects and has raised over 7 million USD for its users. It has a huge user base of 800,000 and visited by over 300,00 unique visitors every month. Boomstarter is widely considered the biggest crowdsourcing platform in eastern Europe and the first traditional crowdsourcing platform to leverage blockchain technology.

August and September 2019— Berm Protocol rebrands to EMOGI and releases Emogi IRC20 Tokens, Emogi Airdrop, and new partnerships.

Berm Protocol, an IOST incubated project, has been successfully onboarding users into its platforms namely, Bermi and Berminal. It was so successful that Bermi has become one of the top downloaded apps from Google Playstore and at one point become the most downloaded app superseded only by Facebook lite, Facebook and Instagram. It has seen significant traction in Latin America with over 40% of its users based in Colombia and Mexico. After achieving viral status Bermi is now issuing EMOGI IRC-20 Token on IOST blockchain also marking the rebranding of Bermi into the EMOGI Network.

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Latin America is becoming the hotbed for cryptocurrency adoption as it offers a perfect condition for cryptocurrency to thrive: lack of access to banking services, high demand and volume of costly remittance and finally, many of the counties in the continent is suffering from hyperinflation. The high popularity of Bermi in Latin America and its release of IRC-20 tokens seems to be pointing to a possible remittance use case. Huobi, one of the earliest supporters of IOST will launch EMOGI (LOL) as its fifth Huobi Prime Project. To further celebrate EMOGI’s success IOST announced the LOL long term Airdrop plan for the IOST global community.

While the EMOGI was being unveiled to the IOST global community the IOST team continues to expand its network and partnerships. IOST partnered with Grimm’s Antiques to drive enterprise adoption in artwork traceability and anti-fakes. In addition to this IOST struck multiple partnerships with traditional gaming companies and struck strategic government ties in Singapore with IMDA partnerships. In late August, IOST goes live on CoinEx accelerator with 300,000 IOST airdrop event.

Games play an important role in the IOST ecosystem, early on it is one of the industries identified by Theseus, the IOST incubated research team tasked to identify sectors that may benefit from blockchain technology. That being said September starts with the announcement of the upcoming release of IOST’s very first MMORPG, Crypto Sanguo. Two partners nodes from IOST community, EverSystem Inc and Platinum, joined the largest game developer conference in Japan. Lastly, Infun, a dedicated blockchain game publishers joins the IOST ecosystem by joining as a Partner Node.

Perhaps the biggest event of the September is the formation of IOST Global Alliance, a decentralized, autonomous ecosystem initiative by IOST Nodes. The primary purpose of the new organization is to consolidate resources, promote decentralization and increase engagement and action in the greater IOST community.

October and November 2019—Boomstarter awareness campaign, ColdLar HW cold wallet release, IOST Co-founder in National TV and P2P decentralized electricity trading.

Like many of the previous months, October and November are replete with good news from the IOST community as the IOST ecosystem never ceases to expand spreading awareness about its initiative and partnering with various industries that seeks to leverage blockchain technology. October started with the release of ColdLar hardware wallet, the very first hardware cold wallet that supports IOST out of the box. This was followed by two campaigns that seek to spread awareness about IOST and one of its major partner Boomstarter. The latter allocated 15,000 USDT for a bounty and the former was in cooperation with one of the major crypto-centric online publishing websites BTCManager.

The end of October also marks the time when the president of China Xi Jinping urged the industry for the further development of blockchain technology. His call not only catalyzed the resurgence of interest of Chinese investors for blockchain technology but also caused an uptick to the general cryptocurrency market. However, several days after Xi made his remark, he reiterated his stance on cryptocurrencies calling them unregistered securities, financial fraud, and a Ponzi scheme. What followed is a renewed effort to stomp out exchanges that are working in mainland china affecting one of the first Partner Node of IOST Biss.com.

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Despite sending chills to the IOST investing community the IOST team powers on, IOST Afterall is a blockchain technology company that is flexible enough to work as a private or public chain as well as with or without cryptocurrencies. IOST was gaining much attention in the mainstream public audience especially after one of its co-founders Terry Wang appeared on China’s national TV. In addition to media attention, the IOST team continues to development adding more partnerships into its fold such as its partnership with PHI to leverage the latter’s GUILD platform for a decentralized autonomous organization and partnership with EverySystem and EIDesign to launch a P2P electricity trading platform in IOST.

December 2019— IOST continues to build towards the end of 2019 and beyond

At the end of November, Terry Wang attended the 2019 International Blockchain Technology Innovation Summit Forum in Sanya, Hainan. Terry shared his insights with industry leaders on how blockchain technology can benefit governments and enterprises, furthermore, the IOST team expects more partnerships with the Hainan government to assist it in leveraging this emerging technology which has been identified as one of the pillars of the 4th industrial revolution.

The IOST took the time to address some concerns the IOST community regarding one of its earliest Node partners in China Biss.com. They were glad to inform the community that withdrawals and staking services have resumed in the platform but have reminded the community that things may change in time. They also reminded the IOST community that while Biss a Node Partner, it is the 3rd party entity which they do not control and suggested making use of services where Node voters have full control of their digital assets. According to the IOST foundation, it does not make any representations or commitments on behalf of BISS Exchange which is an independent party outside of the Foundation’s control.

IOST continues to build its ecosystem as it showcases one of its Partner Node, IOST.Africa. Africa has always been at the forefront of blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption due to its favorable market conditions and the immensely positive impact on the financial sectors which is widely viewed as one of the most less developed in the world. On other news, the popularity of IOST blockchain continues to surge as the Commodities and Futures Trading Regulatory Agency in Indonesia (BAPPEBTI) visited the IOST Beijing Office for consultation. The BAPPEBTI comes directly under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance and is run by an administrative board of members represented by industry experts.

The highlight of the month and perhaps a fitting closing the very eventful and fruitful year for IOST is its invitation of its co-founder and chief CTO, Terry Wang, to the Great Hall of the People making it the first public Blockchain Project to attend this prestigious national event. Attendees include China’s state leaders, over 30 mayors, and deputy mayors, local trade association representatives, national strategies, representatives from more than 100 state-owned enterprises and over 300 privately-owned companies.

During the same event, IOST was also recognized as a standing member of the Consensus Committee under the China Software Association. IOST will proactively participate in the operation of the blockchain branch of China Software Association and conduct exchanges and cooperation with more governments, enterprises, institutions, and universities.

What to expect in 2020?

The journey towards becoming one of the leading public blockchains is truly daunting and exhausting but the IOST team never let these challenges get the better of them. Instead, these challenges and barriers fueled their determination to succeed in making their vision of IOST a reality. While in blockhain terms IOST is still on its infancy stage, one can easily see the immense potential of this project, armed with a highly competent development team and business managers as well as the unwavering support of its partners and community, IOST is a unique position to become the top blockchain in the space. Only time will tell if the OST will be able to pull this off but they have all the right ingredients to do so.

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