Community Interview: Liu Qinan (Founder of ELAlliance)

Interview By CR Press

CR Press interviewed Liu Qinan, founder of ELAlliance, with the help of WeFilmchain.
WeFilmchain provided us with the following statement:

“WeFilmchain is pleased to help facilitate this interview to bridge communication between the Eastern and Western Communities. Based in Vancouver, Canada, with management and technical teams consisting of people from Chinese, North American and European origins, we understand the importance and impact of cultural diversity.
We believe all Elastos and Cyber Republic communities should be united. We shall build the ecosystem together; making ELA more useful, increasing the confidence that people have in Elastos and its value, and avoiding tensions within. – WeFilmchain

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1. What’s your background? We’ve heard you’re a computer programmer and eager to help Elastos; are you planning to build a project off of Elastos?
1. ???????????????????????????????????????????????

Yes, I am a programmer. I worked as the technical leader of a development team that provided services for State Grid. In the beginning of 2018, I learned of Elastos, and I was attracted by its ideas. I gradually deepened my understanding of Elastos. Throughout the course of learning, I considered what could be built on Elastos that is really interesting and useful. I am still exploring what projects are really suitable for development on Elastos, and while I still don’t have my exciting idea yet, I believe that Elastos is absolutely unique.

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2. What is ELAlliance, how does it work, and why did you decide to create ELAlliance? What roles do you fill in ELAlliance?
2. ????????????????????????????????????????

I am the initiator, organizer, and developer of ELAlliance. Apart from communicating with the English community, everything else is done by me. So, forgive me if my English is not good.  The establishment of ELAlliance was caused by the 1-coin-36-votes system of Elastos DPoS election. There are various reasons for using this system, but there are two inevitable issues:

A. It increases the voting power of the rich. If one or a few people control half of the number of ELA cast in the election, the top 36 nodes can be monopolized.
B. Nodes will tend to unite – each node will look for a partner to support one another, in order to maximize their benefits in the elections.

In regards to the actual situation of ELA holdings, the first issue can easily become a problem, in which the voting power of the rich is too much. This problem has been reported several times and was not addressed, and so the Elastos DPoS election rules were finalized.
We cannot only rely on other people when we realize that there are loopholes. Rather than letting some individuals easily interfere with the results of the election, it is better to introduce competition and compete with joined forces. Therefore, ELAlliance was set up to let people get together and make it easier to obtain the support of retail investors through some incentive programs. Moreover, a coordinated voting platform was created so that the communication cost between nodes is reduced. The platform is open for all nodes to use, whether it be a member of ELAlliance or not.

We are not only trying to make it easier for ELAlliance nodes to unite, but we also want all small and medium-sized nodes to come together. In truth, the coordinated voting platform is actually non-profit for the ELAlliance.

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3. Most Western communities see coordinated voting as unethical. What is your perspective and reasoning for having a coordinated voting platform?
3. ?????????????????????????????????????

In regards to the coordinated voting platform, coordinated voting is inevitable. Even without this platform, this will still occur. If we believe that one thing should not be done, then we should introduce rules, not the morality, to constrain it. Therefore, if coordinated voting is not allowed, we should consider modifying the voting rules.

The coordinated voting platform is simply a tool. We have also recommended it to international community nodes to use. Some were interested in the platform, but did not use it. All nodes are welcome to use it. Again, our platform is just a tool; it does not control anything.

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4. One of the reasons ELAlliance was created was out of fear of whales, and yet ELAlliance is so influential in the DPoS elections that they could have the power to take most, if not all, of the active nodes spots. How would you answer the concerns around this?
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Indeed, just as the problem mentioned, one of the reasons for the establishment of ELAlliance is to avoid the ‘whales’ controlling the node election results.
We are happy that the international community thinks that ELAlliance has such a great influence and wins some of the active supernode spots. Unfortunately, however, the analysis of the voting so far shows that the influence of ELAlliance is not too significant. Only 8 of the 36 nodes in the alliance are elected – a number that is only average.
Although the “whales” did not occupy the first 36 nodes as we expected, that is because they do not want to do so rather than not being able to. In fact, the results of the node election are still under their control.

You can visit http://www.elalliance.net/profit/rankinfo to track the votes of each node. I believe that if you think thoroughly, you will get an answer instead of being directed by someone who has their own interest in the competition of election.

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5. Can you tell us the process of how to become a Supernode member of ELAlliance? What are the requirements, and how does voting and voter rewards work? What are the membership fees and what are they for?
5. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Regarding the rules of ELAlliance, there are documents containing detailed information available for download at the bottom of the ELAlliance website http://www.elalliance.net.
The latest reward distribution program for the Alliance can also be found at https://newscyberrepublic.wpcomstaging.com/elalliancerewardsdistribution/.
The cost of being in the ELAlliance is RMB 450 (65.47 USD) per month per node, which is used for all expenses of the ELAlliance, mainly labor costs. Excuse me for doing this full-time.

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6. ELAlliance is hosting servers for Supernode owners for a fee. Could you tell us about this? How much does it cost, and how many servers are being hosted? How do you answer concerns about centralization?
6. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

The servers hosted by ELAlliance nodes are provided by themselves. ELAlliance is only responsible for the daily operations and maintenance work, and charges RMB 150 (21.82 USD) per month. There are currently 14 node servers operated by ELAlliance, including my personal server.

The server upkeep costs of each node are not identical, but in order to provide voters with a consistent reward distribution program, ELAlliance has made it uniformly RMB 1000 (145.49 USD) per month to cover server expenses.

Regarding the question about centralization, first of all, ELAlliance does not own the servers of each node, and instead only maintains it. Many service providers offer similar services.

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7. Who receives the supernode fee? Is it only you who runs the ELAlliance platform and website?
7. ??????????????????????????

I am working full time on the platform and website and I charge 450 RMB ($65) per node for all the expenses of the ELAlliance, which covers labour cost. Right now, besides me, there are 35 nodes in the alliance. This is equivalent to $2275 per month. With this amount, it is not possible to afford to pay someone for help.

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8. How many Supernodes are currently in ELAlliance and how many can there be? Is it possible to lose your membership?
8. ???????????????????????????????????????

At present, ELAlliance already has 36 nodes full. There are some rules set by the alliance, mainly to guarantee the voters’ payout. If a node violates the rules, it will be expelled.

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9. There are several Supernode members that give no information of who they are and they use the ELAlliance website as their sole source of information. Voters know nothing about who they are, nothing about their reward distribution or their plans, and yet they can rank highly. Will more information be required, or will information be implemented on your website for both English and Chinese communities?
How does the ELAlliance and its members plan on contributing to the Elastos ecosystem as an alliance? What about as individual Supernodes?
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Regarding the node information, it is true that some nodes are not proactive in publicizing themselves. In many cases, however, it is because there are communication barriers between the East and the West that make neither side aware of each other.
As for ELAlliance, it does not assume an obligation to publicize their nodes. This is the node’s own business. Of course, we may provide some information on the website, but this is currently not the first priority.

The same applies to node contributions to the Elastos ecosystem. The ELAlliance provides a platform for each node to make everyone familiar with each other and cooperate. However, as for what to do, it is the node’s own business. If there are nodes with good ideas, we are also willing to utilize ELAlliance to help.

ELAlliance is willing to contribute to the Elastos ecosystem, but as we said initially, we will not start without a good idea. We won’t start doing anything only because of a desire to “do something”.

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10. What do you think about the CR Press?
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CR Press is irreplaceable for Elastos and is doing well. If I must give a little advice, I hope that they can be more inclusive. Elastos does not belong to a certain country or a certain ethnic group. As the media of the Cyber Republic, it can look at issues from a higher perspective. I hope that it can better promote the integration of East and West communities.

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