Subject: World Bank Group PoC Project by Manhattan Project Foundation
- Can you tell us more about the hardware mentioned in the official Suggestion? What type of hardware is this? Is the funding for the Proof of Concept sufficient for the hardware prototype and marketing?
Kevin: Our experiments are not intended to design or to produce any dedicated hardware. Instead, we plan on using general and low-cost hardware that is already available. This includes several kinds of hardware. One is the TPM on the PC. This chip is already available on all PCs produced in the last decade or so. This is the necessary hardware for all PCs since Windows 8, unless Windows is not used. This hardware is estimated to be less than $1 in cost, and it is not necessary to buy or install separately.
The other is the Raspberry Pi, a card-type microcomputer with a price of $35, which can freely run our modified Linux system and dedicated security software. A Zymbit security chip is required on this Raspberry Pi for $40. Because the market is small, the price is high. If there is mass production, the cost could be just a few dollars.
Apart from the TPM chip that is less than $1, the Raspberry Pi and the Zymbit security chip are experimental. If this method proves to be safe and feasible, it is not necessary to use these two products in subsequent mass production. In the case of large-scale financial support, the total cost of mass production of a dedicated security chip and a card machine should be around $20.
We will not try to produce this hardware now, because it is absolutely unnecessary to spend money on the hardware. The hardware available on the market is enough. Our main work is in mathematics and software engineering.
In the next 5-10 years, if this field is really growing, there will be a large number of hardware manufacturers making various grades of hardware to comply with this new security standard. We are not interested in producing the hardware. That is something that manufacturers like Huawei are keen on. Our interest lies in protocols and algorithms. This is equal to the ownership of the initial token.
So this project sounds hardware-related (and it is hardware-related), but the difference is that our research is not about producing hardware and instead about developing a software protocol. Just like Bitcoin, some entities produce hardware, but that wasn’t the job of Nakamoto.
The answer to the question of whether the funds are sufficient for the market and hardware prototypes is that we are not in the stage of market penetration now. Moreover, we don’t need to produce the hardware ourselves. The cost of buying a dozen or so these types of hardware is merely a few thousands of dollars. The main expenses are labor costs. Mathematicians and software security experts, engineers, and hackers who are at the level we need are extremely expensive. Designing such a system is not something that engineers who just build websites and mobile apps can do.
- How will the project use the funds requested from CR, and how was the amount of 100,000 ELA determined?
Sunny: The 100,000 ELA which was applied for in CR, together with my personal 50,000 ELA, are dedicated to the World Bank project, which aims to develop some kind of hardware as a Root of Trust. This is also the trusted computing environment of Elastos. The goal is to expand the scenarios that Elastos can cover in trusted computing for enterprise users. Why it is 100,000 ELA? 100,000 ELA is obviously not enough at the moment. But we will use this as a mortgage, and then gradually release it, rather than spending all of it at once. It will not affect the secondary market.
- How will Asset Mortgage Funding work without selling ELA? When and how will the ELA be used?
Sunny: Together with additional ELA from CRC that the Manhattan Project Fund may apply for, we will work to benefit Elastos by improving its ability to accommodate more applications. We are optimistic that the 150,000 ELA can grow with the whole ecosystem. They will be released after about one and a half years and will not be released at once. Gradual releases will attract more funds to support this project.
- Can you introduce the tokenomics of the project? Can this project use ELA directly?
Sunny: The project will definitely use ELA, according to the current plan, at least with merge-mining. As for its own tokenomics, because this project is designed to serve the World Bank first, it is still at a stage of technical experimentation, and the team has not yet had the time to design the tokenomics. It has to be successful on the fundamentals before developing its tokenomics.
- Does CR benefit – tangibly and/or intangibly – in any other way from its invested ELA?
Sunny: Regarding the benefits of the CRC’s invested ELA, I first must say that the intangible benefits are huge, because the investment enables the cooperation with institutions like The World Bank. As for other benefits, I believe that it expands the potential for enterprise users to use trusted computing, in particular the trusted computing provided by Elastos. It can also greatly improve the efficiency of the smart contracts because it does not require every node to verify a smart contract, only a single node. Other nodes serve to monitor whether that designated node is undergoing trusted computing. I think that only when this tech is realized, the smart contracts of all DApps can really be truly powerful and practically useful.