By: Geeq on Apr 12, 2021
When Oddgems offered to host an AMA for Geeq, we jumped at the chance. CEO Ric Asselstine and Chief Economist John Conley answered Oddgems’ questions while Chief Development Officer Stephanie So was on hand to help with the questions in the live portion. It was the perfect environment to have our first Q & A since the release of Geeq’s Testing Framework v0.1. Many thanks to the Oddgems Family for spending a morning with us.
This transcript has been lightly edited with nothing substantial changed. Many, many thanks to Oddgems!
Geeqs: Ric Asselstine, John Conley, and Stephanie So
Channel Muted for GEEQ AMA session
Oddgems: Welcome Everyone to the GEEQ AMA with Oddgems Family group.
First of all, it’s a huge pleasure and an honour for us to have the GEEQ members @ricasselstine @J_P_Conley and @StephanieS here in our TG group. GEEQ is one of the projects that I’m supporting and personally very excited about for a long time now.
Before we begin can we have a brief introduction?
For sure, I’m Ric Asselstine, Cofounder and CEO of Geeq. Have had the privilege of working on early stage tech start ups and scale ups for quite sometime. A pleasure to be here.
Ric and I met in 2017 and he asked a lot of questions that I couldn’t resist. I’m now a Co-Founder of Geeq and its Chief Economist, and I’m deeply embedded in the protocol design and execution.
Oddgems: Today’s AMA session will proceed as follows:
Round 1 – Chat will be muted. I will ask some Questions. (40 minutes)
Round 2 – Live Community Q&A (15 mins) – chat will be unmuted.
Here’s my first question…
- What ‘gap’ is Geeq going to fill in the blockchain space and when can we expect this ‘goal’ to be met?
Ric: Great, and important question! Let me come at this a few different ways. First a quick bit of history. And then on to the gap. Gaps actually. Proof of Honesty’s roots go back to when John, back in 2017 did a review of the space – combing around 80 white papers as I recall – and came up with the observation that blockchain tech as it stood was wanting. And that there must be a better way. And tech since those days has left him and us with the same impression. It goes further, however. Part of what was and looks now to be lacking is a comprehensive, in depth understanding of the multiple domains of knowledge vital to not only create the tech, but deliver it to market in both an easy to use and useful manner.
These disciplines, or domains, as John has noted, include, but are certainly not limited to management, and admin, law and compliance, game theory, mechanism design, behavioral economics, monetary theory, information theory, network design, telecom and communications protocols, and key aspects of theoretical computer science, cryptography, coding, development, and project management, a solid handle on the players in finance, the right partners, a world class crypto/digital asset, and people who can bridge these gaps so that they are able to tell the world what we are doing. And now extending to quantum computing. Whew! A lot I know. But we feel because we have the required understanding of all of these, it helps us to know not only know what we need to know, but then, to deliver what we believe to be this transformational technology.
So, it is with all of that as context that the gaps of ultra ultra low cost, best of breed security, computationally light, therefore super climate friendly positioning, infinitely scalability, and interoperability via PoH, are closed. Thanks again for the question.
2. When can we expect exchanges that enable US based people to buy Geeq in a legal way?
Ric: We are not able to comment directly on exchanges, but what I can say and relay is that from day one, we have imagined and envisioned, structured and architected to be of service worldwide in all aspects of the Geeq Project. Yet due to the fact that this is a nascent space in many aspects, we need to remain nimble to developments as we continue the build and maintain a singleness of purpose of adoption, adoption, adoption. We find that holding that as our ongoing true north helps with all things Geeq.
Oddgems: And by the way, testnet was a huge success, much kudos on that.
John: Ah, thank you on behalf of the entire team.
3. So adding further, How is the development going? How long do we have to wait until a fully operational mainnet?
John: In a word, well. As you probably know, we are doing several tracks of parallel development.
On the core development side, we have Lun Yuen and Ian Smith heading up two different coding lines.
Lun is building the testnet using typescript. This will be a full development of the node client. This will be deployed, first in the simulator that you have already seen. Next, we will deploy it in a set of containers to create a full network with many nodes, transmitting all the messages needed to one another as they would on the mainnet.
Here we can stress test, find any errors or bottlenecks, and test against heavy infestations of dishonest nodes and with lots of network latency, dead nodes and lost messages.
At some point as we build this, we plan to open up access so that the community can turn the dials and stress test for themselves. This is what we refer to as the “progressive testnet” since it gets more and more features, both in functionality and in the ways that it can be examined, as time goes on.
Now, in most projects, Lun’s work would be all that would be done. At the end, the testnet node client would be deployable as the maninnet node client. We make it harder on ourselves, really, because we have to.
Ian is paralleling Lun, but writing in Rust. He will use the same Cap’n Protobuffer templates but is writing the logic independently. Rust is much more efficient and also can make better use of the UDP communications layer he is constructing. He will adjust his code as we find better ways to do things in the Typescript version.
Now comes the fun part. My job is to write the declarative specification that will be hashed into every genesis block. This serves two purposes.
Once the mainnet is launched, this will be the unalterable definition of honesty. New node clients and communications layer, database structures and so on can be written in the future as technology advances. They all must generate exactly the same ledger, blocks, and other data elements and follow the same update logic or else they produce dishonesty in nodes.
The fact that the source truth is not some specific node client written in a specific language gives Geeq a kind of future-proofing.
Oddgems: Really excellent development work so far. That’s quite impressive indeed. 👀
John: The other thing it does is provide unit tests. Both Ian’s and Lun’s code must pass the implied unit tests of the declarative code. The really good thing about this is that if Lun misses an edge case somehow, it is unlikely that Ian will miss the same one and vice versa. This gives us a much more robust code audit going in, as well as a basis for continual audits going forward. I don’t think any other project holds itself to this testing standard.
Oddgems: Wow, honestly I’ve done so many AMA’s so far and none has ever explained anything like this. This is quite detailed and I love it.
John: Thank you, yes, we all see this as a foundational infrastructure that must be robust and future proof.
Oddgems: That’s very much required to get clients, isn’t it. Coming to which…
3. How is Geeq attracting companies willing to build on Geeqs blockchain?
Ric: Two points here. First and foremost, we believe the attraction of the technology, what it solely and uniquely delivers, will be, to many, magnetic. We are working to evolve it to be a natural attractor for projects looking for the tier one performance. But tech isn’t enough as we all know. The message needs to get out.
So, point two, we have been working meticulously to identify the array of audiences who do, will and should have interest in what we are doing. From enterprise to individual, IoT to DeFi and beyond. We then determine the message that will be most important to that specific audience. And then, we work to determine the best method, or channel of communication, to deliver the message to the target. Yup, that’s a lot, again 😉
Oddgems: True and that’s where proper marketing comes in 🙂 and awareness of course 🙂
Ric: But it is precision work, just as the tech development is. And all of that continues to be actively underway. So, by marrying these two up – the tech and the talk – we have the “growth” formula. Again, that which we are working on and deploying now. Including right this second with you folks!
John: re: marketing – Ric and Stephanie have been over the moon with the teams they have been working with, first the token team as you all know, and now German and his team of Geeqs who are connected to the less-digital (but still digital) world of enterprise.
4. How is Geeq going to attract developers? And how is Geeq going to keep them in their community?
Ric: This goes back largely to what I was just mentioning. Certainly, there are great projects out there, but we feel if we can properly get our message out, that there will be a gravitational pull to what we think is a pretty charismatic technology. Initially there will be lots of “push” from us, but over time, and not a long time, we are working to induce market “pull”, where word of mouth starts to kick in among not only the dev community but end users and adopters/users of the tech as well. Such that, they – end users – may not even know what the underlying tech is, only that they have this brand new tool, or tools, they’ve never had before. And able to accomplish things in their lives, not before possible. It’s pretty inspiring stuff!!
On the dev side, it also doesn’t hurt that if you look at where Geeqs already are around the world, it somehow doesn’t seem as though it’s an accident that between us all, we have pretty good footprints in existing and emerging tech and blockchain hot beds. Serendipity-induced perhaps? Just maybe! And they’ll tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends 😉
Oddgems: Great answer. Coming to another important question…
5. In terms of governance. How is the Geeq’s blockchain governed?
John: Geeq has no governance. This is one of its most essential design features.
The fundamental problem with any system of governance is that if changes can be made for good reasons they can also be made for bad ones as well.
Governance means we have to trust in the good intentions, clear sight, and wisdom of other humans. This is completely antithetical to the idea of blockchain as a trustless, immutable, and predictable mechanism for distributed interactions.
The basic arguments against governance are the following: First, voting theory is part of game theory and there are many fundamental impossibility theorems that show there does not exist a voting mechanism that satisfies any reasonable set of fairness, efficiency, responsiveness or optimality criteria. Second, we have overwhelming empirical evidence that governance leads to bad, biased, and unpredictable outcomes.
How do you like the state of politics world-wide at the moment?
Oddgems: Exactly, most governance revolves around big whales controlling it – it’s joke of a governance actually.
John: Despite this, societies must have governance. Somebody or something will rule, so we might as well pick the best system we can even though we know it will be deeply flawed.
Blockchain is different.
Geeq lays out all the rules at the beginning. We can’t change them. No one can. However, you don’t have to accept them. If you don’t like them, you don’t have to join the system. You have freedom of choice, but also the guarantee that if you do choose Geeq, it will always be what you signed up for.
Oddgems: World politics is in complete shambles. Coming back to questions..
6. So, how is Geeq going to expand in the coming years? What’s the strategy? Will the founders be eventually be replaced by new leadership or will there be a leadership governance system in place for users to vote?
Ric: I’ll give this one a go. Regarding strategy, I am a huge fan of the principles of exponential growth laid out by Salim Ismail (et al) in the book Exponential Organizations. At its core it lays out a recipe or roadmap organizations and projects can use for rapid and outsized scale up. Exponential growth.
One idea, concept or principle that you may be familiar with, is “leveraged assets”, basically “access vs possess”. Lots of examples of this exist. Uber. AirBnB, etc, but where we see this specifically potentially apply to geeq adoption is tapping into, sitting on top of, “leveraging” existing installed bases of commercial relationships where this “one more layer” of technology can add all kinds of new benefits and advantages that before blockchain in general, and Geeq in particular, weren’t possible. But now most elegantly, because of Geeq.
Within that, however, and specific to this space, we also pay ever so close attention to continuing advancement of and attention to our four C’s – code, customers, community, compliance, all ever so tightly interwoven. And, as mentioned by pointing all four of these directly toward the end goal of adoption, the focus narrows and narrows.
And as to founders and governance, I think John’s point about governance reflects our attitudes there, and as to founder replacement, we always take the long view, and as such, look to add bench strength as we continue the scale up and reduce/eliminate risk factors including founder dependence, the same as any other organization and scale up, remaining nimble as we go but steadily on course.
Oddgems: Impressive, and a nice four ‘C’ philosophy 💯 And I love the fact you guys are long term, instead of focussing on short term gains.
Oddgems: Coming to my next question …
John: The fact that Ric can organize all the fields he mentioned earlier and distill them into four Cs to guide all of Geeq is extraordinary.
Ric: Now you’re making me blush. Big team efforts all around.
7. Will early adopters be rewarded? Think about NFT’s/Gifts/’leadership’ roles?
Ric: Re: rewards, to be clear, I hear from Stephanie, and Hans and Kieran and Bill all the time about how much they appreciate and are energized by the belief of the Geeq Community. Positivity has always been part of our secret sauce and we see that reverberate throughout!
As for specifics like NFTs, or other give-aways, we’re looking into those. To be perfectly candid, it’s an area that still has some question marks, so we’re making sure we dot all our I’s and cross all our t’s before we do anything.
And as to leadership roles, as I mentioned, the key is to remain nimble and as opportunities present themselves and the timing is right, we won’t be shy about adding bench strength.
Oddgems: Great strategy!
8. I know Geeq has some patents pending. Does this affect the development of the Geeq blockchain. How long does it normally take to get a patent accepted (explain the process). What is the (expected -roughly) approval date for Geeq’patents?
Ric: We do, and thanks for asking. And there is actually more to follow on the patent application front. But for now, the way it has affected development has been that we have added some milestones to our to do list, because some are very exciting to include right in the foundation, and others relate to applications we are sprouting ourselves.
Regarding timelines, however, once we submit each patent application, it is up to the patent office to respond and their timeline is their timeline. Which, unfortunately we have no control over. So, from an expectation management perspective, for patents to be awarded, we need to think in terms of years, not months or weeks. That is the way the system works but we all knew this going into it which is why we got the IP ball rolling as early as we did. Geeq is the gift that keeps on giving though 😉
John: Fortunately, Ric has been through this process before. It’s very involved and he is well aware of how to stage IP.
Oddgems: Let’s jump to our last question.. This has been a fun and very informative AMA so far 🙂
9. How is the Geeq blockchain updated? Will there be a nuisance or will it be like Cardano’s hardfork combinator?
John: I’ll take that one –
I talked about governance above. You make a good point, however. It is possible in the future that technology will create better ways to run a blockchain or there will be new threats to its security (quantum computing in particular). What people may want out of blockchain may change, and different use cases may arise.
Oddgems: Yeah, quantum computing is a factor, glad the GEEQ team is trying to make its blockchain quantum resistant as well. 👌🏼
John: GeeqChain instances follow the rules laid out in their genesis blocks when they were deployed. They can’t change since this would be breaking trust. However, new instances with new rules or features can be created. These new instances may even be intended to replace existing instances.
Here is the key point in this upgrade path: users on existing instances may be offered the chance to move to the new instances, however, they will not (and more importantly, can not) be forced to.
Once an instance is launched, it can not be shut down by Geeq, a government, users, or anyone else.
By design, there is no mechanism to do so. IF you like the new version and think it is an improvement, then move. IF you are happy with the current version, then stay.
Geeq is about choice, not coercion.
Oddgems: Excellent point! Let’s move on to the LIVE session now. Are you READY?
Ric: For sure!
CHANNEL UNMUTED – LIVE SESSION STARTS
Q1. Will I be able to run a node pre-Mainnet launch using testnet?
John: The node client will be released in various forms for use of the testnet but on internal container simulations and in the wild.
Q2. Can you explain to me like to 10year old kid what Geeq does and what is road map for this year?
Stephanie: We have a new way to explain PoH : it’s asking the nodes to compete on accuracy. Every node is judged by its own work. And every node is treated the same. The only way to get kicked out is by being dishonest.
So, there’s no voting, no way to gain an advantage in the system by having more stake or more hashpower because that is a system that can favor the network, not the users.
What Geeq wants is to deliver value through blockchain use to the users.
Also, this video was inspired by a question to Explain (Proof of Honesty) to me Like I’m New.
Q3. Most people are scared of token unlocks, what would you say to those people?
Stephanie: Most of the unlocks left to be done are for the team and, as such, won’t be sold on the open market because we believe in the project long term.
Q4: In what area do you think the first use cases may become a reality?
John: Use cases: The one I am excited about in the short term is an IoT and notary service. This is exactly where Geeq sits with a comparative advantage. We provide the layer for provability when there is a trust deficit between counter parties. We can do it cheaply, securely and at scale. It is also something that addresses the needs and interests of our current partners.
Ric: I’m actually excited for them all. Experience with discussions has been such that the sense that there is something novel here is starting to “take”.
Q5: Great AMA. Thanks for great insights. The timeline on Patent is well understood. How much critical is to get the patent granted for further progress and adoption?
Ric: Re: the patent, it’s not at all mission critical to further development. Would certainly be nice to have and progress there is ongoing.
Q6: In terms of transparency. Is Geeq going to release quarterly financial reports?
Ric: We continue to work on good governance and industry best practices as the scale up continues.
Q7: Will there be any dapps developed for community use by mainnet launch?
Stephanie: Yes, we want to deliver on that.
John: We hope so. The application layers we are developing are designed to allow developers contact GeeqChains in a generic way to provide the data service they are best at.
In other words, we provide a low level of abstraction, that higher level applications can use. What centralized databases can’t provide is trustless, provable synchronization and coordination. You have to believe that Oracle will not change your data or how you access it, Microsoft won’t turn your data over to third parites, and Amazon won’t deplatform you. With Geeq, you keep your data but can securely keep distributed instances in sync.
Ric: It sounds like we’re close to wrap up here so I did want to offer up sincere thanks to all Geeqs, long standing and new to the project. I have had the privilege of working with some brilliant and talented people and I feel that with Geeq, we are on a whole new level. So thanks @oddgems for this opportunity and thanks to all for your time.
Oddgems: Thank You so much @J_P_Conley @ricasselstine and @StephanieS for joining in and answering our questions in such a detailed manner.
I’ve been a huge fan of GEEQ and the entire team, convey my best regards to everyone – Hans, Ian, Lun, Eric, Tom, Kurt, Murray, Simon, Kieran, Robbie Bill and others.
In my honest opinion, GEEQ by far has the best team in crypto.
Oddgems: Disclosure before we end this – This was an entire FREE AMA 🙂
Stephanie: Thank you very much, @Oddgems, this has been such a jam-packed hour. Thank you to your whole family here as well.
John: Thanks so much Oddgems and everyone else. Great questions.
Oddgems: MY PLEASURE 🙂
Stephanie: If anyone has not tried our Testing Framework v0.1, please do!
Oddgems: And with that my friends, we conclude this AMA.