IOST has recently celebrated its first anniversary after its highly successful mainnet launch. While its celebration is muted by the current turbulent market conditions brought about by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, IOST supporters have many reasons to celebrate as the IOST team continues to move forward despite all adversaries. The IOST team, after all, is no stranger to going against odds, developing a thriving ecosystem in the middle of one of the worst cryptocurrency downtrend and succeding.
Let us now take a look back and examine the first year of IOST’s mainnet and see for ourselves the successes and challenges it faced going through the year. Much of the developments up until the end of 2019 have been discussed in our article: “The Decade in Retrospect: IOST from ERC20 to mainnet” anyone interested in reading an exhaustive article about IOST historical development I suggest reading that first prior to going over this article. While we will touch on some of the previous initiatives for clarity we will focus on developments from 2020 onwards.
Nonetheless, amidst this socio-economic crisis, we can celebrate the rapid and impressive developments of the IOST ecosystem and the IOST’s steady pace of growth. Currently, IOST has around Half a million community members around the globe scattered in nearly 20 countries. IOST staking is ranked first in the global comprehensive index in the staking economy with more than 4 billion IOST votes staked in mainnet. With over 400 partner nodes that continuously contribute to the development of the IOST ecosystem, it is no wonder it has grown to become one of the top blockchain platforms in the industry.
Keeping the momentum in 2020
The mainnet of IOST is one of the most complete mainnet launches of any platform. Thanks to the early initiatives of the IOST team to onboard community developers, users, and business partners prior to the launch, the IOST ecosystem grew to become one of the Top smart contract platforms in the space. This was on top of offering a highly scalable, secure and decentralized blockchain that is easy to understand and build on. Its simpler and more effective resource management model also attracted some dapps to move its platform.
The IOST team continued to improve their blockchain after mainnet release, enhancing elements of its protocol as well as introduce additional functionalities with the help of its partners and community developers. To start off the year the IOST team released an updated roadmap for the year 2020 highlighting some of the achievements of last year such as launching the mainnet way ahead of time, raking no. 1 in staking economy and multiple partnerships with governments.
According to the updated roadmap, the team plans to update its IOST node program to 2.0 which they did recently according to recent blog-post on Medium. They also plan to upgrade IOST staking mechanism 3.0 which we expect anytime soon this month (March 2020) since it is planned for Q1 2020. In addition to this, the team seems to be increasing its efforts in cross-chain technology initiatives. As stated in the road map it has indeed showcased a Cross-chain bridge that will enable IOST to interoperate with other blockchains.
IOST users should be happy to know that the team plans to release three top-quality Dapps in the first quarter of 2020. It was also revealed that IOST plans to start regulatory compliance initiatives in Japan, South Korea, The U.S., Singapore, Vietnam, and others. They plan to complete this initiative by Q2 2020. They were supposed to organize offline meetups in 23 cities around the world but due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, many of these have been called off or put on hold.
However, prior to this, IOST Korean team was able to hold an offline meetup to kickstart 2020. This was attended by community members, journalists, KOLs, industry leaders, investors, and others. The team was able to share the achievements and future plans of IOST. The meetup was held in Monaco Space, Gangnam, Korea with over 130 people participating. Terry Wang, CTO at IOST attended the meetup. During the meetup, the IOST team pointed out its main advantages compared to the other 3 big public blockchains which are fast block finality time, stable and low resource fees and ease of development.
Another hackathon was conducted in Japan. University Kindai provided the venues and incentivized professors and students to participate in the event. The main aim of the event is to create higher awareness and understanding of blockchain and IOST, enable non-tech background students to experience programming and unlock the potential of young developers. The hackathon was also graced by Terry Wang and other esteemed speakers such as Jim Maricondo of WAVE financial as well as Yui Takai from ZeLo Law firm.
There was also an offline meetup in Africa which was successfully hosted by IOST.Africa. The event was held in Opokuware hall university of Education Winneba Kumasi Ghana. According to IOST.Africa the said event was an opportunity to enlighten the participants about the IOST blockchain as well as IOST.Africa’s campus movement Initiative. Attendees were given the opportunity ask IOST.Africa about their project and were incentivized through IOST giveaways. The meetup was attended by computer science students and lecturers who want to learn more about IOST.
Q2 2020 Plans
IOST plans to accelerate the expansion of the IOST partners program in 30 key countries. According to the IOST team, it wants to form an ecosystem with global connectivity and healthy competition that will breed excellence in the platform. In line with this initiative, they plan to develop partnerships with at least five leading enterprises as well as initiate campus campaigns in 80 universities globally. This is on top of its ongoing effort to expand in Europe with its partnership with DAO project, ditCraft, and wine company Vault wines as well as in Switzerland.
Dapps development front
The IOST ecosystem saw the introduction of a new Chrome extension wallet dubbed as Jetstream. It was from the same team that brought as Herorats and one of the developers that participated in the interoperability challenge last August 2019. IOST moon, an upcoming crash/bustabit-like dapp in IOST, initiated its seed phase sale and is expected to launch in the following months. Another development is AIOU’s charity information disclosure platform was officially launched. The platform is built on top of the IOST blockchain with the main aim of improving transparency for charities, a timely dapp in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of the IOST developer partner node, IOST TOOL, has recently released a new tool that will enable anyone to launch IRC-20 tokens on IOST in just minutes. The new feature is called One-Click Token Launch. According to IOST official blog-post creating tokens will only cost 3 IOST the article also shows a quick tutorial on how it is done with the required resources. Another node partner, BlockArcade teased IOST users with a new game cryptorun which is reminiscent of an old arcade game in the mid 80’s.
Unfortunately, we also saw two dapps closing down BISS exchanges and Endless. The former due to regulatory challenges in China and the latter due to team adjustment of the project. The IOST team asked the community to move their digital assets away from the BISS exchange as soon as possible.
The new year also saw several new partnerships for IOST. ROAD, a blockchain project focused on the Internet of Vehicles, and IOST reached an agreement to co-develop this blockchain sector. It was incubated by INTchain which also reached an agreement with IOST to promote the application of IoT. Furthermore, IOST and Suterusu reached a strategic partnership to carry out in-depth technical cooperation on blockchain privacy protection and application. Suterusu will use their zero-knowledge protocol ZK-ConSNARK to build a second layer sidechain for IOST that will increase privacy in transactions.
Another notable partnership is between IOST represented by IOST Terry Wang and the University of Zurich represented by Professor Claudio Tessone, Co-founder and Academic Director of the University of Zurich Blockhain Center. They have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on data analysis, IOST platform research. According to IOST they are looking forward to wider cooperation and collaboration with the University. As part of the partnership, Terry will teach at the Blockchain Summer School Program on “Deep Dive into Blockchain” in the Swiss university
Debrief and IOST also revealed their partnership. According to Debrief Medium post both project plan to secure communications and revolutionize data privacy around the world. IOST states that Debrief is the leading secure business communication dApp in the industry. It shows IOST’s commitment to build and improve the architecture for online services and put data security and privacy at its center. Not much has been shared about this partnership but one can be assured that this partnership will bring more value into the IOST ecosystem.
Finally, IOST Joins Troy’s “Brokerage Reward and Staking Program” as a Partner Node and establishes a strategic partnership with TROY. According to IOST, they will focus on collaborating in scalability development with IOST assisting TROY in developing a scaling solution on Layer 2 off-line trading layer in TROY network. The Brokerage Reward and Staking Program aims to generate rewards for brokers and holders of TROY.
Despite the many macro socio-economic challenges we are experiencing this year IOST supporters have many reasons to celebrate. The project shows amazing resiliency and will continue to develop and move forward. Thanks to the IOST developer community, partner nodes and the undying support of loyal users IOST thrives and will continue to push the envelope to bring the best blockchain platform in the industry. This relentless pursuit of excellence has not gone unnoticed as it has earn accolades for IOST and acknowledgment of its technology.
After winning as one of the most promising blockhain company it was recently ranked number six in the CCID quarterly report registering the second-highest score in terms of technology. It was the first time IOST was included in the list and have jump over several bigger chains including NEO and BTC. In addition to this Sesameseed.org has revealed that it is interested considering supporting IOST in their platform. Sesameseed is a blockchain community that provides fair and transparent representation in delegated governance. Sesameseed currently supports ONT and TRX.
The IOST good news does stop there recently IOST Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) which they launched last year gained additional legitimacy by being the first blockchain project that was interviewed by AWS China. The service was also the first blockchain project that was advertised on AWS Cloud Computing WeChat account as their first high-quality blockchain cooperation and was advertised on AWS China website. This gives IOST huge exposure to would-be developers who plan to utilize blockchain technology to deploy decentralized applications. This is a recognition of IOST’s excellence in this nascent industry.