Host: Please introduce yourself in brief, including your background and role in the company.
Philex Zhang: My name is Philex Zhang. I gained my Doctor‘s Degree from the National Computer Information Content Security Key Laboratory of Harbin Institute of Technology in 2012 and then worked in Feitian Safe Ltd for nearly3 years as a senior system security analyst after graduation In 2015, I went abroad and studied computer network and security for 2 years in New Zealand, and since then worked as a networking engineer there. Cryptocurrency is a key area of our information security research. It’s safe to say that I have been following the development of cryptocurrency since its birth.
Apron Network is committed to building a decentralized infrastructure service network platform to provide application developers, application users, and infrastructure operators with a decentralized network based on blockchain technology infrastructure services.
Similar to the iass\saas\pass service of infrastructure platforms such as AWS (Amazon Cloud Computing) and Alibaba Cloud.
Provide infrastructure service providers with a rapid generation of API service interfaces, and provide services for DApp&DeFi developers to help their efficient development.
Apron Network is implemented based on the substrate framework and can become a parachain of Kusama/Polkadot. Apron Network will provide node services, on-chain data indexing, quotation, and other infrastructure services for the Kusama and Polkadot ecosystems.
In the future, Apron can connect to multiple public chains such as Ethereum, BSC, Filecoin, and Helium, including Layer 2. Provide developers with low-cost multiple blockchain ecological infrastructure services.
At present, Apron Network has completed the seed round of financing, invested by Vega Ventures, PAKA, NGC Ventures, Digital Renaissance Foundation, DFG, and Candaq. At the same time, Apron Network has also obtained a grant from the Web3 Foundation.
Host: As far as we can see, there are four major modules for the participants in Apron Network: Apron Pillar Node, Apron Node, Apron Service Marketplace, and ApronSDK. So can you explain the relationships among them? And I don’t know if it’s convenient for you to disclose some of the information about the nodes that are operating and the application developers that are using Apron Network.
Philex Zhang: Apron Pillar Node is developed using the Substrate framework to provide security guarantees for the Apron Network and ensure the stable operation of the network. It is the basic network node that constitutes the Apron Network. Apron Pillar Node will be started by Apron Labs initially and will be run by participants in the community in the future.
Apron Node is the constituent node of the Apron Network. It uses the Substrate framework for development and has OCW (off-chain worker) features enabled. The basic service provider realizes the public provision of services through the Apron Node. The Apron Node synchronizes the basic service on the chain and realizes the on-chain synchronization of service usage and billing information through the OCW module.
Apron Service Marketplace matches the services provided by infrastructure service providers with the needs of DApp developers. Infrastructure service providers implement the on-chain of infrastructure services through one-click deployment of Apron Node. Apron Node will provide infrastructure services to the Apron Market smart contract through OCW and synchronize infrastructure service usage data to the smart contract. The service usage is billed by the Apron Market smart contract.
Through Apronsdk, we help more node operators to become service providers with node service capabilities, and API service interfaces can be quickly generated through Apron SDK. At the same time, they don’t need to maintain the API interface, and for many node operators, there is no need to spend extra time for maintenance. Apron helps them complete all the work. In addition, Apron will also acquire many developer users who do not need to be acquired by the service provider themselves and can help the service provider obtain new benefits.
In addition, the Apron network will also have a set of decentralized node service solutions. We use multiple service providers to serve together. Through the encryption matching algorithm, multiple service providers can provide services to users together, which can achieve decentralization.
The project is still under development. Because the Polkadot slot has not yet been auctioned, the parachain is temporarily unable to run, and the service products on heco have only begun to be used.
Host: Are there any other competitors so far for the concept with the purpose of Infura? (GRT、API3) What are the advantages for Apron Network to share a portion of this market?
Philex Zhang: The track where Apron Network is located has no direct competitors. Service providers on Apron Network will likely face service competitors such as Infura, NOWnodes, The Graph, API3, and other products in the subdivision service area. Apron Network is currently the leader on the decentralized infrastructure service platform.
At present, for infrastructure services, each project focuses on its own subdivisions, and there is no general technical solution to link various subdivisions. For example, Infura has built its own Ethereum and IPFS nodes, allowing developers to access Ethereum and IPFS node data through API services. API3 builds the oracle network by handing it over to the data source provider to run and provides cross-chain aggregated data for Dapp. BitQuery and The Graph focus on the aggregation and indexing of data on the chain so that Dapp and off-chain applications can access data on the chain, and both provide GraphQL APIs.
Host: Can you share some information about the tokenomics of $APN? I heard that you also have a DAO system. How can common investors contribute to the Apron ecosystem?
Philex Zhang: The economic model of the Apron Network is similar to that of chainlink. Users use APN (Apron token) to pay for usage fees, API service providers charge fees, and we will charge processing fees. The received processing fees will be destroyed or locked, which makes it a deflation model. For service providers, the platform will also reward them through service mining.
The maximum issuance of APN is 1 billion tokens, no pre-mining
Institutional private sale constitutes 15% of the total amount and 25–30% will be unlocked after listing, while the remaining token will be unlocked within the following year.
The team has 5% of the tokens and 15% will be unlocked every 6 months after listing
Advisor 3% having 25% unlocked after listing, while the remaining token will be unlocked within the following year.
Ecosystem construction 17%: these tokens are mainly used for LPO (slot auction), market activities, airdrops, etc., and they are managed by the foundation
APN has several utilities within the Apron ecosystem:
1. APN tokens will be used for actual payment, with business application scenarios, which can increase the value of APN
2. When the user uses the service, we will charge a service fee, which will be locked or destroyed, so APN has a deflationary model as I said before
3. We have two staking portals, which will lock most of the tokens to increase the chances of users earning income from staking
4. Our business model and multi-chain strategy will lead to more users in the future. We only issue one token, so the use scenarios of APN will be more diverse
With the increase in the number of users, we will not rule out the possibility of opening stable currency payment channels in the future. For example, after the stable currency channel is opened, an incentivizing strategy for APN payment will be released to make sure that by paying in APN tokens, both token holders and the whole ecosystem will benefit from it.
In addition, there is a role called inspector in Apron Network who will simulate real users to test service providers and monitor service quality. Inspectors will have a staking pool, and ordinary investors can put the APN tokens in it to make passive income.
Host: As far as we know, Apron Network will provide infrastructure services such as node services, on-chain data indexes, and quotation for Kusama, Polkadot, and Heco ecosystem. So is there any condition for the developer to become a node? What interest will they get?
Philex Zhang: 1. We will focus on Kusama. We will participate in Kusama’s slot auction. Because of the parachain and the characteristics of our service, we believe that we only need to secure a slot from one of the two auctions (Polkadot and Kusama) to achieve our goals.
We have already begun to provide infrastructure services in the Heco ecosystem adopting the technical architecture of the Apron network. It can be understood that this is the demo version of our future products, which is a very important first step.
2. The defi project on Heco is developing rapidly, but the current infrastructure services are still in short supply, so the Apron product on Heco will help us better establishing a user base in the Heco ecosystem. First mover advantage.
3. At Apron Network, we position ourselves as a multi-chain ecosystem infrastructure platform, so we want to be available to all the public chains, whether it’s the Polkadot ecosystem or the Heco ecosystem.
To become an Apron service node, you only need to use apron SDK and deploy it to your own node server, and you can quickly get access to Apron Network and become a node service provider. Becoming a service provider can get two parts of income, one is the paid income of users using the service and the second is the service mining revenue rewarded by the Apron platform.
Host: Can you introduce a little bit about the investment lineup and your partners?
Philex Zhang: The seed round of financing has concluded joined by PAKA, NGC, DFG, Digital Renaissance, candaq, VAGA ventures, and others
1. We currently have strategic cooperation with the Polkadot substrate tech community like OneBlock+ and rebase. In the future, we will do regular technical training salons since Apron Network’s target customers are mostly developers.
2. In addition to the tech community, we currently cooperate with blockchain and Polkadot communities in South Korea and China. There are currently more than 20 communities and groups in cooperation with us.
We focus on operating three types of communities, one in the tech community, the second is the service provider community, and the third is the token holder community. The tech community will serve to acquire customers and answer daily technical questions. The service provider community will be used to manage service quality, assist service providers with, well, providing services, and standardize service rules. The token holder community will be used to update with new use cases, road maps, partnerships, etc. as the project progress. We will also provide mini products and techs for these holders to attract potential customers to become our future service providers or users.
Host: What do you think about the development of the crypto market and the Polkadot ecosystem this year? You can tell us something about the roadmap of Apron Network this year as well.
Philex Zhang: Personally I believe 2021 will be remembered as the beginning of the Polkadot and Web3 adoption era. A singularity in some sense. We saw a variety of projects being released in the past few months and these Lego parts are being connected with one another under our own eyes. We have just received the grant from Web3 Foundation. And we’ll continue expanding our network into different ecosystems this year. Most of the hard tech parts are already been done. From this point forward our main focus will be on marketing to attract more DApp developers and eventually achieve mass adoption.
We are planning to provide node services for Ethereum and Polkadot in Q2 2021, which would be a milestone in the development of Apron Network. And from then on the adoption of other ecosystems would be much easier.
- 1 — Increasing Token price
2 — Make Token Valuable
3 — Building Community Trust
From the 3 aspects above, I want to ask, Which one the most important for you?
If all above are important for you, Which one that Will you do first?
Philex Zhang: This is a great question. I think for Apron Network these three aspects work hand in hand. As stated above we’ll focus most of our effort in the rest of 2021 on marketing and adoption, and I’m sure our tokenomics make sure that our token will be more valuable as the market grows which in turn gives our token holder community more confidence in the project.
2. How do you evaluate the support from the community? What are your strategies in building a big and strong community? What message do you want to send to the community through AMA today?
Philex Zhang: Community support is everything today in the crypto world. And we will spend a great amount of time trying to communicate our development through all the social media platforms and make sure our community will be updated as quickly as possible. We are also working side by side with a lot of tech communities to spread the word about the essential role of Apron Network in the Web3 era.
3. Only getting users, holders, etc is not everything. In my opinion, a project needs to deal with solving a real-world issue or problem What is the problem that your project primarily focuses on?
Philex Zhang: I’m sure this question is fully answered by our earlier discussion ;) just give you an example: just several days back the AWS was done for a brief amount of time that that resulted in withdrawal being disabled in BINANCE this is the problem of the centralized node service provider and I’m sure everybody agrees that it’s a huge problem. Well, Apron is here to fix exactly that!
4. What are your plans to control the inflation rate of APN?
Philex Zhang: APN adopts a deflation module, which is similar to the Chainlink module, the service provider receive the corresponding fees(our token) from developer(service users). We’ll charge a certain amount of service fees(Our tokens) in terms of service using then destroy them. Hopefully, I’ve clearly explained this for you.
5. Do you do buy back or token burn to increase the value and drive scarcity. If not, do you have plans for such in the future?
Philex Zhang: Yes we do.
6. Southeast Asia is a very vibrant market and many projects developed here so with Your project what do you think about Southeast Asia and do you have any plan to develop here?
Philex Zhang: Southeast Asia is actually the main focus of our marketing plan. We are currently working with local communities to spread awareness about Apron Network and we already have several Asian ambassadors who will support us to build our own local community.
7. No one can achieve anything valuable on their own, please tell us about your current and future partnerships that will lead you to success in this highly cramped crypto space?
Philex Zhang: We just announced our partnership with Bandot and Trustbase. And I assure you so many more partnerships are in pipeline. As we said apron network will be the infrastructure of Web3 therefore long term you can imagine Apron being adopted by virtually all crypto projects just like chainlink is doing right now.
8. Investors are afraid of scams, exchanges are afraid of scams, partners are afraid of scams, so what does Apron Network guarantee not to scam investors?
Philex Zhang: We have a very straightforward reward/punishment system to make sure all the service providers on our platform will be evaluated according to their performance and I’m telling you bad behaviors will be punished harshly that there’s no point in doing it in a financial sense.
9. What is the role of tokens in the ecosystem? Where can users currently buy it, and what would be its use?
Philex Zhang: We will be listed around mid-March so stay tuned!
10. What is the real difference between a DApp running on Ethereum and DApp running on Apron Network? What’s the benefit of one approach vs. the other?
Philex Zhang: There’s no difference in the projects per se because for those projects currently working on Ethereum they need node service as well. It’s just that they mainly rely on a centralized service provider which can potentially become troublesome when there’s something wrong happened on the service provider part.
11. DeFi and Dapps are two pillars primed to rule cryptocurrencies, what’s your strategy for DeFi and Dapps?
Philex Zhang: All DApp developers are our potential customers.
12. Marketing is a central element for every project so that everyone knows the potential that a project can bring is vital to achieving the goals set. What is your strategy to attract new users and Investors to $Your platform and keep them long-term?
Philex Zhang: We will host many educational seminars in the future and get involved in all sorts of crypto conventions to attract both service providers and customers.
13. Tell us about your plans for 2020, what are you currently working on, and are you going to expand the list of big exchanges?
Philex Zhang: I’m sure the listing plan will be surprising ;)
14. How was the idea to create this project born? It is very interesting. What do you want to prove? What are your expectations?
Philex Zhang: We see a problem with centralized node service providers and we want to fix it.
15. What are the unique points of your staking program compared with other crypto projects? Why should I choose token for staking?
Philex Zhang: There are two staking parts:
1. Apron’s service provider has to stake our tokens before they provide service.
2. Regular users also have a chance to participate in staking to support service providers and get a fixed return.
16. Most users only care about immediate benefits rather than the real value of the project in the long-term. How can Your Project convince users to invest in your platform in the long-term?
Philex Zhang: Our staking program is really lucrative and what we are trying to achieve is something groundbreaking and crucial to the web3 era. There will be immediate benefit seekers just like in any projects but we don’t really worry about it because as we progress more people will see the true potential of Apron Network. HODL AND YOULL BE REWARDED! Lol
17. Hacks have happened frequently recently. Is APN’s upcoming Network design mechanism secure enough or to fix the vulnerabilities of previous attacks?
Philex Zhang: Apron Network has a sophisticated design just to prevent hacking.
18. As an individual user, in what ways can I contribute to project growth? Do you have an ambassador program and what are its benefits?
Philex Zhang: Our 1st round Amb is closed. But any time you wanna be our amb, feel free to contact us.
19. Has your project been completely decentralized, and will there be any risk of centralization in the future?
Philex Zhang: Decentralization is a fundamental concept in Apron Network. We don’t see any chance for us to become centralized in the near future even when there are big players joining Apron Network because it will always be the customer who makes the choice.
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