Internet of People AMA - October 2019

Sam [ARK Team] Let us all welcome the team from IOP ( - you will be speaking with @Markus, @Cristiaan Brans ( and @wigy, who you may be familiar with from the most recent ARK Crypto Podcast episode. Please allow them a minute or two to provide an overview of all things IOP! You can then start asking them questions. I'd ask the team from IOP to use @ username to the one responding (no nested threads) and all of the community to give them some time to catch up if too many questions are in backlog, before asking more, so questions don't get lost. Thank you and let's begin! :ark: Cristiaan Brans ( Awesome :slightly_smiling_face: Hi all,

We are @Markus @wigy and me Memnon or my real name @Cristiaan Brans ( from Internet of People, you might have heard us during during the recent podcast with Justin

We're currently focussing on delivering our digital identity solution for the UAN a Mexican university with 30.000 students that will use our DID based digital identity solution for all of their students by 2020. Our solution consists of many different elements, such as the communication layer, the identity management layer and others, but also of a blockchain ofcourse.

In our grand vision we had imagined to build our own chain from ground up, however we were pleasantly surprised when we found Ark, it's structure nearly identically matches with our vision of how a blockchain should be. Hence we've deceided to make an Ark-technology based chain, it's called Hydra and it's already in mainnet. Our hydra is a utility token the purpose of which is to create and manage DIDs or persona's as well call it on the hydra chain.

We're happy to see, next to shared vision on blockchain, also a very friendly and cooperative community. We'd love to join that wider community in the powered by ark program as we many area's where we could enhance eachother, plus we beleive in strength through cooperation of similar minded in the blockchain space.

Why are we building our wider soltuon, and what is it all about ? ... well let me take an excerpt from our whitepaper before receiving your questions....

``Online identity is a mess. Despite the Internet’s reputation for anonymity, it is virtually impossible to perform any action online with true privacy. At the same time, processes for willingly verifying identity or other claims are cumbersome, unintuitive, and reliant on a handful of centralized providers or imperfectly replicated versions of offline systems.

Internet of People (IOP) is building on fundamentals provided by organizations such as W3C to provide decentralized self-sovereign identity and trust solutions

via an interdependent ecosystem of open protocols, decentralized tools, and services built with the latest cryptographic technologies and secured by the Hydra blockchain and token.

Once complete, the IOP stack will give users full control over their identities and their personal and professional connections. Anyone can use IOP to present

verifiable claims without the need for a third party or compromising their privacy. This has the potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries, as well as providing access to proof of identity, credentials, and ownership to billions of currently underserved people. Simple yet powerful tools will allow businesses and institutions to connect directly with their target customer base without the costs, hassle, and security and regulatory liabilities associated with harvesting and storing unnecessary data.

Among other business use cases, this will pave the way for a new kinds of verifiable credentials and tools for requesting and sharing them in a way which matches current user and business needs, while also opening up these markets to the huge numbers of people across the world who currently lack access to these services.``

.... Having read this. Fire away any questions you might have.

Ray.Alva [ARK Team] This question is general in scope, and a good starting point to those who haven't listened to the podcast yet:

What attracted IOP to ARK and what about the ARK platform excites your team in terms of developing IOP? .

Sam [ARK Team] Also in your opening statement you mention that "we were pleasantly surprised when we found Ark, it's structure nearly identically matches with our vision of how a blockchain should be" Can you elaborate on this? Markus @Ray.Alva [ARK Team]

We needed a blockchain, that can fulfill our needs to add our DID system to it. Our Bitcoin fork was not sufficient for that. Plus we looked out for an outstanding community and open source project without corporations behind it. As I know Lisk quiet well and now the beginnings of Ark and our Core Devs also just love the technical possibilities it was for us a no-brainer. wigy @Ray.Alva [ARK Team] Although our developers have less experience in TypeScript/JavaScript than say Rust or Java, the implementation of ark-core is quite legible, extensible and matched our ideas well.

Dexter Did you evaluate many/any other blockchains before you settled on ARK? Where did they fall short for you? And where did ARK stand out?

Matthew [ARK Team] I'd like to understand how you plan to differentiate yourself from the others in what could be seen as a crowded niche. Civic would obviously be the longest standing and most pure identity play in the industry right now, and even they have seen very little adoption outside of a few smaller industry partnerships. What makes you think that you can succeed where a team with much greater resources (money & experience) have seemingly failed? What do you plan to do different in regards to your core product and how you present it, to garner attention outside of blockchain enthusiasts? While I have nothing against blockchain enthusiasts, we can't grow the industry without pushing meaningful solutions to actual customers who need them. I see you have one University already potentially lined up as a test case, do you intend to use this to try and leapfrog initially with universities as a core target audience, or do you have larger plans? (Sorry, I know that is a loaded question)

Cristiaan Brans ( @Sam [ARK Team] we had envisioned in our concept the use of bridgechains for instance with our concept of Hydra. As we are have a community centric solution. Ark perfectly supplies this.

Markus @Matthew [ARK Team] excellent question, Civic is the only competitor we see quiet close in the ID vision to us. But we have other options, I think @Cristiaan Brans ( is taking this answer further...

Cristiaan Brans ( @Matthew [ARK Team] you are correct we do want to use the UAN Mexico contract and real life use and leapfrog initially with universities. We do have a ambitious ambassador plan already planned to secure more deals with similar sized and larger communities. Not just in the education field, but you can think also for instance on some applications / websites with a large user base who would benefit from a digital identity and claim verification system. The successful real life use cases will eventually snowball is the plan.

Dexter As well as the project with UAN are there any future projects/ implementations of your solution already in the pipeline for IOP?

wigy @Dexter There was a year when our dev team read 2-3 whitepapers daily. Many of those projects are now out of business. We wanted to move away from POW to be able to open up our blockchain without risking 51% attacks. Ethereum or Tezos tokens were out of question because of the gas costs for some of our use-cases. Also, building and maintaining our own blockchain was not too important based on our focus. (edited)

Markus @Dexter yes we evaluated many projects. We are since 2016 on the crypto market and following the developments. Building a one click solution blockchain system, with bridgechains is something outstanding and here Ark really shines, next to its Delegates system. I mean, it is truly different from Ethereum based approaches. From Business perspective I see here lot more potential in building real-world apps, that are not only blockchain gas costs focussed, but user-centric (hence our DID system).

wigy @Dexter We cannot disclose some of those projects, but we have some in the funnel.

Markus @Dexter there is a pilot project that they want to build with our DID on this blockchain. cam (cams_yellow_jacket) How would you feel if you became the "first" PBA identity solution in the ark ecosystem and other identity solutions connected to ark? Are you trying to be the exclusive identity chain in the ecosystem?

Zappo who would you say is currently the closest competitor in blockchain space, who resembles you the most?

cam (cams_yellow_jacket) I recall you mentioning you're not working on a budget of sorts in your podcast, is that still true or was that just initially? Where is your breaking point/ funding going to run out?

Tokenrock To be fair NoS has a simple identity mechanism in place so exclusivity is already problematic. :sunglasses:

wigy @Dexter Also, ARK has a real scaling advantage for separating infrastructure for different use-cases. If you read the Hydra project in our whitepaper, this privacy improving solution was chosen by us way before we settled on Ark.

Cristiaan Brans ( @cam (cams_yellow_jacket) we would be honored to be the first ofcourse. I'll let @Markus speak about what if others connect.

Markus @cam (cams_yellow_jacket) we are planning to be absolutely W3C standards conform. That means we don't fear other ID solutions, the more useful will make it. And in the Open source world there are many ways that reach Rome. We probably will be compatible with them as well. (edited)

Tokenrock Did you do a cost analysis for deploying ark vs. other blockchains? If so, can some of that be made available to the public?

Cristiaan Brans ( @cam (cams_yellow_jacket) we currently have a Dutch auction running at which is running well. We're using the funds that come in through that to expand our efforts. Details can be found on

Internet of PeopleInternet of People

Hydra Token Sale on SimpleSwap I Become a part of the revolution :rocket:

The Hydra Token is live on I Internet of People is taking the next step to building the Internet of the future I Be a part.(2 MB)

Matthew [ARK Team] ARK has been known to be active in the Hackathon and workshop arena in the past. We also have a partnership with MLH building a workshop teaching the basics of blockchain and ARK Tech and getting the word out and we have partnered with a University near our CTO, Kristjan, for an internship program. Needless to say, Universities are very familiar ground for us and somewhere that we have seen particular interest in Blockchain concepts. The younger generations really are in the middle of this transition phase in which they will grow up with the technology and Bitcoin like we did with the Internet and social media. Do you have any intentions to grow and develop an outreach program or an educational program that would not only help Universities use your technology for their credentialing, but also to use that partnership to help push the technology in general forward? This seems like a great opportunity to merge our workshops, the ARK technology, and your credentialing system (which is something their leadership would understand) to show how blockchain can be used for meaningful adoption and real world implementations.

Markus @Zappo regarding blockchain - we found you. No problem here. If you look at the stack, then there are two:

1. Regarding the DID world in our stack there is Civic. All others I dont think they match our vision, as they are not gatekeeper free. All ID solutions need gatekeepers, we dont.

2. Regarding the grand vision, there is blockstream. They do pretty much what we want, but I think our way has a more modular and different approach - we have Mercury protocol, they dont. And there is Holochain.. Lets see when they are becoming ready :wink:

Cristiaan Brans ( @Tokenrock exclusivity is not what we're looking for.

@Tokenrock we did not do a cost analysis before deploying ark I am sorry.

Tokenrock Without gatekeepers how do inevitable identity problems get resolved? Who is incentivized to resolve them?

Zappo Will you keep part of the solutions you build as closed source or will everything be open sourced?

Dexter What are some of the immediate goals / what’s the roadmap for IOP for the immediate future. Say the next 6 months - 2 years?

Markus @Matthew [ARK Team] we have an Ambassador program, we are setting up a Bounty program. Then we have the IOP Ventures company that can do a lot around building the other stack components. And then there is a foundation governing the code, making sure it stays not in a company hands but is free and GPL3 conform or similar license. This Foundation is forstering the ecosystem and has some coins in funds.

We are atm not like Litecoin in this problematic situation and hope to find a good economic model: (edited)

Tokenrock Sorry I haven't read the white paper yet.

wigy @Tokenrock We start with use-cases where the witnesses actually know or met the subjects in real life. Also, witnesses will be well-known for those first use-cases which have a bigger community. Later we have project Fides defined in our whitepaper so global use-cases handle reputation-based flagging of users. (edited)

Cristiaan Brans ( @Tokenrock no worries, we hope that you'll read all 42 pages afterwards.

wigy We chose AGPLv3, GPLv3 and LGPLv3, because although some investors do not like it, we would like to signal that we are not doing a VC exit. The IoP Stack :tm: will always be a public, open-source project with a community around it. (edited)

Markus @Tokenrock following here in the beginning a Web of Trust model... that can be done with Prometheus, but as wigy said, in the future we go a step further with Fides. (edited)

Sam [ARK Team] In termed of Fides and reputation based flagging. What measures can you put in place to ensure that people aren't creating fake personas through your application? How could you enforce a form of punishment to "respected" members of communities wrongly verifying people for bribes etc.

Zappo Are you going to wait for ark core v3 to go live or you planning to push with their v2.6 and upgrade when v3 becomes public?

Ray.Alva [ARK Team] If IOP were to be accepted into PBA. What are some things you would be interested in building in conjunction with the ARK Ecosystem? From the Podcast I recall some of your devs were reporting issues/patching, but what makes you excited about collaborating?

Markus @Zappo I guess wigy will answer your question too, but from managing perspective I like to push the devs to be as quick as possible. :stuck_out_tongue:

wigy @Sam [ARK Team] Our goal is not to avoid sybil attacks. On the contrary, our goal is that any user can have as many personas as they want. But Fides will make sure you cannot build proper reputation on all your personas, because everyone has only 24 hours in their days :wink:

Tokenrock Are there any potential delegate duties that are specific to IoP?

Cristiaan Brans ( @Dexter we are attaching the DID's / Persona to the chain and with this we are also completing our contract with the UAN University in Mexico. Following that we'll see what comes from the real world situations with that. And further develop in our projects Athena Fidis and Themis for instance.

Zappo what parameters will you be changing for your blockchain (number of delegates, rewards, transcation times, ....) ?

spaghetti ( / civseed) Any GPG integrations planned?

wigy @Zappo 2.6 already gives us features to implement our own transaction types for DID document versioning. When we will migrate to 2.6 depends only how we can release other features ahead of that in our backlog.

Markus @Ray.Alva [ARK Team] good question. Collaboration would be a win-win situation: We don't need to worry much about the Blockchain part, bridge chains, plugins, etc... and we can give back parts of our stack, like the mercury protocol, or DIDs to Ark.. etc

Cristiaan Brans ( @Tokenrock currently not, but this will evolve as our communities will evolve.

Tokenrock Should I assume that an eventual use case is cryptographically tying University degrees to the personas?

Matthew [ARK Team] My question above was about partnering together on educational outreach and not anything regarding economic models or funding. Not sure why attacking Litecoin makes any sense in this context. Seems like an odd choice. But since you brought up economic models and funding, I don't believe you are publicly tracking the amount sold in each round of your funding, I don't see an easily accessible "total raised" section, nor do I see anything outlining what extended development and marketing will potentially cost, or what you believe is necessary to meet your goals. Do you plan on providing greater insight into your economic model, how much you think sustained development and outreach might cost (2-3 years), and the general success to date of your token swap?

Markus @spaghetti ( / civseed) many features will be added, they are on the backlog already.

wigy @Zappo We have mainnet running, so you can check all those parameters there


The Hydra Blockchain. . Contribute to Internet-of-People/hydra-core development by creating an account on GitHub.

Cristiaan Brans ( @spaghetti ( / civseed) so its not on the active roadmap but definately what we look at towards the future.

spaghetti ( / civseed) Can look into stuff like this (edited)

Cristiaan Brans ( @Tokenrock yes that's not even an eventual use case, but one of the first ones I expect. It can confirm it has crossed our tables in discussions with them.

@spaghetti ( / civseed) as a heavy GPG user myself, I'll definitely look into it. (edited)

wigy @spaghetti ( / civseed) We have our HD wallet that derives your personas from a single seed. You will be able to attach unrelated keys to that wallet later. We are very careful so you can restore the whole wallet on a new device by just entering a single seed (edited)

Markus @Matthew [ARK Team] its not an attack, I wanted to point out that there is a Foundation that can to educational things, making sure all is on its way. Sorry, if that feels like pointing fingers. Last week for example we have splitted the wallets publicity accordingly to the funding as in the pitch deck and we are keeping them transparent, the company has some funds, the foundation and all expenses will be published openly during the next weeks. (edited)

Tokenrock Cool. Then credit/hours and such must be on the table too. It would be great to see the courses and maybe even grades for a job applicant.

Zappo I like the hydra as a name, where did you get inspiration from or what was the reasoning behind chosing this name (if any)?

Cristiaan Brans ( @Tokenrock yes and what excites me is that it will be used in many different faculties.. and every one of those has their own user-story and challenges that they can solve with this system. We'll really see our system come to life.

I almost want to insert a "It's alive, it's alive" gif after this :wink:

Tokenrock Now you are edging into Factom territory. Goodness knows they need competition!

Matthew [ARK Team] If we take a look at your website, it looks like you have a lot of components to your stack. This stack appears to be the foundation you discussed in regards to creating a full platform from scratch. Many of the components, such as Mercury, Themis, and Prometheus seem like they are basically taken care of by ARK Core and would not necessarily need to be re-branded, re-developed, or marketed as new solutions, unless you plan to drastically alter the functionality of something like the P2P layer. Can you comment on this a bit? Are you planning on re-arranging your priorities now that you have moved to ARK and focus less on some of these "platform" level components and direct your attention more towards the application level components (like the DID system)? Or do you still plan to make major adjustments to ARK Core and re-brand/launch it as a custom IOP solution for creating blockchains?

Markus @Zappo Hydra may sound to some US people offensive, but we stick in our project names to the Greek mythology (only Mercury is an exception because Hermes was taken). Imagine something like a multiheaded blockchain, and if some evil entity wants to kill a community, then we just open a new one. If you look at Central Banks then they are the Hydra and we now flipside this around. That was the birth and idea of Hydra. And Ark fits that one well with the bridgechain. You can read about my initial ideas here: (edited)

wigy @Tokenrock We need to emphasize that when you are applying to a job, it is you who present the grades to the company and not the university or the blockchain does. Using the prometheus application and some dapps built on top of it, you can point to blockchain transactions and use other cryptographic algorithms though to prove the timeline of your courses and the validity of the witnesses on your claims. (See W3C DID and Verifiable Claims presentations) (edited)

Markus @Matthew [ARK Team] Mercury is unique, and exactly what makes Universities want us. They dont need to put a blockchain on a VPN or Tor or something like that. Also with Mercury you deliver much more than what a blockchain is doing. (edited)

Cristiaan Brans ( @Matthew [ARK Team] Titania and Mercury had long been developed internally, they have their own code based, written in rust, their own idea's and philosophy. We looked at Ark mainly for the blockchain function and didn't look to replace any of our other building blocks. We will obviously look and see what's more viable. I don't see merit in re-branding or re-developing anything from scratch. But I do see merit in similar solutions enhancing eachother. Hopefully to the mutual benefit of both communities. We'll be suggesting idea's / making comments and this will perhaps also happen vice-versa. What the picture will look like in the end- I don't know it's what is formed during co-development (edited)

Sam [ARK Team] Just 10 minutes remaining of the AMA - Get your questions in while you can

spaghetti ( / civseed) I'm not completely versed with you guys yet, and for that my apologies, will there be reputation scores for witnesses?

wigy @spaghetti ( / civseed) That is what the Fides project is about. But reputation is something that is screwed up by many projects if implemented too early. Khm... Uber. Businesswise it make sense to start with building on Titania, Mercury, Morpheus and Hydra first. We use Ark only for the Hydra project. Fides will build on top of Hydra of course. (edited)

spaghetti ( / civseed) I see

Matthew [ARK Team] Maybe this is a silly question, and pardon me for my ignorance if it is, but if the data and credentialing is being stored on the ARK Bridgechain and the actual credentials can be created and signed with a custom transaction that the University essentially signs to validate the credential is real, that can all be done with ARK Core and a few custom transactions. Where does Mercury play into that process and why a need for an additional P2P layer/system?

Markus @spaghetti ( / civseed) ... and Fides will be for the benefit of everyone, like all our stack projects. It is modular, so Ark can take what they want and enhance their stuff, or take ideas, or we even cooperate on some stuff, exchange ideas, develop together, build synergies, all is open and depends on how it will work out. (edited)

wigy @Matthew [ARK Team] This is a pretty good question actually. Our DID implementation is privacy-first and GDPR compliant. We use the blockchain for ordering events, but storing actual non-hashed data there is possible, but discouraged. Mercury is used to transfer the non-hashed presentations, witness requests, signed claims, all P2P without touching the blockchain. (edited)

Dexter One of the main goals of the powered by ARK program is to encourage ARK bridgechains to work together and for members to contribute to the ecosystem in the future right? Is this something that you see IOP participating in. Do you see any areas where you could add real value / where you'd like to get involved in growing the ecosystem as a whole?

wigy @Dexter We would like to add our experience in cryptography to improve user experience in Ark wallets. We see you have a Ledger app and support already some other HD-wallet solutions, but ark-desktop-wallet might also benefit from those improvements.

@Dexter Also, long-term we would like to allow using Mercury in addition to the current websocket-based solution in ark nodes. This might improve privacy and reduce requirements on running relay nodes. (edited)

Cristiaan Brans ( great example @wigy and yes @Dexter in a broader sense I do, our engineers are broadly oriented and always thinking on how things can be improved. If we're part of the powered by ark program we'll have bring that mindset to the table not only for our own end but for the broader Ark community.

Markus It is actually a strength in our team, cryptographically improvements. We like to work more on the infrastructure level and protocols behind things than on apps itself.

Sam [ARK Team] Okay, the hour is up and that concludes the AMA. A special thank you to @Markus, @Cristiaan Brans ( and @wigy for taking the time to answer our questions today. Thanks to all those who participated too. I learnt a lot and I hope you did too!

spaghetti ( / civseed) Thanks for coming on guys

Tokenrock Thanks!

Markus Thank you, Ark community for giving us a fair chance to present us in a natural way how we really are. Cool, and I hope to see you later! (edited)

Cristiaan Brans ( And of course, feel free to ask me anything at any other time also. We're not just limited to AMA's :wink:

wigy Personally I do not promise being available every day on Slack, but I am available on Ark discord and our IoP discord channel as well. (edited)