NX Capital

David Chapman

Factomize
Thank you for your application. I think what you're offering is very needed within the Factom ecosystem. To start:

A.
We can share our expertise on legal matters related to taxation, money licensing, and other regulatory hurdles. We will continue to invest in clarifying these legal liabilities and share our knowledge with the community.
What medium would you utilize for sharing such expertise? Would you charge a fee? If so, how much? What entities within the Factom ecosystem would be able to utilize such a service?
 

Xavier Chen

LayerTech
A. One of our team members is a licensed attorney in Illinois and Texas. She also has extensive international experience. Before coming to U.S., she passed the bar in China (but didn't practice)*. Our plan is to make her available to the community on discord channels, your forum, reddit, or whatever is appropriate for the community. Any questions that impact the community as a whole, she'll be available. If it is beyond her expertise, she can seek out counsel from appropriate law firms. Essentially, she can be the central point of contact until the community is mature enough to do something different. We plan pay for her time. Any additional billing from outside law firms, we plan to cover from that 25% internal grant fund. At this early stage, I think it is appropriate for her to help all entities in the Factom ecosystem. The only cavet is that the question/answer should be transparent so the community can create a repository of legal knowledge for future entities. Any legal questions that entities want to keep private or to the benefit of the entity (not the community), the entities will have to work out hourly rate or flat rate with her. Our entity won't be involved in that. If you want her to answer more specific questions, I can have her log on and answer herself.

* RenMin University of China Law School, #1 law school in China.
 
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Xavier Chen

LayerTech
B. We plan to build this EC marketplace on top of our Project Parity and Project Stasis. Since the infrastructure will be there, might as well use it to buy and sell Entry Credits for Factom community. I didn't talk about it in the application, but I believe EC can serve as a reserve currency (stable coin) for the crypto community. So part of the internal grant money will be used to explore how EC can be utilized as stable coin in our arbitrage market place and tokenization of assets. Lots of unknowns that attorneys need to answer even before we build out the technical framework (money transmitter license and SEC rules).
 
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David Chapman

Factomize
B. We plan to build this EC marketplace on top of our Project Parity and Project Stasis. Since the infrastructure will be there, might as well use it to buy and sell Entry Credits for Factom community. I didn't talk about it in the application, but I believe EC can serve as a reserve currency (stable coin) for the crypto community. So part of the internal grant money will be used to explore how EC can be utilized as stable coin in our arbitrary market place and tokenization of assets. Lots of unknowns that attorneys need to answer even before we build out the technical framework (money transmitter license and SEC rules).
As EC can't be transferred without actually transferring the private key, could you elaborate on your vision for this?
 

Xavier Chen

LayerTech
C. While reading through other people's applications I realized many applicants emphasized their technical team a lot more than we do. Our application emphasizes our business and legal acumen (not saying our technical skillset is lacking) because we're focusing on building the business ecosystem that needs to be there alongside Factom Protocol. With that being said, we have two other individuals who are not on the application because of temporary NDA and immigration status concerns. Similarly we have personnels based in Ireland and Japan who will help maintain the servers but since we haven't sign any contracts with them, we didn't feel comfortable including them as members on the application. I don't know if this is the appropriate venue to point out that informational gap in our application, but I don't want us to lose because of this subtle difference with other applicants.
 
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Xavier Chen

LayerTech
As EC can't be transferred without actually transferring the private key, could you elaborate on your vision for this?
B2: My vision is to have a repository of EC exist on our cold wallet. It will back our internal stablecoin that can be called EC or some other names (like fiat backed by gold). Since it exists within our platform, it won't be transferred in and out... it'll be used more as internal accounting. Second part of this depends on the legal guidance by security experts. Our corporate entity will allow all of our users to essentially established their own subsidiary within our corporate entity. So each account would be backed by real world corporate entity. This means they will have full control over their trading/investment accounts so full control over private keys associated with those accounts. This opens up a lot of possibilities which is why in our application, I mentioned that we can pass the tax savings to other authority nodes and our clients since they'll get that tax saving by being part of our corporate entity. (With strict legal agreement so everyone is protected and not being taken advantages of even though there's a parent/subsidiary relationship) Does this answer your concern? Let me know if I need to bring our developer in who can better answer the technical side of using EC.

P.S. Are these answer available to the public and other guides? (The instruction said it'll be made public but the forum still shows it as Private so I'm confused) Some of the future answers might go into our business "secrets" and I don't feel comfortable sharing everything on a public forum. And will I need to repeat these answer to other guides?
 
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Matt Osborne

Go Immutable
Exchange Working Group
Legal Working Group
In return, our involvement as part of the Authority Nodes benefits Factom community in multiple ways: Reducing factoid supply hitting the market (increase factoid price); break into financial industry beyond mortgage products (stock exchanges are worth couple trillion dollar with billion+ daily trade that needs to be notarized in U.S. alone);
Can you clarify how you would help Factom break into the financial industry beyond mortgage products? Thanks
 

Matt Osborne

Go Immutable
Exchange Working Group
Legal Working Group
P.S. Are these answer available to the public and other guides? (The instruction said it'll be made public but the forum still shows it as Private so I'm confused) Some of the future answers might go into our business "secrets" and I don't feel comfortable sharing everything on a public forum. And will I need to repeat these answer to other guides?
Forums are public, so don't share anything sensitive :)
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
Thank you for your application

NK01)
We will use Datadog as external monitoring of nodes (supposing that internal monitoring tools can fail), such that all team members are notified by phone, email, discord, etc.
Could you elaborate on what you will be monitoring (external and internal)?
 

Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
Kudos for the way you are setting up the infra. Also like the kubernetes integration :)
Also like the choasmonkey thought. Not a lot of admins know about it.

Please note that current authnode - brainswap is manual and timed. So shooting guardnodes is no problem. Authnodes will need some work
 

Xavier Chen

LayerTech
@MattO All four of our products/services deal with different components of the financial market (price discovery/stability, wealth management, credit availability or liquidity, and trading). Each components complement each other to create the backbone of any financial industry. By building these components for the crypto community using Factom Protocol as its foundation, we can demonstrate to the traditional businesses how Factom Protocol can be used in their business backend. This is especially true in regards to the financial industry because our products specifically target that market segment since it will be the professional traders/investors who will be using our arbitrage platform. Similarly, those trading desks will want somewhere to safely store their crypto assets, hence our wallet project targeting enterprise customers. So in building out these products we will have a lot of interaction with the existing financial players. This naturally allow us to demonstrate how Factom Protocol not only benefit us in the crypto community, but can also be used in their traditional business layer to save on cost and help with regulatory compliance.

I don't believe I'm the only one considering this. Reading between the lines there are other authority node applicants, Factom Inc. included, pursuing this industry. The market is big enough for all of us (see the size of equity market alone) and we should all try to break into this market differently for the benefit of Factom Protocol. But I believe our approach will be the most organic and can produce the quickest result.

And if you look at our team make up, we have individuals who are not only technical but also have a lot of ties to the traditional industries, especially financial related. Prior to my career in real estate investment, I worked in M&A, logistics, and web development. Our attorney spearheaded a startup platform for small to medium businesses that automates various deal structures (stock sales, assets sales, mergers, 338(h)(10) elections, etc.) And lastly, we have various advisors not included in the application who either have direct tie or work at CFTC (regulates futures and option market), CME Group (derivative & futures), big trading desks and the Fed.
 
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Niels Klomp

BI Foundation
Core Committee
Governance Working Group
NK02)
You state that you have 3 members with sysadmin experience totaling 18 years of experience. For one member this is apparent. Could you make a breakdown in years for each member and only include real production administration? I have seen the numbers of 2 members, but want to ascertain real production administration on servers; not an occasional login in a server
 

Xavier Chen

LayerTech
@Niels NK01:

Tom's response: "By internal vs external we mean monitoring not based on something embedded into the docker containers (e.g., how community testnet docker is set up) to represent external monitoring. We will use out-of-the-box monitoring for compute instances like memory usage, CPU utilization, and disk space remaining. We will also look into custom checks to make sure the required ports are responding in an expected way. Finally, the agent itself will report if the instance or agent installed on the instance has failed. Because we are using service not running on the machine itself to track all that data we can have reliable alerts and reliable time-series data to audit. We have noted that brainswap for authnodes needs more attention."

Xavier's addendum: I hope that fully addressed your questions. We don't pretend to have the perfect solution to infrastructure problems but we can pledge to share what we build with other authority node operators. In doing so, we (operators) can all adopt and improve over time. In my opinion, even though we are supposed to be "competitors", the technical component of the protocol is not where we should be competing. So moving forward, we have a very open source philosophy approach on sharing technical problems/solutions. (I hope other operators share the same philosophy for the benefit of the protocol)
 
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Xavier Chen

LayerTech
@Niels NK02:

Thanks for asking this question, we would hoping to have a chance to expand on our technical capability. And sorry for the delay. I had to wait for Jason's confirmation regarding his section.

Tom's experience is obvious. out of that 18 years, 10 years come from his end. But using raw number is not a very perfect measurement because the depth of his experience goes beyond that 10 years.

Out of that 18, 5-7 years come from Jason. When he was a computer science major he worked between 1-2 years at Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation that handled state testing for high schools. He managed over 150 work stations in that capacity. Currently he has 5+ years of experience in the healthcare industry dealing with patient billing data. He manages proof of concept, testing, and production servers that handle million+ patient data in live environment. He builds them out himself and manage/train other personnel.

Compared to Tom, Jason’s experience does not primarily focus on server management. He is more focused on ensuring bill data integrity and do extensive data analytics on these data. He also has lots of management experience. As our organization grows, we plan to tap into those two competitive strength to properly scale. But in the meantime, he has enough technical skill to comfortably serve as junior sysadmin under Tom’s guidance.

I (Xavier) make up the reminding 2-4 years of experience. Through high school and university, I run my own servers as hobby and business (web hosting, NAS, and email). After college, I worked as web developer for 2 years and had to handle the web servers in both test and production environments. And last two years, I worked at my startup (video streaming) that utilized AWS.

I have the least amount of experience but know enough coding and been around server infrastructure long enough that I can serve as backup in case of emergency since I’ll on call 24/7 to coordinate any emergency node restart amongst operators.

Lastly, we have two other personnel at Japan and Ireland who have 2 and 3 year experience in production administration of servers respectively. They’re will be brought onboard as junior sysadmins once we get selected as an operator and their number of years are not part of the 18 year figure. And two additional personnel not included in the application are also on standby due to temporary concern about immigration status (visa) and NDA (work contract with major corporation). Their focus is on AI, equity and derivative trading platform, and optimization. Their experience is not in server management so also not included in the 18 year figure.

It is hard to quantify our various technical experiences into a raw number of years so that’s why we picked 18 with more weight going to Tom and less weight on Jason and I and discounting our backups completely. We have plan to bring more senior sysadmins on board but at this early stage it doesn't make financial sense and we want to wait to see the true needs of Factom nodes.
 
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