The Factom Protocol recently went live with Milestone 3, which officially decentralized the network. The first 21 Authority Nodes were elected, and will receive compensation via the underlying token (FCT) in return for operating the servers responsible for decentralizing the protocol. The structure of Factom requires each of the Authority Node Operators to choose an “efficiency” at which they will operate. Efficiency determines what percentage of their monthly 1,100 FCT that each Authority Node Operator will leave with the protocol in the form of a grant pool. For example, if operating at 40% efficiency, an Authority Node receiving 1,100 FCT will accept only 660 FCT and the remaining 440 FCT will not be awarded to the Authority Node but instead will go to the grant pool. Individuals and companies can then apply for these grant funds to further the protocol via development, marketing, or some other means. Following the first round of grant fund applications, seven grants were approved. The proposal summaries of these successful grant applications are outlined below.
General Development Grant – 30,000 FCT per month for 3 months. This grant submitted by Factom Inc. was the largest proposed grant and contains a comprehensive development strategy for the team. The goals of the grant are to:
A. Strengthen the software against consensus failures.
B. Increase capacity of the network.
C. Improve Networking:
- Add intelligence to reduce network load and increase coverage of “gossip” messages (messages the whole network needs to see).
- Improve recovery paths, i.e. missing messages, syncing with blocks
D. Build infrastructure for automated governance:
- Work with TFA and community to provide on-chain voting
- Build support for protocol visibility of governance
E. Refactor the internal code into neat, compartmentalized processes that model how Factom will execute upon sharding:
- Restructure messages to support better maintenance
- Restructure the packages to put code defining message behavior
- Implementation of a router for messages to the proper VMs
- Implement internal sharding.
- Fix, clean up, simplify, and reduce code paths
F. Support other Grantees, Authority Node Operators, Developers, Users
G. Increase the awareness and promote the adoption of the Factom Protocol. We want any project requiring the trusted data capabilities delivered by blockchain technology to choose the Factom Protocol as their implementation strategy. Factom Inc. with continue to push adoption through our SaaS implementation on top of the Factom Protocol but we also want projects that want to write directly to the protocol to also choose the Factom Protocol and the goal of this proposal is to promote the advantages of the base protocol to the projects, organization and tool makers in need of a blockchain protocol. The Factom Protocol, with its unique two token approach, addresses the three problems most cited by blockchain critics. Factom’s ability to shard solves the scaling roadblock, its approach of not using a coin to write data to the blockchain eliminates constraints on data complexity, and likewise the entry credit provides a rational and consistent cost model. These three advantages made the Factom Protocol a superior solution to solve most business use cases with the following specific goals:
- Build awareness both within the blockchain industry and within the broader technical community of the unique advantages of the Factom Protocol. Our goal is to increase the representation of the Factom Protocol at key industry events.
- Publish white papers and use cases promoting uses of the Factom Protocol in key industries.
- Publish tutorial materials to make it easy for developers to integrate the Factom Protocol into existing and future projects.
- Assign resources specifically to promoting the Factom Protocol to the blockchain community as well and the broader technical community.
Java Enterprise Client Library – 1,200 FCT – This software grant was submitted by the Blockchain Innovation Foundation and approved by the Authority Nodes. It will create an open source java client library that is easy to integrate. The goal is to make Factom Protocol integration available for enterprise products.
On-Chain Voting Protocol – $227,391.20 worth of FCT – This development grant which is a partnership between The Factoid Authority, Luciap, MyFactomWallet, and Factomatic will define the specification for an on-chain voting system, develop a basic voting system to satisfy the immediate needs of the community (such as simple yes/no votes and multi-selection ballots), and research and define more elaborate voting schemes using technologies such as zero knowledge proofs (ZKP) and homomorphic encryption.
Legal Review Grant – $200,000 worth of FCT – The Authority Node Set, Guides, Standing Parties, and many other entities do not have proper legal representation regarding the Factom Protocol, or publicly available legal review of the protocol. The grant will address this by forming a committee and working with law firm/s to construct a legal review and any necessary modifications to governance.
Guide Compensation – 1,883.86 FCT – The initial Guides of the Factom Protocol were promised 200 FCT per month in compensation but the grant pool was not yet ready. This is back pay for those Guides.
Anchor Master Grant – 220 FCT per month + 600 FCT reserve. This support and service grant will enable the creation of an Anchor Master who will fulfill the role until the Authority Set takes over. They will create an Ethereum Anchor within 3 months and be responsible for all anchoring fees.
Oracle Master Grant – 300 FCT per month. This support and service grant will create an Oracle Master until the Authority Set takes over the role. The Oracle Master will monitor the exchange rate and make adjustments as needed. Software for monitoring token price and alerting engineers will be created and multiple engineers will be on call to respond within 8 hours of a 20% shift in token price. Additionally, once a week the average token price must be considered to adjust for a shift in price up to 5%.
This is only just the beginning. Factom now has 21+ companies actively working to further a protocol that has its own large, and growing, war chest. These are exciting times.