Today, we’ve held our first-ever AMA session. This time, we decided to take a closer look at Nexus, a community-driven project that propels innovations & advocates responsible values as well as serves as an alternative to traditional central authorities & gives power back to people.
Our guests for today were Amanda, the team's web developer, and Jules, the Nexus ambassador team's organizer.
Amanda joined the team as an ambassador last summer, after graduating from college. She had a bit of web development experience and was eager to help out. In January, she officially joined the development team and, in addition to the website work, started learning about the project's API, hoping to be able to help develop it in the future.
Q1: Despite the fact that 2020 has been a rough and turbulent year, Nexus has shown no signs of stopping and achieved huge milestones if we look at the 2020 development report. Has the team been negatively affected by the pandemic or on the contrary benefited from lockdowns?
Amanda: Great question! The year impacted everyone differently to varying degrees. One of my favorite things about working with Nexus is seeing the team really come together when it is needed most — much like 2020! I would not say overall that the team was negatively affected or benefited. There was a bit of a learning curve, however, the team was extremely welcoming to me when I joined and made the transition easy for me! The development team is still chugging along getting more things ready for release in 2021 — so stay tuned!
Q2: Now that there are more funds available due to the increased fiat value of $NXS, how is the team planning to use those funds? Are there plans to employ more developers to speed up the development progress or use them for marketing?
Amanda: On the development side — the funds are available as reserves and for setting up future development contracts. On the ambassador side — the funds are used for content, graphics, contests, giveaways, social media, marketing, press releases, and reserves as well!
The community has really helped step it up with the marketing lately: our social media feeds are full of people talking about Nexus, and community members have really amped up the promotion lately! All suggestions and ideas are welcome — anyone is free to join our Slack channel and drop their ideas in our community suggestions channel.
Jules: We have hired a business development representative, and we are likely to hire another person to support use case development if the price maintains. We are also contracting more hours to our ambassadors for the purpose of writing content, language translating, technical support, and contracting out to video makers.
Q3: The Nexus decentralized internet design seems like a revolutionary alternative to centralized models like Starlink. How far, do you think, is the project from replacing it, and what steps need to be taken to speed it up? Will the Nexus blockchain over time “have its own infrastructure from the router level all the way up to the OS”?
Amanda: We love the enthusiasm with these types of questions, but unfortunately they are hard to answer. Building new technology takes time, and timelines are not put in place in case any issues crop up along the way. The dev team only wants to put out the best possible product, and if there is any concern regarding issues or bugs, it won't be released until it is tested and fixed. The blockchain ecosystem is constantly evolving, and we can't wait to see what the future holds for Nexus! The team truly wants to build technology to make a difference in people's lives.
Q4: What are the team’s plans on NP/SafeNet and LX-OS & when will other related milestones be added to the Nexus roadmap?
Amanda: The Nexus Protocol White Paper was released in December, and a series featuring LX-OS (part 1, part 2) was released starting in November. Our core plans and expectations are listed in each of the articles. I am currently working on a new upgraded Nexus website, and one of the upgrades includes featuring these items in their own roadmap, separate from our TAO Framework roadmap we currently have in place. We are not sure when that will be released quite yet, but keep on the lookout for it!
Jules: The NP architecture and the incentive models are designed to encourage the decentralized deployment of satellite constellations by various organizations. Therefore, raising awareness about the challenges that face our current internet structure is extremely important. We are currently working on explainer animation for this purpose and will be hosting a two-day event in Austin on 14-15th of April, where we will demonstrate the workings of some of the hardware.
Q5: How are you going to integrate the anticipated DEX into a mobile wallet, on a website, or in a desktop wallet? Are you planning to do it as AMM?
Amanda: Excellent question. I would like to credit our API dev Paul for most of this response, this question was raised in our Slack recently and he touched on all of these points! (Thanks, Paul!). There intends to be a DEX wallet extension released for the desktop wallet that will feature the common exchange functionality and some basic charting features. It would not be directly integrated into the mobile wallet, as the wallet modules would ideally become their own standalone applications for smartphones. The DEX is built on an entirely new DEX API, and anyone would have the ability to create their own website interface on top of it if they so desired! :)
The Nexus DEX will not be done as AMM. It will operate on the traditional exchange approach of buyers and sellers posting their market / limit orders, and could be partially / fully filled by anyone. It will also rely on consensus rules and contract logic, meaning the seller can retract their order at any point until it has been fulfilled.
Q6: The so-called New Internet, according to Nexus, will be driven by LX-OS & Nexus Protocol that will be connected by a distributed satellite-based mesh network. When does it start operating and deploying the satellites?
Amanda: The team is very excited to be working on such a monumental new task — a new Internet protocol! As stated in an earlier question, we do not release timelines in advance of when the development is expected to be complete. However, the developers do quarterly updates via Zoom (and, correct me if I am wrong, Jules, should be coming up in the next few weeks!), and then written recaps of the updates are also shared of all the progress being made. Here is a link to our most recent quarterly report on Medium that has the most recent updates!
Q7: Nexus is working tirelessly not just on software but on hardware as well. What are your thoughts on the place of hardware within the decentralized internet? Is there a decentralized internet without efficient hardware to support it?
Amanda: The Nexus Protocol would work with a mesh network of ground stations and LEO satellites. Those stations and satellites, around the world, would be pivotal to keeping the NP decentralized and useable for everyone, anywhere! With the way technology is advancing (and as quickly as it is) I believe it will continue to be critical, and I can't wait to see what Nexus has in store for it in the coming years!
Jules: We are not currently working on hardware design. However, we have been in talks with a microsatellite producer, and we have also begun to research mobile phone and IoT manufacturers that we could potentially integrate with, to run Nexus OS.
Q8: NFTs have exploded in popularity lately and become the talk of not just the crypto space but the tech space in general. Since it’s quite simple to create customized tokens with the Nexus desktop wallet graphical interface, have you noticed a surge in the number of tokens created on the Nexus blockchain? What does Nexus have in store in terms of NFTs and why do you think NFTs go viral in the first place?
Amanda: The latest development update has a great breakdown of our metrics and also includes the rate of growth tokens built on Nexus have had over the last year! As of right now, there are 61 tokens built on Nexus.
I believe once the DEX is released and people have a location to buy and sell tokens, we will see more growth for them. Our ambassadors and community members have released guides on how to create tokens and NFT's on Nexus, and I believe hope to release video tutorials in the future as well!
I think one of the great things about NFTs is how simple they can be to make. I think the fact that the ability for people from a variety of coding backgrounds being able to make an NFT really helps with the adoption — as well as the powers of crypto Twitter.
Q9: When we talk about crypto and blockchain technologies, we usually talk about mass adoption. More and more organizations are trying to keep up and adapt, accepting crypto as payments, using smart contracts in real estate and healthcare, and so on. How widely is $NXS used now, outside the Nexus ecosystem? Are we going to see more restaurants accepting $NXS as the one in Samui? What is the team’s outlook on global $NXS adoption?
Amanda: NXS is still in the early adoption stages. We would love to see more vendors accepting NXS as payment! With the release of our mobile wallet (currently in open beta), access to NXS anywhere at any time has become possible. We have had great efforts of our community members over in Thailand (THANK YOU!) for spreading the word and helping getting vendors set up with accepting NXS as payment. We hope that when people see how quick and easy it is to get set up with NXS as payment, they are interested in accepting it themselves!
As a disclosure, we have no control over who does and does not accept NXS as payment. We are grateful for those who do currently, and can't wait to see how will in the future!
Jules: Yes, it's fantastic to see people using NXS for everyday interactions in Thailand! We have begun to organize a giving campaign, where ambassadors in countries like Colombia, and Burma, will help people download the new mobile wallet so that people from the community can send them NXS. We are currently working on use cases that we expect to attract the attention of many DApp developers, which will spur further adoption of NXS.
Q10: Speaking of global adoption. Government entities are currently exploring blockchain technologies to promote financial inclusivity, increase transparency and reduce corruption. Would Nexus be interested in seeing governments using Nexus blockchain technologies?
Amanda: One of my first projects with Nexus last summer was working with one of our use cases, Free and Equal, in building a voting application that was powered by Nexus' blockchain and focused on the transparency available in blockchain technology. We were very thankful to work with them on such an awesome DApp! We hope that blockchain technology can continue to make strides in this space.
Jules: Yes, it would be great to see more organizations use blockchain technology to increase transparency, accountability, efficiency, and decentralisation.
Q11: The Nexus mobile wallet promises to provide “the security and privacy of a full node, with minimal storage, memory and processor footprint”. Are there more steps to be taken in terms of minimizing the digital footprint within the crypto space?
Amanda: Our mobile wallet is a functioning lite node — it connects directly to peers within the Nexus network, and broadcasts transactions to its peers the same way that a full node would but without the need for the same storage, memory, or processor space that the full nodes (desktop wallets) currently use!
As more lite nodes are added to our network, the digital footprint impact is smaller than it would be with the standard full node but remains just as secure! I believe lite nodes will be integrated for desktop wallets in the future as well, which would also help moving forward, but I would have to verify the details on that, in case I am mistaken.
Jules: Yes, you will be able to run a lite note on your desktop.
Q12: Simplicity's usually the key to a smooth user experience so no wonder creating a wallet with Nexus is as simple as creating a Gmail account, thanks to SigChain technology. What’s more in the Nexus store for newbies? And could a Nexus SigChain & API technology replace all existing security services and tools in the future?
Amanda: One of my favorite things that the Ambassador team does is constantly working on creating guides and tutorials for all things Nexus. They are great representations of our community, and often moderate our discussion channels to help any Nexus community members with their questions about the project!
There are also new introduction videos in the process of being made for Nexus — we can't wait for them to be completed and shared with the community! We hope these videos are welcoming to all members of the Nexus community, new or longtime hodlers, and help reinforce the vision Nexus has.
The devs are working hard on our technology to make it as safe and secure as it can be. I can't wait to see what advancements we can make in the coming years in terms of redefining security through decentralized technology!
Jules: Yes! The team has developed a Crypto API which will allow DApp developers to encrypt data, and a P2P API, which will also DApp developers to create secure messaging services within their applications. Other new decentralized tools are in the pipeline.
Q13: Nexus technologies spare DApp developers from the need to learn a smart contract language with the goal of “making the development of smart applications more accessible, cost-effective and highly extensible”. Does the team see smart contracts as the future in terms of mass adoption?
Amanda: Great last question! One of my favorite things about Nexus is that it gives developers the ability to not need to learn how to code smart contracts to create DApps for simplicity purposes. However, for more experienced developers, the opportunity is there to write their own smart contracts if they so desire.
Being able to cater to developers of varying experience levels is a great way to get new developers on board and building on Nexus — it is how I got started myself! I see them as a key part of the future of blockchain technology: it helps make projects unique and customized for the users' needs. I can't wait to see what the future brings in terms of projects built on Nexus, and developers customizing smart contracts to their needs!
Jules: Smart contracts certainly hold the potential to decentralize many industries. Therefore, yes, we certainly do see their adoption being a catalyst for the widespread adoption of cryptocurrency, as people become more aware of the utility of blockchain and the importance of decentralized systems.