Recap of ARPA AMA in Binance’s English Community

ARPA held an AMA on 2019–11–04 in Binance English Telegram Group with almost 100k community members. Below is the recap for this detailed, 2.5-hour-long AMA. Enjoy!

Segment 1 — Moderator’s Questions & Project Introduction.

Hope you ladies and gents still got the juice for another AMA.

So, our guest for today is none other than the co-Founder & CGO of $ARPA, Mr. Yemu Xu and the co-founder & CEO, Mr. Felix Xu.

Moderator: So, before we kick in, could you kindly tell us who is Mr. Yemu Xu? And if you can be so kind, do tell us please about ARPA as well.

Yemu: For sure. I will take the initiative and Felix will give an intro about himself as well.

My name is Yemu Xu and I am the cofounder & CGO at ARPA. At ARPA I’m in charge of the overall BD, PR, marketing and growth. Prior to co-founding ARPA I was the Head of Growth at Boro, a Money 20/20 fintech startup that raised over $10mil. Before that, I worked as an actuarial consultant at Fidelity Investments in Chicago. I am also an entrepreneur-in-residence at ZhenFund, one of China’s most prominent VCs.

Felix: I am Felix Xu, Co-founder & CEO of ARPA. I graduated with Finance, Information Systems majors at New York University, a college known for its CS and AI research. For the past 6 years, I have been working on venture capital investment in Fintech, big data and AI startups. Most recently I led blockchain sector research and early-stage investment at Fosun Group, one of the largest conglomerates in China. To give some examples I invested Suishou Technology, Datebao Insurance, Huike Group in China and MakeMyTrip (NYSE: MMYT) in India.

I came into blockchain space since 2016 working with enterprise blockchains (non-crypto) and bought my 1st bitcoin in mid-2017. Still Hodl the same bitcoin. At ARPA, we also help China for setting the national standard on multiparty computation, a core tech of ARPA.

A brief intro about ARPA — Intro Video: https://youtu.be/IwK9Z8r506U

ARPA is a blockchain-based layer 2 solution for privacy-preserving computation, enabled by cryptographic Multi-Party Computation (“MPC”). Founded in April 2018, the goal of ARPA is to separate data utility from ownership and enable data renting. ARPA’s MPC protocol creates ways for multiple entities to collaboratively analyze data and extract data synergies, while keeping each party’s data input private and secure. ARPA allows secret sharing of private data, and the correctness of computation is verifiable using information-theoretic Message Authentication Code (MAC).

Developers can build privacy-preserving dApps on blockchains compatible with ARPA. Some immediate use cases include: credit anti-fraud, secure data wallet, precision marketing, joint AI model training, key management systems, etc. For example, banks using the ARPA network can share their credit blacklist with each other for risk management purposes without exposing their customer data or inquiry.

Moderator: It’s really a great honor to have you here with us to explain and educate the community of your project and products. To begin, can you please explain on what ARPA is and its purpose?

Yemu: As we all know the world is running on data. The total amount of data currently is 18ZB, growing at 50% annually. The total data value is estimated to be 14 trillion USD per year. Data has become the most valuable asset class that everyone is generating on a daily basis. Centralized data collection causes abuse and leads to privacy problem.

Our vision is to return data right to the people and disrupt the current way of centralized data sharing. In late 2017, we identified problems in data sharing while I was working on Fintech investment at Fosun Group. The traditional way of data sharing is to find a trusted third party to collect data from all participants.

As individuals, we can’t collect reward for data generated. As companies, all companies are trying to build models or analysis on siloed data without sharing with each other.

To solve this problem, we founded ARPA in early 2018, dedicated to privacy-preserving data sharing research, especially multiparty computation, a cryptographic technique to process computation on encrypted data. Our solution doesn’t introduce any third party, and clears the blocker that participants concerned about the third party stealing their precious data. MPC is a cutting-edge technology and we are among the very few pioneers that working on commercializing the technology.

A brief explanation of multiparty computation (MPC) which is our core tech:
Secure multiparty computation (MPC) is a set of cryptography technologies with the goal of creating methods for parties to jointly compute a function over their inputs while keeping those inputs private.

Informally, MPC enables multiple trustless parties A, B, C, … to jointly compute a function with the participants’ secret value without learning more information than what the result reveals.

A classical example of 2-party computation is the Millionaires’ Problem: two millionaires want to know who is richer with the absence of a trusted third party, in such a way that neither of them learns the net worth of the other. More generally, MPC allows n party (n >= 2) to jointly compute some information while preserving privacy for secret data.

In short, we are building a privacy-preserving way for secure data sharing, or data renting -> to both utilize data and protect raw data privacy

Moderator: ARPA looks like a very international project. Can you give us an overview of ARPA’s team, what are the future development plans?

Felix: Team is the single most important asset that any startup/tech companies can have, and ARPA is no exception. We are very fortunate to work with a group of talented entrepreneurs who lived, studied and worked internationally — this is in our gene and is what we believe essential to a project’s success.

I was an investor at Fosun covering Fintech space, and the most valuable asset for any company that Fosun loves to invest, is data.

This trend was true a couple of years in the past but as companies (financial institutions) realize how valuable their data is, they stop sharing with fintech companies (data aggregator). But data can only be fully utilized when combined. So in November 2017, I start to brainstorm a new way for data sharing.

Alex, Derek, and Jiang brainstormed with me as we have known each other for 4 years. We had weekly meetings on Saturday and that was the best time of my life — very excited and hopeful.

All of us shared this vision of building a new paradigm, a privacy-preserving way for people and companies to share data. We actively reached out to EVERYONE in our network and found more people to join us
In late March 2018, I quit from Fosun. Our co-founder Derek has several years of experience in AI, and Alex who earned a PhD in Cryptography from Tsinghua University (best in China) offered several routes for privacy-preserving computation technology. Alex’s PhD research was in MPC and FHE algorithms. Yemu joined the team and is in charge of the overall operations, user growth, marketing, PR and BD, and Jiang joined from Google Cloud.

Since ARPA’s inception in late March, crypto market was not good and headed into crypto winter in 2nd half. But we had 0 turnover rate for core team which is unseen of in any startup

That's pretty much all for the team. We are also supported by top-notch researchers, research fellows under renowned professors like Ivan Damgard and Nigel Smart. And advisors with a mixed background in tech, media, and business.

ARPA’s Development is three-folds. Tech development, business development, and community development.

On the tech side, ARPA’s privacy-preserving computation network testnet went live on Feb 27th, 2019. We plan to launch our mainnet by the end of this year. In public blockchain space, ARPA testnet is built on top of Ethereum and we will support more blockchains in the future.

Since the inception of ARPA, we have been relentlessly delivering secure computation solutions to some of the largest companies in the world, including JD.com, Sinochem and Fosun Group. We work along with Alibaba, Baidu, Ant Financial to assist the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology (CAICT) to set the national standard of MPC.

Recently China’s President Xi publicly expressed support for blockchain industry. We also in the process of joining IEEE work group for multiparty computation and federated learning.

For crypto community development. After one and half year’s progress and growth, ARPA now as a huge and lively community with more than 70,000 supporters speaking 8 different languages including Indian, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, Thai, Russian, Indonesian, among many others. Yesterday we added Turkish language group.

Moderator: Who are your competitors and how do you compare with them?

Felix: Secure data sharing is huge, potentially trillion-dollar market size and currently the penetration is nearly 0. Legislations are kicking in from EU, US and China etc. So there can be quite some projects that have meaningful market cap

Some projects try to build data exchange or marketplace and use blockchain to track data flow. However this doesn’t really solve data leakage problem as once I can see the raw data, I can copy and share it elsewhere. Therefore only privacy-preserving computation can ensure the separation of data ownership and data utility.

Currently there are not many players in the privacy-preserving computation field. The current competitors include PlatOn, GXC, Enigma, Oasis labs. Platon currently focuses on threshold signature for distributed key management, but ARPA focuses more on data sharing for enterprise (later to individuals). So the target area is different.

GXC, Enigma and Oasis labs are using solutions based on secure hardware (TEE). However, the problems in TEE based solutions are 1) the trust is delegated to the hardware providers, meaning one has to trust Intel, AMD or ARM etc., 2) TEE has been reported to have security holes, for example in August 2018, 3) the correctness of computation is not verifiable.

Moderator: Recently, China’s president Xi Jinping made an official announcement and made blockchain a national strategy, how will this affect the blockchain/crypto industry and more importantly, APRA?

Yemu: I think supporting the blockchain industry is an important step for Chinese Yuan international expansion. Blockchain and digital currency (not normal crypto) is part of finance infrastructure.

China has been researching on cryptocurrency and digitizing RMB as early as 2013. On October 24th China’s President Xi has announced national-level, unprecedented support for blockchain technology and has set this as a national strategy. Crypto- and blockchain-related enterprises in China have finally got their time.

For APRA this is a historical opportunity — as we help build MPC national standard with respected research institutions and large companies such as CAICT, Baidu and Alibaba, we have the credibility to knock on the government’s door for future funding, projects etc.

Our exisiting biz partners include conglomerates and enterprise alliance of Sinochem and since the president Xi’s comment, more and more companies reach out to us including Didi, Province-level officials etc.

Moderator: How would you compare ARPA and Carry? Why should we vote for ARPA?

Felix: Crypto industry is still at its infancy. So there is more collaboration than competition. Unfortunately only one goes to Binance. Here I share my view on ARPA vs Carry.

1) After our mainnet launch at the end of this year, we will have big bounty programs “bootstrapping reward” to incentivize computation power providers. Early adopters can get outsized rewards for their participation.

2) From project perspective — ARPA serves as an infrastructure for secure data sharing, and aims to create massive data synergies for multiple industries. In long term we target individual data management and secure monetization, but we start with enterprises who are more in need of this tech. I personally think there are more use cases for ARPA as an data sharing infra enabled by cryptographic algorithm.

3) In terms of competitors, ARPA is on the cutting-edge of MPC research, the most promising privacy-preserving data tech known in cryptography. We have very few competitors and already delivered testnet to showcase what MPC is capable of.

4) ARPA team is very international. Our team members speak 6 different languages we all have highly international background. Currently, we have over 70,000 supporters in our communities comprised of Chinese, English, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Thai, Indonesian and Filipino speakers. Soon we will expand to other countries for both business development and community building.

5) China is one of the largest markets for crypto and blockchains. China’s President Xi has announced national-level, unprecedented support for blockchain technology and has set this as a national strategy. This is a historic opportunity not only for us, but also for our investors for sure :wink:

6) TOKEN BURN! We consistently buy back from the market and burn ARPA tokens with revenue from privacy-preserving data sharing solution for enterprise. In future we expect more people to use ARPA onchain for privacy-preserving tasks and we will take a cut to burn token, something like a transaction fee for exchange. The circulation $$ for ARPA is much smaller than Carry, so given larger liquidity on Binance, token performance should be better for ARPA.

Segment 2 — Quiz Questions

2. What is ARPA’s private sale price?
0.02 USD

3. What’s APRA’s rough current market cap?
7 million USD. ARPA has a lot room to grow in the future

4. When did ARPA launch its testnet, ASTRAEA?
February 2019

5. How many times did ARPA foundation burn its tokens and how many tokens IN TOTAL were burnt?

3 times, 30 million ARPA in total !

Segment — 3 Community Questions

As a developer, can I build dApps on Arpa and what are the modalities involved in building dapps on ARPA?

What’s your TPS, and what advantage does this add to the privacy ecosystem in building and solving the problem you are solving

How do you view the advent of 5G, will it support the project immensely and propagate adoption?

A: ARPA provides privacy-preserving computation capabilities. There are a lot of applications you can build on ARPA — Ongoing applications include 1) Joint anti-fraud solution and black list sharing, 2) Smart insurance pricing, 3) Secure risk analytics for financial institutions.

TPS — The problem ARPA solves is secure data sharing via MPC privacy-preserving computation. Scalability is not the emphasis but a bi-product. A wonderful characteristic of MPC is that computation is verifiable, and therefore it can be used as an off-chain computation method.

Our consensus algorithm is the verifiable computation characteristics of Multiparty Computation cryptography. Basically the correctness the ensured following the protocol given there is ONLY ONE honest party within a single computation task. And the result can be verified by other nodes in the network.

5G is beneficial to ARPA because a heavy burden for MPC is the communication overhead. 5G provides the high-speed data tranmission ARPA needed

What are the core strengths of the ARPA?

1. dedicated team.
2. strong BD ability
3. global partnerships and community
4. already on some of the largest exchanges
5. on track to deliver main net by year-end
6. small market cap yet really good liquidity. huge potential
7. supply decreasing every month due to token buyback and burn
8. Policy favor in China, enormous market
9. much much more

Can you list 2–3 killer features of the ARPA Token that make it ahead of its competitors?

Here are some of the use cases for ARPA token.

ARPA tokens is used for privacy-preserving computation cost and rewards. All participants in MPC computation are compensated with ARPA tokens for their contribution of computing power. Upon mainnet release, people can run MPC node and earn ARPA rewards on tasks sent by other users. The network also allocated 600 million ARPA tokens as bootstrapping reward to incentivize early adopters. Normal can join our computation network.

Data and Model Usage Fee: To encourage the data providers to list high-quality data resources on ARPA network, each MPC computation will be charged for data usage fee to compensate the data provider. Personal data wallet is one application that can be enabled by ARPA, where individuals can connect accounts and earn tokens whenever other “rent” their data for analysis or building models.

Security Deposit for computation nodes: MPC participants will use ARPA token as a form of safety deposit for launching and fulfilling computation jobs. Abortion during computation and other malicious actions result in loss of stake. This is to ensure fairness for all parties and limit the misuse of ARPA by bad actors.

Staking reward for staking nodes: ⅓ of all bootstrapping reward goes to staking nodes.

Community Governance: Token holders above a specific threshold can have the right to vote for future accepted payment tokens and other proposals. The token holder is also able to participate in the arbitration of failed MPC computations and take part in the cheaters deposit.

In addition, we also developed various incentive programs to increase the token usage.

As I read in your Roadmap, could you please tell us more about, “Proof of concept” & its utility?

A: Here is our roadmap:

So far we delivered everything on time or ahead of schedule.

Let me show you a couple of case studies of our proof of concept (early MVP)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBmt20xgXAg&t=15s

Though our end goal is building an infrastructure to enable secure individual data management and monetization. Enterprises are among the first batch to use our MPC tech solution. I will go into this a bit more

Developers and enterprises can build privacy-preserving applications on blockchains compatible with ARPA. As data sharing is important across so many industries, we need to target the killer app which creates the most value. Some use cases include credit anti-fraud, secure data wallet, precision marketing, joint AI model training, key management systems, etc.
Business partners are one of the most important assets ARPA has. For the past year we try our best to deliver secure computation solution to some of the largest companies in the world, including JD.com, Sinochem and Fosun Group. ARPA’s protocol integrated with Alibaba Cloud blockchain-as-a-service. We landed a contract with JD.com’s fintech division, Chinese 2nd largest e-commerce company with 45bn USD market cap, to support secure risk model analysis between JD and its financial institution clients. The list goes on for nearly 20 leading international corporations.

Ongoing applications include 1) Joint anti-fraud solution and black list sharing, 2) Smart insurance pricing, 3) Secure risk analytics for financial institutions.

Explain the following as they relate to the ARPA PROJECT

On-chain AND off-chain Computation
Blind voting
Private set interaction

The above chart also answered this question hopefully.

In a blind vote everyone can send out their vote, without a trusted third party to collect the votes. We can run MPC function and find out the sum as well as the final result. So this avoid 1) corruption at 3rd party, 2) hide the vote for specific party

Private set Interaction: one can run PSI function using MPC to find out data matches between/among two or more parties. The second chart is an example that uses PSI in digital marketing for data matching between two companies

The total supply of ARPA is 2,000,000,000 ARPA.

Does ARPA have plans for buyback and lock-up of tokens and community tasks/activities to raise awareness and bring mass adoption?

1) We consistently buy back from the market and burn ARPA tokens with revenue from privacy-preserving data sharing solution for enterprise. In future we expect more people to use ARPA onchain for privacy preserving tasks and we will take a cut to burn token, something like a transaction fee for exchange.

2) we locked up around 50million ARPA tokens with 1st round of staking program. 20 entities came onboard as supernodes. Our supernodes serve as the evangelists of ARPA and the whole idea of privacy-preserving computation in their region or realm of industry. They lockup a certain amount of tokens for 6 months. In return, they receive node reward ranging 24%-30%. Current nodes include RockX (founded by Zilliqa’s founder Xinshu Dong), Infinity Stones (supernode of EOS and ONT), Huobi, OKex Pool, MXC, and we will announce more soon.

Is ARPA Chain a quantum-resistant platform? How do you foresee quantum treat in crypto?

ARPA multiparty computation cryptographic algorithms are quantum-resistant. No need to worry about quantum attack.

What makes ARPA best candidate to get listed at binance?

Binance is really the holy grail for any project, so again it's really our honor and pleasure to be here.

We got in touch with Binance in July 2018, a couple of months since ARPA inception. Binance found out that we are working on Multiparty Computation and threshold signature for crypto wallet key management system, and they are looking into this tech.

Our team spoke to CZ and his CTO on threshold signature directly which is an application derived from MPC protocol for specific function. We kept this conversation going for the past year and showed our progress lasting through the crypto winter.

In July we got listed on Binance DEX as one of the first batch of projects. We look forward to more collaboration with Binance.

What plans for global expansion?
ARPA will initially focus on business development and community building in Asia and Europe. The focus of community growth will gradually expand to other markets as the project gains popularity.

Current community growth strategies of ARPA include:
1)International community bounty programs to spur user growth on social media & community
2)Global supernode program, local community builder and media partner program to promote ARPA globally
3)Host & participate in blockchain and cryptography related conferences, workshops, and meetups to engage with potential users and supporters
4)Monthly meetups in China, Korea and South East Asia
5)Multi-language, bi-weekly technical & community updates

Learn about ARPA’s recent official news:
Telegram (English): https://t.me/arpa_community
Telegram (Việt Nam): https://t.me/ARPAVietnam
Telegram (Russian): https://t.me/arpa_community_ru
Telegram (Indonesian): https://t.me/Arpa_Indonesia
Telegram (Thai): https://t.me/Arpa_Thai
Telegram (Philippines):https://t.me/ARPA_Philippines
Telegram (Turkey):https://t.me/Arpa_Turkey
Korean Chats: https://open.kakao.com/o/giExbhmb (Kakao) & https://t.me/arpakoreanofficial (Telegram, new)
Medium: https://medium.com/@arpa
Twitter: @arpaofficial
Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/arpachain/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ARPA-317434982266680/54
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For me as an investor Binance is the first choice because Binance is trusted and high Secure exchange etc. I want to know, for a crypto project how Binance listing is important because you are the cofounder of Arpa what are you looking into Binance .

One thing I care the most — potential users who can join ARPA as a computation node and get rewards as early adopters. Stay tuned

We definitely aim for long term. Even 1% penetration for trillion-dollar market is huge.

What drove us through the crypto winter 2nd half of 2018 and early 2019 is the clear vision of building something unique for blockchain industry, and disrupt the current way of centralized data sharing. Currently the turnover rate at ARPA core team is nearly 0, which is unseen in crypto space.

We are technical and lucky enough to help set China’s national standard on Multiparty Computation tech along with authority research institutions and giant companies like Alibaba and Baidu. Our enterprise partners also share the same vision with us.

Privacy-preserving computation will become an overwhelming global trend. Europe’s GDPR, America’s CCPA and recent regulations in China all demanded more data privacy for users.

The name ARPA is quite unique for a token. What’s the idea/inspiration behind naming token ARPA?

The name ARPA is a tribute to ARPANET, the world’s first internet. Internet was built originally as a decentralized network but nowadays it is all centralized and controlled by Internet giants like Google, Facebook etc. especially on people’s data.

How exactly does your solution implement credit fraud protection

As I shared an example before — ARPA utilizes MPC and blockchain technology to enable secure data collaboration between financial institutions and data sources, or even among their peers. For example, each bank has its own proprietary data and blacklist. Using ARPA?s secure data sharing solution, banks can perform searches on encrypted blacklist, or run analysis on encrypted prop data across the whole bank alliance. During the process, neither the secret input (borrower’s name) nor the raw data from any bank is disclosed. All data is kept safe with multiparty computation and all transactions are stored permanently on blockchain. In short, ARPA help financial institutions build a comprehensive risk profile for the borrower.

Credit anti-fraud is one simple example of MPC use cases. Due to the fact that data can easily be copied and transferred, as well as the growing concerns on data privacy, disruptive technology is much in need to capture data synergy in privacy-preserving manners. ARPA team believes MPC is a promising technology for enterprise-level secure data sharing, and a potential gateway to personal data management in long term.

How exactly does your solution implement credit fraud protection?

As I shared an example before — ARPA utilizes MPC and blockchain technology to enable secure data collaboration between financial institutions and data sources, or even among their peers. For example, each bank has its own proprietary data and blacklist. Using ARPA?s secure data sharing solution, banks can perform searches on encrypted blacklist, or run analysis on encrypted prop data across the whole bank alliance. During the process, neither the secret input (borrower’s name) nor the raw data from any bank is disclosed. All data is kept safe with multiparty computation and all transactions are stored permanently on blockchain. In short, ARPA help financial institutions build a comprehensive risk profile for the borrower.

Credit anti-fraud is one simple example of MPC use cases. Due to the fact that data can easily be copied and transferred, as well as the growing concerns on data privacy, disruptive technology is much in need to capture data synergy in privacy-preserving manners. ARPA team believes MPC is a promising technology for enterprise-level secure data sharing, and a potential gateway to personal data management in the long-term.

The end goal is to become the universal privacy-preserving infrastructure for data sharing, and thus return data right back to every individual.

About ARPA

ARPA is committed to providing secure data transfer solutions based on cryptographic operations for businesses and individuals.

The ARPA secure multi-party computing network can be used as a protocol layer to implement privacy computing capabilities for public chains, and it enables developers to build efficient, secure, and data-protected business applications on private smart contracts. Enterprise and personal data can, therefore, be analyzed securely on the ARPA computing network without fear of exposing the data to any third party.

ARPA’s multi-party computing technology supports secure data markets, precision marketing, credit score calculations, and even the safe realization of personal data.

ARPA’s core team is international, with PhDs in cryptography from Tsinghua University, experienced systems engineers from Google, Uber, Amazon, Huawei and Mitsubishi, blockchain experts from the University of Tokyo, AIG, and the World Bank. We also have hired data scientists from CircleUp, as well as financial and data professionals from Fosun and Fidelity Investments.

For more information about ARPA, or to join our team, please contact us at about@arpachain.io or reach us at:

Learn about ARPA’s recent official news:

Telegram (English): https://t.me/arpa_community

Telegram (Việt Nam): https://t.me/ARPAVietnam

Telegram (Russian): https://t.me/arpa_community_ru

Telegram (Indonesian): https://t.me/Arpa_Indonesia

Telegram (Thai): https://t.me/Arpa_Thai

Telegram (Philippines):https://t.me/ARPA_Philippines

Korean Chats: https://open.kakao.com/o/giExbhmb (Kakao) & https://t.me/arpakoreanofficial (Telegram, new)

Medium: https://medium.com/@arpa

Twitter: @arpaofficial

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/arpachain/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ARPA-317434982266680/54

ARPA is a privacy-preserving blockchain infrastructure enabled by MPC. Learn more at arpachain.io