Recap on 10/21 ARPA Network x Crypto VIP Signal AMA with CEO Felix Xu
On October 21st, ARPA Network’s Co-Founder, Felix Xu, conducted an AMA session in the Crypto VIP Signal community on Telegram. Felix first provided a high-level overview of ARPA’s latest release of the new ARPA whitepaper and the new website. Felix answered six popular questions collected from the community. We appreciate the Crypto VIP Signal community for hosting us. Take a look at our summary of the AMA if you didn’t get a chance to join.
My name is Felix Xu, co-founder and CEO of ARPA. I started ARPA in May 2018 with several co-founders. The team came from different backgrounds: I was from a fin-tech background. My co-founder, Yemu Xu, had a financial background with his experience working in Fidelity Investments. Our CTO used to work in multiple tech companies for back-end infrastructure. Our cryptographer came from a leading academic institution in China, Tsinghua University. Four of us gathered in the second half of 2018. We officially kicked off with a round of financing from Arrington Capital, a leading crypto fund that is still active today.
ARPA was previously known as ARPA Chain, a privacy-preserving Multi-party Computation (MPC) network that can build a secure data-sharing analysis for enterprises. We wanted to run an analysis on top of encrypted data without ever revealing the raw data. Over the years, we have definitely achieved some partnerships and implemented proof-of-concept with different enterprises.
However, early last year, we started thinking about how we could contribute to the infrastructure. One angle is to run a verifiable Random Number Generator (RNG). In some cases of metaverse, game, lottery, NFT minting, and whitelisting, it is vital for end users to verify the result was not manipulated by someone. Therefore, ARPA resolves this demand by generating verifiable random numbers via our threshold BLS signature network. Essentially, the permissionless groups of nodes on the network can jointly compute and provide a variable random number for our dAPP clients. We recently released ARPA’s new whitepaper and website with this significant technical innovation. Feel free to check it out.
Below is the list of the questions answered in the AMA.
- What is the reason behind the recent rebranding from ARPA Chain (ARPA) to ARPA Network (ARPA)? Can you brief us about the newest adoption of the Threshold BLS Signature Scheme (TSS-BLS)?
- Nowadays, many projects position themselves as “decentralized”; however, we all know it still requires at least five to ten years to achieve full decentralization. Therefore, what makes ARPA a completely decentralized network? What steps did the team take to ensure the surety of decentralization in the ARPA network?
- Can I build dApps on the ARPA network as a developer? What are the modalities involved in building dApps on ARPA?
- What are the most important functions of ARPA Network, and why? What are ARPA’s advantages compared to other projects?
- Does ARPA have a project about NFTs? Since personal data is very important, NFTs may be a part of it. Do you have any focus on the privacy/protection of NFTs?
- After a whirlwind in 2021, this year has also started on a rough note for the crypto and Web3 industries. How do you view the rest of the year to pan out regarding building solutions and infrastructure? Could you please provide some insights into what is next for ARPA?
What is the reason behind the recent rebranding from ARPA Chain (ARPA) to ARPA Network (ARPA)? Can you brief us about the newest adoption of the Threshold BLS Signature Scheme (TSS-BLS)?
Before the rebranding, we ran general-purpose multi-party communication (MPC), a way of computing encrypted data. The term “general purpose” indicates a high level of customization for different use cases. On the positive side, you can utilize MPC in different cases. On the downside, it requires a highly customized solution for each use case. Therefore, earlier last year, we shifted our focus to Threshold BLS Signature, a subfield of MPC cryptography. Even though TSS-BLS is a small vertical, it can be applied to various use cases and applications.
For instance, a verifiable Random Number Generator (RNG) is one of the applications that can leverage the TSS-BLS network as infrastructure. Metaverse, game, lottery, NFT minting and whitelisting, key generation, and blockchain validator task distribution can benefit from RNG’s tamper-proof randomness.
We made a great effort researching and adapting the TSS-BLS for the past year and this year. The newly released whitepaper clarifies our technical transition, which led to the rebrand of ARPA.
We tried to pace ourselves more during the bear market and kept building through the cycle. I learned that you need to make much more effort during the bear market so that people can recognize you in the bull market. We are preparing for the future.
Nowadays, many projects position themselves as “decentralized”; however, we all know it still requires at least five to ten years to achieve full decentralization. Therefore, what makes ARPA a completely decentralized network? What steps did the team take to ensure the surety of decentralization in the ARPA network?
Decentralization is definitely the key to the crypto space and blockchain space. People have a consensus on Bitcoin because it is the most decentralized network. Ethereum also shifted from a proof-of-work (PoW) consensus mechanism to a proof-of-stake (PoS) consensus mechanism to be more decentralized in terms of the validators.
Therefore, decentralization is key to ARPA. We try to have as many nodes as possible in the network to make it as strong, tamper-proof, and reliable as it can become.
However, we want to achieve complete decentralization step by step. The launch of ARPA Mainnet will take place early next year. We will plan for several phases of our nodes and validators onboarding. However, ARPA is permissionless by design, meaning that the more nodes there are, the more decentralized the network will be.
We are a strong believer in decentralization. Anyone can participate in the ARPA network to run individual nodes, meaning you can join if you can provide competition power to the network.
Can I build dApps on the ARPA network as a developer? What are the modalities involved in building dApps on ARPA?
ARPA is not a blockchain; it is a computation network to enable some unique features on top of other blockchains. For example, Randcast, a verifiable Random Number Generator (RNG), is the first application that leverages ARPA as infrastructure.
Randcast offers a cryptographically generated random source for the dApps clients. dApps built on BSC or Ethereum can call ARPA service via a “consumer” smart contract, which will trigger the network to compute the verifiable random number and send it back to the requested client on the blockchain. Also, for your information, ARPA is designed to support multiple blockchains.
I wouldn’t say you can directly build applications on ARPA as with other blockchains. However, you can request and discover some cool features enabled by ARPA.
What are the most important functions of ARPA Network, and why? What are ARPA’s advantages compared to other projects?
There are not that many projects like ARPA that build threshold BLS networks. We only have a few competitors on the verifiable random number generator vertical. So I would say ARPA is quite unique in the space; however, ARPA is not a layer 1. People probably have a hard time understanding what ARPA does. Just remember ARPA is more like a standalone computation network that can enable more use cases for different blockchains.
Does ARPA have a project about NFTs? Since personal data is very important, NFTs may be a part of it. Do you have any focus on the privacy/protection of NFTs?
Not currently. We are not looking to expand privacy-preserving computation for NFTs. Threshold BLS is nothing related to privacy. However, we can merge the TSS with MPC that we have been building to support the privacy feature of the NFTs. Nevertheless, that is not in our roadmap and not planned in our timeline.
After a whirlwind in 2021, this year has also started on a rough note for the crypto and Web3 industries. How do you view the rest of the year to pan out regarding building solutions and infrastructure? Could you please provide some insights into what is next for ARPA?
As a builder, nothing is really effective right now, especially on the infrastructure side. The industry is developing very fast: 2020 was the golden year of Defi, and 2021 was the burst year of NFT. However, at the bear market and especially now, people tend to focus more on the infrastructure level. Therefore, it is time to build, especially for projects like ARPA. The problem we are trying to tackle, for instance, verifiable randomness, is a tough challenge. It is critical for the next phase of crypto adoption and decentralized application.
I would say there is always a cycle in technology. In Web2, we see developers build out infrastructure that supports new types of applications. However, these applications require higher performance, so people go back and enhance the infrastructure. The different cycle of application and infrastructure is also applicable to Web3. Right now, infrastructure is in the development cycle, which is important to us.
In terms of the market, I don’t trade much. I only trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, and some other coins. I would say everything is highly correlated with the US equity market. Also, inflation is hard to tackle: it is not only triggered by Fed’s excessive money printing in the past few years but also due to the war and supply shortage for global trade. At the same time, US and China have an ongoing trade war. All these causes make inflation out of control. I would say the bear market will be prolonged, and next year will not be optimistic either. However, we will continue to build ARPA during the bear market; therefore, I am optimistic about ARPA compared to other projects. Overall, the whole market will not turn warm anytime soon.
ARPA Network (ARPA) is a decentralized secure computation network built to improve the fairness, security, and privacy of blockchains. ARPA threshold BLS signature network serves as the infrastructure of verifiable Random Number Generator (RNG), secure wallet, cross-chain bridge and decentralized custody across multiple blockchains.
ARPA was previously known as ARPA Chain, a privacy-preserving Multi-party Computation (MPC) network founded in 2018. ARPA Mainnet has completed over 224,000 computation tasks in the past years. Our experience in MPC and other cryptography laid the foundation for our innovative threshold BLS signature schemes (TSS-BLS) system design and led us to today’s ARPA Network.
Randcast, a verifiable Random Number Generator (RNG), is the first application that leverages ARPA as infrastructure. Randcast offers a cryptographically generated random source with superior security and low cost compared to other solutions. Metaverse, game, lottery, NFT minting and whitelisting, key generation, and blockchain validator task distribution can benefit from Randcast’s tamper-proof randomness.
For more information about ARPA or to join our team, please contact us at email@example.com.
Learn about ARPA’s recent official news：
Telegram (English): https://t.me/arpa_community
Telegram (Turkish): https://t.me/Arpa_Turkey
Telegram (Việt Nam): https://t.me/ARPAVietnam
Telegram (Russian): https://t.me/arpa_community_ru
Telegram (Indonesian): https://t.me/Arpa_Indonesia