The RHIZOME Report - Episode 7

On the most recent episode of the RHIZOME Report, host William McKenzie interviews Shane Burgett of Pocket.

The interview began with Shane discussing Pocket/Figment as a P-Rep team and what they plan to bring to the ecosystem.

“The whole purpose of Pocket is to allow applications, DApps communicate with blockchain networks in a completely decentralized way. It was actually during a blockchain hackathon that our CEO Michael and CTO Luis realized that it was really complex to try to get applications to simply talk with a blockchain, and that’s how Pocket was started,” Shane said.

Shane pointed out that with a blockchain network architecture, in order to connect an application you have to run a node. If that node goes down for any point in time, it means the application is essentially subject to breaking if a node goes down.

“So what Pocket has been doing is we’re actually the first to decentralize how DApps can communicate and connect with blockchains. So you can have phone to blockchain or device to blockchain completely decentralized,” he said.

Previously, Pocket had built a DApp on the AION blockchain project (AION is a member of the interoperability alliance with ICON) called “Monster Chase” that was in the form of a game which was sort of a mix between Pokemon Go and Cryptokitties, with the game operating on a phone but connecting directly to the AION blockchain in a decentralized manner. There was no server or gateway in the middle that could stop that application from running, making it the first DApp to ever be entirely decentralized.

Shane then began to talk about what potential they see with ICON. “There’s a lot about ICON that simply jived with what we’re already doing. ICON stood out to us mainly because of the interoperability. ICON is all about the interoperability between blockchains, and that is super crucial in this area - Similar to how Pocket tackled the huge disconnect between DApps talking to blockchains, now you have ICON solving the interoperability problem of transferring value and data; ICON is having one network that allows these blockchain networks to communicate,” he said.

“If you just look at the comparison of what Pocket is innovating and building and what ICON is building, ICON fits into a lot of the areas that complement what Pocket is already doing. It just seemed like a no brainer to get involved with a platform that is perfectly in line with what we’re already building,” Shane concluded.

At this point in the episode, Pocket took the opportunity to make an announcement that hadn’t been publicly released yet.

“One of Pocket’s primary things we’re bringing to ICON on a development level is we’re releasing ICON-DI, which stands for “ICON Decentralized Infrastructure.’ In order to launch tis, we are doing a POKT token airdrop to ICONists who participate in decentralizing how ICON DApps communicate with the ICON network.

“What we’re bringing to ICON with ICON-DI - we want to get this ball rolling. We want to have at least 500 nodes ready to go so every application on ICON can be run in a completely decentralized way on a really strong core infrastructure. That’s why we’re shooting for, right now, at least 500 nodes being run by either other P-Reps or community members,” Shane said.

He took a moment to point out that ICON nodes would be in the form of Citizen Nodes, which are the nodes that sit between the DApps and the block producers. They don’t currently have a reward system for Citizen nodes, but ICON-DI is working to bring rewards to those running nodes.

“To kick this off ICON-DI, that’s what this airdrop is all about,” Shane said. “Working with ICONists and the community to establish this really strong foundation of 500 nodes. We’re going to freely airdrop POKT tokens to these nodes which will be immediately staked on their ICON-DI node. When we launch the full decentralization in 2020, these nodes are going to be ready to serve all ICON DApps and generate rewards.”

Shane pointed out that those who currently delegate their ICX to Pocket/Figment as a P-Rep candidate will be given first priority during the airdrop.

After spending some time discussing the technical process underlying ICON-DI, the discussion shifted to a discussion on reward sharing and the willingness of multiple P-Rep candidates to retract their proposal to share rewards and concluded with a brief conversation about the current P-Rep voting.

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