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Monthly report: May 2018

May was an excellent month for SONM — we have achieved incredible success in promoting the company at the Consensus conference in New York and at the TNW conference in Amsterdam, got a significant media attention, and finally released a breakthrough version of the system — Crypto-IaaS. We have defined a strategy for building a masternode network and now are preparing to launch SONM blockchain and SONM network in Livenet. The future is getting even more interesting, but let’s first look at what we have achieved in May.

Development

Crypto-IaaS Testnet release. We have released a new version of SONM platform — Crypto-IaaS. This release opens the countdown to the Livenet version launch. We invite you to try Testnet platform version — install SONM and try it today to be ready for Livenet on June 30.

After the release of Livenet later this month, we plan to switch our development schedule to rolling releases (continuous delivery). What this means: up until now, we were working from release to release, with large and long steps (half a year intervals). Having Livenet operational, we now have a working base of code and can make updates to code as features are ready and tested, on the go, with smaller steps (weeks or months).

We will still keep roadmap milestones like “General purpose IaaS” and “PaaS” (major feature releases) because they will highly probable require protocol updates, but all other regular updates and fixes will be released when ready.

The Crypto-IaaS Testnet release includes following features:

SONM Core — a set of software components that forms the system core.

  • Worker. A software component that allows suppliers to rent out their equipment in the SONM marketplace. The worker in the Crypto-IaaS has incorporated the functionality of the hub, and now it is a universal unit for all suppliers. The worker runs on Linux.
  • Optimus, autotrade-bot. This software component implements automatic trade management at the side of the worker. This bot determines what the optimal ask-plans (should we sell all 4 CPU cores as one package, or as 2 packages with 2 cores each) and optimal price are. It makes efforts to get the best possible deal price at the moment based on current demand on the market, ultimately implementing a “start earning money” button.
  • API Node. A universal software component for Customers and Suppliers that provides the execution of commands from the GUI. It is a cross-platform software, which acts as an entry point to SONM network, providing external API and encapsulating internal SONM networking and blockchain work. Node API is used by CLI and other external software, like trading bots.
  • CLI. Command Line Interface — is a program that allows using SONM API operations for users.
  • DWH. A data warehouse that is dedicated to any read operations from blockchain. Reading complex data structures (like the ones we use) is complicated and slow, DWH allows to speed up the process of getting info. Read a comprehensive article on DWH here.
  • Rendezvous. This is our technology that allows providing a direct connection between customers and workers in 100% cases even if they don’t have a public IP address. Later we will release a comprehensive article on this topic on our blog.

SONM GUI — a graphical interface, front-end of the system. Currently, GUI is targeted for customers, featuring resource purchase operations.

  • Wallet. This is a set of features, allowing Ether and ERC20 token transfers on Ethereum masterchain. The main purpose of GUI is to cover SONM-specific things (profiles and marketplace), while this feature is implemented to have the all-in-one tool to work with SONM, for utility. This is not a recommended wallet to store large values, as the only secure storage option is cold storage.
  • Deposit/withdraw. Interface to deposit SNM tokens from Ethereum masterchain to SONM blockchain and withdraw them backward. Operated by gates.
  • Profiles. This is an interface to look up SONM Supplier and Customer profiles, find an appropriate counterparty by country, KYC status or other criteria.
  • Purchase. An interface to look up for existing sell offers on SONM marketplace with multicriteria search and ability to purchase (rent out) a resource.
  • My deals. An interface to look through your existing deals and ability to close (cancel) existing deals.

SONM blockchain
We have decided to rename the sidechain, described in this article to blockchain because it’s actually our own blockchain based on Ethereum.

  • Block producing nodes. These nodes are doing block producing (mining) with a PoA consensus. Currently operated by SONM team, these nodes will be eventually decentralized in the form of PoS nodes run by the community.
  • Gates. This is a unit of SONM network that processes token transfer operations and validation of the transfers between Ethereum masterchain and SONM blockchain. Learn more about Gates here.
  • Market smart contract. A smart contract of the SONM marketplace, which includes all the logic and algorithms on the basis of which it works — order book and bid/ask validation. Order matching (finding a bid and ask that match each other) is implemented out of chain in a decentralized way.
  • Profiles smart contract. A smart contract, which stores public data about SONM participants — their Ethereum address, KYC status and other optional information they provide.
  • Blacklist smart contract. It’s an initial and simplified version of rating system that allows users to stop the deal on the market and add a person to the blacklist in case the counterparty is not satisfying deal conditions.

Arbitrage-bot (market making, cloud mining bot)

We prepared several automated customers that will buy out supplier’s idle capacity for cryptocurrency mining. Before starting a deal, the bot evaluates the profitability of mining any currency, then opens a deal with a supplier and starts mining cryptocurrency on the equipment. As a result, the Worker receives the amount of SNM equivalent to the volume of cryptocurrency produced — i.e., the bot sells the cryptocurrency on the exchange to give the reward to the Worker. If the profitability of mining changes during the mining process (during the deal period), the bot closes the current deal and opens a new one with updated conditions.

Sidechain updates. We have established an infrastructure for scaling the blockchain for external requests, so our blockchain will cope with a large number of requests. Now there is a separate node that only processes requests and gives the current status of smart contracts. Also, we have implemented a load-balancer that distributes the load on the notes-it works as the INFURA.

We tested the stability of the blockchain by turning off half of the nodes and made sure of the performance — it works even in this condition. The blockchain fault tolerance mode of the blockchain has been tried and approved.

Marketing

Events

OpenFog Consortium. SONM CTO, Igor Lebedev took part in OpenFog Consortium quarterly member meeting in Cupertino, C.A.

So, why is this so important? The participation in the Consortium allows us to start a dialogue with industry leaders and cooperate on fog computing development, combining our expertise to deliver a better technology. Taking part in such initiatives, SONM as a company establishes solid business relations with global companies and expands professional network, spreading the word about the product.

Consensus 2018. The biggest blockchain event took place on May 2018 and SONM has been a Title Sponsor of this event and a co-organiser of a Hackathon. So, as you may guess, the main goal of promoting the company has been achieved completely. Let’s see how we did it.

Hackathon in New York. Right before the Consensus in New York, we had a hackathon — the main goal was to increase SONM brand awareness among developers and promote the product. During the hackathon, third-party developers were invited to efficiently run their application atop of SONM with help from a special mentor — Eugene Safronov, Core Development Team Lead at SONM. CTO Igor Lebedev was a judge in this competition, and awarded a prize of 1 BTC to the best team.

  • The whole venue of Consensus 2018 was covered with SONM banners. We chose the most eye-catching locations to place branded posters — elevator, windows, banners near the main entrance to the speaking hall, etc.
  • We had a giant booth at the entrance — if anybody went into Consensus, the first thing he saw was SONM. We split the booth in two main areas. One was organized as a presentations room with chairs, a large screen and a professional presenter who pitched the product every hour. After the presentations we invited our guests to take a special quizz remembering what they just heard, and then offered them to visit the Fog bar and get a special “Fog cocktail”.

  • SONM co-founder Aleksei Antonov had a keynote speech and presented the project. After the Consensus he shared his opinion about the event with the American Banker — an influential media outlet focusing on banking and finance industries in the U.S.

“This year was especially important as we played bigger, aiming for more visibility in the community,” said Aleksei Antonov, a co-founder of SONM. “We made a huge leap for the past year and we were waiting for this event to share our vision, results and the next milestones.”

  • We’re proud that our booth and presence were very well received! Thank you all for your support!

We gave special attention to the booth set up, design, schedule for team members, information flyers and branded clothes to distribute. Regarding the clothes, we made a special design for Consensus, a bolder version with a lot of typography.

And, of course, our third goal — to find partners among blockchain projects.

  • We got many new contacts there from both sides: suppliers and customers and they are waiting for our Livenet release.
  • We got a lot of attention from mining companies that visited our booth.
  • The Consensus community admitted SONM ideas and decisions as reliable and useful.

The Next Web conference

Right after Consensus, SONM team was on their way to the airport again. The editorial team of The Next Web conference in Amsterdam invited us to pitch at the event and organized a booth for us. We didn’t choose the location of the booth this time, but there was nothing to complain about — just a perfect location in a very visible place in front of the main entrance, IBM and PWC were our neighbours, so we found us in a good company.

The Next Web conference is dedicated to the technology in general, trends and their influence on business innovation since 2006. This year 15.000 visitors came to Amsterdam to attend “19 curated tracks to shape a much deeper conversation on how technologies such as blockchain and AI will directly affect industries, professions and the way we innovate”.

Our team of three was there only for two days, but it was a time spent wisely. We used a special matchmaking platform to arrange all the necessary meetings before the event and met investors, b2b companies and fellow startups we were interested in.

SONM HR brand in Russia. We’re interested in attracting the best developers and specialists to our team, so we do our best to promote SONM HR brand in the labor market. It is essential to explain to potential employees that we respect people and use effective teamwork methods, and that working with us means to work with the best professionals and give the oportunity to learn from them. This May, SONM appeared in several articles of major Russian publications, let us share some links with you.

Content

We understand how important it is to explain what we do in clear and comprehensive way, and we work on it introducing new formats in our social media to give you more information about what’s going on. What’s also important, we want to do it beautifully. So, here are new rubrics we introduced in May.

Video notes that will help you grasp the messages on the fly. We take all the essential information from blog posts and pack it into a bold visual infographic video.

Quotes for live tweeting — do you remember pictures with key messages we posted during the keynote speech of SONM co-founder Aleksei Antonov, during Consensus?

They were main ideas of the presentation presented in a way comfortable for reading (and sharing!). Like, share, RT!

Community growth
The SONM community continues to grow — in May, we measured the total growth in our channels and found an increase of 10248 people. We are glad that the interest in the project is not fading and we are getting more supporters.

Fog Computing Challenge

The challenge participants work hard to develop solutions for SONM and get the prizes. We got more than 130 applications from teams and single developers to get this done. It is too early to talk about the results, but there is progress, and we decided to extend the challenge and give participating developers a bit more time:

The first stage is extended until June 30, and the second — until August 20, 2018. Read more on our blog.

Team News

Ron Markosyan — Head of SMM and community. Ron has eight productive years of working for advertising agencies like Affect, Isobar, Red Keds, Marvelous. There he worked on projects from different industries, such as electronics, FMCG, automobiles, real estate. His primary expertise is SMM, strategy and project management in digital marketing.
Ron, welcome to the Marketing team!

Summary

Finally, we are closer to our goal than ever before — very soon we will release the product that can be used as a new generation of cloud services. Fog computing is a new thing, and we aim to promote and popularize it. We are starting to spin the marketing machine, establish relations with journalists, we are preparing to meet the market — it will not be easy, we know it, and we are ready for it. Every day, step by step, we go forward — thank you for being with us all the time, stay tuned, all the fun is ahead.