KuCoin AMA With Aleph.im (ALEPH) — An Innovative Cross-chain Decentralized Cloud Computing Network

2023/06/20 14:39:32

Dear KuCoin Users,

Time: June 19, 2023, 12:00 - 13:17 (UTC)

KuCoin hosted an AMA (Ask-Me-Anything) session with the founder of Aleph.im, Ethan, in the KuCoin Exchange Group.

Official Website: https://aleph.im/

Whitepaper: Click to view

Follow Aleph.im on Telegram and Twitter.


Jonathan "Moshe" Schemoul — CEO and Co-founder of Aleph.im

Q&A from KuCoin to the Aleph.im Team

Q: Could you share more about the Aleph.im project, its design and goals?

Moshe: Aleph.im is a decentralized cloud. Think of it like AWS, but decentralized. We provide storage (file storage, database) and computing (VMs like VPS, on-demand like Lambda).

Now, on the AI part: The Libertai.io project aims to deploy LLMs (Large Language Models) on this decentralized cloud, like ChatGPT and OpenAI APIs, but decentralized, with no privacy concerns, censorship, or centralized limitations. It can scale on-demand thanks to Aleph.im elastic decentralized computing (microVMs).

It's based on Aleph.im and IPFS. On-demand (when you type a question), it launches a VM (incentivized using ALEPH tokens), loads the model from IPFS (incentivized the same way), loads the context (the question and prompt), and starts streaming.

The Libertai - decentralized AI assistant is already live, and you can play with it for free.

Q: What benefits and challenges do you foresee in decentralizing AI, particularly conversational AI?

Moshe: AI is a very important subject for mankind. Leaving it centralized in a few big corporations' hands is a huge danger, way bigger than any romanticized risk about AGIs.

AGIs (Artificial General Intelligence) are artificial movie intelligence, way smarter than humans. Well, those are still far away. But AIs, and specifically LLMs, will be part of our everyday life soon, and do you want your life controlled by OpenAI? No, me neither.

Every question you ask, everything asked by any company using their API (and there are a lot nowadays), goes to the company providing the computer and model. Hence why we fully support initiatives like Libertai. Plus, it's way more efficient, both on cost and environmental effects, to do it decentralized than on very centralized GPU farms that pose big concerns on various aspects.

Q: Can you elaborate on the partnership between Aleph.im and Ubisoft, and what makes this collaboration unique?

Moshe: We were part of the Ubisoft Entrepreneurs Labs incubation program in 2021, during which we developed multiple areas of collaboration and kept strong ties with the amazing team at Ubisoft. The collaboration continues on new projects as well (of which I can't talk), but on things already public: One notable project we did together was Ubisoft Quartz, where in-game items for Ghost Recon breaking are represented as NFTs.

I'm thrilled as it allows us to expand the use cases of Aleph.im on the gaming side.

Q: Aleph’s decentralized cloud services help reshape the gaming industry? How does it enhance the gaming experience in Ubisoft's games?

Moshe: Let's take this Quartz example. While the owner was on Tezos (one of the multiple blockchains supported by Aleph.im, which support all EVM chains: ETH, Polygon, BNB, Tezos, Cosmos, Polkadot, etc.), the NFT metadata are dynamic and served by Aleph.im, meaning that they can change based on off-chain events.

They are served by the Aleph.im decentralized computing and storage: it's still decentralized and reproducible. It's especially interesting to allow traditional games to provide evolving items while keeping storage and metadata decentralized.

Other works are ongoing with them: embedding ALEPH tokens inside NFTs so that when you mint the NFT, you pay for the storage and computing, and it's there "forever" (and you could burn the NFT to recover the embedded ALEPH tokens if you wanted to).

Q: What are the key challenges and opportunities you see in the intersection of decentralization and gaming?

Moshe: One area that hasn't been covered thus far and that I see as quite essential: "Everyone can pay." The idea is that on Aleph.im, anyone can pay for the storage or computing of a specific item.

Why is it relevant? Imagine a game; the studio says a few years after release, "Listen, the game is old now; we are shutting down the servers."

Our goal is to provide computing for game backends as well. If the backend is on Aleph.im, the players themselves can pay for the computing and keep the game running. It's one of the key aspects of this intersection.

Q: How does Aleph.im plan to further develop its footprint in the gaming industry? Also, are there any upcoming projects you can share?

Moshe: We are working on a few aspects: the confidential VMs, where the memory is encrypted, and no one can see what is happening inside. It will help VMs write on-chain as they can keep private keys.

It will help with the instantaneity of off-chain to on-chain updates. (read: change an NFT on-chain if something happened in-game or the other way around) Another side is chain compatibility: we will expand to newer chains where big studios work on new games. Stay tuned on that one; it will happen soon.

Q: Aleph.im has worked with various blockchain networks, including Tezos, Solana, and BNB Chain. Can you share insights on how these partnerships have evolved and their impact on Aleph and its ecosystem?

Moshe: From NFTs to DeFi, passing by reverse oracles, indexers, computing, and many other subjects, the use case on each chain tends to be different.

We've offered a framework to do your indexer on Solana first, then EVM chains and Tezos now. We compute all these chains and others, including the Polkadot and the Cosmos. On Tezos, we've mostly worked on NFT things, and on Ethereum, mostly on DeFI. It shaped our ecosystem, and community, with people from all these ecosystems joining, builders included.

Free-Ask from KuCoin Community to the Aleph.im Team

Q: You said that with upcoming private virtual machines, you could even store private keys or secrets inside the VM. Do we have a guarantee that our data will be kept confidential and protected from third parties or cyber thieves?

Moshe: We are using AMD SEV; it gives you cryptographical guarantees. The CPU, storage, and ram are segregated from the rest of the computer. Not even the owner of the computing resource node can see what is happening inside a confidential VM

Q: What is the origin story behind Aleph.im, how does the name come about, and what does it signify?

Moshe: Aleph numbers are infinite cardinalities. Aleph.im means infinite instant messaging: based on the ever-expanding nature of channels of the Aleph.im network.

Q: Speaking of cloud, database, and identity, how does Aleph address and overcome privacy and data and information sovereignty, both of which are quite sensitive topics?

Moshe: We help with end-to-end encryption, so developers develop apps that make it impossible to get the data sent. The idea is to store as little personal data as possible, and when you do it, make it so that it can be removed (we support forget messages to remove past sent data, according to GDPR rules) and encrypted.

Q: What does aleph im have to do with Project NULS?

Moshe: Some core team members met when we were part of the NULS CCC, the open-source developers association around it. We co-founded it.

Working on products around NULS, I got the idea of starting Aleph.im, and that's how the project was born, as a layer-2 of NULS first, then generic for all blockchains. Now NULS is a supported blockchain, amongst others.

Q: How does Aleph.im address the challenges of data storage in decentralized applications? What are the advantages of off-chain computation in Aleph.im?

Moshe: We provide the following:

Incentivized IPFS storage (so you can pin your data on our network)

Decentralized database: think of it as a decentralized firebase

Computing as microVMs, a bit like amazon lamba: on-demand serverless computing, dynamically launching VMs on the fly with your code in it

Instances: like a VPS with an OS, and you can access it.

You can replace your whole centralized stack with Aleph.im

Q: Many projects need help with UI / UX, and this one turns off new users. How do you plan to improve the interaction with new users and users outside the crypto space?

Claudio: Let me summarize as it can expand over different areas. We started by developing a new branding for Aleph.im two months ago, together with a new design system. The sole purpose of this is to create better user onboarding and provide a better understanding of our product offering. Because we are not only an intermediary product but also provide end-to-end products. We now have the console. The Aleph.im page will provide tools to set up your functions or instances very soon and, later this year, the confidential VMs.

Onboarding just got a huge boost by providing a clear and intuitive interface—no more need to use code to set up your on-demand or persistent instances. Now you do it easily through the interface. As I said, new features will be added this year. By the end of the year, we will provide features through an easy interface comparable with AWS, Scaleway, and digital ocean.

Further, we set up our Telegram group as one of our best feedback mechanisms. For example, we have groups for devs and node owners, providing insightful feedback on our products. Besides that, we will start focusing on educational content because we saw this helped partners to get better acquainted with web3, which is sometimes more obvious for a web2 company.

KuCoin Post AMA Activity — Aleph.im (ALEPH)

🎁 Participate on the Aleph.im AMA quiz now for a chance to win 10 USDT!

The form will remain open for five days from publishing this AMA recap.

Aleph.im AMA - ALEPH Giveaway Section

KuCoin and Aleph.im have prepared a total of 2,000 USDT to give away to AMA participants.

1. Pre-AMA activity: 1,000 USDT

2. Free-ask section: 50 USDT

3. Flash mini-game: 400 USDT

4. Post-AMA quiz: 550 USDT

. . .

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