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Deep Dive with Ryan King, Co-founder of FOAM

Foam posted 11 months ago

with or if you'd like to join the discussion.
Ben Tossell
What is your advice for crypto-newbies?
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Ryan John King
@bentossell Do not get caught up in the volatility of the price or spend too much time in chat rooms that focus on trading and profits, it is a real distraction.

As someone new to the space I would recommend listing the the founders of the most prominent projects and devoting a serious amount of energy reading and learning. This will be required to make smart investment decisions in the space in the end.

I would recommend a new monster reading list put together by my friends at Andreessen Horowitz called "Crypto Canon" to start!
https://a16z.com/2018/02/10/crypto-readings-resources/
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Crypto Sentiment
What type of hardware are you envisioning for people to obtain to create this network?
Especially initially...
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Ryan John King
@cryptosentiment We have currently been designing the system radio agnostic, focusing on the time synchronization protocol and the token economics. There are a number of radio technologies and techniques for localization/positioning systems without the use of GPS.

That said, for our Proof of Concept we are very interested in a new class of radio that is emerging and highly promising for internet of things devices called Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN).

One of the most promising new radios is a called LoRa, a physical layer technology that can travel 5–15km at 150 MHz and 1 GHz bands, which can provide bidirectional communication with a special chirp spread spectrum (CSS) techniques for long range with properties that make it harder to detect or jam. There is already the enterprise consortium called the LoRa Alliance, designing an open standard and defining architecture and layers above the LoRa physical layer.

Initially, we plan to bootstrap the coverage of the FOAM network by offering compatibility to these existing devices while simultaneously providing easy to understand directions for new users to purchase the needed hardware to participate.

This is the hardware for what we call Zone Anchors, that offer location verification services over a "Zone". Users would still be able to pass messages to the Zone from a smart phone with bluetooth and wi-fi.

Future stages of FOAM will support many types of radios.
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Val Klump
What's your timeline looking like for ICO, beta, public demo, and working product?
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Ryan John King
@valdean At FOAM we are building spatial protocols, standards, and applications. One of these is The Spatial Index — a general purpose visual blockchain explorer. The Spatial Index can serve as the front-end for any decentralized application that needs to visualize smart contracts on a map.

We are launching a private beta for the web app next week! You can find the sign up at the end of this page:
https://blog.foam.space/the-spatial-index-9793f42c46c8

In terms of Proof of Location, we are planning to distribute tokens in the first month of Q2, while also opening earlier allocations to those committed and willing to attest to using the token for its optimal purpose: staking and contributing computational power and security to the network.

We plan to have test networks of Zone Anchors in multiple cities by the end of 2018.
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Val Klump
Will FOAM use a token or will you build your own blockchain? If the latter, what features of the blockchain will be unique to FOAM?
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Ryan John King
@valdean FOAM will use its own token. The token purchases the right to offer location services and or validate the network based on the consensus rules. The token grants access to validator sets on pegged chains or as a verifier offering computational power to check for fraud proofs on the pegged chains.

The unique problem introduced by Proof of Location is that for a part of the validator set, the physical distance between them plays a fundamental role, while in Proof of Work for example to validate having completed the work all that is needed is a communication channel, the physical distance between contributors is more or less irrelevant.

Thus, each Zone will need to maintain its own state machine for a given location of coverage. We see the Tendermint Core consensus and blockchain structure as being one of the best options for Zones. The FOAM token is staked on the main Ethereum blockchain as a safety bond for following the protocol rules when joining as part of a validator set, which is pegged to the main chain.
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Ryan John King
@valdean @valdean It currently is an issue, however I have faith in the many projects addressing scaling, many of which FOAM is contributing to and will utilize. This includes Casper/PoS, State Channels, Sharding, Plasma/Side Chains and Cosmos.

I am excited about all of these and more confident than ever in the Ethereum ecosystem!
1
Val Klump
@frothcity Do you think scaling will be an issue with Ethereum?
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Ryan John King
Hi Everyone, looking forward to answering your questions!

You can learn more about FOAM at www.foam.space and www.blog.foam.space
1
◆ Workspace0x
What are the considerations for beacon density? Is there a threshold of too little or too much? How can partners begin to think about the economics of becoming beacon providers. Thank you.
1
Ryan John King
@workspace0x As mentioned we have currently been designing the system radio agnostic, focusing on the time synchronization protocol and the token economics. There are a number of radio technologies and techniques for localization/positioning systems without the use of GPS.

For whatever kind of radio that is utilized there will be thresholds of too little or too much. In general more nodes and density is a good thing, but there is a threshold of accidentally jamming the radio spectrum.

We will be releasing public information about the economics of our protocol in the very near future!

At the moment we are most interested in LoRa, here are some stats pulled from the tests others have done with location and LoRa:

"Various studies about LoRa technology for geolocation have been carried out in recent years, in which Sagemcom obtained good accuracy results (up to 4 meters). However, 42 gateways were used in a hexagonal layout to improve the results and the signal from the end-node was received by at least 10 gateways, when the data rate was at the highest"

---------------

From a different study that used only 10 gateways:

"What about using more gateways?

This will absolutely help, because the likelihood that some receivers will have a strong direct path signal is much better. If the power of the direct path signal is very high, the multipath signals have a negligible effect on range area. This is why sub-10m accuracy is achievable in ideal scenarios. The issue with a ton of gateways, is just that, you have to buy and install a ton of gateways. At that point the cost of the system could exceed that of alternatives, even with inexpensive gateways."
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Ben Tossell
How did you get into crypto?
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Ryan John King
@bentossell I was working and studying in Economics, Political Science and Architecture and started paying attention to blockchain technology and its potential impact on physical spaces around 2012.

We started working on FOAM originally in 2015 with speculative Architecture projects that gave tokens to participants or captured the surplus heat from mining in an inflatable bubble.
You can read about FOAM origins here:
"New Power Generation: FOAM on Devising a Decentralized Architecture Office"
https://architizer.com/blog/practice/materials/new-power-generation-foam/
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Ben Tossell
What are the things you advise looking for in crypto investment opps?
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Ryan John King
@bentossell When it comes to investing in blockchain, there is plenty of opportunity for high returns on a short timeline. I am most interested in investment opportunities that are in a use case that could not be done without decentralized technology, as this is what I see as having the most value add and power to alter our current financial systems.
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Romane Geraci
Hi! How does proof of location work? Thank you
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Ryan John King
@Romane-Geraci Proof of Location works with specialized distributed hardware that can synchronize clocks over radio and maintain consensus on the time. Similarly to GPS, if you can pick up four signals with the time difference of arrival, location can be calculated from the time stamps through triangulation and subset techniques like trilateration.

In the case of FOAM, fraud proofs and faulty behavior is enforced by protocol rules and slashing conditions. Only after data has been checked for fraud and posted to the blockchain is there a "Proof" of Location
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john
Why is secure location important? Can't dApps use GPS?
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Ryan John King
@soylent_crypto_ GPS is not suitable for blockchain based applications that will need precise and reliable location. If a smart contract needs to act autonomously on location data, there is no authentication of proof of origin for the input of GPS. On the client side GPS is trivial to spoof and if there is value or tokens at stake, people will be incentivized to lie about their location.

In sum, the issues with depending on GPS for verified location are:

·A Single Point of Failure, centralized
·Does not penetrate well indoors or underground
·Urban Density increases signal Multipath
·Energy intensive components are not suitable for devices with long maintenance cycles
·Susceptible to signal jamming
·Spoofing, i.e deceive a GPS receiver by broadcasting incorrect GPS signals
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John Zavyalova
How does FOAM account for privacy? Is this just a tracking system?
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Ryan John King
@sharing_econ_bl The mission of FOAM is monetizing a decentralized, privacy preserving, super accurate, censorship resistant alternative to GPS. We also aim to foster an application ecosystem around Proof of Location.

Users can generate Self Attestation Fraud proofed Presence Claims and choose to keep this information private and only reveal if challenged or use them right away depending on the need of the use case or application

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big pep
What are some of the strengths of PoL over traditional GPS and geofencing?
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Ryan John King
@bigpeperoni GPS does not have a proof of origin or authentication, so on the client side it is trivial to spoof. A good example is in Pokemon GO, users tricked the game by feeding it false GPS data so their character could move about the city while they remained stationary.

If there is real value or tokens at stake in a trustless smart contract based on location data, that data needs to be verified and this is not possible to do with GPS.
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Brandon Goblirsch
What use cases are you most excited about that can utilize FOAM?
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Ryan John King
@krypto_king_99 The use case I am most excited about for the short term is some sort of decentralized Foursquare of Pokemon GO that requires users to prove their location to unlock scarce tokens.

Beyond that I think that the use cases of Mobility and Self Driving cars are the most exciting and can benefit the most from a Byzantine Fault Tolerant Real Time Mapping Service.

This also goes for Trusted IoT Data Markets, Supply Chains and Insurance for proving the provenance of data and verifying the accuracy of location and geospatial information.
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big pep
How will location ownership be verified? Can anyone lay stake to any location? How will disputes be resolved?
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Ryan John King
@bigpeperoni We see Location ownership as something that occurs on the application layer, such as a Land Registry or Real Estate platform. FOAM Proof of Location would allow anyone to generate a private and fraud proof "Presence Claim" or cryptographic certificate to show proof of being at a certain place and time, not ownership of that location
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Will Carter
Ryan, thank you for reaching out to the community! I am a big fan. Can you talk a bit about any concerns regarding scaling. Also, are there challenges with Ethereum moving to Proof of Stake with the Casper hardfork this year?
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Ryan John King
@zippyFerguson Please see answer above regarding scaling. Regarding Casper, the addition of finality to Ethereum will greatly help in scaling FOAM with solutions like side chains, Plasma and Cosmos.
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Will Carter
There is a strong miner community where l live (Colorado). How can we best help build our part of the beacon network out here?
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Ryan John King
@zippyFerguson We will be organizing sign up lists for those interested and begin distributing information on how to prepare to be a miner and qualify for hardware grants. Stay tuned!
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Ryan John King
Thank you everyone for your questions!

You can keep the conversation going by joining our Telegram~~ https://t.me/foamspace

Thank you for having me Token Daily!! :D
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Ben Tossell
@frothcity thanks for joining us Ryan!
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divraj
Will you be building your own hardware in the future ? Will it integrate security features like secure enclaves to improve network security ?
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