Ontology & Tech — Ning Hu Talks with BTC Echo

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Ontology & Tech — Ning Hu Talks with BTC Echo

As you may have seen, Ontology’s Senior Architecture Expert, Ning HU, recently sat down for an interview with Sven Wagenknecht, Editor in Chief of BTC Echo, a leading crypto media platform in Europe. Conducted in German, the interview picks the brain of one of Ontology’s central figures, diving into a variety of topics from how the VBFT consensus model works to what the biggest challenges are in blockchain today.

Take a look at the full interview below:

1. Ontology began as a token sale on the NEO blockchain. Why was NEO preferred to Ethereum?

There are three reasons we preferred NEO over Ethereum.

  • The suitability of the business cooperation request
  • Ontology uses NeoVM as our virtual machine
  • NEO is in accordance with the concept of low expense rate

2. You continue to work with NEOVM or Ethereum regarding Smart Contracts? Allows two types of Smart Contracts (native and NEOVM). What strengths do these two approaches cover?

We adopted the design of a hybrid VM framework, the latest version of Ontology, v1.8.0, provides support for WasmVM, and now it supports Native, NeoVM, and Wasm.

Ontology thinks every VM has its own design concept, and its stages of achievement can pair with different businesses while in development. Considering the cost of virtual machine usage, training for community contract developers, the complexity of the business, and the completeness of virtual machine development, we chose the hybrid framework.

We also contributed with the Python compiler for NeoVM, along with the stable development of WasmVM JIT, which will increase the execution efficiency a dozen times over.

3. Ontology relies on VBFT as a consensus model. What is the difference between this Consensus mechanism of (D)POS and normal BFT systems? How is VRF used here calculated?

Professor Micali introduced VRF into the consensus mechanism so that the BFT consensus algorithm can apply to the network scale which the public chain needs. Ontology VBFT algorithm refers to this thought, as well as being combined with the Ontology governance model, through the incentive curve and PoS to show the distribution of nodes. We use VRF to select the consensus node in the current round and generate the block out using BFT quorum.

Put simply, VBFT makes the network more distributed and achieve the BFT.

For more information, please refer to:

Ontology Launches VBFT, a Next-Generation Consensus Mechanism, Becoming one of the First VRF-Based…

4. What distinguishes the Ontology Blockchain protocol from others such as NEO, EOS or Tezos?

Ontology attaches great significance to the trust infrastructure. Therefore, we further develop based on the trust network and integrated the ONT ID and DDXF trusted identity framework, as well as provide trusted application development framework. Ontology also gives out the traditional Internet blockchain commercial scheme. For more information, please refer to our TRUST framework whitepaper.


The Ontology blockchain protocol is part of the commercial framework. Sharding solutions are provided to meet different network assumptions under the same governance model. The requirements of different governance models provide homogeneous multi-chain scenarios.

Different multi-chains enable cross-chain assets to be truly practical in the Ontology business scenario.

5. What do you think are the biggest challenges facing Blockchain protocols today?

One of the biggest problems facing blockchain protocols is breaking into traditional industries and applying our solutions.

6. Ontology would like to address several distributed goals at once: decentralized Identity, decentralized data exchange, decentralized procedural protocols are only three examples. Why does it make sense to create a platform? Other projects like Cosmos tend to focus on interoperability…

Decentralized networks provide a trusted platform;

Decentralized identities provide trusted users and user relationships;

Decentralized data exchange provides trusted data authenticity and traceability capabilities for data processing. Data processing and management are the most essential foundations of information systems (especially Internet applications).

Trusted applications based on trusted network infrastructure can provide comprehensive support for trusted ecosystems.

Data interoperability is a sub-functional module of data processing and management, which is also supported by Ontology, and has a complete pricing model and the corresponding supported business.

Furthermore, Ontology data interoperability scheme supports off-chain data interoperability across systems.

7. Recently it was announced that the Ontology Testnet is now also sharding to has to offer. How does this Sharding differ from the approaches from the Ethereum ecosystem? When will the Sharding be ready for the Main Net?

The governance model, economic model, and network assumptions of each chain determine the design of the chain consensus algorithm. The consensus algorithm determines the performance of the chain, which is often referred to as the “Impossible Triangle”.

The essence of sharding is a solution to extend throughput on the network. The core of sharding is to comply with the scalability solution to the unified governance model. Each shard has certain functions including the collaborative scalability amongst different shards. It’s not about the speed of the shard, but about meeting the business performance requirements for each shard.

As each shard has different functions, sharding is, therefore, suitable for different services. The design proposal of Ontology is to customize and optimize the sharding and cross-shard according to business requirements. Some business-specific technical modules can also be adapted to different shards, including Layer2, Oracle, TEE, etc., to form a framework for business solutions.

Ontology is committed to creating a componentized, freely configurable, cross-chain supporting high performance, scalable blockchain infrastructure, which makes deploying and calling decentralized applications much easier.

The Ontology Sharding supports the following features:

  • Multi-layer sharding network structure
  • Sharding solution based on smart contract
  • Cross-shard message communication between smart contracts
  • Cross-shard atomic call

Sharding will be ready when there is a suitable business request.

8. On the eve of September, the team announced TRUST Redefined. The aim of this project suits well to the goals already aimed for with Ontology (eg decentralized identity etc.). How does it differ/extend Ontology?

We believe that ‘TRUST Redefined” covers three aspects.

  • Technology-wise, Ontology has released sharding, cross-chain, DDXF (distributed data exchange framework) and other core technologies and has launched the TestNet for global developers.
  • Product-wise, Ontology has released ONTO 2.0, its comprehensive wallet client, which integrates its decentralized identity framework ONT ID, dApps, and wallet all in one, thus achieving the strategic goal of “Ready for all Businesses.”
  • Third, by integrating its technology into various business scenarios, Ontology is able to bring wide adoption of its technologies, which will further promote the decentralization of traditional industries. In Ontology’s open and trust ecosystem, with the Ontology communities covering 19 languages, our partners can receive technical, product and marketing support from us to jointly build a global trust ecosystem.

9. Which projects, besides Sharding and TRUSTRedefined are you working on at the moment, where is your current focus on?

Besides sharding and TRUST Redefined, we are working on the following:

  • Finding and expanding real-world scenarios;
  • Continuously enhancing the VM;
  • Continuing to optimize the network infrastructure, meanwhile cooperating with bloXroute and other partners;
  • Developing a commercial solution platform using ONT ID and DDXF.

10. The topic of digital identities is closely linked to blockchain technology. You yourself have the so-called “ONT ID” framework. What is behind it? How is that supposed to work?

In today’s world, users use the data generated by centralized services. Traditional Internet provides services at a free or low price in exchange for user data. The value of the data becomes a profit point for Internet applications. However, users do not control the usage of their data.

ONT ID is an identity framework based on a decentralized identification protocol using blockchain and cryptographic technology, which is able to instantly identify and connect people, assets, things, and affairs. ONT ID helps users ensure the privacy and security of their data, giving users full control over their own identity and personal data.

Compared to existing internet-based digital identity systems, ONT ID addresses a number of the pain points observed in traditional ID systems. For example, some of the pain points include lack of individual role, data oligopoly, fragmented sources of trust, and difficulty in achieving accuracy in identity verification, in identifying and managing IoT, in assessing reputation comprehensively, and in tracing content copyrights.

ONT ID is an identity framework based on a decentralized identification protocol using blockchain and cryptographic technology, which is able to instantly identify and connect people, assets, things, and affairs. DDXF is the distributed data exchange framework. By using DDXF, you can apply the mapping to cross-system information interaction and delivery, thus using the tamper-proof and traceable blockchain technology to realize multi-system data interoperability.

On an infrastructure level, the sharding framework enables the same governance models to meet various independent business requirements; the multi-chain solution enables assets on other blockchain platforms to be used in the Ontology ecosystem.

ONT ID and DDXF constitute a complete industry solution by Ontology for tradition Internet services, including the distributed transformation of accounts system, the tracing, and authentication of information system data and further providing data interoperability cross system.

11. Currently, we see an increasing Bitcoin dominance at the expense of the altcoins. Do you think that could change in the near future and that we could see an altcoin rally again? What would have to happen?

We believe that ONT is more than just a coin. With our dual-token system of ONT and ONG, we are confident that our ecosystem can provide significant functional benefits to developers using our platform, much like with NEO and GAS. Recently, we completed our cross-chain project on BTC and ETH, making it more convenient to complete transactions and exchanges. We think the connection of multiple coins will positively contribute to the blockchain ecosystem in the future.

Find Ontology elsewhere

Ontology website / Ontology GitHub / ONTO website / OWallet (GitHub)

Telegram (English)Discord

Twitter / Reddit / FacebookLinkedIn

Ontology & Tech — Ning Hu Talks with BTC Echo was originally published in OntologyNetwork on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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