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AMA Highlights – Gather Network

By 26-Sep-2020 No Comments

AMA Highlights – Gather Network

By Daniel Dal Bello, Director.

September 26, 2020 – 8 min read.

On Friday 18 September, we welcomed Reggie Jerath from Gather Network (‘Gather’) into the Hillrise Capital Telegram chat for an AMA. Reggie is the CEO and cofounder of Gather.

Online monetization for publishers is a very well-known issue in the digital age. Gather are building a new system to change the way publishers and developers monetize their online content and in turn immensely improve end-user experience – a win-win. Their product suite will enable web and mobile developers to monetize end-user processing power rather than serving one or many annoying advertisements to generate income. Gather’s tech runs in the background and with user consent aggregates their idle power to be distributed for useful tasks.

Reggie is a serial entrepreneur with a diverse background spanning the Oil & Gas industry and previous startup experience.

In this post, we have compiled key questions and answers from our AMA event.

Daniel Dal Bello
Hey Reggie, welcome and thanks for being here. I’m sure you’re getting sick of this from your other AMAs recently, but could you introduce yourself, your background, and your motivations for founding and leading the charge at Gather?

Reggie Jerath
For sure, I started my career in Oil and Gas managing a couple bases in and out of Iraq managing about 200 or so people. I was there for about two years or so, ISIS invaded around the end of those two years. Post evacuating the staff, I decided I wanted to shift industries and ended up working in advertising for a bit – with different agencies – the first being MSLGROUP (where I met our Marketing Advisor Naren). After this I had my first exposure to entrepreneurship. It was a startup similar to what Deliveroo is – providing the technology and riders, making deliveries for banks, supermarkets etc.

After this I was hired as a consultant to help a website figure out how to monetize, and that’s where everything started.

Daniel Dal Bello
The core of what Gather Network is now and has been throughout your development relates to the current landscape of online publishing and consumption. You want to improve the online experience for both publishers (news outlets, blogs) and users (readers, consumers of online content). I think from your early days, you have broadened the scope of the value you want to create beyond just publisher revenue and user experience.

Now you are also wanting to help secure different blockchains and reduce cloud computing costs.

Let’s start with the problem. We have likely all experienced pay walls and counters to ad-blockers, what fundamental problems are you addressing with Gather?

Reggie Jerath
This is correct, in 2019 or so we had a pivot – to move away from what Gather started out as (a simple multi-miner mining the most profitable cryptocurrencies) to what you see now.

Today’s method of monetizing the internet and content is broken – no other way to put it. From privacy concerns of selling user data without consent to publishers getting ripped off by legacy agencies due to programmatic fraud (click fraud). The whole landscape is broken. On top of that it is heavily centralized → think of Adsense, Facebook, for example.

Daniel Dal Bello
Let’s talk in more detail about your solution, because it is quite intricate. The bread and butter of Gather is what you now call ‘Gather Online’, which is monetization for web and mobile developers through accessing idle user processing power.

It all starts with getting user consent to access that power while browsing a website or using an app, then what happens?

Reggie Jerath
Once consent is gained, that processing power is resold on to developers (who can deploy PoW child chains on Gather without having to source hashrate or find a community) and resold to enterprises as an alternative to current cloud computing – Gather Cloud is significantly cheaper than current centralized services.

PoW with good hashrate is bulletproof, with low hash rate not so much. So think about all the hashrate (processing power) available on the web here, no need to depend on speculative miners etc.

Raymond Reijnders
Will the beneficiaries of Gather Online (publishers and developers) receive fiat, cryptocurrency, or a basket of both as their return?

Reggie Jerath
So this is up to the webmaster – we will payout in crypto and fiat – however fiat requires additional compliance as mandated by third parties.

@coin_digger1
How many websites could a user give consent to and earn from simultaneously?

Reggie Jerath
We have a system of “active tabs” – if you had 10 tabs open at once and provided consent for all 10 tabs, Gather will only work on the tab you are viewing. Once you close said tab, Gather will not be running. Same logic applies for applications.

Daniel Dal Bello
You touched on this just before Reggie, so I think it’s a good transition into Gather Cloud. As I understand this is targeted at two audiences: enterprises, blockchain developers.

Enterprises may need access to cheap compute for any number of uses while blockchain developers with a new network effectively have a cold-start problem with little access to miners.

How does Gather Cloud offer an attractive alternative to both parties and how does the merge-mining work here, is it all just in-browser?

Reggie Jerath
For enterprises and businesses the cloud computing suite we aim to build would be similar to AWS or GCE – with a lot of the heavy lifting done by Masternodes here. The USP is cost-driven, additional benefits would be that over time Gather would be decentralized. This part is one of the main revenue drivers of the business. We already have Godrej Group as a client here who we have been ‘test-bedding’ the solution with.

If we talk about PoW developers… PoW with high hashrate is amazing and hard to 51% [attack]. BTC is proof of this. But low hashrate? The opposite. Also, finding miners who are invested in your vision from day 0 – tough to do. Even though you need them to keep the network secure.

This is how it works with child chains. Merged mining uses the concept of a parent and child chain. The parent chain has the higher hashrate and the child chain has the lower hashrate, using a similar hashing algorithm. The parent chains share hashrate with the child chain and in return the parent chain earns block rewards of the child chain. A win-win. We took this and modified it for Gather. The parent chain is the Gather Network and Gather would deploy the first genesis child chain. From there, any developer could come and fork the child chain (making the changes they would like), and this [chain] will inherit all the hashrate from the publishers and websites.

@coin_digger1
Do you consider the likes of Google and Amazon as your main competitors? Google’s advertising industry is enormous and then there’s Google Cloud and AWS.

Reggie Jerath
We would. For Google it’s on both ends but on the Gather Online side, it’s really easy to attract websites. We do not have to advertise to get clients. We pay significantly more than standard AdSense rates. Apart from the myriad of issues that exist with advertising. On the Gather Cloud side, this is more of initial enterprise sales. The cost of cloud is exponential and for tech companies, one of the main cost drivers. As long as we are able to mold into their security flow, the enterprises are happy to use something cheaper.

@talesfromcrypto
Can I just leave my browser running all night and earn?

Reggie Jerath
As an end user, if the loyalty program is enabled (the ability for the publisher to share revenue with the end user) then sure, you could.

However the loyalty program is designed as an incentive not a direct means of revenue for end users.

Think of it like this. You have two websites, the exact same content. One gives you some form of value back. Which website are you going to use?

Daniel Dal Bello
If only two members of the Gather Foundation are from Gather’s operating entity, who are the remaining 10 parties governing the foundation?

Reggie Jerath
Made up of members of the stakeholder groups (publishers, Masternodes, etc.) who have direct incentives with Gather and then select entities who will be invited.

External entities who are invited to the Foundation will be mandated to purchase 250,000 USD worth of $GTH from the Foundation and further lock those tokens for the same time period as their the tenure on the board.

This is so that external parties have a direct incentive to perform. We are currently in talks to bring our first external foundation member on board. However this is estimated to take 2-3 months to formalize.

@coin_digger1
What if Google alters their SEO algorithm to deprioritize websites running Gather Online in order to favor their own advertisement business?

Even if you offer cheap cloud computing, if no one can run Gather Online because they can’t get any SEO juice you might lose clients.

Reggie Jerath
Valid concern for sure and is something we are aware of. Our main counter here was that sites are still able to earn, it is because their content is unique.

But above that we are trying to be as friendly as we can with the giants. There was a more in-depth plan in place, I will have to dig it up, I can come back to this about how we plan to mitigate.

Daniel Dal Bello
I noted in the FAQ section of your website that you have an MVP and over 200 publishers onboarded already. Is the Gather Online product live and can you mention any notable publishers in that group?

Reggie Jerath
Yes – when had the first version it was live as an XMR miner, currently it is down for planned upgrades. We have some news coming up about this soon.

With your permission Dan I’ll share that here once we announce it. In regards to current websites I can only name those that have given consent here (or on our website). Otherwise I would be creating a few privacy concerns.

The Pioneer is one of India’s oldest newspapers and our dear friends from The Daily Chain.

Daniel Dal Bello
What’s the nature of your relationships with other blockchain startups listed on your website? These are Ferrum Network, Geeq, Status, DIA, Orion Protocol, and TrustSwap.

Reggie Jerath
Mainly our advisory team were associated with them.

Ferrum and Gather are partnered. We will be monetizing both the Unifyre Wallet and all staking websites. ERC-20 GTH can be staked using Ferrum tech. FRM will also be added as a global payout method in Gather Online. Lastly, using the loyalty program Ferrum users will be earning FRM when spending time on Ferrum owned IP.

For Status, Vic our tech advisor was with them for quite a while.

Daniel Dal Bello
When you are using this in-browser idle processing power, would this have a noticeable impact on a device’s performance? Is that something that would be a recognizable negative for a user?

@coin_digger1
Yes, also, what about mobile devices and battery drain?

Reggie Jerath
Not at all, with V1 (the multi-miner) we had already stress tested with multiple devices from high-end to low-end PCs to mobile phones, streaming TVs, iPad’s, gaming consoles, etc. No issues were seen either on the battery drain or heating up the device.

However this is more of a concern for V1 since we were mining XMR and other chains. A competitor doing something similar (currently not around anymore) used less processing power than a static advertisement – their hashing algorithm was SHA256 if I recall correctly.

Daniel Dal Bello
What is the timeline for launch and token migration to the Gather blockchain?

Reggie Jerath
Well, we are looking for a rough timeline of 6 months, with testnet estimated for 3 months as per the latest tech call.

Our v0.1 of the test net would feature the web-mining + Gather Network being merge-mined with a child chain. This is in the works right now and should be finished by October 5th.

Daniel Dal Bello
What utility does the GTH token have now at launch and what additional utility will it have in the future?

Reggie Jerath
GTH’s value is derived from being as a medium of exchange within the ecosystem along with providing holders the opportunity to vote on the future of Gather.

The specific features that use GTH as a medium of exchange include:
1. Gas fees and network interaction charges, settlement and processing-power related charges for the Gather Cloud, and settlement of Gather Online rewards.
2. Providing a financial incentive to nodes to act honestly.
3. Entitling staking holders the right to participate in the governance and future of the Gather ecosystem.

Daniel Dal Bello
Well I’m really happy that you have gotten to where you are now Reggie, I know there were some hiccups along the way but now you are right on track and that’s great to see. Thanks so much for being here mate! Always good to talk, you’re welcome back anytime.

Reggie Jerath
Thank you for hosting Gather, this is was really good! Slowly but surely and step-by-step right? Good note to end off at!

The text in this summary has been adapted to correct grammatical errors and for presentation purposes. We thank our guest Reggie for joining us for this AMA. For more information on Gather, visit https://www.gather.network.