Akash Weekly: Mantra
Welcome to another issue of Akash Network’s weekly newsletter, based on our weekly event series featuring Greg Osuri, Founder & CEO of Overclock Labs.
Our guests this week
Akash’s Mainnet 4 is LIVE
Mainnet 4 is now live on Akash Network after a successful upgrade yesterday. For more information on Mainnet 4 and resources for upgrading — check out this post on Akash’s blog.
Updated CLI release notes: https://docs.akash.network/mainnet4-upgrade-docs/akash-v0.18.0-cli-release-notes
CLI detailed steps: https://docs.akash.network/guides/cli/detailed-steps
Overclock Console is coming soon
Now that Mainnet 4 is live on Akash Overclock Console will be next to launch. We’re currently testing the product internally and will provide more information over the next few weeks when we have a date for the public beta launch. Follow Akash’s official social channels, and head over to Akash’s Discord to keep up with the latest news on Overclock Console.
ICYMI: Cloudmos launched its Alerts product, which lets users keep an eye on the balances of their escrow accounts. This makes it easy to get notifications to top up wallet balances so that deployments don’t run out of escrow funds — which is one of the main reasons we see closed deployments on Akash.
Cloudmos alerts will also keep users up to date on current governance proposals.
Token Economics 2.0
Not financial advice.
As the AKT utility token secures Akash Network, we are exploring potential options to implement a value accrual mechanism. The token price directly correlates to the network's security, so Akash should incentivize token holders. The most likely mechanism that Akash accomplishes this will be through a burn mechanism tied to stable/fiat settlements. We will keep the community updated as we get closer to releasing a governance proposal.
Link to this section in the recording:
A conversation with Mantra
Interim MD, Mantra
Kate is responsible for leading and growing MANTRA Finance, which is MANTRA's globally-regulated DeFi platform that brings the speed and transparency of DeFi to the world of traditional finance. She graduated with a Business degree at USC, in Los Angeles, and since has worked in Banking, Entrepreneurship, Fintech, and Crypto. She first got into crypto in 2016 through her personal interest and to diversify her personal investments. She has worked on-site in the US, China, Hong Kong, UAE, and KSA, and continues to help drive expansion for an innovative and ambitious business.
System Analyst, Mantra
Harshita is working as a System Analyst at MANTRA. She is originally from India and now based out of Hong Kong. Graduating with her degree in IT Engineering, she has been passionate about technology. Previously, held roles as a backend developer and an analyst in the traditional IT sector. Being half a year into the crypto space, Harshita is working closely with MANTRA's Validator Nodes Business. Main areas of focus are the nodes business growth, analysis of various blockchain data & tools, communicating between tech & operations, and decision-making.
An overview of Mantra
The Mantra founders have been active in the crypto and web3 space since 2016. During this time, they have seen many projects come and go — and have recognized that the best projects focus on the community, emphasizing transparency and clear communication.
Mantra launched in 2020 (originally as Mantra DAO in the Polkadot ecosystem). The token, OM, was launched in August 2020.
The project's initial focus was on staking and other financial products on ETH, BNB, and MATIC. But over time, Mantra has branched out to many other chains.
Over time, the project has evolved and now includes four facets: Mantra Nodes, Mantra Chain, Mantra Finance, and Mantra DAO. Together these facets make up the Mantra Omniverse.
Mantra Nodes is a service that runs PoS nodes across many different various chains. They have run as many as 30 active validator nodes simultaneously. The current focus for Mantra Nodes is working with institutions to run validator nodes as a service. These institutions could include banks, family offices, hedge funds, and individual investors.
Mantra Chain comes from the idea that Mantra could vertically integrate to own the entire value chain across all of the DeFi products that it offers — by launching those products on Mantra’s chain.
Mantra Finance is focused on working with regulators to create a licensed decentralized exchange with financial products that can coexist with current international market regulations. Mantra is working with regulators around the world to launch Mantra Finance.
The challenges of bear markets
One of the significant challenges of bear markets is the loss of capital, which means there is less capital available to be deployed into projects that would otherwise receive investment in better market conditions.
The second challenge is the loss of trust in the industry that many participants experience. Mantra is building for both retail investors and institutions — but unfortunately, a loss of confidence can cause participants to leave the industry for an extended period. This effect can prolong a bear market.
Running validator nodes
Mantra runs validator nodes across many different chains, including the Cosmos ecosystem — where they have been active. They were introduced to Akash Network through their validator network. Mantra is currently in the active set of validators on Akash.
Although Mantra runs all of its validator nodes on bare metal, they have plans to host sentry nodes on Akash Network.
In light of Hetzner removing web3 from their platform, a decentralized cloud is needed (especially for web3) — Mantra agrees that Akash is well-positioned to address this market.
Advice for people entering web3
The panel discusses advice for builders and founders entering the web3 space. All three panelists provide insight here, and it is worth listening to this section in full:
Q: For Greg Osuri, what motivates an investor to hold AKT over the long run?
A: [Editor’s note: This is not investment or financial advice. Overclock Labs is not a financial advisor and can’t offer specific investment advice. For this question, Greg provides a high-level overview of value accrual in tokenomics. It’s worth listening to Greg in his own words here.
The quote below was a part of Greg’s answer to this question.]
Q: Are there plans to share take income with stakers of AKT?
A: [Editor’s note: The disclaimers above apply to this question about tokenomics and regulation. Greg touches on the LBRY ruling and what it means for the space.]
Q: Why does Akash Network need to be web3? Wouldn’t a web2 solution have made development and adoption easier?
A: The answer lies at the heart of this question: Why does the cloud need to decentralize?
The cloud controls many aspects of our lives. We don’t recognize its influence because it exists behind the scenes, but the reality is that most of the apps we use daily run in the cloud. Today, 60%+ of the compute that powers our favorite apps are controlled by three major corporations.
One day we wake up to find that the infrastructure that underlies our digital lives has become highly concentrated.
But the centralized cloud has flaws.
Stability is the primary concern. Highly concentrated compute means outages can take down large portions of the internet simultaneously.
Cost is becoming a significant concern as well. These near-monopolies on cloud services mean huge corporate profit margins. One of the largest cloud service providers has operating margins of 31%, gross margins for compute estimated to be close to 60%, and bandwidth markups estimated to be 80%+. Many are beginning to understand just how expensive the centralized cloud has become.
So, where do we go from here?
We build the decentralized cloud.
Listen to the full recording of this week’s conversation below:
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