The web3 space has a lot of ongoing innovation. One of those is the concept of geo-spatial blockchains. We were intrigued by this an reached out to Marus Levin, Co-Founder of XYO, a geo-spatial blockchain. Here is what he had to say.
Markus Levin Co-Founder of XYO
- What are geospatial location networks?
At XYO, we define our geospatial network as a Reality Oracle or a consensus engine.
XYO gathers data location and eye witness details.
These details could be anything someone might associate with a specific place and time. Here are a few random examples of what I’m talking about:
- Who was or wasn’t present at a particular time in a specific location
- What the weather was like at the time
- What a business’s operating hours are currently
- Even more granular details, like what rating the fries from the restaurant downstairs received from an average visitor
We believe this makes a geospatial network like XYO the future of digital location technology.
We’re able to actively collect and commodify virtually any data about any location that has internet coverage, and our partners can then use that data to build strategic information.
How do geospatial location networks work? Please, can you give us some examples?
XYO’s geospatial network uses individual nodes (usually smartphones) to collect location and heuristic data – the data is then organized, analyzed, and processed and is used by third parties in their decision-making.
Virtually everyone carries a node in their pocket—a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or smartwatch.
So many things we use in our daily lives can provide information that can be utilized to make the world smarter or more efficient.
The XYO Network has the power to help businesses better serve their customers, and in turn, help with their bottom line .
Since it’s a relatively new technology, XYO is capitalizing on this potential by using the capabilities of the technology we already own and any new tech emerging in the future.
We encourage data generation by rewarding node owners for their contributions while using their tech, whether actively or passively.
What advantages do decentralized geospatial networks have over centralized networks?
There are so many advantages to the way XYO approaches geospatial data that we could do an entire interview just on that topic alone.
By crowdsourcing the data we collect and incentivizing the collection of data, we change everything about the dynamic of the interaction between the companies that want data and the individuals who generate it.
The traditional model commodifies participants while keeping the data collected centralized and proprietary.
We, instead, commodify the data itself.
We know data is worth something, and we value the people who use their personal property to create it, so they get rewarded for volunteering their information.
Some power users of our COIN app – a fun, gamified app that includes the XYO protocol – have a successful side-hustle going by working collaboratively with us. We win, they win, everyone wins.
With our rollout of XYO 2.0 coming this year, we’ll make the data collected by our users easy for partners to access and utilize.
We’re making this data secure and virtually impossible to tamper with through blockchain technology, making it easy to use with the JSON format and simple to access through APIs.
Developers can plug right into XYO and get what they need for their projects.
- Can you give us an inside look into XYO’s technology under the hood?
We’re interested in watching the rise of the metaverse in the popular imagination because the way we see it, XYO is fundamentally a Reality Oracle, and a metaverse project.
We began discussing and implementing many of the core concepts now coming to the forefront of the tech industry as they were emerging—we pioneered them in some cases.
XYO is a project of XY Labs, which we founded as an IoT – internet of things – company in 2012.
At the time, we focused on the emergent consumer tech of BLE – an efficient form of Bluetooth for crowdsourcing and collecting data – and to this day, a technology we still use.
We specialize in connecting tech and people as seamlessly as possible by integrating hardware into people’s lives through innovative software.
We’ve produced a wide variety of consumer tech products, both software and integrated hardware.
With the rise of blockchain, we saw the potential to use it along with our technology, so we founded XYO to take advantage of the blockchain concept.
The idea is simple, but the development is complex.
We’ve taken our ability to collect and disseminate geospatial data and made it increasingly accessible and verifiable through the use of blockchain.
The cryptocurrency element of our technology comes in with the XYO token, an ERC20 token used for data transactions within the XYO network.
So, we pay our nodes in XYO token for providing us with their data.
The data created through these interactions gets accessed through the metaverse.
The foundation of our human-readable UI is metaversal, and increasingly, there will be more and more potential for integration across platforms as more software adopts this same model.
It’s wild watching everyone in the tech space suddenly talk about concepts we’ve been discussing and building for years—we feel like we’re ahead of the curve.
- Congratulations on the recent listing of the XYO token with Huobi! What’s next for XYO?
We’re incredibly excited; so many exchanges have seen the value of the XYO Network and the XYO token in recent months.
The accomplishment represented by these listings results from the forward-thinking of those exchanges and our hard work.
Now that our token is more widely traded, we’re aiming to have a say in how the global, cross-platform metaverse takes shape.
We’ve discussed internally how our thought leadership gets expressed publicly, while our ideas are developed and brought to fruition by our newly expanded and incredibly talented development team.
Shares of XY Labs are also going to be launching on the tZERO Markets ATS in the very near future.
We believe these factors will drive further adoption of our technology and our token.
We can’t wait until we can discuss some of the partnerships we have coming with the world.
And, of course, we expect to see more exchange listings in 2022.
Probably more than ever before, although we’re already on some of the world’s top exchanges, such as KuCoin, Crypto.com, Gate.io, and of course Coinbase.
We’d love to land some of the other big exchanges, such as Gemini, Kraken, Bitfinex, FTX, and of course, the one we get the most requests for, Binance.
- What are the various components of the XYO network? How do they work?
The network that makes up the XYO Network, or Reality Oracle, as we like to call it, is comprised of four parts:
Sentinel – A physical device (like a smartphone or one of our SentinelX devices) in the XYO network that broadcasts a signal with its location and other data (like time or the temperature).
When the sentinel is near another sentinel and they broadcast that they are near each other, this is an interaction and proof of the sentinel’s location.
Bridge – A physical device (like a smartphone or one of our BridgeX devices) in the XYO network finds bound witness interactions (as mentioned in the Sentinel definition).
When the Bridge finds an interaction, it places a signature on it, confirming the interaction.
Archivist – A database storing bridge confirmed bound witness interactions. This node records all confirmed bound witness interactions.
Diviner – A node on the XYO network that answers questions using bound witness data.
- Please, can you give us a history of the XYO project and how it started?
XYO’s parent company, XY Labs, began utilizing Internet of Things (IoT) devices and from there realized there was a problem with location data— it’s easily spoofed or hacked.
So, we developed the XYO Network to address this problem.
When we started, the consumer market for this idea and technology didn’t even exist.
But now, we’re seeing a rapid convergence of the physical world and digital worlds through the metaverse—it’s pretty cool.
- Who are the miracle workers behind XYO? Please, can you provide us with details?
We believe in utilizing the key talents of each employee to get the best out of our team.
We truly believe in giving our team the freedom to not only work on what is needed for the project, but also what they are passionate about.
We give space for new ideas, and support our employees in any way they need.
That’s the only way for us to grow.
We’ve got a small, but very talented group and we’re excited about what each person brings to the table.
- What has the reception been towards the XYO project by the web3 community?
XYO has developed strong partnerships with key players in the web3 community, and XYO operates on open source code with education around the protocol in mind.
Industry partnership to drive the usage of this protocol, further maximizing education in the community.
Our partners include Chainlink, Microsoft, CAS Smart City, Dispatch Labs, and Harmony.
- How is consensus achieved within the XYO network?
When a node/device on the network detects another node, they’ll independently report back what they saw and verify each other.
This recognition proves they were in the same place at the same time and witnessed the same event.
The more devices belonging to the network that are present during an event, the more immutable the data provided by our nodes becomes.
- Please, can you tell us more about your personal journey into the web3 industry?
I have over 15 years of experience in building, managing, and growing companies.
After dropping out of my Ph.D. studies at Bocconi University, I began creating, working with, leading and selling companies in hyper-growth industries around the globe.
I mined my first Bitcoin in 2013 and have been captivated by blockchain technologies ever since.
- What is proof of origin?
Proof-of-Origin refers to a set of zero-knowledge proofs used to determine the accuracy of information served by the network’s oracles—they are given a score called the Origin Chain Score.
A chain confirms location(s) through the collection, confirmation, and storage of bound witness interactions.
This chain is used to answer questions related to location data certainty.
Proof of origin information is essential in verifying the ledgers that contain location data flowing into the XYO Network are valid.
A unique ID for a source of data is not practical since that information can be spoofed.
Private key signing isn’t practical since most parts of the XYO Network are difficult or impossible to physically secure, so the ability for a bad actor to steal a private key is too feasible.
To solve this, XYO uses Transient Key Chaining.
The benefit of this is it’s impossible to falsify the chain of origin for data. This key chaining comes from the Bridge to the Archivist and then to the Diviner.
- What are the benefits that network users gain from participation?
Our COIN app is a gamified utility used for Geomining XYO Tokens.
The app allows users to interact with nearby XY Sentinels (or verified devices) to collect XYO Tokens, which can be traded or used for XYO transactions.
This serves as a mechanism to encourage users to interact with XY Sentinels and also helps expand the number of edge nodes on XYO.
COIN features include the ability to withdraw XYO Tokens to an ERC20 wallet, “easter egg” assets to hunt and collect, and the ability to share XYO Tokens by Geodropping them for other users.
The XYO Network App is a utility allowing the user’s smartphone or tablet to become a Bridge for the user’s Sentinel devices, producing Bound Witness data, providing heuristic data for XYO Network users, displaying Origin Chain information, and several other XYO functions needed for the XYO Network to function properly.
Most importantly, the COIN app allows users to register, organize, and update their XYO devices, in particular, the firmware of fully wireless Edge Nodes such as Sentinel X.
Users can do a variety of things with the XYO tokens they’ve earned.
Developers can also build Geodapps (geo-based, decentralized apps) utilizing the XYO Network. Alternatively, users can sell their XYO Tokens on many electronic exchanges.
- What are the smart contract capabilities of the XYO network?
XYO lets developers write smart contracts for blockchain platforms to interact with the physical world as if it were an API (collection of code that promotes action, i.e., if this location, then a completion of the smart contract).
- Where do you see the XYO network in the next decade?
Over the next decade, technology will develop rapidly and the physical and digital world will become indistinguishably integrated.
The XYO Network will play an integral role in providing location data and other data connected with the Metaverse.
Blockchain technology allows data to be permanent and chained, allowing high-mobility assets and ensuring all error-prone processes are tracked, monitored, and reliable.
In the coming years, the XYO Network will help streamline processes in healthcare, travel, eCommerce, insurance, security, and so much more.
The future is bright, and the possibilities are limitless.