Recap of AMA with Neo Yiu

We had the pleasure of hosting Neo Yiu, our very own Head of Technology Advocacy, for an informative AMA session where he answered the community’s questions about what lies ahead for Klaytn. Listen to the AMA session below or read on for our recap!

Note: Some of the text may have been edited for grammar and clarity.

Date & Time: Jan 28th at 1pm SGT / 2pm KST
Platform: Twitter Spaces
Neo Yiu, Head of Technology Advocacy at Klaytn Foundation
Host: Sofy, Community Manager at Klaytn Foundation


Sofy: A very good afternoon to everyone. Welcome to Klaytn’s AMA session. Thank you for taking time to be with us today. Today’s AMA will be slightly special as we invite one of our Klaytn’s staff to chat with us. I am sure the community is excited to hear about Klaytn’s progression and future roadmap. Today’s session will be broken down into 2 segments. We will kickstart with an introduction from our guest speaker followed by community questions that we have collated.

Now, let’s welcome Neo Yiu. Thank you Neo for taking the time out to join us here today.

Neo: Thanks for having me today. I am Neo Yiu, currently the Head of Technology Advocacy at Klaytn Foundation. I’m normally based in London, but I’m currently in Hong Kong for a few weeks and now I’m graced with the opportunity to join our amazing audience today in this AMA session.

I came from a software engineering background and have been developing various blockchain applications in different service sectors since 2015. Prior to joining Klatyn Foundation, I was a blockchain engineer and technical architect for several companies, with the likes of Rakuten, BCG Digital Ventures and De Beers Group to drive their own blockchain use cases. I also headed De Beers Group’s blockchain initiatives, one of which was the end-to-end blockchain-enabled diamond traceability platform for the industry. I was also the Director of Technology at Oxford Blockchain Society, where I spearheaded the R&D and technical community expansion for the society. I am also a researcher at the Department of Engineering at Cambridge for blockchain-related (mostly on application level) research projects and I’m currently serving as a technical advisor for several blockchain-related startups and organizations.

I am currently the Head of Technology Advocacy at Klaytn. My objective is to drive the open source development of our core and ecosystem development as well as opening up our technical communities further, leading the R&D effort of the Klaytn ecosystem development and offering technical advisory on core and ecosystem development of the Klaytn blockchain. I am excited about the plans for Klaytn 2.0 and believe that Klaytn has a lot of potential to be one of most interoperable and dominant blockchain ecosystems out there in the market and is definitely a high-growth one that could not miss… I am excited to meet our community and a pleasure to be here.

Sofy: Thank you so much for the kind introduction Neo, that’s a really interesting background. All of us from Klaytn know that besides your tremendous knowledge in tech, you have an awesome sense of humour too! Thanks for bringing so much joy with your wit ever since you joined us.


Sofy: What is the roadmap with key milestones on Klaytn to be the metaverse blockchain for all. What can we expect to see for 2022 (e.g., NFT, P2E , Land Sale or M&A)?

Neo: In 2022, we aim to become the go-to option for metaverse, gaming and creator economy use cases. These include AAA games, play-to-earn (P2E) games, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and supporting DeFi services for metaverse businesses. To achieve that, we are focusing on pushing the agenda of Klaytn 2.0 initiatives as follows:

  • Open-source development infrastructure package — a set of Klaytn L2 solutions, a curated list of open source tools, as well as some Software Development Kits (SDK)
  • Highly scalable mainnet
  • Community co-building — user growth of individual projects
  • Management and financial support

Following the announcement of Klaytn 2.0 initiative, we are also looking to support Ethereum equivalence and progress Klaytn to be more interoperable with the use cases and tools built around the Ethereum ecosystem.

Sofy: What makes Klaytn different from other blockchains?

Neo: In a more general perspective, unlike other L1/L2 blockchains, Klaytn is indeed a hybrid service-centric blockchain:

  • The core chain consists of consensus nodes run by members of the governance council individually.
  • The core chain is based on a (CN-PN-EN) architecture of consensus nodes (CNs), proxy nodes (PNs), and endpoint nodes (ENs) which are open to connect with dApps based on the supporting API libraries for request handling.
  • There is also a service chain layer offered to different dApps developers and enterprises which would like to run their own sovereignty and consortium network for their use case specifically.

Interoperability between core chain and service chain is also enabled via bridging to achieve value transitions between the core chain and a cluster of service chains.

Klaytn is also differentiated with other blockchains in terms of industrial adoptions—the ecosystem has been adopted by about 200 partners (ranging from applications of DeFi, Gaming, Entertainment, Enterprise, Exchange, etc.) running on the Klaytn ecosystem, with over $2B in TVL (Total Value Locked). Klaytn is also one of the three blockchain ecosystems linked to OpenSea, hosting over 1,900 Klaytn-based NFT projects.

Sofy: Is Klaytn EVM compatible? What are the advantages over other L1 chains?

Neo: Klaytn’s core protocol started out as a git-forked project from Ethereum with a consensus algorithm of Proof-of-Authority. Though the core protocol of Klaytn has already progressed to IBFT as the consensus algorithm with its own special transaction and account model, the Klaytn Virtual Machine (KLVM) was built based on EVM and has enabled the support of Ethereum compatibility.

Alongside our own consensus algorithm, network architecture and customised procedures of block miner selections, 1-second block time, immediate finality, deterministic gas fee (with a fixed low gas price) and enhanced security with multi-signature feature enabled on protocol level based on our own transaction model.

With the advent of Klaytn 2.0, more advantages could be expected in the Klaytn ecosystem, including a highly scalable mainnet by leveraging our L2 service chain and canary networks of other ecosystems bridged with the mainnet, enhancements of token management tools and oracle functionality of the ecosystem, smart contract libraries and gateway for distributed file storage.

Sofy: Klaytn has the same address as eth (0x) meaning Klaytn runs on Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM). Do you have any plan to develop your own unique smart-contract?

Neo: As we mentioned earlier, the Klaytn Virtual Machine (KLVM) was built based on the EVM, and the compatibility with EVM explains why there is such a similar address format even if the transaction and account models of Klaytn are different from that of Ethereum, as both have been looking to implement a generalised transaction ledger. Regarding our unique smart contracts, as a blockchain ecosystem, we do have our own set of token standards (e.g. KIP-7, KIP-17, KIP-37, etc.) for the use cases to have their own implementation built on the Klaytn ecosystem.

I think the question might be referring to “Do we have any plan to develop our own virtual machine?”, and the answer towards this, is that KLVM is a different virtual machine than the EVM, and with Klaytn 2.0 we are looking into supporting Ethereum equivalence to harness the interoperability between ecosystems to enhance the adoption of Klaytn ecosystem. However, given a certain level of interoperability with other ecosystems is guaranteed, we won’t reject any possibility for Klaytn to have more special features on KLVM or even a completely new language fordeveloping Klaytn’s smart contracts that could also interoperate in other blockchain ecosystems.

Sofy: Smart contracts are prone to bugs. How efficient and secure is your smart contract? Have you ever been audited through external parties, so we are sure that this project is safe and good for the future of investors?

Neo: Klaytn is a layer-1 blockchain ecosystem for different use cases, dApps, layer-2 side chains or any toolchain to build on top of, so we mainly supply smart contract standards and their basic implementations for different use cases to refer to when building on our ecosystem. These standards and implementations of the smart contracts have been static-analysed and externally audited with the partners of the Klaytn ecosystem.

For those who are developing their own smart contracts and deploying them to the Klaytn network, we offer vulnerability analysis and smart contract auditing services via some of our ecosystem partners. It is down to the developers if they would like to have their smart contracts audited and security analysed prior to the actual deployment for real-time operation.

Sofy: What is the biggest challenge for Klaytn in developing the metaverse?

Neo: Metaverse is a subset of web3.0, and is therefore a product of web3 components, such as smart contracts, the base blockchain network, and virtual experiences (via extended reality). As a layer-1 blockchain ecosystem, Klaytn is not building “a” metaverse—we are building a base blockchain for which many metaverse and gaming developers would consider as a go-to blockchain for them to build their use cases on.

The biggest challenge to our goal of becoming the metaverse blockchain for all, would likely be interoperability, for which we are looking to achieve with other blockchain ecosystems not only on the protocol level but also extending it to the toolchain level; and scalability, for which we are looking into not just on network processing, but also on how individual nodes handle transactions, and how the throughput of blockchain production and finalization can be improved to achieve the scalability required for metaverse and gaming use cases built on top of the Klaytn ecosystem.

Sofy: How is this project different from the other Metaverse projects that already exist?

Neo: As previously explained, Klaytn’s aim isn’t to build a metaverse or a single metaverse use case, our aim is to become a “metaverse blockchain” for every type of metaverse and gaming use case. When it comes to how a metaverse built on Klaytn’s ecosystem would differ from those built on others, I think it will boil down to what is made possible by the difference between Klaytn and our industry counterparts, such as our service-centric, hybrid architecture model that caters to the technical requirements of different use cases, 1-second block time, deterministic gas fee and many more as covered in the previous questions.

Sofy: How will the metaverse affect the global economy in the future?

Neo: First, the global economy in the future will in all likelihood be virtual-currency driven (including crypto and all individual CBDCs), as I would imagine there will be an open standard enforced by international organizations and local governmental organizations, and the settlement layers for every crypto-related and digital transaction will be based on the new fiat currency — CBDCs—as the settlement layer. More use cases and sales will be completed in the open metaverse, which will serve as a medium for the shopping experience and for transactions to take place. We will also be seeing more forms of transactions, namely:

  • Onchain-onchain
  • Onchain-offchain
  • Offchain-onchain
  • Onchain-onchain-offchain
  • And many more…

Second, the rise of the metaverse has seen the utility of NFT being extended from merely a digital collectible to a digital object (with ownership) interacting with other digital objects or even fungible tokens in a metaverse environment. This will definitely create a gateway market for barter economy 2.0, which could be a creator economy driven and based on shared economy (via fractional ownership of any NFT).

Lastly, the global economy will definitely be more decentralized and distributed when the metaverse and the concept of an open metaverse becomes mainstream, as it would essentially imply the global economy will be more creator-economy and virtual-currency driven.

Sofy: Can you identify the components of the modern metaverse environments?

Neo: Absolutely. The components of a modern metaverse environment would include non-fungible tokens and fungible tokens as the commodities powering the development and adoptions of metaverse; the virtual experience, such as virtual events and any form of social interaction and gamification empowered by extended reality; the hardware wearables for extended reality; the cross-chain virtual avatar, and the digital objects (e.g digital marketplace, digital mall, digital car, digital wearables in the metaverses, etc.) which are powered by NFT and all based on the concept of itemization with ownership via tokenisation.

Sofy: How can Klaytn incorporate NFT into the metaverse?

Neo: As mentioned previously, the metaverse is a product of web3 components, including smart contracts minting and processing NFTs, and virtual experiences. Most of the existing metaverse use cases are powered by NFTs as digital objects interacting in the metaverse environment, and vice versa, adding an extension layer of utility to NFTs in the dynamic metaverse environment.

With the Klaytn 2.0 initiative, we will offer a game development infrastructure package for metaverse and game developers to include smart contract features to their development process. This will lower the barrier to develop and deploy their NFT smart contracts, utilizing our own smart contract standards and smart contract libraries specifically for metaverse development.

In my opinion, NFTs for the metaverse will be dealing with a dynamic set of metadata (on-chain and off-chain). That’s why Klaytn has been advocating dynamic NFT (with a major set of NFT standards for metaverse development coming up) as inevitable for any NFT-powered metaverse use case, more so as time-series NFTs might start kicking in (NFT transactions could be extended from permanent ownership to time-limit leasing).

Sofy: How do you think the metaverse will affect real life?

Neo: The metaverse has already affected real-life. We are starting to see more and more use cases built on top of virtual land, and we can already visualize the socializing experience via their dedicated multi-metaverse or cross-game avatars, as well as how institutions and high-street brands connect with their customers by becoming more virtual and interactive.

Sofy: How far can the metaverse go?

Neo: I don’t have a crystal ball with me so I don’t really know… jokes aside, in my opinion, it will all depend on whether there are still incentives for users to dive in the metaverse. As of today, I can see there are quite some incentives — MetaFi, Metaverse-integrated NFTs and a creator economy supporting different metaverse development projects.

Other than incentives, there are few more factors that could impose a major influence on how far the metaverse, or multi-metaverse, could go:

  • Whether there could be more innovative use cases on the metaverse ecosystem. Currently we can already see use cases built on some specific metaverse—entertainment, gaming and virtual property development—but there are definitely more areas yet to be explored, such as social interactions in the workplace, education, metaverse shopping experiences, and so on.
  • Whether existing use cases on the metaverse could be diversified. For instance, integrating virtual shopping experiences with the users’ digital wallets, in a digital shop located in a digital mall on a virtual land with an immersive experience.
  • Whether the problem of exercising digital rights of NFTs could be resolved, as the existing trust model of most NFT projects are based on the minters and their smart contract. NFTs have been and will be the fuel and commodity of future metaverse development.
  • Whether there could be a more decentralised and distributed way of organising and operating the metaverse and multi-metaverse, such as the concept of Open Metaverse which is managed and operated by a DAO-based model.
  • Whether the entry barrier to the metaverse could be lowered so literally everyone can easily be both a creator and user, to drive the creator economy on the metaverse together.

Sofy: What part of society or industry do you see being the on ramp for mainstream adoption of the Metaverse?

Neo: To me, it is all about whether there is an incentive for a specific society and industry to dive into the metaverse. The metaverse is powered and commoditised primarily by NFTs, so the market values of NFT projects in the market would provide enough incentives to the “hodlers” of the NFTs to adopt the metaverse.

For general users, the perks of being able to participate in more interactive social network services provides enough incentive for them to want to be part of the metaverse.

Regarding the industry, I think the mainstream adoption of metaverse and its application would mean a lot to the design and luxury industries which are hugely based on the creator economy in different blockchain ecosystems.

Sofy: What is your view on open vs closed metaverses?

Neo: This is a good one. Currently, most of the metaverse projects in the market are focused on their own use case, in a closed environment, with their dedicated smart contracts deployed to and their transactions recorded on one specific blockchain ecosystem (L1/L2). As the metaverse market is still at an early stage of its product cycle, it makes sense for these metaverse startups and projects to only focus on building their use case and environment as a starting point.

When there are more metaverse use cases and when individual ones start getting more mature with solid adoptions and active user pools, we will start to see the forming of consortiums or clusters based on strategic alliances, or extending their metaverse use cases on different L1s and L2s with the bridging layer implemented between the base blockchain ecosystem.

This in turn will lead to an open metaverse standard for the industry players to interoperate with each other for better user experience, which will then eventually see the advent of multi-metaverse where more adoptions and integrations with more potential use cases could be built.

However, there could be some sizeable metaverse use cases that would continue on their own, given the solid adoptions and user base they have already had, though they might be running with a risk of marginalization. Some might be building metaverse use cases for specific targeted audiences, similar to why industry subsets have been looking to run their own consortium blockchain instead of permissionless blockchains.

In short, I would be intrigued to see an open metaverse that could finally envision the idea of multi-metaverse, based on interoperable metaverse use cases.

Sofy: What programming language is best to learn to work for Klaytn?

Neo: I am thrilled to answer this one as this is specific and obviously from our communities who have been looking to be a part of the technical development of the Klaytn ecosystem. In short, I would suggest picking up Solidity for smart contract development, Golang for the core protocol development of Klaytn, JavaScript or TypeScript for building and maintaining the API libraries and interfaces, and Rust for developing the interoperability interface with different blockchain ecosystems and canary network infrastructure in the same blockchain industry.

Many thanks to Neo Yiu, our Head of Technology Advocacy for taking time out of his busy schedule for our AMA! To find out more about Klaytn and join our growing global community, please follow these links below:

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