Last week, we had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Dorian Johannink, Co-Founder and Business Director, Sylo, a leading global software development house founded in 2010. Dedicated to decentralisation, they’re the core builders of the Sylo Community, Sylo Protocol and Sylo Smart Wallet. Recently, Sylo had launched Oya, a complete reimagining of their backend architecture that ushers in mainstream decentralisation.
The core team combines a deep background in computer science, development and user experience with the real-world business experience of entrepreneurs, designers and world-leading technologists. Let’s dive into the interview question and answers we had with Dorian Johannink, Co-Founder and Business Director, Sylo.
Please tell us about yourself and your journey in the crypto industry so far?
Personally, I came from a digital consulting background. Prior to Sylo, after completing university, I founded a consultancy helping businesses market themselves through the Facebooks and Twitters of the world. Through this process I gained deep insights into the data harvesting practices of these platforms, which prompted a bit of a realisation that there must be a better way to deliver these types of communication solutions.
We launched our first version in early 2017 as a secure messenger for Professionals looking for confidentiality in their online communications (lawyers, therapists, financial advisors etc). This product progressed into a plan to build out and deploy a fully-fledged decentralised communications protocol. Two years later, we deployed Sylo Protocol and Sylo Smart Wallet dApp (messenger & wallet) which is now used across more than 50 countries.
What is the Sylo Network and who is it for?
The Sylo network is a communications, storage and payments network for use by dApps. The Sylo network currently supports over 350k users of our Smart Wallet App.
What is the basic requirement to run a node in the Sylo Network? As of Q4 2020, how many nodes are currently active in Sylo Network?
At this stage there is virtually no minimum requirement – anyone can run one whether that be on their own device, or on a service like AWS. In time, service allocation will be stake-weighted, meaning the more you have staked, the more users you will be allocated and the more you can earn. More info can be found here: https://sylo.io/network/node/ and there is also a live node ticker in the app you can check out to see how many independent nodes have been set up.
What is Oya, the new product that you announced a few weeks back?
Oya is the naming convention we gave to the latest release of our tech stack, which has been in development for more than a year. Oya is a fundamental realignment of our infrastructure, introducing two key components:
- enabling our decentralised messenger to perform on par with mainstream centralised messenger alternatives (no longer performance or UX concessions required to adopt a decentralised alternative)
- Release of Sylo nodes, which now enables our user community to host and run nodes that contribute to running the Sylo communications network. With this release, we now enable our userbase to set up and host nodes to contribute to the performance of the network. Stage two of this will be introducing the incentivisation component, which will enable those running nodes to earn crypto in return for committing computing resources to the network.
How many cryptocurrencies does the Sylo Smart Wallet support?
Currently, we support BTC, XTZ, ETH, CENNZnet and all ERC-20 tokens.
As Sylo Smart Wallet provides a chat option, is it safe to have a chat and call option in a wallet DApp?
Yes, that’s the whole point of it. Sylo is built from the ground up to be safe and secure. In terms of communications, with our decentralised infrastructure, we aren’t promising not to look at your data, we simply just aren’t capturing it, which solves the privacy problem altogether. Additionally, every communication (message/call) is end to end encrypted by default, there is no non-encrypted option. With a decentralised service, there isn’t a giant pot of data gold waiting for potential attackers, due to the nature that data is distributed across thousands of users devices, not our central servers, which provides security by infrastructure design. From a UX standpoint, one of the major risks when sending crypto is that you don’t know who you are sending it to when using public addresses – with our app you can add a contact and then directly message them the assets, knowing for sure who you are sending to and that the address is correct.
Sylo uses The Signal protocol for chat messages; what is it and what purpose does it serve?
The Signal Protocol is a common standard for End-To-End encryption, also used by apps like Whatsapp and Signal. Chat messages on Sylo are sent across the Sylo Network, a decentralised network to ensure that messages are never reliant on a single company. We see this as a big privacy improvement on other messaging services.
What is the sole purpose of SYLO Token?
The Sylo token is used to send messages and store data on the Sylo Network. More info can be found here.
Can micro transactions through the Sylo wallet be done using other crypto as well or just through SYLO Token?
On Mainnet, the Sylo token will be used for microtransactions for payment for services on the network (messaging, storage etc) and also for micropayments in-app. There are no plans (at this stage) to allow microtransactions in other tokens.
On how many exchanges is SYLO token traded currently and which other exchanges are aimed for the future?
Currently SYLO is available for trading on Kucoin, Gateio and BitBNS. Additional offers are in hand with plans to add new listings in the coming year.
What are the future plans of the company? Where do you see your company in the next 3 years?
More than can list in a couple of paragraphs, but here are some of the key elements:
- In the short term, we’ve got a few key features coming soon, covering: buying and trading crypto directly in the app, major asset defi and yield integration directly into the Sylo wallet, as well as Social Defi features.
- In the long term, our key focus is on growing the Sylo Network to the largest decentralised network on the planet. We’re currently well on our way with over 350,000 network users already, pushing to break the 1M mark during 2021. Once we break the 1M user mark and fully commercialise the Sylo Node stack, we will be the largest truly decentralised communications network there is – as far as we’re aware. The major achievement in this delivery will be the ability for a global network of users that can leverage their individual devices to run the network, bringing us to a state where the network will be truly global, decentralised and unstoppable. This achievement will also have significant implications across many other industries, including centralised communications platforms once we can demonstrate its ability to perform at a significant scale.
What do you think about the future of the Blockchain Technology and DeFi market and where do you see Sylo in it?
Generally, in terms of blockchain, we’re now moving from what I’d call seed to a budding phase. As far as defi goes, we’re definitely still at the very early stages. What is clear, however, is that it has already been undeniably demonstrated by both of these developments that there is both a need, as well as demand for these technologies to be integrated much more deeply into our global systems, and even reinvent many existing financial systems we have in place. The likely flow will be a requirement to integrate with existing mainstream mass adopted systems on the journey toward fully replacement. However, it’s undeniable that these two terms will be powerful global forces come to the end of this decade.
DECODING MINDS – a brand new series of interviews by Digital Notice to give you an insight into the projects straight from the Founders and the Team. Each article explores the real-world experiences and expertise of our guests to discuss their unique perspective on the project use cases, its challenges, its changes, and its prospects in the fiercely competitive world of Crypto and Blockchain.