UPDATE | 2020 Q1

Previous Updates
-DEVELOPMENT

--Deploy Factom GovCloud Network

--Utilize WVU’s biometric and forensic experience to incorporate Factom protocol into the development of technology and processes

--Platform to demonstrate and launch Factom protocol healthcare solutions on a small-scale to prepare for global distribution

--Demonstrate and launch government solutions running on Factom Protocol

--Evaluate Factom on Factom technology to provide the Factom
protocol for use on US Government-specific networks

--Deploy two reserved Factom hosts on the AWS GovCloud (east and west) networks

-MARKETING

--Establish a Factom protocol sponsored endowment fund

---Engage with WVU media/marketing arm in partnership with the Factom protocol to highlight the value Factom provides to the marketplace

• Short term:

---Blockchain technology lessons added to computer science 100 level curriculum

---Programming courses tailored to interacting with blockchain technology

• Mid term:

---Certificate program in blockchain technology

---Factom-certified developers graduating from program

• Long term:

---Bachelors programs in blockchain technology specialization

---Master’s program in blockchain technology

-- Global media release highlighting the largest university endowment funded

--Engage with WVU media/marketing arm in partnership with the Factom Protocol

-TESTNET

--Two testnet nodes

--Committed to the development of the protocol by pledging to continue to operate authority nodes on the Factom Testnet

-OTHER

--Reevaluate efficiency annually over a three year period
Veteran Blockchain Investment Firm is proud to publish our first Factom protocol Authority Node Operator report. We are awaiting on-boarding and anticipate joining the authority set within the next month. We look forward to beginning the audit process and further decentralizing the protocol. Below are a few items we have been working on in the meantime:

Coordinated Follow the Money Podcast featuring the Factom protocol

We are very excited about this effort and wanted to lead our report with this news. Kyle reached out to Jerry Robinson, who authored “Bankruptcy of Our Nation,” and operates Follow the Money Radio with previous guests including Steve Forbes, Ron Paul and Jim Rogers. He coordinated to have Jerry host Paul Snow to be the face of the Factom protocol for a thirty minute interview showcasing the protocol to an extremely large audience. This podcast aired on the 10th anniversary of the Satoshi whitepaper and showcased the Factom protocol to a new, untapped, well-funded audience in which will be a first step in garnering awareness from the crypto market.

If you are interested in listening to the podcast, you can listen for free here.

Submitted DoD SBIR grant proposal

The Veteran team submitted our first SBIR grant to develop a capability for efficiently and verifiably sharing documents and scientific data sets built upon the Factom protocol for the Defense Technical Information Center. Our gratitude to Dennis Bunfield, Steven Masley, and the rest of The Factoid Authority team in working together on drafting the proposal. Announcement is expected late January if our proposal will be accepted. Our team is working on additional SBIR grant proposals that will be closing over the course of the next couple of months. We will update everyone on their status during the next report.

During the Factom Summit, we had the opportunity to discuss government grant opportunities with some of the other ANOs and look forward to collaborating with them on future announcements. If you have questions on how to navigate the grant process, feel free to reach out to Nolan on Discord or Factomize. We plan to create a thread that will provide important dates for each of the grant solicitation rounds so the community can collaborate on future projects.

Global Blockchain Summit

Kyle attended the Global Blockchain Summit in Denver, CO. He specifically met with Gerard Dache who is the President of the Government Blockchain Association (GBA) to discuss the Factom protocol and it’s potential within multiple government agencies. Again, our intention will be to continue catalyzing both awareness and adoption within the U.S. Government. We have also initiated the process to become the first Government Blockchain Association chapter in the state of West Virginia. If other community members are interested in creating a chapter, we can help you with that process.

Attended Factom Summit

The Veteran team attended the first-ever Factom Summit, getting the opportunity to meet many of the ANOs within the community. We were extremely impressed with the level of commitment and potential everyone is bringing to the protocol. We look forward to future summits and the opportunity to meet the rest of the community.

Python Library Update

Nolan has started updating the Python Factom library. We are collaborating with Canonical Ledgers and Building IM on this venture and currently testing the code. If you’d like to contribute, you can join the collaboration here.
Kyle was able to secure a speaking spot for Mr. Paul Snow from Factom Inc on the crushthestreet.com podcast last week. You can listen to the broadcast here:

Kyle has various contacts throughout the financial management/consulting and precious metals communities that have graciously accepted our requests to market the Factom Protocol through their membership communication channels. If anyone is interested in speaking on behalf of the protocol on a future podcast/release, please let us know.

More comprehensive update to follow.

-Nolan
Since beginning this journey over a year ago, we have had the pleasure to watch this ecosystem grow from a fledgling group of like-minded individuals to a governance-defined community. The pressure to deliver is high and we continue to execute with the best interest of the Factom Protocol in mind. We thank everyone for your patience in preparing this update.

EFFICIENCY-RELATED WORK

Technology

First and foremost, the VBIF servers have ran without issue, maintaining the highest responsiveness to network pauses, and have been updated without issue since onboarding into the authority set in October.

Unfortunately, we were not awarded an SBIR grant in the DOD 18.3 round to develop a Factom-enabled Defense Technical Information Center repository. We are not discouraged by this setback and continue to identify other opportunities to showcase the capabilities of the Factom Protocol. Specifically, a recent Department of Energy submission is in review and we have identified a National Institute of Health funding opportunity that we will be pursuing. As always, if other entities are interested in understanding the government grant process, we’re happy to help.

Outside of Guide duties, Nolan continues to maintain a branch of the Factom Python library that some in our community have chosen to utilize. We are working with the original owner of the Factom Python library to work on merging the changes and transitioning control to the protocol. Special shout-out to @Samuel Vanderwaal with Canonical Ledgers for the support.

We continue to maintain two nodes on the testnet. Additionally, we recently spun up an additional node to support Who’s (Factomize) P2P release and testing on the testnet.

Marketing

In case any of it was missed, here is a recap of the podcasts Kyle setup to bring awareness to the Factom Protocol:

- Crush The Street/Paul Snow
- Goldseek Radio/Paul Snow
- Financial Survival Network//Paul Snow

Thank you to @PaulSnow for making yourself available to speak on behalf of the Factom Protocol at these events. If others in the community are interested in speaking opportunities, we’d be happy to setup other opportunities.

In February, Kyle flew to NYC for two days and met with two separate large investment capital firms that have investment requirements specifically to the Blockchain space for individual/commercial clients. He did spent over three hours with each as an ambassador/SME of the Factom Protocol. Additionally, he spoke with both investment advisors and members of their boards giving presentations to each firm. NDA's were signed with both; so we will be unable to provide any further details.

In May, we successfully applied to charter a Government Blockchain Association Chapter in the North Central West Virginia region. We have attended GBA functions in the past, evangelizing the Factom Protocol to build awareness. This will be an opportunity for us to further grow the Factom name within the government industries throughout the state and greater Washington DC area. GBA is a global entity and expanding their influence. If anyone is interested in establishing a chapter in your location, or meeting up with an established chapter, we’d be happy to help you with that process. If you are interested in learning more about GBA, a link to their organization is here (https://www.gbaglobal.org/).

In April, the Veteran team met with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office to discuss the value the Factom Protocol can provide to the state. In attendance in the meeting was the Lottery Commission, the Chief Technology Officer of West Virginia, the director of West Virginia Forward, the Deputy Secretary of State, Chief Information officer of West Virginia, and representatives from the West Virginia University’s John Chamber’s School of Business. The meeting was successful and has resulted in many follow-on discussions and meetings. The state continues to work with the Veteran team to identify opportunities where the Factom Protocol can be incorporated into their processes.

The Veteran team is extremely excited for this final news update! Nine months ago, we set out to begin fostering a relationship with West Virginia University to create a partnership with the Factom Protocol. One of the reasons for delaying our update was we were on the precipice of this announcement and wanted to hold out until we had further details finalized. We are proud to announce that WVU is prepared to enter into a three-year deal with the Factom Protocol. The initial framework of this partnership is to create an annual hackathon series that will exclusively utilize the Factom Protocol. We have included a copy of the proposal below for the community to review. We will be posting another thread to open up the discussion on this matter and to decide the way-ahead for the protocol. As we are merely acting as brokers between the Factom Protocol and WVU, we want to ensure we have the community support to move forward before any agreements are signed. We continue to hold bi-weekly meetings with the Assistant Dean of Strategic Initiatives and WVU Forward and pending the direction the community would like to go with this opportunity, will continue to push for a partnership / establishment of a blockchain curriculum made possible by the Factom Protocol. More details in the follow-up thread.


NON-EFFICIENCY-RELATED WORK (Grants)

-Nolan remains a co-sponsor for the Factom Inc Protocol Development grant.
-Nolan will be a co-sponsor for the Go-Immutable Marketing grant.

Thank you everyone and we welcome any questions you have!
EFFICIENCY-RELATED WORK

-Veteran continues to operate as per our initial pledge at 50% efficiency.

Technology
-Participated in the peer-to-peer code test
-Maintained 100% uptime of Authority Set servers
-Maintained two servers on the Testnet

Marketing
-Maintaining on a weekly basis the professional relationship with the Dean of The John Chambers School of Business and the Dean of Strategic Initiatives at West Virginia University.
-Meeting and speaking on a weekly basis with faculty and faculty chair departments at WVU to include Computer Science, Law, and Engineering.
-Initiated, established and begun cultivating a relationship with Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA to introduce to the Factom Protocol. If WVU and our established relationship and potential partnership with them is seen as something not to be pursued by the protocol, then my intent is to establish the same relationship with a technology leader within academia to partner with.
-Continuing to draw on Kyle’s network of professional contacts in order to solidify speaking engagements/podcasts in order to introduce PegNet to a broader audience of traders, capital funds and institutional managers.


As always, open to discuss with the community. Thank you.

-Nolan
Current Update: UPDATE | 2020 Q1
Between the new year and the end of March, VBIF continued to support the protocol through providing secure infrastructures to ensure a distributed federated set, evangelized the protocol through our podcast and social media contacts, and continued to support governance efforts to ensure a healthy protocol.

Efficiency
We continue to contribute 50% of earnings to the grant pool as originally pledged, and we remain solvent to continue this for the foreseeable future.

Twitter metrics Q1
13 original tweets, 8154 impressions

Grant Pool Calculator
We created a Python based repository for calculating the future grant round value given the current efficiencies. The calculator determines the current grant round, estimates a payout block as close to 23:59 UTC (divisible by 25 + 1) to maximize the utilization. The future grant contribution calculation part of the repo is complete. Waiting on some additional development to move forward to incorporate the existing grant pool value into the repo to be able to calculate the complete value. We intend to use this tool to calculate the 2020-02 Grant round that is expected be opening up the end of this month.

If anyone is interested in trying it out, you can find it here. Always open to suggestions / improvements.

VCC Exchange Code
Nolan created python-based code to interface with the VCC exchange API. This is still in an early stage, but open for use by the community if they would like to trade within the VCC exchange here.

COVID-19 Economic Recovery Team
Nolan was hand selected to participate in an economic recovery team as the state of West Virginia eyes how to reopen for business when the pandemic subsides. This is not specifically for Factom, but does offer an opportunity for the protocol, and in general blockchain technology's value to be put front and center of political and economic leadership. One facet that is particularly interesting and potentially valuable to the protocol is the modernization of credentialing processes throughout the state and nation to better facilitate interoperability and support during times like we are facing today. In 2017, for instance, credentialing gaps delayed employees and volunteers from contributing much-needed skills in disaster areas during one of the worst hurricane and wildfire seasons on record while Federal agencies inadvertently issued interim clearances to individuals with criminal records. Secure, Modern, Mission-Capable Credentialing is showing promise and there are potential opportunities for public-private partnerships within the state. We will continue to pursue this effort. The 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act contains billions of dollars worth of funding to improve telehealth, rural community access to telecommunication-enabled information, audio, and video equipment, as well as broadband expansion to unserved rural areas.

Crush the Street
As previously posted, Kyle was able to setup a speaking arrangement for Mr. David Johnson to discuss Pegnet and the versatility of the Factom Protocol in February. Unfortunately, this was posted around the same time it was identified that someone had left their Pegnet wallet exposed (and unencrypted). This was disappointing as we see the dumping of the tokens onto the market resulted in a stagnation of momentum. We are remain strong proponents for and invested in Pegnet and will continue to find opportunities to bring our contacts to the community to evangelize the Factom Protocol and Pegnet.

Governance Working Group
Following the disbandment of guides, Nolan has pledged a seamless transition and volunteered for the governance working group. There are a number of documents that will be brought forward for ratification as well as other initiatives that will work to improve the protocol governance.

West Virginia University
  • Continue working weekly with the Dean of Strategic Initiatives to establish a partnership between West Virginia University and the Factom Protocol.
  • Holding bi-weekly teleconferences with several department chairs to catalyze interest in becoming an institutional ANO
  • Holding bi-weekly meetings with the Dean of the John Chambers School of Business to establish a framework/sandbox in which WVU, the state of WV and the Factom Protocol can collaborate.
  • Continuing the work to create an annual, Factom Protocol sponsored hackathon in which the Factom Protocol will be the sole-source blockchain in which students, university, and state leadership will begin building real-world applications.

Carnegie Mellon University
This is still an ongoing effort for us. Understandably, we are having to develop relationships and work our way higher into the departments to engage with the decision makers and authorities. We will continue to work on this relationship and will provide updates as it develops.

Server Drawdown
We are evaluating the opportunity to reduce our federated server hosting to one as has been supported by the Standing Parties. Should we decide to move forward with this we will likely reallocate our resources to better support the testnet.

Thank you to those who have held us to higher standards (and asked more of us) as the standing system has gone live. We look forward to continuing to provide value to the protocol and working with you to elevate the Factom Protocol to the level we all know it is worthy of.
 
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