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Interview: Project Plugin Co-Founder Vinod Khurana

Project Plugin Co-Founder Vinod Khurana Interview

As curiosity grows around Project Plugin, a Decentralized Oracle Network Powered by XinFin Blockchain Network, its co-founder Vinod Khurana, shares some valuable insights for the understanding of the Blockchain community. In this session, Vinod addresses questions that the Blockchain community has frequently been asking on social media platforms and elsewhere.

Q: Tell us more about yourself and how you came up with the idea of using blockchain technology to build a Decentralized Oracle Network like Plugin Decentralized Oracle Network.

I spent the majority of my career as a banker which allowed me to meet various prominent entrepreneurs, belonging to various sectors and discussing at length how future technologies can change the financial world. The evolution of the internet from the dot-com boom in late 90s to its bubble burst in the year 2000 and to the web as we know it today, I have witnessed the internet’s evolution from the forefront. As a concerned netizen, the things that trouble me the most are issues relating to security, reliability & various vulnerabilities for various users and data feed providers, who use centralized Oracle networks for their smart contracts because in the future DeFi going to be the backbone of many financial services and decentralized finance(DeFi) empowered/Depends on the Decentralized Data Oracle Feed.

Centralized Oracles Computing acts as a single entity, which provides critical data from an external source to a smart contract, operating with a set of security features. Due to its architecture, such oracles are controlled by a single source which predominantly works as the sole source of information for smart contracts. Since it works similarly to the traditional financial system where a single entity is responsible for everything, it suffers major limitations, or we can say it has a single point of failure. These oracles have a simple architecture with lesser investment in terms of infrastructure and maintenance. Although they provide protection against game theory attacks, these are still prone to vulnerabilities to being corrupted and attacked.

In addition, the Blockchain Oracle Problems result from the inability of oracles to verify the integrity of their data. Additionally, the likelihood of malfunction and deliberate tampering varies by type. On the other hand, if the information is trusted and verified, the oracle may fail to function properly on the smart contract due to a malfunction or deliberate tampering. From a game-theoretic perspective, it can be demonstrated that the higher the value of the smart contract, the greater the incentive to compromise the system. Looking at all the above problems, i decided to start a decentralized data Oracle project called “PLUGIN”

Q: Tell us more details about the Plugin Decentralized Oracle Network

I can speak in lengths on the details about our Project Plugin, but allow me to highlight the core points here. Plugin, a decentralized oracle platform, provides cost-effective solutions for any smart contract on XinFin ecosystem. Plugin collects data from different external sources, consolidates, and makes sure the correct value is provided to its users at any point in time. This is the most crucial part for any decentralized oracle provider that is highly trusted by all its users.

The data collected from different oracle nodes is consolidated to arrive at the correct value. This doesn’t mean that the system is fully decentralized. In order for this kind of system to avoid vulnerabilities and provide a blockchain peer-to-peer system, any decentralized oracle provider must rely on the community to choose the data sources and validators and also on the rewarding & penalizing mechanism. Plugin uses an approach of carrot and stick for rewarding the best and penalizing the vulnerable actors.

Plugin provides a high level of security and scalability for any kind of blockchain application which uses its data feeds. The main advantage of using Plugin is that the data feeds are being provided by the platform at a very low cost compared to any other oracle providers as also the data feeds are highly diversified according to the needs of the customers and the XinFin community. As a result, Plugin can be considered as a decentralized oracle provider which is economical, scalable, and highly trusted. The potential of decentralized applications is limitless, and oracles are an essential part for enabling them to standardize our institutions.

Q: Where is Plugin Decentralized Oracle Network located?

Our Organization, SUVIK Technologies which has developed Plugin, is registered in the United Arab Emirates. However, in the true spirit of decentralization, the network will have contributors and users from around the world, beyond geographical, social, and cultural barriers.

Q: Tell us more about the relationship between Plugin and XinFin.

Sure, both are independent open source projects, although closely related. Otherwise, there can be undue confusion. So, the very talented team members from the XinFin Organization incubated Plugin (like many other projects like storx, ecoin, ledgermail etc), which we then deployed on XinFin’s public-private hybrid network. The underlying blockchain has significant cost, speed, and other functionality benefits, but there’s much more to why we thought it’s the best suited for our purpose.

We could not compromise with the environmental sustainability of our project, and to this end, XinFin is probably the most competent. For one, it consumes at least 99% less energy in comparison to Proof-of-Work (PoW) based blockchain networks. XinFin is, truly, what we can call a green network and that’s fully consistent with our vision at Plugin.

Q: Who are the main competitors of Plugin Decentralized Oracle Network?

Well, I suppose one can never fully be sure on this front, and in our case, it’s sort of like comparing apples to oranges. Nonetheless, in general, Plugin’s efforts are directed against other centralized oracle-based networks and decentralized oracle networks.

Big tech firms, among others, exercise a monopoly of a $100 billion industry, which puts them in a position to exploit users for generating profits. So, in this sense, you can very well say that we are competing with a problematic business model, rather than with this-or-that company. That apart, within the decentralized oracles network industry, Plugin aims to emerge among the top five projects within a year or two (in the decentralized oracle networks for smart contracts). I feel quite confident about this, with good reason.

Q: How will you compare Plugin with Chainlink?

In fact, Plugin is forked from Chainlink but we have optimized the gas fee, easy to set up infrastructure, and most importantly our “Carrot & Stick ” approach is way different than Chainlink. So yes, through our collaboration with Xinfin EcoSystem, we should be able to provide cost-effective and affordable oracle service to many more use cases. This element is very important to empower mass adoption of use cases. Another aspect, we are not only planning to incentivize the data feed provider but we will also share major revenue with them. Entire Ecosystem is linked with our Plugin token called “PLI” 

Q: Tell us more about the roadmap for the Plugin Decentralized Oracle Network?

The idea first occurred to me in March 2019, however, it got delayed due to various restrictions, on account of pandemic. However, we spent almost 12 months brainstorming and product inceptions started in the first quarter of 2021, where we have brainstormed about the pros & cons of different decentralized oracle network in the market and we observed that the “High gas fee”, “complex infrastructure” & “unclear reward & punish” model is notable one to improvise. Development team was formed and the actual development started in the 2nd quarter of 2021. With the help of experts and architects, we were able to successfully build our core product PLUGIN.  We have gone live in Testnet and boarded our first data feed provider – VinterAPI in the third quarter. It is our game-changing moment and we are glad to operate and provide index value for XDC in USD onto the smart contract. We are in initial discussion with various data feed providers and we are aggressively working on going live in Mainnet in the last week of this quarter and 4th quarter of 2021 to onboard new data feed providers. We are ready with our plan of action to go viral and create a big community of developers, contributors through effective webinars, hackathons & other interactive activities in the last quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of 2022.

In the second quarter of 2022, we are going to launch various Nodes for different use cases, such as decentralized finance, weather forecasting, inflation data  & the insurance domain and we are constantly doing research to make a bigger impact in different industries use cases in the future.

Q: Tell us more about the Plugin Tokenomics.

We are building strong token economics around the network, primarily to support and incentivize every associated community member with our token PLI. Out of a total supply of 500 million (PLI) Plugin tokens, the idea is to allot 50% for the community bounties, 20% for the core team members, 20% for the initial community supporters, and the remaining 10% for the contingency.

Using these PLI tokens, one may pay for the deployment of smart contracts available on the platform. Data Feed providers, or as we call them, nodes, will get rewarded in (PLI) Plugin tokens. Furthermore, Plugin will have a robust carrot and stick mechanism, as a means to yield generation for end-users. For more details, you can check the relevant section on our website.

Q: How are you financially supporting your venture?

We have received considerable seed funding from a group of Private Communities. We have seasoned Blockchain architects who are keen to be compensated in (PLI) Plugin tokens. We also have received assurance from various contributors. Currently, we await legal affirmation so that we can launch an initial offering to generate funds for further expansion.

Q: Where can we buy  (PLI) Plugin Token?

Plugin tokens (PLI) are set to launch by early Q3 in 2021 and its details will be available in upcoming weeks. To avoid FuD, I strongly advise interested users to stick to Plugin’s official social channels for future updates.

Q: Will Plugin Decentralized Oracle Network airdrop its token for the XDC holders?

No. Plugin Network will not perform such airdrops for the XDC holders. However, there are various opportunities for the community to get incentivized by (PLI) Plugin Tokens. Importantly, a majority of the token’s supply will be distributed as incentives to Developers, end-users, Corporate, community members for their contribution towards the network’s development and expansion.

Q: Tell us about your ongoing pilot on decentralized weather data?

We are very excited about this use case, and yes, soon Plugin will be able to share precise weather information to smart contracts which plays a key role in decision making such as insurance claim, loan settlement, airline travel arrangements, etc. We are planning to set up multiple units across different cities across the globe in order to bring the weather data and vet it before we push onto smart contracts using our oracle service. This will become the 1st  decentralized weather data provider where weather data will be shared by the individual by setting up a weather node and the weather node provider will be getting incentives in terms of PLI token. I am personally also very excited about the decentralization weather data project on Plugin EcoSystem.

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