The Factoid Authority – an elected Factom Authority Node Operator

The Factoid Authority is primarily focused on software development and is planning a host of offerings for the protocol; Currently they’re working on a new Factom Explorer, a Server Alarm for Discord and collaborating with other entities on an on-chain voting application. A couple of other projects they have alluded to pursuing in the future include FactomDB & C# .NET Library. The high quality of these applications showcase the potential of the Factom Protocol.

Who is The Factoid Authority?

The team members of The Factoid Authority met through Factom community channels. They consist of:

  1. Steven – has been a contractor to Factom Inc since 2016 and has made large contributions to Factom core;
  2. Ben – an ex commercial/business analyst for New Zealand’s largest supermarket by market share;
  3. Stuart – owner of Logic Ethos which develops software & maintains servers for UK’s vehicle recovery;
  4. Tor – an Air Traffic Controller and Factom Guide, he first envisioned the Factom Community Test-net;
  5. Dennis – Known for his work on My Factom Wallet and Ledger support..

The Factoid Authority project/s timeline

Currently working on two main projects:

Factom explorer which will display several additional metrics to the current Explorer, for example:

  • Identity Information – visibility of registered identities
  • Authority Information – historical data of node performance
  • Real Time Consensus – monitoring Authority node health & tracking performance
  • Additional Blockchain Statistics

Estimated completion date: July – August 2018.

Server Monitoring/Alarm Bot which monitors Operators’ nodes and alerts them to any issues. If there’s a problem, it will post a message on a private Discord server and depending on the severity, contact someone from a list of system admins, which is selected based on a rule set, like timezone, experience and availability. It will connect to any VOIP SIP server should it need to make a call. If someone raises an alert, it will also trigger the bot to look for someone to contact.

How does The Factoid Authority further the Factom protocol?

The Explorer will provide additional insight that will be useful for Operators and the entire ecosystem. It will be especially useful for measuring historical Node performance, which should be a critical component to maintaining Authority positions. So this will be a useful tool for standing parties in making voting decisions in this respect and ensuring the protocol has employed stable nodes It will also allow Operators to monitor their node health so that they can identify potential issues and take proactive approaches to mitigate risk.

It will also be useful for prospective Operators, who can confirm that their identities have been created successfully.

The Discord Alarm Bot will be open sourced so all operators can adopt it or use it in parallel to their own alarm systems; this increases the stability of the protocol as response time to issues is improved.

What industries does The Factoid Authority believe the Factom protocol could serve best?

The applications that could be built on top of Factom are virtually limitless, as are the industries that could be served.

Audit trails have obviously been identified as a great use case and this opens up an extensive list of industries. From a regulatory side, supermarkets could benefit in regards to temperature compliance, reducing internal auditing costs and mitigating potential lawsuits from consumers. This leads on to proving supply chain methods are being followed and plenty more use cases.

Aircraft Maintenance is another huge opportunity for Factom to advance. Any maintenance work carried out on a commercial or private aircraft must be meticulously documented. Tasks are signed for by the engineer and the paperwork must be retained for auditing purposes. Certain aspects have to be taken into account during an audit, for example did the engineer have the required ratings for the task he/she signed for? Was the part replaced with the correct part-number or acceptable equivalent etc. The paper work could be eliminated and auditing costs could be hugely reduced.


Authority Set application process interview questions

  1. How did you find the process of the Authority Set application?
    Given the time constraints we were quite impressed with the application process devised by the Guides. At the end of the day it understandably required a considerable subjective component to grading the applications.The questionnaire was mostly relevant and the follow up questions on Factomize aided in clarification.
  2. What areas of the application process do you think need amending and why?
    We’d like to see the testnet utilized as a means of vetting applicants before joining the Authority Set. Once we have access to proper monitoring tools and historical performance we could employ some objective criteria that needs to be met.The Factomize forum was very useful, but a more intense version of this is required. Perhaps a live video interview, where standing parties can pose questions directly would be interesting. Also there were some scoring issues, when Guide’s recused themselves.
  3. What has been the most difficult aspect of the process?
    Working through incorporating for a global team.
  4. What has been the most enjoyable aspect of the process?
    Defining our business and building it from the ground up. Identifying the different things we can do as a team and collaborating with other entities. We got to meet some people recently in Austin, which was great.
  5. What would you have done differently in hindsight?
    In hindsight we would’ve taken more care in the presentation of our application as we were really impressed with the quality of others. Overall though we were really happy with the content and we wouldn’t have changed too much if the process was the same.
  6. Any recommendations for teams that are applying to join the authority set?
    Ensure first and foremost that you can effectively run a node, get started on the test net as soon as possible and start experimenting. The costs aren’t negligible, but it shows you are making a commitment to the protocol. Make yourself visible in the community and contribute where you can. Contributions don’t have to be technical, you can join in discussions or write articles. This will all be favourable towards your application.
  7. What exchanges have you had success creating corporate acts on and what was the time frame?
    At the research stage of this right now.
  8. During the application process, what channels in the Factom Discord do you use the most?
    Testnet chat for asking general questions about setting up a node. Operators chat,  Governance Chat and Factomize forum.

Please Note
The Factoid Authority are looking for some front end developers. Please contact Ben here for more detail.

Connect with The Factoid Authority

The Factoid Authority website
Email The Factoid Authority