This is a special guest post by Onix, the winner of our Epoch 10.2 mining competition. He has a unique perspective as he’s located in the Ukraine and dealing with the many disruptions caused by the current Russian attacks. Onix has a deep understanding of our project and we’re happy to post a translated version of his original post here for our English readers.
Hello. I’m Onix, the winner of TEA Project’s Epoch 10.2 mining competition. As an engineer, my profession involves designing roads and bridges. For me, Web3 is a hobby, a desire to learn something new and an opportunity to invest in the future of technology.
I learned about the TEA project quite by accident. At the end of January 2022, I participated in various competitions offered by the ComingChat project and in one of them there was a joint partnership with TEA. I was intrigued that the TEA Project would be integrated into their ComingChat application, but that will be a longer term goal.
TEA Project AMA w Coming.chat — Jan 24, 2022
The TEA Project participated in an AMA on January 24, 2022 with Coming.chat. The following is a transcript of the event…
Of course, it was very difficult to figure everything out right away, the project isn’t similar to any I had met before. In general, the algorithms for staking, mining, and the user interface are similar for most projects, but everything here was non-standard. But this made me delve deeper, read wikis and Medium articles.
I also liked that the project, while young, is already trying to keep in touch with the community in different countries. In early February, a Russian-speaking Telegram group was formed, where I learned about the tasks that were published in the Tea Party application (TApp).
The TEA tokens I won made it possible to participate in staking. After a little more understanding, I used the C CML to do some test mining. For this I had to remember my Ubuntu skills, as well as study the Docker help pages. After a few days I managed to start mining.
It was during this period that the war and shelling began in the Ukraine. I had to move with the server to the bomb shelter. There were interruptions in electricity and the Internet, I don’t have a generator or UPS for power supply, so there were hard resets where I had to re-deploy the Docker container and restart the server. There were more than a dozen such failures and the awards for remote attestation did not always come, but it was an interesting experience for me. And then … the TEA Project’s Epoch 10 began, many innovations appeared, which I tested with great interest and I hope I can continue to test into the future.
Learning More About TEA Project
The study of the TEA Project’s whitepaper left me with almost no questions. In theory, everything is described in an innovative, relevant and understandable way. It’s very good that the TEA and NFT (CML) token, unlike various others in DeFi, will have application and value, since they are involved in the economy and their production will actually be tied to the performance of useful computing power. For example, PoW spends all computing power on solving just one mathematical problem, while in TEA all resources will be used for useful cloud computing. If the world is moving towards decentralization and Web3, then we can’t do without decentralized cloud computing😎
Now is just the time to solve such a problem so that in the near future, lack of decentralized computing won’t become a bottleneck. I believe that the TEA ecosystem, even though it’s still in the early stages, can completely solve this problem and create a good foundation for the future of Web3. The use of secure hardware computing modules and GPS should become the same standard in the world as PoS and PoW. What the project offers is much more cost-effective and energy efficient than existing solutions on the market, and avoiding the limitations imposed by smart contracts is the right decision.
As far as I understand, the main part of the framework is currently being developed and a platform is being created for building TApps for different blockchains. And, in parallel, the economy of the future TEA ecosystem is being developed and tested. According to the whitepaper, the deployment of the project must go through three successive stages — Miners, Developers and Consumers. Competitions, epochs, testing and interacting with the interface that the community is currently participating in (investing, staking, using TApps) is actually testing the third stage of the deployment, the consumers stage. But, all the same, the most important is the first stage of “the miners”, or rather their computing resources.
According to publicly available data for cloud computing, there are about 8.4 million data centers in the world, and these are special servers with multi-core processors, large amounts of memory and use a fat data pipe. Hence the question arises: imagine that the TEA Project will offer an alternative to these centralized services, then how many decentralized nodes with ordinary miners’ computers, taking into account their possibility for at-will work, will be needed to replace, for example, one data center? Most likely a lot…
TEA Mining (Hosting) Nodes Take on Centralized Servers
Centralization has reached the point where the cloud services market is almost completely divided among several large providers. In case of global conflicts, this can turn out very badly for ordinary users. I noticed that during TEA’s Epoch 9, very few miners participated in the project. Perhaps when there will be real (not simulated) mining, there will be a financial incentive to attract more miners. But the higher the rewards, the more expensive it will be for end-users. If it turns out that the price of decentralized computing will be significantly higher than existing centralized services, then they are likely to stick with what they already use. I think that at the initial stage of project development, the problem with a small number of miners can be solved. The market is now moving towards an oligopoly, but there are many small providers in different geographical areas with a set of outdated equipment, and if you activate them, deploy the TEA project on their basis and connect them with a blockchain, you can get a modern decentralized cloud service for hosting TApps, which will be fast, secure, have transparent pricing (thanks to the blockchain). This will most likely be a lower price, due to the lower cost of equipment. And then, when everything works stably, ordinary miners will also come to offer their computing resources to the TEA Project.
A Lingering Question
Cloud computing uses virtualization, where virtual memory, processors are allocated on one physical device, or several containers are launched to be employed by different users. Will it be possible for several users to run different TApps at the same time on the same miner’s computer, or will it be to the detriment of decentralization? This question arose because, for example, one miner has very powerful equipment, and the other is running a modest Raspberry pi, both bought CML and are mining. It turns out that only two TApps can be launched at the same time, which means that one has an excess of computing power, the other has a disadvantage. Perhaps it’s necessary to somehow effectively combine their capacities.
Also, different TApps need different amounts of CPU, RAM and Internet speed, each miner offers these resources in different quantities and ratios. These resources per miner can also change over time. The question is where and how supply and demand will be coordinated. In theory, this should be a free market for resources (CPU, RAM, NET), perhaps like an auction. The TApps developer knows approximately how much resources his application will need, while he must see how many resources are available to him from the miners and at what price.
Also, I got the impression that in recent epochs, some participants are not really understanding the innovations that the TEA Project has mad. Many web3 projects actively use the “learn and earn” principle. I would suggest making multiple choice tests in the Telegram group. Whoever scores the most points will receive an award in TEA. I would suggest making these quizzes based on articles in the Medium, as well as adding practical questions that can be answered correctly using the tools on your site. For example, after how many blocks stakers are rewarded or how much Harberger Tax will be paid given a self-valuation, etc. Perhaps this motivates the community to better understand the project.
Similar Projects in the Web3 Decentralized Compute Space
When I was researching information about TEA, I decided to do my more research on this topic and came across two interesting projects. They solve similar problems, but in a slightly different way. First Ankr Network is a cloud computing resource management platform. An ecosystem of resource customers, resource providers, application developers, consumers, and more has been built. Ankr is building a complete cloud infrastructure and market for containerized cloud services. Data center owners can monetize free computing resources using the Ankr cloud platform.
The second is the Akash Network is an open source, censorship resistant, public and independent blockchain cloud. Using containerization and open source technologies, Akash Network taps into 85% of the underutilized cloud capacity in global data centers.
Perhaps a partnership or some of their developments will be useful to you and vice versa. In the end, you are working on a common global task.