Yasmin, The head of Investor Relations of AGORA
Leonardo Gammar, the CEO of AGORA.

INTRODUCTION

We are building for you:

A protocol made for the purpose of voting, built from scratch, with a number of Dapps to enable anyone, anywhere to vote for elections, referendums, surveys, shareholder meetings, exchange listing etc. Allowing communities, private and public organisations to eradicate fraud and corruption, reduce costs and engage voters in a modern, convenient and accessible way.

A consensus mechanism designed for the purpose of voting with 0 financial incentive, a permission infrastructure, a permission-less infrastructure, a voting Dapp, a supply chain ballot tracking Dapp, an official Dapp to help our clients (governments, institutions, communities) to organise their election both financially and logistically as well as movement of their staff.

You are building for all of us:

As much software as you think is needed to make elections more efficient, less expensive and tension-free. Governments, competitors and communities can build as many Dapps as they wish on top of our infrastructures and utilise our chains, to help us all achieve our goal: Better elections all over the planet.

AMA

A. Agora incentives the auditing of elections. So Agora pays auditors all over the world to watch the consensus and the election overall. How it works from start to finish — Election officials contract Agora and pay the fee. Agora uses 50% of the income to buy back tokens in the secondary market, 10% will be burnt and 40% will be used to pay auditors for their efforts. Anyone from any country can apply to be an Auditor, for any election around the world that happens on our chain. All one has to do is submit their KYC, stake VOTE for the election duration, do around 15 minutes of work on a simple interface and after they are rewarded VOTE in proportion to the amount of VOTE they staked.

No matter what the business cycle is, if you guys stake VOTE to audit any election on our chain globally, you will share all profits we make. We buy back from the market and burn some. So if Agora is making money, the token value will increase and VOTE holders will make money, it doesn’t matter what other coins are doing, only based on our capability to execute. It’s a good coin to have in your portfolio because it provides some un-correlation to the market.

Investors are interested in VOTE because it’s uncorrelated to the crypto market and only on how well our business does. The voting industry is around 0.3% of world GDP, imagine a time where everyone can benefit from that.

Q. What is Dapp of Agora’s Protocol? Explain some benefits of Agora’s Protocol!

A. Agora is a protocol built from the ground up not a Dapp on someone’s else infrastructure. When you build on ETH you have to play within the contrains of ETH. Do you think that the US government would accept to take the risk of having Russian non KYCed miners providing consensus during their national elections ? Or vis versa Russia with the US… You cannot approach goverments with a Dapp… What if their laws say: “The final outcome of the election has to be the paper ballot result?” We built a protocol on top of which competitors. governments can come and build freely. We provide a supplychain solution to those who have paper ballot laws, we track the qr code and make sure the results are trustworthy.

So if you have a killer ID management app, one of your friends has a voice recognition app an your other friend does finger prints recognition then please come and join build on top of our chain to help everyone build a safe environment for voting.

But Agora is not and will not be FB or Cambridge Analytica, we don’t know who voted, not our role, we don’t do or care about KYC. We receive ballots in a anonymised way, we shuffle them more and send them to the chain

the idea would be for us to become a foundation and let the citizen build apps and choose the best apps to work with

Q. Can agora team or developers see the voting results even before they release?

A. No, We don’t interact during the election, we don’t even host a node

We don’t provide consensus

Agora chain is a proprietary chain based on a non financially incentivised consensus mechanism which has been purpose built for the use case of voting.The need for a non financial incentive serves the communities and not the incentives of miners on the network. Agora’s public blockchain which is called the Bulletin Board is where the data is stored throughout any given election process. Any party can verify the validity of a given election as well as all of the intermediate steps of the voting process.

Why do we need agora while we already have traditional voting mechanism paper vote, electronic voting machines which are working perfectly?

Unfortunately they are not working perfectly at all. We face -Corruption Vulnerabilities. Human Error Vulnerabilities. At present national elections globally are MALLEABLE, COSTLY, SLOW, DIFFICULT TO ACCESS and CAUSE OF CONFLICT. As well as Lengthy Admin Time & Vulnerable Voting Machines. There is no systematic and efficient way to tackle elections. Voters cannot be sure that their voices are being protected.

Blockchain provides a trustless, digital and decentralized method of generating cryptographically secure records, which also preserves the anonymity of participants while remaining cost-effective and open to public inspection. Applied to voting, blockchain ensures that votes are recorded accurately, transparently, permanently and securely.

Q. How would privacy and transparency work together?

A. We encrypt, shuffle the ballots and send them to the blockchain but we don’t know the identity of the voter, we do not deal with the KYC of voters. Even if you give us 1 Billion you cant get it from us

It’s important that the voting provider doesn't deal with KYC management. Ensuring that an individual’s vote is kept private is crucially important to maintaining a fair election process. We use NF shuffling and Zero-knowledge proof to anonymize the votes, we also use other algorithms. If you want to dive deeper in our yellow papers please visit: www.agora.vote/resources

But most importantly Agora doesn’t deal with KYC or ID management. We don’t know that data and even if you hack us or want to approach us with Billions of dollars to get that info we don’t have it.

Q. Why do you think Governments would adopt Agora?

A. We can save them an astronomical amount of money by cutting logistics and material costs. We can help their image We are selling a protocol, not a voting app, so we can tackle many of their issues, from supply chain tracking, financial tracking, voting and more but they are also invited to build on top of our protocol. By providing a consensus mechanism without financial incentive, makes them comfortable. So instead of approaching them with a single solution, we approach them with a range of solutions to match their needs. Overall they will save an astronomical amount of money. For e.g. If an election is 600Mil we can get that cost down to 50–70 Mil. By proving to the international community they are a trusted country can promote new cash flows from foreign investors.

Q. What are Agora's biggest challenges?

A. To be invited by corrupt governments who just want to use Blockchain as a buzzword. There is so much demand for Agora but we always carefully asses every potential contract in order to maintain ethical standards of business.

Q. How does Agora prevent vote buying, forced voting and vote impersonation?

A. People can change their votes until the last second and it’s the last vote that counts. Voters are KEYed before the event, the KYC will be with all the usual identification checks, and after completing it once, the voter will not need to go through this process again. The next time the voter wants to login the voter will only need their face since they have already registered their information previously. the voter may log in from any device that has the voting application and vote as many times as they wish until the last second (only the last vote counts), they can even vote offline and as soon as the device reaches the network, the vote will be counted. This system is designed to combat vote-buying, forced voting and vote impersonation. If anyone wants to manipulate the majority of votes in this way, they would need to hold the entire population's majority hostage at the precise end of the electoral event.

Q. Can you please tell a bit about AGORA proprietary technology, novel approaches, and intellectual property that separates it from other solutions?

A. We invented PoSg, Proof of Sign, A non financially incentivized consensus based on the digital signature of the nodes.

Agora has three technological innovations that were specifically designed by us and make us stand out, they are called Skipchain, Cotena, and Valeda. The skip chain provides a consensus mechanism with high throughput and efficient transaction validation. Cotena then provides a method for storing cryptographic Skipchain proofs onto the Bitcoin blockchain and finally, Valeda performs cryptographic proofs validating Skipchain and Cotena data, providing high security and verifiability.

Yes in fact, here’s a document that can give you more color about the size and cost of elections: Agora Pitch Deck

Q. An introduction to Agoras Nodes?

A. Agora has two types of Node validators. Consensus Nodes and Auditor Nodes. Consensus nodes provide consensus in the Agora architecture. When designing the best future voting solution we agreed that elections should be a participatory event, so we designed a feature where citizens can audit the consensus. For each voting event, both Consensus Nodes and Auditor Nodes are selected at random.

Q. What is the difference between Consensus Nodes & Auditor Nodes?

A. Agora’s token free CONSENSUS NODES are located globally and validated by reputable, invite-only, not-for-profits, NGOs, etc. They provide full blockchain consensus. AUDITOR NODES are citizens, anyone who holds VOTE can apply to be an Auditor, they provide an observation over the consensus nodes.

Q. How can I make money with the tokens?

A. All you need to know on how to make money with your Agora VOTE tokens.

No matter what the business cycle is, if you guys stake VOTE to audit any election on our chain globally, you will share all profits we make. We buy back from the market and burn some. So if Agora is making money, the token value will increase and VOTE holders will make money, it doesn’t matter what other coins are doing, only based on our capability to execute. It’s a good coin to have in your portfolio because it provides some un-correlation to the market.

Q. Why does Agora use Blockchain?

A. Blockchain provides a trustless, digital and decentralized method of generating cryptographically secure records, which also preserves the anonymity of participants while remaining cost-effective and open to public inspection. Applied to voting, blockchain ensures that votes are recorded accurately, transparently, permanently and securely.

Q. What are the pros and cons of AGORA? How will you work on these defects to further improve them?

A. Pro’s — When we succeed there are many! Improving our democratic procedures, getting rid of violence that arrises after suspicious election results or in the line waiting to vote with people of opposing views, making voting accessible to those who it currently isn’t, helping nations gain more international investment after proving they are a trusted nation, the list is very long.

Con’s — To be invited by corrupt governments who just want to use Blockchain as a buzzword. There is so much demand for Agora but we always carefully asses every Potential contract in order to maintain ethical standards of business.

Q. Who are your nodes?

A. Agora selects reputable NGOs and Universities who have no financial incentive. The organizations hosting these witness servers are third parties chosen for their independence and dedication to civil rights protections. Our network of Consensus Nodes is invite-only and comprised of NGOs, universities, foundations and other politically-neutral not-for-profits. Together, these Consensus Nodes form the Authority, which processes transactions and provides consensus for data stored on Agora’s blockchain. The selections of the nodes providing consensus during a certain election are random. Consensus nodes must have no political affiliation and a reputable track record. For e.g. The Red Cross and Médecins sans frontières are tier 1 NGOs that would provide consensus.

What Are Consensus Nodes and How Do They Work?

Q. What is the tallying process?

A. The tallying process depends on the ElGamal based shuffling algorithm. In simplified terms, you can get the results of the election without revealing any specific votes.

Q. How many tokens I have to PLEDGE to Agora to become a CITIZEN AUDITOR NODE and does it DIFFERS for every election?

A. It depends on the size of the election, the size of your wallet and the number of auditors of the election. It varies between 20–80%.

Q. Are we in touch with any govt or organization to start using agora?

A. Yes, we already organized 33 elections and are developing our network:

https://agora.vote/news

Thanks for the question. We have a very good network working on business development, so the answer is most definitely yes. I can add that governments also approach us independently.

Take a look at what H.E Ameenah Gurib-Fakim

Sixth President of Mauritius from 2015 to 2018 says about Agora: http://video.agora.vote/Gurik-FakimAboutAgora.mp4

& our team: https://www.agora.vote/team

Q. How can I purchase Agora services?

A. Government elections are made with tailored solutions and only these and large scale elections may require us to be on the ground. For small and most medium-sized elections users are able to buy a ready-made solution with all the products they need directly online and elections can run organically, in these cases Agora only acts as a moderator to make sure that the topic of the election is law compliant.

Q. Since what year has Agora been developing its technology? What are Agoras Future plans?

A. 2015

We would like to continue to win public tenders, become the standard in the industry and be recognized and recommended by the international community

Q. How will Agora create revenue?

A. Governments currently pay voting systems companies for a variety of technology and services. We are another and more modernized vendor.

Let me touch base a bit on the business plan and the token model: Token-Based Model (Remember, the assumption for this article was 50% BaaS/50% Token-Based.) I/ 10% Burn. Systematically 10% of the money made through each and every election, referendum, marketing survey, etc…is used to purchase and burn VOTE tokens. II/ 40% for Auditors. 2/5 of our income will be used to purchase VOTE tokens in the open market to pay auditors for their work. For every election, large or small, Agora’s protocol requires auditors. Agora’s token free consensus mechanism is validated by, reputable, invite-only, not-for-profits who house our nodes. During an election, KYCed Auditors will watch these nodes and provide instant and honest feedback through a simple and easy to use interface on their smart device or computer, which takes approximately 15 minutes. For this service, auditors get paid.

Q. Why did you secretly make your first votes with Sierra Leone? Agora enters the Latin American market.” How interested are you in expanding in these countries with dubious democracies?

A. Our first vote was in Sierra Leone because it was a very challenging environment. It was to prove to the international community and ourselves that we can make it happen. The high rate of illiteracy, the network wasn’t incredible but it was good enough to run blockchain voting: We built apps for blind people in different native languages, people can vote offline then find the internet to send their votes…

America Latina is changing, there is a need for transparency and more democracy, it’s difficult to put them all in the same basket: Latin America from Mexico to Patagonia is an incredible mix of cultures and a strategic region between the Atlantic and the Pacific with a common but complex history and a very heterogeneous present. Venezuela and Cuba are very different from Panama. These three countries are subject to different influences and cultivate different strategic relations and interactions on the international scene. Populations in Latin America have made the ultimate sacrifice of entire generations, lost during their struggles for independence and sovereignty.

There is no question that the new generations of these countries will give up their precious and painfully acquired rights after so many years of fighting.

Uruguay and Venezuela are very different

Q. I have followed your project for a while but some concerns about it: your project gonna build your own main net, so that do you have any more prominent than Ethereum and NEO. They are projects that were born before and also have a very large community. And what makes you sure your project will ensure the features you’ve set out?

A. We follow different routes and made for different purposes, our protocol is exclusive for voting. When you build on ETH you have to play within the constraints of ETH. Do you think that the US government would accept to take the risk of having Russian non KYCed miners providing consensus during their national elections? Or vis versa Russia with the US… You cannot approach governments with a Dapp… What if their laws say: “The final outcome of the election has to be the paper ballot result?” We built a protocol on top of which competitors. governments can come and build freely. We provide a supply chain solution to those who have paper ballot laws, we track the QR code and make sure the results are trustworthy.

So if you have a killer ID management app, one of your friends has a voice recognition app your other friend does fingerprints recognition then please come and join build on top of our chain to help everyone build a safe environment for voting.

Q. Do you plan to attract organizations to use your platform in voting because blockchain technology is new so they are still quite hesitant?

A. Yes, we have a very good and well-connected business development team. We find that many organizations are already educated on technology, for example, Leonardo is speaking at a conference at the United Nations very soon where many organizations will be present.

Q. How do you feel or do you feel satisfied, when you look back to the day when you have started this project?

A. yes, it started as an idea of world improvement, and a lot of very talented research from the Decentralised & Distributed Systems Lab at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. Its been a long journey with many elections processed and now VOTE is listed. The journey continues

Q. How can voters remain private? Do you use any mechanism like Monero or Zcash? I am VERY wrong? Haha

How can a person exercise their vote? What changes from the perspective of the common citizen?

A. Ensuring that an individual’s vote is kept private is crucially important to maintaining a fair election process. We use NF shuffling and Zero-knowledge proof to anonymize the votes, we also use other algorithms. If you want to dive deeper in our yellow papers please visit: www.agora.vote/resources

But most importantly Agora doesn’t deal with KYC or ID management. We don’t know that data and even if you hack us or want to approach us with Billions of dollars to get that info we don’t have it.

Agora Links:
www.agora.vote
Telegram: agorablockchain
Twitter: AgoraBlockchain
Facebook: AgoraBlockchain

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