Swiss-based Velas, a smart contract platform enabled by Artificial Intuition, has confirmed the official launch of its master nodes staking program. Operating on an AI delegated proof-of-stake consensus (AIDPoS), anyone with the minimum Velas (VLX) coin stake can now participate as a masternode. The launch is part of the project’s alpha release, with a beta launch slated for early next year.

Under a dPoS consensus model, tokens can be used in two ways, either for electing nodes or for staking as part of the block production process. The launch of the Velas masternode staking program enables network participants to use VLX tokens for the second purpose.

The Velas model is that the platform’s artificial intuition algorithm will ultimately be the determinant of block reward allocation. However, the company is still developing this feature in preparation for the beta launch. Therefore, it has set the interim masternode block rewards at 8%, which is higher than EOS is currently paying out.

To operate a full masternode, participants will need a minimum stake of one million VLX tokens, which is worth around $30,000 at the current price of VLX. They’ll also need the necessary GPU power, and a Velas wallet. The wallets are available in web and desktop versions, with the latter downloadable for the Windows, MacOS, and Linux operating systems.

If you can’t fork out for the necessary minimum stake of VLX tokens but still want a shot at participating in the block rewards, then you can participate in a VLX pool. By creating an account with CoinPayments, VLX holders can stake their coins in a masternode pool, where block rewards will be distributed among participants.

When the Velas platform is live, it will use AI as a critical component of the dPoS consensus process. A learning algorithm will select network participants by reputation, along with determining block rewards.

AI and Blockchain – a Popular Convergence

The marriage of AI and blockchain is proving to be a popular one. This week, it emerged that the AI and fintech branch of China’s largest insurance company has filed for an IPO in the US. OneConnect, an arm of insurer Ping An, listed a $100m share offering, a small portion of its total valuation of $7.5 billion, according to the FT.

OneConnect will use the funds raised to expand its international operations. Part of this will be developing the Hong Kong Monetary Authority’s interbank blockchain trade finance platform, servicing 13 banks. While the firm deals in multiple technologies, including blockchain and big data, it predominantly sees itself as an AI company.

AI and blockchain convergence projects such as SingularityNET and FetchAI have also been gaining steady traction recently. In October, Grey Swan and FetchAI announced they were integrating their platforms to offer smart market-making and smart margin lending, marrying conventional derivatives and the decentralized economy.

Elsewhere, SingularityNET confirmed a collaboration with TODA to host its decentralized AI market place on the platform. The initiative is designed to make SingularityNET interoperable between different blockchains, although its focus will remain on Ethereum.

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