Nebulas Co-founder Aero Wang: Blockchain won’t spoil
On 6 Feb 2019, second day of Chinese Lunar New Year, Aero Wang, the co-founder of Nebulas and Antshares (now known as NEO) shared his thoughts on the blockchain industry in a WeChat Public Chain Technology Alliance (PCTA) chat group, and introduced Nebulas NOVA launched at the end of 2018. He also addressed the next key steps that Nebulas is taking in order to evolve. Here are the highlights from the live recording.
Aero Wang: “Blockchain won’t spoil.”
The blockchain bubble in 2018 was a violation of common sense. Things that violate common sense will eventually return to common sense. The crypto price bubble would sure burst, but it is a relief after the burst.
2018 was a very unsettling year for blockchain, and this kind of unrest has happened in the industry before, but the intensity and concern is much greater this time.
The bubble that began in the first half of 2017 has brought a lot of confusion and anxiety to people who are deeply involved in the industry. A lot of our anxiety or setbacks are due to the fact that the entire industry, whether it is the project startup or the user, wants to retain a beautiful bubble. But the bubble is a violation of common sense, a false boom in a price-based industry.
Therefore, things that violate common sense will eventually return to common sense. The crypto price bubble will sure burst, but it is a relief after the burst.
So the tide recedes, and of course it will come back again. But in a industry with common sense we can look for patterns, then further develop ourselves.
Some project startups, speculators, and relatively centralized nodes and organizations in 2018 have left the market after pump and dump. However, the current blockchain industry’s overall market value and infrastructure are still at a very early stage. A true technological revolution will bring about new technological possibilities, to change the pattern of a zero-sum game. As new technology will direct the interests of all participants to an incremental market.
So from this point of view, if blockchain is truly a technological revolution, then it simply won’t spoil. And in the end, those who have left early, or those who have played a pump and dump scheme, will know that they are facing losses far more than their gain.
Today, there is still a lot of controversy about blockchain, but I think that after another year or two, when we look back, everyone will see it more clearly.
Aero Wang: “At the bottom of last crypto cycle, I thought AntShares (NEO) was dead.”
At the bottom of the last crypto cycle, we thought that Antshares (NEO) was gonna die, but we asked the participants at Bitsclub to hang in there, and at least give Antshares a chance to try and make mistakes.
In mid 2015, it was the second year after Antshares (NEO) was founded. At that time, a considerable amount of seed funding was raised in the form of bitcoin. This fund had not been used yet, and its value had shrunk by nearly 50%. In 2015, a lot of attention was going to internet finance, equity crowdfunding, and even the stock market.
So at the time, no one was truly optimistic about NEO, including the seed investors and founders of NEO. No one in NEO had very strong confidence then.
In 2015, I remember that there were only three and a half team members in Antshares (because one of them was an intern). We didn’t know what to do, and there was no salary for the founders. Da Hongfei and I were doing an unpaid entrepreneurship. At that time, we paid our team members in fiat currency. The fund raised by Antshares was only about 300,000 RMB. In fact, it couldn’t last very long. Even the basic salary for the technical team was a problem, let alone expenses on any commercial promotion.
Therefore, we felt that the project might just die. And before that happened, should we let everyone have a chance to withdraw? So the nine seed investors were given an opportunity to withdraw their investment in equivalent fiat currency. I remember there were two investors who chose this option. Of course, the other investors also had their doubts. Because at that time, the funds raised in bitcoin had lost half its value, the withdrawal in fiat currency was a kind of welfare.
But since Bitcoin had crashed, it was impossible for everyone to withdraw their investment. For those who joined us from Bitsclub, we would encourage them to hang in there, because at least give Antshares a chance to try and make mistakes.
If you understand the spirit of the times, in fact, it has little to do with ability, but a lot to do with choice. Ordinary people can do great things too.
Back to now, our situation is similar to the situation in 2015, the magnitude has increased, but the basic situation is the same. People feel lost. They are trying to see if there is a classic development direction in the traditional sense. The blockchain community have a generally low morale, and project startups are tightening their belts.
In my personal experience, if you have seen the origin of the Chinese blockchain community, Hitters Xu organized Bitsclub, from a few to a dozen people. From a dozen to hundreds of people, then we held the first blockchain international summit. From subculture to mainstream culture, from a group of geeks to some traditional organizations, from small companies to big corporations, the Top 500 or BAT (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent.) More people, more experts, more resources are invested in this industry, then you will believe that the vitality of blockchain technology really goes beyond the imagination of all the participants.If you understand the spirit of the times, in fact, it has little to do with ability, but a lot to do with choice. So it’s important to make a choice and stick to it. No one has superpower, everything is done by ordinary people, a group of people who have been working together for years, so ordinary people can do great things.
I remember this photo was taken with a borrowed SLR camera. Because at that time, I felt that I was witnessing the beginning of a technological revolution, so I recorded some of the activities and meetings of Bitsclub. The audio and video materials seem very precious now, because the whole industry is going through a tough period again, it’s valuable and meaningful to see how far we have come.
Aero Wang: “I will do more exercises in 2019, and work hard for blockchain.”
In 2019, I want to exercise and continue to work hard for blockchain. I hope that Nebulas will build an infrastructure that can be used and can be self-organized.
In 2019, I will give myself a small goal. I hope that I can live a healthier life and exercise more. Earlier this year, after visiting some communities abroad, I have more confidence in the long-term development of blockchain. Blockchain industry also needs long-term work, so I want to exercise more and stay healthy.
The goal for Nebulas is clear. This year we will launch Nebulas NOVA mainnet (currently running on testnet, the mainnet will go live by the end of March). Nebulas NOVA is, in our opinion, a true Nebulas blockchain that implements the core tech features laid out in Nebulas whitepaper, providing the infrastructure of the blockchain that people can really use.
In Nebulas NOVA, we have not fully realized the sidechain-based Nebulas Force. But we implemented an automatic blockchain upgrade mechanism called Nebulas Blockchain Runtime Environment (NBRE.) This mechanism solves the pain point of hard forks in the current blockchain upgrade, enabling the entire blockchain system to be seamlessly upgraded at low-risk and low-cost.
NBRE is an original technology Nebulas has created for the blockchain world. The implementation of NBRE not only can solve the problem of blockchain system upgrade, but we also hope that it can solve the problem of blockchain system governance.
The decision makers of the blockchain upgrade should not be centralized. It belongs to every participant in the community. Every token user of Nebulas has the right to participate in or choose the direction of future Nebulas development. This year, Nebulas will gradually involve the community in the governance of the entire blockchain system, and will also turn the traditional off-chain governance into an on-chain governance.
Aero Wang: “No man is an island.”
No blockchain project can survive independently in the winter. I hope that members of the Public Chain Technology Alliance will participate more in the governance of the alliance and work together for the common good.
No man is an island. To the entire fiat currency world, or the entire traditional industry, we are one. We are like a super market with many shops in it. It is impossible to have one shop that is doing very well when the market itself shrinks. Therefore, our competition or game, is not zero-sum. So we should work together to build a sound infrastructure for the entire industry. Reduce the cost of technology, so that more people can really use blockchain.
There are many different roles in PCTA. We have public chain, application protocols, wallets, media, and exchanges. In fact, we already have some internal resources for collaboration, help individual projects complete tasks that cannot be done alone.
We hope that PCTA will be more professional and more international in 2019. As well as becoming more open and transparent, so that more members of PCTA can participate in the governance of the alliance, and jointly decide the direction of the alliance future development. Everyone will brainstorm together, contribute ideas, and work together for the common good.