Da Hongfei, the founder of NEO and one of the biggest figures in the cryptocurrency world, especially when it comes to Blockchain adoption in China.
In an interview with Da Hongfei at NEO DevCon by Alex Moskov, Colin Harper, and Bennett Garner they covered several topics concerning Hongfei’s thoughts for NEO, the cryptocurrency world, and some insight into the mind of one of the most influential figures in the crypto community.
CoinCentral: The focus of this conference is on NEO’s vision and the community initiative and trying to foster a robust ecosystem. NEO seems to be very careful about its ICO partnerships and its partnerships in general. Can you go into what goes into the NEO team’s mind when they’re vetting a project and deciding to back it? What makes you think, “This is a good project.
Hongfei: At this very early stage, we’re not very selective. We’ll check their background and look at that vision. Most projects that approach us are legit projects, so we don’t have a very strict standard whether to support or not. We’re gradually becoming more selective though.
Could you comment on your personal psychology in overseeing the entire NEO ecosystem? What’s a day in the life inside Da Hongfei’s head look like?
Things just happen. Sometimes you’re pushed to do things so it’s not like I’m planning for everything. The cryptoworld is 24/7. When I wake up, I grab my phone and there’s maybe 200 messages on my WeChat that I have to check. It’s not that I’m doing everyone’s jobs, but people will come to me for decisions. If you see enough things, you will have a better understanding of this industry and what the direction is.
Earlier this month, you did an interview with Bloomberg. In that interview, you said that you thought regulation was a good thing and you’ve said that previously as well. What are your thoughts on US and EU regulations? If you were making the rules, what would you like to see in those markets?
That’s a tough question. I think everything comes down to exchange. Speculation is a regulated business in most of the countries, you cannot run a centralized exchange freely. So, if a country wanted to regulate cryptocurrency or a token, the best way to do it would be to regulate the exchange.
Specifically, Fiat gateways or just in general?
Even token to token exchange is speculation, yes. There are two ways to make a fortune. One way is to create value, the other way is to divide value. Speculation is a zero-sum game. It’s not about creating something, it’s about how many I should have and how many are left to you. If everyone’s doing speculation, that means no one is creating new values. Human nature likes to do speculation and that’s why I believe speculation is regulated in almost every country.
To read more about the interview, which includes more thoughts on crypto regulation and price speculation, click here
Cryptocurrency Scams in Australia
Australia has been very affected by the crypto scams in 2017, ith more than 1200 complaints to the country’s consumer watchdog.
Australia and Twitter Impersonator
The local news ABC said that the data came from the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and it shows 1289 complaints, some of which appear to be related to token offerings.
“These are quite speculative products and they can be quite high-risk,” said John Price, commissioner for financial regulator the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
He told the publication:
“It’s been quite well documented that some of these products are scams, so please don’t invest unless you’re prepared to lose some or all of your money.”
These scams even affect cryptocurrency’s biggest names, with Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin telling investors about a Twitter impersonator that promises to offer free money on his behalf.
Cryptocurrency media is now, even if out of ignorance/stupidity, complicit in making twitter scams look more legit.
Also, the ECF is *not* an EF initiative; it's an independent community organization with some EF participants as advisors.
— Vitalik Buterin (@VitalikButerin) February 18, 2018
The fake giveaway made it to the headlines in cryptocurrency news media as legitimate news.
Matthew van Niekerk from Databroker
In an recent interview with the TechBullion, Matthew van Niekerk, the founder of Databroker DAO spoke about himself and his company, as well as some insight on his view on cryptocurrency and Blockchain.
Matthew from Databroker
1) Could you please tell us about yourself?
Canadian born, lived in Tokyo for 7 years after university (Economics), moved to Belgium in 2006 to do MBA then worked for the largest Belgian bank. First as an internal strategy and operations consultant, then COO for the credit card business and lastly as Head of Platform Innovation for retail online brokerage.
A side story about me
My primary aim for doing the MBA was to find and build a team for a venture that I had in mind. Although I did not secure funding it after the MBA, in hindsight, I was not alone in recognizing the need for the business I called “P2PFX” (peer-to-peer currency exchange). When bitcoin came out, I thought hmmm, wish I had met that Satoshi guy and good thing that someone much smarter than me made it happen.
Back to the career stuff
In my last role at the bank, I was the internal specialist for blockchain applications in capital markets and was responsible for the launch of the first publicly available blockchain-based app by a bank in Europe. This was a primary and secondary market trading application for pre-IPO companies (equity crowd-funding).
Decided in 2015 that nearly 10 years in banking was enough (I had done my time). It was while attending the Consensus conference in New York and during the trip visiting the Consensys office in Brooklyn that I made the decision to start my own company. Given the potential of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, focusing 100% on unlocking the potential was what I wanted to do.
My co-founder Roderik and I had been working together for several years at our previous companies and with his work with and love for blockchain technologies, we decided to forge ahead with our venture.
Married with 2 kids. Love snowboarding and travelling. Hate pre-conceived notions, prejudice and corruption.
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.
2) What is Databroker DAO?
Databroker DAO is a distributed marketplace that connects sensor owners with data buyers. Essentially an “Amazon” for IoT sensor data.
3) What inspired you to launch a Blockchain and Cryptocurrency venture with Databroker DAO?
We began looking into the market for IoT sensors and sensor data in Q4 of 2016 and quickly understood that 1) the market is already absolutely massive 2) the market is growing at break-neck speed and 3) blockchain technologies could be used to drastically improve the efficiency.
We were doing an investigation into data monetization for a major telecommunications company and discovered that rather than blockchain being a solution looking for a problem, it provided the opportunity to blow the doors open for an entirely new business.
We launched the first version of the platform and began showcasing it at blockchain, IoT and smart city events in January 2017. Since then, the inspiration continues as we have incredible product-market fit validation from telecommunications companies, sensor manufacturers, sensor owners and potential data buyers.
It was DataBroker DAO that got us invited by the Smart Dubai Office to pitch at the 2017 Global Blockchain Challenge in May of 2017 and won us the blockchain track of the TechXLR8 pitch competition.
Cryptocurrency’s Liquidity Problem
Coincentral spoke to Rausch about Exchange Union and crypto’s liquidity problem.
Kilian Rausch Interview
Steven: Tell us about Exchange Union.
Kilian: We are connecting digital asset exchanges to enable cross-exchange trading. So, for example, let’s say you’re a user on Binance and I’m a user on Bittrex – our technology connects those two exchanges with each other so we as users can now directly trade with each other. The benefit is, that if the price for one currency pair on your Binance platform is better than on my Bittrex platform, I can get this price through Exchange Union. I actually can see all orders from all Binance users right in my order book and are now able to fill these.. This means I automatically have access to the best price across all exchanges. And the best thing: As a user, I don’t even necessarily know this is happening.
Steven: So, Exchange Union isn’t a separate platform? Is it basically a plugin on the existing exchanges?
Kilian: We develop an open-source software which we call the “XU Node”. This software is operated by the exchange. The exchange does the hard work and integrates it for its users. User experience-wise, you can stick with your current exchange, and you don’t even have to worry about where the orders are coming from. The orders will just appear in your order book. Also, you’ll have access to new trading pairs, which the exchange might not have been able to offer locally because of low liquidity. Imagine a rather restrictive exchange that only has three or four trading pairs. Now, this exchange, if they want to, can give their users access to all other trading pairs which are traded on Exchange Union, which hopefully will be all at some point.
This means we are solving one of the main pain points for new and smaller exchanges: liquidity. When a new exchange is starting, there’s always the question of how to get up and running and how to attract new users…without having notable liquidity yet. When you connect your exchange to Exchange Union, you basically don’t have to worry about liquidity anymore – you instantly have access to the liquidity of all other exchanges in Exchange Union, combined. In the future, we believe the competition of exchanges will be about UI, user experience, and it will be about Fiat on- and off-ramps. That will be the main competition in the future, but it will be less about what trading pairs I offer and how much liquidity I have because it will all be combined together and everyone will have access to it.
Steven: Say I’m Bittrex and I want to include the Binance pairings, does Binance have to be on board with that?
Kilian: Definitely. All of them have to run the XU Node software to share trading pairs and liquidity. Some more words on our decentralized network: It means there is no “us” in the middle running, for example, a server. XU Nodes are operated by each participating exchange themselves and directly connects them to other exchanges. This has the benefit of making the system incredibly robust and censorship-resistant. No single point of failure can lead to the shutdown of Exchange Union – just like with Bitcoin.
Steven: Are there any exchanges currently using Exchange Union?
Kilian: We are currently testing it. It’s still quite far from being able to release it or test it with real money on the main net. The main net release should be in about a year from now. By the end of the year, we hope to have a proof of concept implementation out, which means this would be something that works and does what it’s supposed to do, but it’s not that stable and doesn’t look that nice yet.
For example, we have to think of different sets of APIs since exchanges have different requirements for the XU Node’s API set. They have to be customizable and that’s the hard part. It has to be nice and sexy to integrate for exchanges. Having worked at an exchange before, I know that exchanges are busy with tons of other stuff like improving user onboarding, ever-changing KYC processes, new FIAT integrations and this is why we have to make the integration of Exchange Union as painless as possible. Exchanges are our users, we are developing for them.
Da Hongfei: NEO’s Future in the Crypto World
Cryptocurrency Scams in Australia
Matthew van Niekerk from Databroker
Cryptocurrency’s Liquidity Problem
Germans Aware of Bitcoin?
Robert Herjavec: Bitcoin is Here to Stay
Atari Announces Crypto Investment
Visa and Worldpay Duplicate Charges
The Largest Blockchain Education Network
Governor of Puerto Rico Not Sold on Crypto
Blockchain’s Organic Revolution
New ‘Ethereum Community Fund”
Charlie Munger Says Bitcoin is “Asinine”
Fineqia International Discusses Blockchain Investment
Blockchain Without Cryptocurrencies?
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