Got Twenty Bitcoins? Buy a Computer Game!
Kevin is the system architect at CyberVein. He has had two entrepreneurial experiences and has a strong interest in blockchain technology with rich experiences and knowledge.
Kevin graduated with a degree in computer science from the University of Waterloo. He first learned about blockchain technology when his friend gave him 20 Bitcoins. At that time, 20 bitcoins were not as valuable as they are today, and the Bitcoin ecosystem was not well known to society, so Kevin bought a computer game with those bitcoins.
“To say that I don’t regret it at all, I would be lying. Even if I didn’t buy games, I would have bought something else.” Kevin let out a laugh. “I didn’t think Bitcoin would become like this at that time, and I never thought I’d be in the blockchain business.”
Bitcoin aside, Kevin will be well prepared for the future and is willing to learn to improve himself. He has had internships at several well-known companies, such as Blackberry, OpenText, and Bazaarvoice. His main responsibility was to develop front ends, optimize code, and find and fix bugs.
“When I started to work as an intern programmer, I needed to learn and understand different new technologies from many aspects. At the same time, I needed to combine the tasks and clarify the technical points. In the beginning, it was challenging, but it didn’t take me long to get used to it, and it helped me to grow as a programmer.”
When he returned to China, he started his first venture. He gathered a team and planned to develop a supply chain management system that can ensure transparency, visualization, and loss reduction. The team intended to apply this system to the crop supply chain for inventory pledge loans, where deceptions sometimes occur. In one case, a city in Shandong Province that was mainly responsible for crop cultivation and that had an impeccable supply system obtained loans from banks through opaque warehouse receipts.
“I’m a person with morals. I was disgusted by these frauds,” Kevin emphasized. “That’s when I realized the importance of data or information transparency and the loopholes in banks loans.”
Kevin went to the bank proposed that it use his software to ensure that information is transparent and easy to manage. Unfortunately, before any agreements were reached, the project was discontinued due to a shortage of funds.
“I was frustrated. A lot of effort and time were put into the project, but these things happen. It just means that I still have a long way to go, so I pulled myself together.”
It didn’t take long for Kevin to start his second venture. A Chinese researcher reached out to Kevin and offered to work with him on a project in Yunnan. This researcher had developed a medicinal material that can grow healthily in the field without fertilization and pesticides, and its nutritional efficacy was much higher than the ones grown on plantations. The proposal was to plant this medicinal material in a city in Yunnan and help lift local farmers out of poverty.
To gain the trust of customers who were willing to buy these medicines, Kevin needed to develop a traceability system based on blockchain technology.
That was when a friend introduced him to Jack, the managing director of CyberVein, and Jack gave Kevin some ideas to help him.
“Blockchain is great. I wish I used it in my first project. So, for this project, I planned to have all the information of the supply chain to be put onto the blockchain, ideally automatically. Everything is transparent and trustworthy. People will not doubt us in any way.”
Then Kevin started his system development, and the researcher started his cultivation in Yunnan. However, Kevin’s second attempt at entrepreneurship didn’t go smoothly either. Due to the inability to completely eliminate the human factor in the information system and a lack of understanding of the local climate and environment, the data input had some faults, and the medicinal materials did not succeed in growing. Unfortunately, the project had to end.
“The city [where we tried to grow our product] is the second poorest in Yunnan,” Kevin said. “At the time, I really thought I could help these people and have some achievements. Maybe I was too naïve/ Lesson learned.”
After his second start-up experience, Jack invited Kevin to join CyberVein for his extensive research on supply chain management systems and blockchain technology. Kevin gladly accepted; he knew from his previous encounter with Jack that CyberVein is a global database and database management system that integrates blockchain technology.
“In essence, it’s not that different to what I did before, but just with different contents. I like how it is focused on the different aspects of data, and from what I understood, a vast amount of data is being generated every day throughout the world, and likewise, many businesses or research institutions require [a] large amount of high-quality data to optimize their processes and results. I hope I can play a part in bringing an amazing solution.”
In addition to improving the existing database storage, processing, and other functions, CyberVein also breaks through some previously unsolvable database problems and can safely and efficiently realize the needs of big data verification, interaction, transaction, and supervision.
Kevin believes that CyberVein has a promising future in solving existing data problems, and he has come to realize that the blockchain itself is only a tool, not a solution. This change in workflows can have a profound effect when combined with big data and AI technologies.
“I believe CyberVein’s concept and like what they are trying to achieve regarding data management, storage, and usage. I can continue to learn new knowledge at CyberVein, not just blockchain technology, and improve myself further before I’m ready for another try at entrepreneurship.”
As a system architect, Kevin has familiarized himself with the CyberVein’s technologies and is working to further improve the technologies. Specifically, he’s focusing on DAG, where the technology’s security issue gave IOTA a hard time.
With much enthusiasm, Kevin is actively participating in discussions about technical developments and working closely with CyberVein’s CTO, Arthur Yu. The friendly atmosphere at CyberVein has helped Kevin make several friends, and he feels comfortable to be working with them as a team.