My Heart Belongs to Nebulas, I Hope We Shine Together

Published in
6 min readSep 15, 2018


This article was originally published in Chinese and has been translated from its original source.


Name: Zaiyang Tang

Education: Ph.D of Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Title: senior researcher of Nebulas Research Institute

Research field: Nebulas Rank(NR), PoD consensus

Achievement: Nebulas Rank Yellow Paper

The history of Imperial China can be traced back to Qin Dynasty when Emperor Qin first conquered the seven states, set the standards for Chinese characters, weights and measures, turning the land into a unified empire that would stand firm despite all kinds of disasters.

At the moment, blockchain is in a similar state, with so many great blockchain projects emerging.

Such circumstances call for a new value measurement system to bring unity to the blockchain landscape. This is why we developed Nebulas Rank, a multi-dimensional value measurement system, which is to blockchain as unifying characters, weights and measure were to the Qin Dynasty.

Today, we’re lucky and pleased to present an interview with the author of the Nebulas Rank Yellow Paper, Dr. Zaiyang Tang.

Death’s Door Shines Light on the Value of Life

Dr. Tang has had a rich life, although he is still very young. He graduated from the School of Computer Science, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and was a visiting researcher at University of Aizu in Japan and the National Telecommunications Institute in Paris, France. Now, Dr. Tang is a senior researcher of Nebulas Research Institute.

We usually have preconceptions that PhDs are cold or aloof or arrogant, but Dr. Tang was far from this stereotype during the interview. He is kind, warm and optimistic with a wide range of hobbies, like football, Ukulele, photography, fitness and video games. Tang explained that he once was very close to death in Paris and because of this he now has an exceptional appreciation for the value of life.

The story happened in 2015, when he was studying in Paris. He had the personal experience of the worst terrorist attack in history, during which 132 people died. The tragedy on the streets of Paris pervaded the whole France. To this day, the romantic nation is shudders at the thought of this tragedy.

One of the suspects lived in Tang’s neighborhood. Because of this, his neighborhood was for a long time under strict control, deserted and empty. This is what he says frightened him the most.

People often say that only those who have had a brush with death hold dear the value of life. This is certainly true in Tang’s case. His experience tempered his character, making him more calm, rational, kind and optimistic.

Finding Purpose in the Blockchain

In the year of 2017 when Dr. Tang graduated, he first got an offer in Huawei Hangzhou Institute and worked as a senior engineer with responsibilities centered around the project of network virtualization.

At that time, Huawei has been a mature and established enterprise, with a major seat at the table of global technology corporations. The research and development investment accounted for more than 10% of the workforce at in Huawei, which was an ideal place for many high-end technical talents. However, Tang had his own opinion and he had an intuition that a wider world was waiting for him to explore outside Huawei…

Though he had heard of bitcoin for a long time, he only came to know blockchain from a deep technical perspective in 2017. That year, he attended a top-level conference on distributed systems ICDCS in Atlanta, and the theme of the conference was “blockchain”. It was at that time that he realized apart from bitcoin, blockchain has a broader extension as well as some problems to be solved. It is a promising new world, with a better consensus mechanism, a better performance experience and rich user scenarios, each of which provides a stage for him to display his talents.

Dr. Tang had already made full preparation to explore the blockchain world, what he waiting was only a chance.

Join Nebulas, Explore Blockchain

There is a saying that the optimistic person is always very lucky. In early 2018, Dr. Xuepeng Fan, head of Nebulas Research Institute and alumnus and Huazhong University of Science and Technology, invited Dr. Tang to join Nebulas, helping design Nebulas Rank. After gaining some knowledge of Nebulas, Dr. Tang made up his mind to leave Huawei and joined Nebulas. In his own words, the most attractive thing for Nebulas is that he can work with many excellent people.

Easier said than done. Things were not going well when he first joined Nebulas. Compared with Huawei, Nebulas brought more challenges and pressures, and it was initially not easy to adjust to two major differences. First was the weight of the task at hand: Blockchain is still in its infancy stage and new technologies are constantly emerging every day. After joining Nebulas, he never let a single day going without learning and communicating with experts from various fields. But soon Tang realized that he was gaining a lot in this process.

The second one is the difference between a mature company and a start-up, in terms of working style and responsibility. The work pace at Nebulas is very fast, much more so than at Huawei. Furthermore, everyone’s work in Nebulas can directly affect the whole organization, so the sense of belonging and responsibility is stronger. Dr. Tang expressed his appreciation for these work dynamics.

Main Author of the Nebulas Rank Yellow Paper

When asked what was the most fulfilling thing in Nebulas, Dr. Tang answered without hesitation: writing Nebulas Rank Yellow Paper. What’s more, after it was released, there was no technical bug found and got very popular in blockchain circle.

In order to help us understanding, Dr. Tang then further explained Nebulas Rank. Nebulas Rank is one of the core competitive systems of Nebulas based on the value finding feature of blockchain. It ranks the addresses in the blockchain according to the users’ contribution, and hence reflect the prosperity of the entire blockchain economic system.

To be more clear, bitcoin brings the first dimension: value transferation, and Ethereum brought the second dimension: value programming. Now, Nebulas Rank brings the next dimension: value measurement. It can help to set up a new value measurement system in the blockchain world, and one which is authentic, fair and diverse, thus laying foundation for the healthy development of blockchain, for future breakthroughs and market growth.

Embrace New Challenges and Create a New World with Nebulas

During the interview, Tang also said that the release of Nebulas Rank Yellow Paper was a small step for the Nebulas ecosystem. Nebulas aims at building a continuously improving blockchain, therefore, apart from Nebulas Rank, Nebulas Force (NF) and Nebulas Incentive (NI) are also of great importance. NF provides guarantee for Nebulas to make rapid iteration without hard forks, and NI provides rewards for community contributors and developers. The three features are what characterizes the Nebulas ecosystem and give this blockchain its core advantage over others in the space.

In the days to come, apart from perfecting NR, Dr. Tang also has another research assignment: PoD consensus. Different from PoW and PoS consensus, PoD consensus is expected to rely on the contribution, and ensure the circulation of tokens on the chain while avoiding the formation of monopolies and the concentration of wealth. It’s no doubt that the design of PoD consensus is another challenge and a new journey for him.

Finally, he added that every member of Nebulas team is excellent, like stars surrounding the “Nebula”. He believes that through hard work and together with Nebulas team, they can form the “brightest galaxy” and shine in the universe. This would be his proudest and happiest achievement.

This article was originally published in Chinese and has been translated from its original source. To check the original article, please click here.

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Nebulasio / Nebulas is a next generation public blockchain, aiming for a continuously improving ecosystem.