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Interview to Nebulas Institute Intern Researcher, Dr. Dai

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

Name: Xiaohai Dai

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

Title: Intern of Nebulas Research Institute

Research field: Nebulas Rank

Dr. Xiaohai Dai had always been an outstanding student at the National University of Defense Technology, ranking first in his major. Had it not been for his injury, he may have continued living an army life and hence had no opportunity to explore the blockchain world. But life tends to pose difficulties disguised as new plans for young people.

Dai made the choice to enter the blockchain world after sustaining two serious injuries: one on his right shoulder blade, and another on his meniscus, a ligament, in his left knee. He sprained his right shoulder in training and was injured again before it fully recovered. His knee was injured during field practice, when he knocked it on a stone, but under the circumstances, he continued the walk with a heavy weight on his back for 5 miles, exacerbating the injury for the long-term.

Students in the National University of Defense Technology need to pass the physical examination before graduation. Every time Dai attended the physical training, his shoulder and knee would sore, and he also fell behind to many of his classmates. Therefore, he worried that he could not pass the graduation examination, especially since he is a person who pursues perfection. When he starts something, he strives for the best, or he wouldn’t begin it in the first place. And in every training session, he would suffer both physically and mentally, and he knew he had little chance of being the best……

After careful consideration with his family, he decided to hand in his retirement application and transferred to Huazhong University of Science and Technology. As the old saying goes, when one door closes, another one opens, and Dai believes the only thing we can do is pursue new possibilities.

After retirement, Dai continued his study at Huazhong University of Science and Technology. He also visited Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and studied there for one year. In fact, his first impression on blockchain was not positive. At that time, blockchain was very hyped and large amounts of capital were flowing in, and he thought this is likely to be a bubble.

While bubble shines brightly in the sun, once punctured, there is nothing.

In the first half of 2017, Dai started to learn about blockchain more deeply. At that time, he also faced a problem to decide his topic for his Doctor’s thesis. His mentor suggested “blockchain”, which led him down his current path of study.

After gaining a thorough understanding of blockchains, Dai discovered that blockchain involves a wide range of knowledge, including distributed consensus, P2P networks, cryptography, etc, which is a new world where knowledge is fully intersected and difficult to holistically command. For him, blockchain is a new challenge, with some risk, but attractive.

As Dai said before, he pursues excellence, both in physical training and blockchain study. In July of 2018, his paper Towards A Novel Architecture for Enabling Interoperability Amongst Multiple Blockchains was published on ICDCS, a top international academic conference, with an acceptance rate of papers of less than 20%, and high reputation and influence in the field of distributed computing and systems.

Despite Dai’s outstanding performance in university, he was aware he lacked practical experience.

Opportunities are sometimes chance occurrences. At the beginning of the new year, an alumnus of Huazhong University of Science and Technology who worked for Nebulas returned to have a visit. Dai realized this may be a good chance to get a foot in the blockchain industry. Following a good conversation with the Nebulas representative, and asking for the permission of his mentor, he came to Beijing with this alumnus to work for Nebulas.

If you look out from the window, you could always see a small bonsai, however, if you put your head out of the window, you can see a new world. For him, Nebulas is the new world. Until now, he still feels lucky for his choice. Just as he said: “I learned a lot in Nebulas. On the one hand, my knowledge system is consolidated, on another, I am also making improvements in my learning style and mentality. Now I become more efficient in work and more calmly in dealing with difficulties.”

When we asked him what’s his feeling to be a super learner, he answered that now he dare not accept others calling him “super learner”, because in Nebulas, everyone is awesome and all of the team members graduated from established universities.

Dai believes from the bottom of his heart that Nebulas is an organization that has long-term vision, clear position and down to earth manner. What’s more, it has its own research institute at the very beginning. Nebulas keeps training new talents and now, the fresh blood is pouring into Nebulas to make it stronger and stronger. As Nebulas CEO Hitters Xu sayid: “Nebulas is not only an organization, it is more like a campus, where everyone can learn from others.”

Right now, Dai is a member of Nebulas Research Institute and also a potential technical expert of Nebulas.

At present, he mainly focuses on the design of Nebulas Rank, analyzing transactions of the accounts on Nebulas mainnet, and also scoring and ranking these accounts, which are the cornerstone of Nebulas ecosystem. Apart from knowledge of computers, he also needs know something of the game theory and computational economics.

Dai also has his own research field — the scalability of blockchain. This mainly concerns how to improve the performance of blockchains and it is consistent with the future development of Nebulas. The second is about data analysis on blockchain, including the in-depth analysis of data on the chain, which helps to monitor whether a chain is running healthily. It is of great importance to the upgrade of blockchain architecture.

The former is to study how to design a better blockchain, while the latter is to study whether the ecological development on the blockchain is healthy or not. If his time studying in Huazhong University of Science and Technology opened up the window of blockchain for him, then his intern experience in Nebulas shows the beautiful scenery outside the window.

As Dai said, blockchain will change the current paradigms of social cooperation. It signals a revolution in the mode of production. He believes Nebulas can definitely leave a unique mark on the blockchain industry. “I hope that together with Nebulas, we can provide a benchmark for blockchain, on the one hand giving a direction for others, and on another, enhancing everyone’s confidence in continuing to explore in this industry.”

Dai is full of hope for the future of blockchain, Nebulas and himself.

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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