Seeing Through The Blockchain Bubble: Sitting Down For An Interview With Founder Hitters Xu

Satoshi Bytes
Aug 9, 2018 · 9 min read

This article was originally published in Chinese and has been translated from it’s original source.

Nebulas Founder and CEO Hitters Xu

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain were once a relatively unknown concept, merely relegated to internet discussion forums and digital chat rooms. That all changed in 2017 as surging prices brought many new voices into the industry.

With the influx of interest came a variety of blockchain-related projects. Some were not very well thought out, while others were outright scams. But other people have a keen interest in the digital currency world and are looking to use their time and talents to help foster the next generations of blockchain technology.

One of these projects is Nebulas is a next-generation blockchain that is being created to help improve the general virtual currency ecosystem. The core of the project is ‘Nebulas Rank’ which measures multidimensional data in the blockchain world and fuels the decentralized search framework.

What Is Nebulas?

The Nebulas 1.0 Eagle Nebula mainnet has all the features of Ethereum but is designed to surpass it in a numerous of ways. For starters, developers are able to use JavaScript to write smart contracts and DApps with Nebulas. Nebulas choose these features so people can use blockchain to create applications even if they do not have much experience.

Additionally, Nebulas is the only blockchain right now that implements the LLVM compiler. Nebulas has a transaction processing capability of 2000TPS — transactions per second. For comparison Bitcoin can handle 5-7TPS and Ethereum 10-15TPS which means Nebulas is about 20x faster and significantly cheaper. The platform is also designed to be more secure, stable, and more expandable than Ethereum, and incorporates measures for upgrade protocols.

Nebulus Force — another core feature is designed to avoid the need for hard forks by enabling rapid iteration and blockchain upgradability. The platform also rewards users and developers who contribute to its growth with its novel incentive and consensus mechanism called Nebulas Rank.

“The Jobs of the Blockchain World”

I sat down for an interview with Nebulas founder Hitters Xu to learn more about his platform and get his thoughts on the cryptocurrency community in general.

Born in Shanghai and a graduate of Tongji University, Xu is certainly a visionary who sees great potential and opportunity with blockchain and digital (crypto) currency.

Xu thinks the blockchain represents “a more open, more equal and more flexible collaboration and possibility.” He’s a big believer in the technology and hopes to continue discovering new concepts and embrace new innovations.

When asked about his own aspirations with the technology, Xu is succinct and direct.

He wants to “become a character like Jobs in the blockchain world” and come up with something totally new.

Xu expresses an admiration for the legendary Apple co-founder since he was able to conceptualize and release new products, like a super thin notebook computer. He thinks Jobs serves as an example of innovation “everyone can quickly understand.”

Xu shies away from simply being a “Buffet in the blockchain world” — that is — only focused on making money. Rather, he thinks blockchain represents an opportunity for “subversive innovation” where new ideas and concepts can be brought to life in a totally original way that people will find revolutionary.

The Future of Blockchain

When asked about the future of blockchain, Xu referred to some early successes that the Nebulas chain has enjoyed. He pointed out how the developer incentive program has led to the submission of more than 6,000 decentralized applications (DApps). He thinks this volume of substitutions signifies “a friendlier attitude towards developers.”

Overall, Xu believes the truly revolutionary innovators in the blockchain world will “redefine blockchain usability.” He points out how Nebulas is currently creating a wallet that is able to interact with applications like WeChat so people can quickly and easily open the messaging platform.

However, he thinks developers and innovators should not “listen to the opinions of users all the time.” Xu explains how people did not think an idea like the iPhone could ever exist until Jobs created it.

When asked about the current state of blockchain development, Xu is a bit more cynical. He thinks the rate of development can sometimes be too fast at the expense of failing to improve the user experience. According to him, fast transaction speed is not necessarily a sign of a useful blockchain.

Xu also thinks the currency practices of marketing and financial campaigns can lead to confusion and even suspicion from users. Many ICOs have raised tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars, and Xu thinks these types of fundraising totals can lead to a “precocious” attitude among team members. Xu asks what kind of motivation people will have to keep innovating and developing if a project is sitting on massive amounts of money before it has even been developed or released.

“We Are Not The Same As Other Projects”

Xu says Nebulas is specifically designed for developers and it’s intended to shy away from a lot of the speculative users that inhabit the blockchain world. When asked about community pressure, Xu says it is all a matter of stress response.

He says the Nebulas team is dedicated towards more medium and long-term strategies that are focused on enriching more applications and increasing users, thus increasing the project’s value.

Xu thinks many projects focus only on the short term in an attempt to mitigate stress from consumers. Team members who “are doing right” should be fine through any sort of turmoil, according to him.

Much of Xu’s guiding principles for Nebulas and other blockchain endeavors comes through a desire to see it as more than just a speculative endeavor.

He’s been a steady presence in the blockchain world, having created many communities, projects, summits, and participated in many other events inside China’s blockchain world.

Xu attributes his work towards a deep “love for the industry.”

He says the idea for Nebulas came out of a discussion where he expressed a desire to build a “better” blockchain. He was told to do a public chain to improve China’s blockchain industry. Xu hopes his work will foster more development in his country and is thankful for the opportunities everyone in the community has given him.

In fact, Xu says his tireless work ethic carries over to company operations. He said daily working times often eclipse 15 hours and he regularly goes to sleep early in the morning after work. When asked about the frantic schedule, he simply says “the more we want, the higher the requirements for the team.”

To him, success in the blockchain world means keeping an open mind, especially since past achievements do not necessarily mean anything today.

The Future of Blockchain

When asked about what might be missing from today’s blockchain world, Xu simply says people need to dream bigger. He thinks people should dream about the people they serve and what can be changed and ultimately improved.

A lot of Xu’s views on blockchain have been shaped by his time with Nebulas. With several product lines and a team of 60 people, he admits keeping track of everyone can be a challenging task.

When asked about specifics, he explains how “when the original 10 people” were working, everyone was in constant agreement with everything. Once the team expanded, now everyone “has a lot of ideas and concepts” and more time is spent on “recognizing the dreams and missions together” so everyone can grow improve their work.

Xu says all of this is particularly challenging when it comes to blockchain since there is really no precedent to go off of. Despite what can be a challenging work environment, Xu says there has really not been a lot of major issues. That is very different than the past.

Reminiscing about the past, Xu says, in 2015 most people had “no idea” about cryptocurrencies and blockchain. He says people at the time were willing to consider Bitcoin “electronic gold” but not everyone actually wanted to use the virtual currency for payment.

Xu says his company is doing a good job at taking advantage of current blockchain trends. He explains how the world “needs value scales, and there needs to be an upgradeable, self-evolving” system as well as incentives for developers and users.

Nebulas is looking to adapt to the current needs. He is now interested about bringing in users and really making blockchain accessible to the average person.

Entrepreneurial Uncertainty

It’s certainly not easy to be an entrepreneur. Especially with emerging technologies like cryptocurrencies and blockchain. But Xu says he does not fear the future of his company and the wider ecosystems.

Rather, he details a conversation with a colleague where he reminds him that everyone and everything has to come to a end, and that no matter what, “people and companies can’t live forever.”

Xu expresses a desire to simply be himself and let his innovation do the talking before going out and trying to respond to criticism or backlash to his ideas.

To him, the company has a wide and expansive perspective on many issues because they have worked to contribute to China’s blockchain and now are able to create a valuable product in Nebulas.

Xu has a well-known relationship with Aero Wang and other members of his team, and says the strong relationships stem from common ideas and goals. He points out how he and Aero share similar perspectives on “values and attitude towards money” and these elements have made them excellent business partners in the blockchain ecosystem.

Overall, Xu thinks the best team members and colleagues are ones that have dreams. He points out how in the early days of cryptocurrency, many people had pretty lofty dreams and aspirations, and when they came together, “they can really do a good job with blockchain.”

Even though he understands people are usually pretty complicated with a lot of different personality traits, Xu does his work as CEO with a straight face. Xu understands that his serious and work-focused style might make some people timid of him, and he says he is trying to change up his image and communicate with the community.

But he says team members are selected for their work ethic and serious values.

Entrepreneurship: Despair & Hope

Entrepreneurship is usually a tricky game. It’s a delicate balancing act between a many different emotions. Xu believes his take on entrepreneurship stems from his own history with different ventures.

Back in 2013, Xu sold Bitcoin and purchased a apartment in a good school district for his daughter. He’s tried his hand at a lot of different entrepreneur-related ventures and spent time working with a company called GemPay after selling some of his cryptocurrency.

To him, people must have a lot of tolerance for frustration when starting businesses because “Entrepreneurship always swing between despair and hope.”

Xu says many people fail at starting businesses because they “can’t stand their own failure.” The premise is simple. Just find the strength to go back tomorrow and do it again, no matter what anyone says.

A desire for innovation and businesses is usually instilled at an early age. Xu believes influence from his father drove his business aspirations through his life.

He says his father was self-employed for much of his life and that created a “not so peaceful” family situation where he did not really have a lot of the things associated with a typical childhood.

Dreams and aspirations about the future came from reading books like “Up and Down Five Thousand Years”, to “Andersen’s Fairy Tales,” and science fiction. Xu thinks reading gave him an idealistic nature of discovery and a lack of passion for “everyday non-creative work.”

Xu sees himself as a casual person who is open and interested in changing things and shies away from “the same, special dogma.” A more carefree nature means a natural aversion to structure. As a result, he gets a bit anxious when colleagues give him a schedule of things to do.

The Future of Nebulas

According to Xu, work on Nebulas has been pretty smooth and has not really run into any major issues or setbacks. With the blockchain industry only getting bigger, more and more talented people are getting involved with different projects.

Xu says the team has attracted “about 6–7 doctors” and a number of students and people who have come to work from abroad.

This type of growth would be unimaginable “if we go back three years ago, or even two.”

Learn More About Nebulas:

If you are interested in learning more about Nebulas and the team, check out the following resources:


Nebulas is an autonomous metanet.