Highlights from Fireside Chat with Da Hongfei and CZ
Here is what Hongfei and CZ talked about during the Fireside Chat at NeoFest Singapore 2019:
Nick: How do you guys get to know one another?
CZ: Jan 2014, An Angel Club Meetup in Shanghai.
Da: Yeah, just few hundred meters away from our current office.
Nick: When is the first time you guys on stage together？
CZ: 2017 Jun 22, we announced Binance ICO at Neo rebranding conference.
Nick: What’s the biggest change for both of you over the last year?
CZ: There are 2 major changes in the last 6 months:
- Change from a crypto to crypto exchange to a crypto to crypto +fiat to crypto exchange
- Change from a spot exchange to Ian exchange with derivatives and futures
Da: Our vision becomes clearer now, which is building the Next-gen Internet for the smart economy. Neo, and Onchain Custodian all building blocks.
Nick: Blockchain currently has a less than 1% global adoption, where do you two believe we need to go to achieve a 5%-10% adoption?
CZ: For binance.com, we are making the access easy to people, add more fiat access. Also, we are having different strategy for different parts of the world depending on banking maturity and regulations.
Da: The market for general user is not yet ready, so we are working very hard to satisfy the developers. We have a team in Seattle, managed by former MS executives. They are busy building tools for general developers. Now you can use Visual Studio to write smart contracts. So enhancing developer experience is our focus.
Nick: Could you tell us one of the misconceptions lots of people have about the crypto space and the business?
Da: Many people think crypto is all about marketing. Actually, I spend about 1/3 of my time running marketing, and 2/3 for people management and business development. There is another misconception about Neo. Some people say Neo is a Chinese project but in fact, Neo very global. We have so many international communities, and 2 of our core developers speak Chinese.
CZ: I will talk about some misconceptions about how the business works. It’s actually very similar to traditional businesses. Revenue, business value are also important, it’s not only about coins. Personally I never trade, usually I don’t log in to Binance.com. I only checked the price after the big upgrade yesterday. Fundamentally, the business concept is the same as traditional businesses: make products people use.
Nick: What are you looking forward to next?
Da: Interoperability. Blockchain are meant to be open. Neo, Ontology and some other major blockchains are currently working on this. I think in 1–2 yrs, some blockchains can be connected like a FTA zone. Assets between different blockchains can be moved freely. Imagine you are traveling from Shanghai to Beijing, you have 2 choices: flight or HSR. If you need to cancel your flight ticket due to bad weather and rebook a train ticket, it would be ideal to have an atomic transaction which your train ticket booking will automatically cancel your flight ticket to avoid double booking or ending up with no ticket at all. So in this case, you have a “train chain” and a “flight chain” and a crosschain transaction will have many real use cases.
CZ: In the short term, we want to add support for more fiat currencies. In the longer term: we are focusing on Binance DEX. There will be lots of interesting features coming up.
Ground Question: What are your views on the news that blockchain is now a national strategy in China?
Da: That’s a very positive signal to the whole industry. Actually, the standards of the government and regulators have not changed much in China. The regulation is against speculative business, but blockchain development is welcomed. Many local governments and enterprises are developing permission-ed blockchain solutions, it’s like intranets in the 1990s. These intranets will eventually be linked to the public blockchains, this is a very positive thing. We would love to work with enterprises and local governments in China.
CZ: It’s a very positive sign for public blockchains in China, for example Neo. China is very technology driven, everyone is encouraged to understand new technology so they can use it. It’s a huge when 1.4 billion people are learning about blockchain, I think education is a very important step in blockchain development.