At Token2049, the largest digital asset event in Asia, CoinFi had the privilege to interview NEO’s founder Da Hong Fei. Watch the video below to learn Da Hong Fei’s vision of NEO’s future and what he is most excited about NEO in 2018.
Thank you Da for your time. I appreciate it. We’re at Token2049 in Hong Kong and CoinFi would love to learn more about NEO.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself that not many people know?
“If I don’t shave my moustache, I will save 15 minutes every day.”
So a good Xmas gift to you is to send you an electric razor haha!
So not many people know that NEO started off as AntShares as a crowdfunding platform?
Yeah, we started as a platform to issue Digital Assets. So Crowdfunding is basically like an ICO.
And now you’ve moved into a Smart Economy. Do you want to tell the audience what is a Smart Economy and what drove you to pivot towards that?
We didn’t really focus on smart contract at first. But it’s a very powerful tool. So we decided to invent our own Smart contract system. It’s called the NEO contract. There are 3 fundamental pillars within NEO
– Digital Asset
– Digital Identity
– Smart contract
So all 3 majors will be the main ingredients for the smart economy.
And we imagine our Smart economy to be:
– Fully digitized
– Programmable economy
– Trustless economy
NEO has been very successful in the ICO space. What is your view on the current ICO market? How do you project ICO’s coming in this year?
I think the market is cooling down, dramatically. I think they raise too much money. Most projects do not need that much money. We raised $4million and still had some reserved from ICO. Most projects are raising too much money. And they’re sleeping on that money. And I know some projects develop quite slowly. They did their ICO two years ago and with the ETH price, they’re sleeping on lots of money and development is quite slow.
Do you think people who are raising money now (with ETH and NEO price being volatile) – Do you think they should fix the amount they raise in USD or in ETH or NEO?
Most projects are pricing their funding in USD. They calculate the amount of USD they need and then convert it to the amount of tokens. So, I think they’re already doing that.
You’ve been very public about the goal of NEO being the number 1 blockchain in 2020. How do you Define Number 1 – What is your metric? As the CEO what are you looking to do?
(Laughs) I’m not the CEO, there is no CEO with NEO. I guess the title would be Founder of NEO.
So my definition is not market cap or the highest price. My definition is that it’s the best platform to build a decentralized application on it. So, it should have the best performance, a diversified ecology. And also have compliance ready solutions.
NEO does stand out against a lot of other blockchains – What differentiates NEO?
The philosophy – I call myself a pragmatic idealist. The difference is the approach. A pure idealist would probably just go ahead, go directly to the door. But I think I saw many barriers, many obstacles and I would like to work around those.
How are Decentralized Exchanges going to be a Big Part of the Future of Cryptocurrency Can you talk more about that and how NEO fits into the picture?
Decentralized Exchange has been in development for years. But the first generation of decentralized user experience really sucks because they’re doing everything on there. Everything is on the blockchain and it’s very slow.
The second generation of DEX – usually they do order matching off the blockchain. They do it with a centralized system but the settlement is blockchain so users’ assets are still safe because the user controls their assets. The platform of DEX is only doing order matching. So user experience will be on par with Centralised Exchanges.
Do you feel that Centralized Exchanges, especially the larger ones will inevitably go to Decentralized? And how do you feel about Binance coming into the space? How does it compete with NEO?
I think we need to put a timeframe. 30 years or 50 years – I will say Decentralized will definitely take over centralized exchanges. But I think in a few years like 3 years, decentralized exchanges and centralized will probably share the market. I still think in the next 2-3 years, centralized exchange will be for mainstream. But after that decentralized exchanges will share half half with centralized exchanges.
So Da you have mentioned that 5 things successful that are required for a successful DEX? Do you want to talk though what they are? And the companies that are interacting with NEO that satisfy some of those components?
Sure, the 5 factors are:
Finality: Transaction being confirmed very quickly – it shouldn’t be reversed.
Interoperability – need a cross chain protocol.
Digital Identity Solutions
Congratulations on Ontology and that’s solving the Digital ID side of things. Are you able to comment on how NEO is attempting to solve the Stable Coin challenge?
NEO itself will not build a stable coin but some community projects that are building on top of NEO. They’re building different solutions and I saw the advantages and problems in the first solutions. I’m eager to see how things will work out. It’s quite complicated.
And Da you’ve been very public about the NEO Global Capital Fund. They had taken an investment in Ontology. What is the LT strategic view of that Fund? Are you able to comment on their general investment strategy?
Actually NEO Global Capital or NGC – the first priority is to make money. Their target is to make the new consult sustainable. So they won’t just invest in NEO. They’ll invest in different blockchain projects especially those trying to solve some fundamental problems.
So you recently got an A rating from Weiss (Rating Agency for Cryptocurrencies)? Congratulations. Can you talk a little bit about what was in the rating and why NEO got an A?
First I need to say that I haven’t talked to anyone from there yet.
They have 4 factors – Risk, Price volatility, Reward and Technology, Fundamentals (how many major exchanges are listing those tokens)
So they’re judging it from an investor point of view. It’s quite controversial because they rated Bitcoin with C. It is what it is. We’re not affected by the rating, we still have a long way to go.
Finally, what are you most excited about in 2018 for NEO?
We will design a newer version of DBFT. I don’t really like a lot of the speculation around the token and the price because a lot of the new token holders are holding it for investment. I want NEO token holders to be more active on governing the blockchain. The new economic model is to encourage people to take part in the governance of the blockchain.
A very exciting 2018, Thank you for your time Da and enjoy the rest of your time here.