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19 May 2018
Da Hongfei spoke to CNN Money, Switzerland, in a very interesting 26-minute long interview. VALID founder and CEO Daniel Gasteiger invited Da Hongfei in Zurich to join the opening ceremony of Trustsquare blockchain hub. Trustsquare is now home to dozens of blockchain related projects and located at the prestigious ‘Bahnhofstrasse’, close to the Swiss Central Bank.
First off, interviewer, Martina Fuchs was interested in hearing if Hongfei was considering to establish a real presence in Switzerland. He had to admit that it was a bit early to address specific NEO investment or collaboration strategy in Switerzland as this was his first visit. He praised the Swiss ‘precision’ culture and put Switzerland at the top of the list when considering a hub for European market penetration.
In particular, he mentioned that the restructured NEO Foundation basically has 3 different ways to get involved with the Swiss community. Through Neo Global Development (NGD), Neo Global Capital (NGC), or OBF, (Open Blockchain Foundation).
While NGC, a registered private fund, allows for direct investment in ‘Swiss-made’ blockchain projects, the Neo Global Development arm could set up an office in Switzerland with the idea of having local development talent to join the NEO ranks. A final option would be to use the OBF to foster relations and invest in technological research in cooperation with the leading Swiss universities and academics.
The degree of involvement would probably be linked to ‘friendliness’ of Blockchain regulation in Switzerland. It is no secret that Da Hongfei is very keen to be able to work closely with the regulator as long as the emitted laws are not suffocating to the ecosystem. At the end of the day, he understands that regulation is needed if you want to bring blockchain technology into the ‘real-world’ Economy.
When asked what the difference was between Chinese and the Swiss blockchain development, he mentioned that they were complimentary. Chinese development is more geared towards implementation and engineering but is less advanced with respect to academic research in blockchain technology. He also said that China lacks the ‘open source’ culture and should adopt more ‘creativity’. Chinese universities, however, are catching up and are busy setting up blockchain centers as far as he knows.
Da Hongfei mentioned that the development in blockchain technology innovation has not been seriously affected by the Chinese crackdown last year. It, anything it has reduced the number of ‘malicious’ projects out there. With respect to the evolution of blockchain technology, he disclosed that NEO is very much focused on improving on the Consensus mechanism and ‘On-chain’-governance.
NEO is also looking to use new kinds of cryptography, allowing it to find a middle ground between individual privacy protection and the problem of ‘criminal anonymity’. With regards to identity, he also mentioned ‘Ontology’ ONT as the way forward to allow people to manage their own data.
He thinks of competing with Etherium, EOS, and others by advancing on a three-part strategy. The idea is to focus on the development of superior technology and to be ahead when it comes to implementation of the DAPPS. In that regard, he was happy with the current progress and growth of the NEO ecosystem. He restated that the intention is to boost transaction speed from the current 1000 transactions per second to 100.000 transactions per second by 2020. This would be achieved primarily by using parallel smart contract calculations instead of sequential processing.
Lastly, he thinks NEO is better placed with respect to governance. As he stated before he wants a compliant ready blockchain in order to link the physical world with the blockchain world. NEO`s philosophy is to serve the real economy!
The bigger goal is, in general, is to minimize the cost of trust. He believes that new business models will emerge once this is achieved. While Neo is not focusing on acquiring other blockchains he did say he thought it was necessary to have more cross-chain collaboration.
He firmly believes that China will be one of the most important players in the international blockchain space. One of the biggest advantages is that it has a massive market. The Chinese government is currently planning development zones and research institutes.
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