Real adoption of blockchain technology expected in 3 years: NEO founder tells ChinaEU “区块链技术有望在3年左右时间应用到实际” —— 中欧数字协会独家对话NEO创始人达鸿飞

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As many believe blockchain would bring next breakthrough to business as the internet did, Da Hongfei, founder of NEO, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalisation, foresaw real adoption of this technology in about 3 years, he told Claudia Vernotti, Director of ChinaEU, in Brussels during a recent exclusive interview.

很多人认为区块链将像互联网一样,为商业带来下一轮突破。全球市值最高之一的加密货币小蚁币(NEO)创始人达鸿飞近期在布鲁塞尔与中欧数字协会主任Claudia Vernotti独家对话时说,区块链技术有望在3年左右时间应用到实际。

“It is still quite early for massive adoption. I expect to see real adoption of blockchain technology in about three years’ time,” Da told ChinaEU in the sidelines of the Smart Economy Expo, which took place in the European Parliament on May 2 and 3.

“目前谈大范围应用还为时尚早,我期待大约3年左右时间看到区块链技术应用到实际。” 达鸿飞说。他于5月2日至3日参加在欧洲议会举办的“智能经济博览会”时接受中欧数字协会访谈。

Da’s NEO, generally known as the “Ethereum of China”, was founded in 2014 and quickly climbed into top ten ranking by market capitalization. Defined as an open network for the smart economy, NEO is viewed by investors as the first Chinese cryptocurrency to hit the mainstream.

达鸿飞的NEO以“中国的以太坊”为大家所熟知,自2014年创建以来,市值迅速跻身至世界前十。作为一种智能经济分布式网络,NEO被投资者视为中国首个主流加密货币。

Da and his team visited several European capitals and reached out to academics, lawmakers and local communities. He told ChinaEU that Europe has a quite strong culture with open source which is good for public blockchain projects to work with local communities.

达鸿飞和他的团队访问了多个欧洲首都城市并与当地学者、议员和开发者社区对话。他对中欧数字协会表示,欧洲有很强的开放资源文化,这有利于在公共区块链项目上与本土团队合作。

Against the backdrop of tightened measures from few countries’ governments on cryptocurrencies, Da held the view that strict rules would not hinder the development of blockchain technology. “So far, the regulation is good to prevent speculation,” he said, adding that a certain level of regulation is not an obstacle to the development of the core technology behind blockchain.

在少数国家加强加密货币监管的背景下,达鸿飞认为严格的法规不会妨碍区块链技术发展。他说,目前监管有助于防止投机,他还说一定程度的监管不会对区块链背后的核心技术发展形成障碍。

NEO founder also shared stories on how he started in the blockchain world, on NEO’s mission and its characteristics, on the lessons he learned from the Europe trip and on his views on regulations.

这位NEO创始人还与中欧数字协会分享了他如何进入区块链领域的故事,NEO的使命与特点、欧洲之行的收获以及对相关法规的看法。

The following is a Q&A record of our exclusive interview with Da.

以下就是我们与达鸿飞独家对话的答问记录。(原文为英文)

ChinaEU: How did you get engaged in the blockchain sector?

中欧数字协会:你是如何进入到区块链这行的?

DA: I got involved quite early in 2011. Back at the time, everybody soon jumped into this industry because of bitcoin. I came across bitcoin in 2011. Right before that time, I was having phone calls every week with one of my classmates and colleagues. But at that time, I was running an education consulting business and he worked in Tokyo for a financial institution. We discussed a lot about the differences between the Chinese economy and Japanese economy, culture and monetary theory during that time. Then I came across bitcoin and we just fell in love with the cryptocurrency. We spent a lot time researching and discussing on it and that is how I got involved in this industry.

达鸿飞:我早在2011年就参与其中。那时大家都因比特币很快投身这一行业。我在2011年遇到比特币。在那之前我每周都和一个同学兼同事打电话,我那会正经营教育咨询业,他则在东京一家金融机构工作。我们讨论了很多中日经济之别,不同文化和货币理论等。然后我遇到了比特币,我们就都爱上了这种加密货币,花了很多时间研究讨论它,这就是我如何加入这行的。

CHINAEU: How does NEO differentiate from other blockchain projects?

中欧数字协会:NEO和其他区块链项目有什么不同?

Da: NEO is not really a cryptocurrency. Holding NEO means you are holding a stake of the network, you can govern the network with NEO by voting. It’s very different from other cryptos like bitcoin. NEO is meant to link the physical world, the real economy, with the blockchain world. So, it’s designed to serve the real economy.

达鸿飞:NEO并不是真正的加密货币。持有NEO意味着持有网络的一部分,你可以通过使用NEO投票来管理网络,这和其他加密货币例如比特币非常不同。NEO旨在连接现实世界、实体经济和区块链。它生来就是为了服务实体经济的。

CHINAEU: The original name of NEO was “Antshares”. Why this name? Any reference to Alibaba’s Ant Financial?

中欧数字协会:NEO原名“小蚁”,为什么取这个名字?是否和阿里巴巴蚂蚁金服有关?

DA: That name referred to shared access. “Share” can be a piece of something and also can be a verb. Ants share their economy, they are very small but together form an economy, they can do bigger things because they share resources. At the time of the creation of AntShares in 2014, Ant financial did not even exist. Basically, they use a similar name; in English it is the same, but in Chinese it is a little bit different. We called ourselves “xiaoyi” or “small ants”. Ant Financial instead goes with the name of “mayi” or “ant”. To avoid confusion between the two, in 2017 we made a major rebranding into NEO, with the mission to create the smart economy of the future, through the combination of digital assets, a secure digital identity and smart contracts.

达鸿飞:“小蚁”这个名字意味着分享式途径。“分享”可以是东西的一份也可以是一个动词。蚂蚁“分享”它们的经济,它们很小但为经济团结起来,它们能做更大的事情是因为它们分享资源。基本来说,小蚁和蚂蚁金服名字有些类似,英文一样,中文略有不同。我们管我们自己叫“小蚁”,蚂蚁金服是“蚂蚁”,为避免混淆,2017年我们品牌再塑为“NEO”,期待通过结合数字资产、安全数字身份和智能合约创造未来的智能经济。

CHINAEU: NEO positions itself as regulatory friendly. What does this mean?

中欧数字协会:NEO把自己定位为监管友好型,这是什么意思?

NEO: The very structure of NEO makes it regulatory compliant. This is because, differently from other platforms like say Ethereum, every entity operating on the NEO platform is expected to have a unique verifiable digital identity, in a way that regulators can possibly identify the person who executed the transaction, if problems arise. This inherent compliance-ready technology makes the system especially respectful to regulations like data protection and anti-money laundry.

达鸿飞:NEO特有的架构使其符合监管要求。这是因为,和其他平台如以太坊不同,NEO平台每次实际操作都将有唯一可证实的数字身份,如果出了问题,监管者就可能查到谁执行了交易。这种固有的符合规定的技术使系统对数据保护和反洗钱等相关法规尤其尊重。

CHINAEU: China made the headline as a “non-crypto friendly place” due to recent bans on ICOs and crypto exchanges. Do you believe those regulations were too harsh for the crypto space?

中欧数字协会:中国近期禁止交易ICO(首次代币发行)和加密货币之举成为头条,你认为这些监管对加密空间来说是否太严厉了?

DA: The crackdown has been good to prevent speculation and hinder fraudulent activity in the market caused by the ICO model. Many projects have been using blockchain simply because of the opportunity to raise new funds through the ICO model, not because of a real need to use the technology of blockchain. Those people that are developing the technology are still here, they’re not giving up, they’re still doing a lot. Blockchain is an open soft source technology. If there is progress in other projects, people can learn from it by looking into the open source. Even if we have very strict regulations on ICOs, I don’t see it as an obstacle for the development of blockchain technology.

达鸿飞:这对防止投机和打击ICO模式下市场欺诈有好处。很多项目应用区块链仅因为这是一个通过ICO模式圈钱的机会,而不是因为有使用区块链技术的实际需要。(即使有严格监管,)那些发展区块链技术的人也还在,他们没有放弃,仍做了很多工作。区块链是一个开放软件资源技术,如果其他项目有进展,人们就可以从开放资源中得到它。即使我们在ICO上有很严格的监管,我也不认为这会阻碍区块链技术发展。

CHINAEU: Do you expect Europe to develop similar regulation in the near future?

中欧数字协会:你认为欧洲在不久的将来是否也会出台类似政策?

DA: I don’t see particular regulations on cryptocurrencies or blockchain technologies coming soon in the region. Europe is quite liberal in this field. In the US, SEC is going after a lot of ICO projects very practically, but we haven’t seen that in Europe yet and I believe the risk for new regulations here is not very high.

达鸿飞:我不认为欧洲会很快出台针对加密货币或者区块链技术的特别规定。欧洲在这个领域很自由。在美国,SEC(美国证券交易委员会)调查很多ICO项目,但我们在欧洲还没看到这些,我相信这里出台新规定的可能不是很高。

CHINAEU: What did you learn from your Europe tour?

中欧数字协会:你的欧洲之行有什么收货?

DA: In Amsterdam, we saw quite a strong developer community. And in Zurich, we visited the University of Zurich, there were students and professors attending our meeting. It was pretty good. In Brussels, we are talking to both the developer community and the European parliament. It is very interesting as this is one of the few times we talk to politicians, we did it in Korea one month ago. Our impression is that people in Europe do like new technologies, they want to get involved. There is a quite strong culture of open source, which is good for public blockchain projects to work with local communities.

达鸿飞:在阿姆斯特丹,我们看到一个相当强的开发者社区。在苏黎世,我们访问了苏黎世大学,和学生教授们见面,挺好的。在布鲁塞尔,我们正和开发者社区对话,还有欧洲议会,这是我们少数几次和政治人物对话,很有意思,上个月我们在韩国进行过一次。我们的印象是欧洲人确实喜欢新技术,人们想参与。欧洲有很强的开放资源文化,这有利于在公共区块链项目上与本土团队合作。

CHINAEU: In five years‘ time, how do you see the development of NEO in Europe? What’s your goal?

中欧数字协会:你如何看待NEO未来5年在欧洲的发展?目标是什么?

DA: Five years is a long long time for this industry. I hope in five years we will see real applications in blockchain. Today we are still doing the structures. It is still quite early for massive adoption. I expect to see real adoption of blockchain technology in about three years’ time.

达鸿飞:5年对这个行业来说太长太长了。我希望5年以后能看到区块链得到切实应用。现在我们还在做架构,目前谈大范围应用还为时尚早,我期待大约3年左右时间看到区块链技术应用到实际。