Today we are talking to Terry Tai who is the Co-Founder and CEO of Nervos Network.
- The Nervos Network is an open source public blockchain ecosystem and collection of protocols solving the biggest challenges facing blockchains like Bitcoin and Ethereum today, and is underpinned by the Nervos CKB (Common Knowledge Base) which is the fundamental Layer 1 Proof of Work blockchain which creates the foundation for all Layer 2 protocols, integrations and scaling solutions for the Nervos Network.
We’d like to kick things off by asking you a couple of questions regarding your formative years.
1) Firstly, can you tell us the things which interested you the most throughout your childhood and teenage years, and what brought you the most happiness?
My Personal Computer.
My first PC was a Pentium II 266 that I built by myself, which was quite advanced then, and cost my parents 2 months’ income. Too expensive, but totally worth it. The PC opened up a whole new world. Life before had been a physical routine of going to school, reading textbooks, doing assignments, playing football with pals, and admiring girls. After the PC my life became a virtual one, where I saw the power of technology.
I indulged in playing computer games, learning how to use various kinds of software, and finally learned to write code which made the virtual world much more appealing.
The excitement lasted for two years before I bought my first modem with saved pocket money, and I (secretly) connected my pc to the internet via a landline phone. Over the following months the phone bill revealed my internet connection, which cost my mother half of her monthly salary. She punished me for that, but I never regretted it, since I had the most exciting realization that the internet linked my tiny, isolated computer to the whole world. Wow, all the programs I could interact with and information that could be transferred freely to any spot in the world. From that point on, I went deeper into a world of online games, email, chat rooms and the web. It was as if my virtual world was being doubled, tripled, quadrupled, and so on.
2) Who were your biggest influences growing up, and why did they have such a profound effect on you?
I think it was Bill Gates at that time.
Great was Archimedes to enlighten me with “Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the world.”
But greater was Bill Gates to convince me with “Give me a computer, and I shall change the world.”
Later on, it was Linus Torvalds (Linux). He let me know the importance of doing the things you love, and that changing the world is a side effect.
3) Teenage years are often a turbulent time for many, so on this note, can you name a time which was tough for you, and how you managed to overcome it?
Puberty to me was not just physiological changes, but a psychological mix of hope, frustration, anxiety, depression, despair, internal rebellion and external malice.
Thanks to my father, who saw through me and introduced me to movies - visual storytelling I could relate to.
Recalling that phase of my life, I was so strongly impressed by one scene in TAXI DRIVER starring Robert De Niro.. after drinking together with some other drivers, Robert De Niro follows and stops an older driver nicknamed Wizard, who is experienced and respected, he asks for help. De Niro stood there, silent for a long time, murmuring something to himself, hands in his jacket pockets...with an anguished look, he says he wants to do something but he doesn’t know what. Wizard reaches out and pats De Niro on the shoulder, comforting him: “You’ll be fine. Don’t worry. you’ll be fine.” For some reason I remember this scene. Wizard knew there was no fast fix, only time would help.
So, whenever I am frustrated or in deep confusion, I keep telling myself ,"You'll be fine. Don't worry. You'll be fine."
4) If there was some advice you could give young aspiring individuals, advice which you would really have liked to have heard yourself as a young person, what would it be?
"You'll be fine. Don't worry. You'll be fine."
We are now going to ask you some questions which will hopefully give our readers something to go on regarding you as a person.
5) Firstly, what are the particular strengths that you feel have made you successful in your field (don’t hold back)?
Click on our official website which has the most accurate description of me --"Jack of all trades".
I have been programming for nearly 10 years and I'm deeply in love with open source. I have been hosting the podcast teahour.fm and forkit.fm respectively, the latter is on blockchain technology. Anyway, both of them are Chinese speaking podcasts, mainly for Chinese audiences.
I have an in-depth understanding of programming which is a must in the blockchain developer community. There are amazing developer resources in China, but what China lacks are some superior open source projects; projects with soul, like Nervos.
Unlike many other programmers, I not only enjoy working with machines, but I love dealing with people.
I am a serial entrepreneur that strengthens my extensive investor networking — a strong methodology of building a startup and core community.
I would rather define Nervos as a movement rather than a simple startup. Being one of the co-founders, I am ready to engage with our community and grow the movement whenever and wherever, paving the runway for Nervos to take off.
6) What would you say is your most controversial opinion as regards to blockchain or the crypto space?
1. POW is the only choice for Layer 1 protocol.
2. Blockchain technology is still in a very early phase, there is still so much infrastructure work that needs to be done before any kind of mass adoption.
7) In the course of your day you can become under the most ridiculous pressures and stresses, what is your particular way of dealing with this?
Coding, reading and photography have been the most effective ways to decompress. But, to tell you the truth, at present, I have got less and less time for each.
To compensate, I have tried to meditate 10 minutes a day recently, which seems to be working. I recommend it.
8) Outside of crypto/blockchain, what is your favorite thing to do?
Photography, reading and coding.
We are now going to ask you some creative and humorous questions, and we are sure people will love to see you what you can come up with.
9) What is the most humorous thing you have seen or experienced during your time in the crypto/blockchain space?
10) If you somehow managed to meet Satoshi Nakamoto (that is he is a male person in this scenario) on his deathbed, but only had time to ask him one question, what would it be? Bear in mind that you don’t have much time at all, so make it a good one.
Where is your private key? Would you mind me helping you burn the coins? 😛
11) Can you give three policies you'd enact if you became the president of a country tomorrow?
I think Andrew Yang could answer this question for me, since I am not a naturalized American and I don’t stay in the United States for any length of time. Anyway, he and I share many concepts and viewpoints. Admittedly, many of Yang’s points of views are a little bit progressive, and that is why he is labeled as a “futurist” which I think is high praise.
The following are three of his policies or opinions I am inclined to agree with:
1. The entire socialism-capitalism dichotomy is out of date.
2. Personal data should be treated as a property right.
3. “Freedom Dividend”, a $1,000-per-month universal basic income to all US citizens age 18 or older, regardless of employment status.
But, unfortunately, Yang dropped out of the election. Maybe in the long run he still has the chance to come back.
Communities are often an important backbone for many crypto/blockchain projects, so we’d now like to get some personal thoughts on the community side of things.
12) What do you feel makes the Nervos community unique compared to others?
Nervos is still in an early stage. Supporting & contributing to a fresh new project is a very cool and adventurous undertaking. I would describe our community members as a group of futurists with an adventurous spirit.
13) Personal project aside, what are some ‘communities’ in the space that you admire and why (this is not an endorsement)?
I highly respect both the BTC and Ethereum communities. Moreover, one of our co-founders was on the research team of Ethereum, and contributed a lot to the Casper consensus protocol implementation and Ethereum Python client.
Although the Nervos community supports both philosophical ideas in different ways, those two communities stand very much on their own merits in terms of research, ideology, and so on, which I admire.
14) What social-media platform do you like most and why, and are there any improvements which you feel can be made to these platforms for an even better community user-experience?
The greater value lies in its definition of a set of Multi-Center social systematic protocols, that is to say, only if one conforms to the agreement, one is counted in the protocols.
Description from Wikipedia:
Mastodon is a free and open-source self-hosted social networking service. It allows anyone to host their own server node in the network, and its various separately operated user bases are federated across many different servers. These servers are connected as a federated social network, allowing users from different servers to interact with each other seamlessly. Mastodon is a part of the wider Fediverse, allowing its users to also interact with users on different open platforms that support the same protocol, such as PeerTube and Friendica.
Twitter is honored and respected because it initiated a micro-blogging platform, though it has been swinging between open and closed policies in the past years.
Anyway, I am very glad to see Twitter’s founder realize its problem and publish the thread:
He also quoted:”Protocols, Not Platforms”. which makes me feel very hopeful.
I am looking forward to seeing Twitter’s future direction.
15) With the endgame being mainstream adoption, do you think crypto/blockchain communities will still have an important role to play in a post-adoption environment?
Of course I think so.
Just like the open source community. Both developers and advocates from the beginning are still playing very important roles right now, even though a lot of big companies have joined the game.
No matter when, the values established by the early members are critical.
In our penultimate section we are going to ask you a question regarding Nervos.
16) What do you feel sets Nervos apart from your competitors (that is if you have any)?
Nervos, in our design concept, is different from other public blockchain projects in many ways.
* Flexible Support for Crypto Primitives, no need for a hard fork.
* Our Layer1 protocol CKB doesn’t use an account model, instead we use a UTXO like model, we call it a Cell model
- It has better Bitcoin Interop
- It can take advantage of UTXO tech like MimbleWimble.
* Our Layer1 protocol CKB uses PoW
* Nervos is not a single blockchain, it’s a layered architecture including both Layer1 & Layer2 protocols.
Well that just about does it, but before we end this interview we’d like to ask you for something which we believe will say a lot about your belief in the industry, and which may inspire those who are reading.
17) Can you come up with a short argument for our readers on why you feel cryptocurrency and blockchain (or just one) has a bright future?
Let me just describe this in one point of view - Trust Boundary
In today’s world, trust is incredibly valuable, but there are barriers to trust. Trust exists mostly within the boundaries of families, tiny teams, and firms, not giant companies and nations.
A way out? Yes, through blockchain technology, that breaks through whatever trust barriers to raise the bilateral cooperation efficiency and strengthen human beings’ collaborative relationship. Don’t you think it sufficient for us to see a more prosperous future via blockchain technology?
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Also a big thank you to FeedSpot for including CryptoMurmur in their Top 200 Bitcoin Blogs