Haipo Yang, founder of ViaBTC, one of the largest mine pools in the world, and CoinEx A crypto exchange known for its focus on Bitcoin Cash-based trading, is a well-known but relatively quiet character in China’s cryptocircle. Yang usually doesn’t talk as much about his journey launching the mining pool, nor CoinEx, which launched in December 2017.
And he hardly ever speaks of his fervent support for BCH, a hard fork of Bitcoin, and his now even more enthusiastic belief in BSV.
But that has changed lately. Yang has been more active in recent months, taking part in interviews on CoinEx and tweet more often on Weibo, China’s Twitter. He has made controversial statements about BTC’s death, while supporting BCH and BSV on social media.
Yang recently told me that as a developer, not an entrepreneur, he never felt comfortable speaking in public. But he’s now trying his best to help publicize his CoinEx renovation. So for this week da bing, I decided to chat with him and take a look into the mind of an experienced crypto entrepreneur trying to make a personal comeback as well as a platform.
CoinEx’s golden opportunity
Bitcoin’s first hard fork took place in August 2017, creating a new cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash. The split was triggered by partisans, including Yang, who wanted bigger block sizes on the blockchain – the basic idea was that larger blocks would allow for more transactions per second and make Bitcoin Cash something people would actually use to buy things, rather than Bitcoin more often perceives use as a store of value.
Yang has added tremendous value to the mining scene in China. As a technical founder with years of experience in major technology companies like Tencent, Yang prides himself on his # buidl skills. He developed the most code in the early days of VicBTC, which became one of the largest mining pools to this day.
Not satisfied with owning only a mining pool, Yang CoinEx, who was born in December of that year, specifically devised to continue the mission of the newly forked Bitcoin Cash blockchain. When he got carried away by the enthusiasm of Bitcoin Cash, he even said that “BCH is bitcoin. ‘
CoinEx’s strategy has focused on BCH from day one; BCH was the base currency which means you could use it to buy and sell other currencies like Ethereum and Litecoin.
Interestingly, Jihan Wu, the co-founder of Bitcoin Exchange – own one famous BCH supporter—Was a great investor in the stock market. That made me wonder why he, Yang and many other OG crypto miners were so passionate about BCH. Was it only about larger block sizes?
“A larger block size means more users and usage scenarios,” explained Yang. The transition to larger block sizes appealed to miners because they would facilitate more transactions. Miners make money on transaction fees, as well as mining blocks. Likewise, the network would arguably be more useful to those looking for digital money for everyday use.
That especially resonated with many early hardcore Bitcoiners. Said Yang: “We really believe Bitcoin should be a P2P ATM rather than a store of value.”
This view probably sounds outdated to people who think Bitcoin’s value as cash has long since vanished, with solutions like Lightning Network playing that role. Instead, the new story for Bitcoin is in value, rather than utility. Still, Yang believed the forked network would create many more opportunities
“We can invite influential companies to establish nodes and contribute to the network. This cannot be done with the original Bitcoin architecture,” he said.
CoinEx is running
But from the beginning, CoinEx struggled with adoption and was overshadowed by the larger exchanges. Part of that was related to the fact that BCH and ‘Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision’, another Bitcoin hard fork, were both controversial. Critics pointed out that these networks are centralized in a few large mining pools, and 51% attacks are not excluded.
So, over time, although the Yang exchange still maintains strong support for BCH and BSV, it started adding support for all major currencies.
Finally, in January of this year, it announced a major upgrade, of … well, just about everything. It started with futures, leveraged trading, options trading and more than 100 token projects available to traders. It even rolled out its own blockchain, “CoinEx Chain”, to support a new DEX, “CoinEx DEX”.
CoinEx’s seemingly sudden publicity should come as no surprise. While BCH / BSV was being marginalized, Yang shifted his focus. He is now trying to follow the wave of building a larger, more dynamic exchange.
“Crypto exchanges are where value is discovered,” Yang told me.
Building an exchange is not overnight, and it is not again– build one. CoinEx still competes with the giants like Binance.
However, Yang thinks his exchange will thrive by ziggling when his competitors see. As usual, CoinEx takes a slightly different route, he told me.
As? “We’ll mention 小 币种,” he said, using the phrase for “small token projects.” I can’t help wondering if these “small token projects” are just shitcoins, the trade of which is certainly not new.
Yang even said he trusts the success of his new public blockchain. “We are building a CoinEx Chain, a layer-one protocol for DEX only. With our public blockchain, anyone can issue a token at any time, ” he said. He described the blockchain as “a truly decentralized token issuance and transaction platform.”
This is the core of Yang’s plan and vision. He believes that centralized exchanges will be a bottleneck to crypto adoption because it contradicts the nature of crypto as a completely free and open infrastructure. In essence, everyone should be able to launch a token and trade with everyone. Only by building DEXes can we achieve full decentralization, he says.
The religious nature of Bitcoin and forked Bitcoin
It is his belief that Bitcoin should follow Satoshi’s original vision, which led Yang to send another controversial tweet last week, which I will translate: ‘The early days of Bitcoin expansion are similar to religion. Religious fervor brings prosperity to industry. ”
By extension, Yang believes that the next generation of Bitcoin should elicit a similar “religious” zeal. Therefore, he has slowly become more of a supporter of BSV than a fan of Bitcoin Cash. Yang believes that, despite the negative image, BSV has more religious connotations. (As most crypto people know, controversial Craig Wright, who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, led the hard fork BSV created. That’s why it’s often played with skepticism and derision.)
“The early days of Bitcoin expansion are similar to religion,” said Yang. “Religious zeal brings prosperity to industry.”
Crypto is known for its tribalism. Many people choose one camp over another, not for practical reasons, but for simple belief. Talking to Yang and reading his tweet gives the Bitcoin story a historical texture. But crypto cannot survive on religion alone. One must build. Hash may have been worshiped in the past, but now the crypto religion is about the size of the congregation.
Three other things that happened this week
# 1. Sichuan power shortages and ambivalent public policies
Miners are the real weathermen. Their choice of location is determined by whether the place offers favorable conditions to mine. Sichuan province has traditionally been the center of hash power, especially during the rainy season when Hydropower is abundant.
That’s what happens in a typical year. 2020 is of course anything but a typical year.
For years, local governments have been ambivalent about mining, and in some cases even discouraged. However, because Covid has caused a recession in China, mining looks like a particularly lucrative industry. As a result, many local cities in Sichuan initially made public hoping to get miners to open farms in their cities.
But the good old days don’t last long. Last week, Sichuan Provincial Ministry of Finance issued a statement asking blockchain companies to end all mining operations, stating that mining could propagate “speculation, fraud and illegal fundraising. ‘
The statement came as a surprise to many miners, but the real question is, is the law actually enforced? The answer is probably not. Local governments rely heavily on miners to contribute to their economies. Therefore, so as not to upset the provincial leaders during this special time (the annual parliamentary assembly local authorities and miners may remain quiet for a few more days and hopefully resume their business.
There is also another problem. Rainy seasons are not always predictable. And the past few days there was no electricity in Sichuan. As a result, the city government has cut electricity to many farms to support household use. I think no matter how decentralized bitcoin is, the energy producer behind mining is still one big central government. And behind that is Mother Nature, which also seems to be quite centralized.
Neil Shen on building a stablecoin for Hong Kong
It is that time of the year when more than 3,000 representatives from all over China gather in Beijing to discuss the future of China. Although postponed by Covid, this year’s meeting is packed with technology-focused proposals.
One of the proposals that caught the attention of the cryptocircle comes from Neil Shen, Founding and managing partner of Sequoia Capital China. Shen advised the Communist Party to develop a stablecoin for the Greater Bay area of Hong Kong, which includes Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau. The stablecoin is used for cross-border transactions and will “establish Hong Kong as a financial center for the digital world”.
The proposal provides little additional information about how the stablecoin would work. But the fact that the proposals come from a technology investor like Shen certainly gives it weight.
Hainan makes clear his blockchain non-crypto position
Hainan, China’s crypto island, had hoped it would be a more experimental test bed for a wide variety of projects. But after a few high-profile, blockchain-related launch events, the island went mostly silent. And when it releases new information, the news isn’t exactly beneficial to the crypto circle.
In a recent press release, for example, Hainan’s information and technology department announced that “blockchain companies cannot engage in ICOs, fiat-to-crypto or crypto-to-crypto transactions.”
In other words, despite thousands of miles from Beijing, Hainan is still not ready to officially host crypto non-blockchain companies.
Do you know?
May 20 is a big date for Chinese, especially Chinese couples. Since the May 20 statement in China sounds like “I love you,” it’s considered a homegrown Valentine’s Day. Like most holidays in China, everyone celebrates it, including the crypto companies. For example, Babel Finance released a 5/20 promotion (see image above) on its financial instruments. One thing that differentiates the marketing strategy in China from abroad is that the Chinese can market anything from anything. This includes our famous Singles Day, and now our Valentine’s Day.