The guest for today’s interview is 眼虫 (YanChong), a core member of the ELAfish team which is an ecological partner of Elastos CR. ELAfish refers to the ELA service of FishChain, a hybrid token game based on virtual mining. FishChain adopts the game mode of fish farming in a limited number of fish tanks (20000 in total), in which “fish farmers” with higher computing power can get more returns.
1. Please tell us about your educational background, professional career and interests.
I graduated from the School of Life Sciences of Peking University. Although I didn’t choose scientific research as a career path, the rigorous training in scientific empirical study during college taught me to be cautiously skeptical of any existing order. In addition, I have always maintained a strong interest in the establishment of new orders and I’m willing to invest my energy and time in related efforts.
Game development has been my job for the longest time. Like most practitioners in the gaming industry, I started to play games since I was a child and have gone through a range of game consoles from FC to PS to GBA, NDS, Switch … Originally, I should have continued to struggle in the field of independent games like many other game developers, but in 2009, an experimental product I made caught up with the social gaming boom and went off. At that time, unlike most others in the social gaming circle who came from the Internet industry, I really didn’t understand what the Internet really is. As a person who had no idea about user traffic at that time, I was in fact rather confused with the insane popularity my game got and the huge amount of free traffic that came with it.
In the next few years the situation reversed, many content creators who enjoyed free platform entry and promotion had to pay for the user traffic to get viewers, indicating that their status had reduced significantly. At first I didn’t understand how this reversal happened. Later, after reading “Post-Google Times”, I gradually realized that in the Internet era, the real valuable asset for a platform is the time users spend on the platform and the social relationship network established by the users. In the initial stage, a platform needs high-quality contents to attract users and regards such contents as required scarce resources. However, when the platform has a sufficient number of users, high-quality contents won’t be a problem for it because content creator are more than willing to come, so at this point for the platform users are scarce resources. Moreover, users may establish social connections with each other on the platform, in which case the value of the platform will be proportional to the square of the number of its users. The very reason why Tencent, Google and Facebook can have a trillion-dollar valuation is that they have a large number of users and corresponding social networks.
Later, I read a lot of literature about the history of currency and finance development, and learned that so far humans have yet to find a perfect way to issue currency, and bad currency solutions have long been the reason leading to all kinds of financial disasters and unfair competition environments. As such, my interest gradually shifted from game development to token economy. In early 2018, I teamed up with several other partners to develop the game “FishChain”. For me, FishChain is not just another game, it also represents an attempt to verify the token economy concepts that I’ve learned.
In terms of personal hobbies, in the early days I was fond of British rock music of the last century, watching “Futurama”, “Rick and Morty” and similar science fiction cartoons. As I grew older, my interest gradually shifted to something more abstract. Recently, I am fascinated by chaos and complex systems and are planning to do a community project that combines cellular automata and blockchain. I welcome anyone who is interested in this project to discuss it with me.
2. How did you get to know CR? And what do you think of this project?
My involvement with CR started with two senior players of FishChan, Wang Ding from Bit.Game and Cheng Hao, the responsible person for the Chinese community of Elastos. Back then, both of them remained the top FishChan players for quite some time. Right around the time I when I got to know the above two gentlemen, I happened to see some of Mr. Han Feng’s online talks and found myself very much agree with his understanding of the blockchain tokens, that is, tokens should be used to record intangible assets such as a person’s cognition, connections, reputation, etc. Then I started to learn about the Elastos project and after a while I realized that FishChain and Elastos CR could do some token-based cooperation.
As a result, by the introduction of Wang Ding and Cheng Hao, a trial cooperation between FishChain and Elastos community started in October 2018. It was the first time FishChain links with a third-party mining pool, allowing its players to purchase and trade game items with ELA and earn ELA tokens by playing the game. This trial cooperation brought some unexpected success in boosting the popularity of both of our communities, which laid the foundation for a FishChain-Elastos joint community to gradually take shape.
In the first half of last year, in order to build an ELAFISH supernode, we tried once again to sell by auction to the community 25 gold ELA fish with the highest in-game computing power. What we did not expect is that our objective for the auction was achieved rather quickly, and the corresponding node by now still ranks 32nd among all ELAFISH nodes. At the end of last year, we officially launched an independent ELAFISH project to expand the size of the in-game mining pool to 25000ELA. Along with this expansion we also introduced a new staking-based investment model as a way for getting returns for free, the reason for which is that I began to notice that there is a big difference between the way cryptocurrency and fiat currency are issued. To quote Professor Huang Jiangnan’s view in “Conceptual Economics”, crypto token is a transitional asset between currency and commodity and its development may usher in a new economic era in which the mortgage-based economic system will replace the consumption-based economy that dominates the capitalist era. Although it’s too early to draw any conclusions, we did achieve rather good results with the introduction of this model, pledging 60,000 ELA tokens in total.
After a year of contact with the sub-communities of Elastos CR nodes, I found that this project is full of vitality and capable of self-growth. Each community has its own core business in different fields, including technology, media, finance, applications, services, etc. Their operations, while being independent of each other, are closely connected by ELA tokens. Seeing what this project has become, I now fully believe that token-based economic community is no longer just a concept but something that is becoming a reality.
3. As a practitioner in the blockchain industry, you must have some unique insights into community governance. In your opinion, what is Elastos CR and what does it mean for Elastos?
CRC is the third consensus mechanism after PoW and DPoS. Blockchain as a technological invention has the ultimate purpose of serving humanity, and the evolution of consensus mechanism marks a step forward in this conversion process. I think Cyber Republic is like a council for all Elastos CR communities. As mentioned earlier, the whole community is composed of super-node sub-communities. Although these sub-communities operate independently, they still need some top-level decision-making mechanism to help stimulate the development of the entire ecosystem. So, I think CR is something that came into being at the right time.
4. We are all grateful for which you and the ELAfish team did to promote the development of the Elastos ecosystem. Have you made any other contributions to the development of the Elastos and related communities?
I have never held a position in the core team of Elastos CR. Working for the host of an ELAFISH supernode, my main task is to develop and maintain ELAFISH as well as overseas communities related to the game and the supernode. Due to high levels of activity in the telegram group, many players who were attracted by the game content also began to know about the Elastos CR project and even became new ELA currency holders and community members. I think for Elastos CR communities, we are like pioneers who help them expand their territory.
5. What is ELAfish’s manifesto and main proposition as a CR council candidate?
One thing that impressed me with the CR project is its high degree of internationalization. From East Asia and Southeast Asia to the Middle East, Europe and North America … active Elastos communities can be found all around the world, which is undoubtedly a rare achievement at a time when the traditional global economy dominated by trade and investment begins to disintegrate, and also something that makes me realize how blockchain projects can play an important role in globalization 2.0. In the past few years, online economy has surpassed offline economy in scale, accounting for a high proportion of global capital as seven out of the top 10 most-valued companies in U.S. stock market are mainly engaged in online operations. As not being restricted by distance in space is an inherent advantage of the Internet economy, it is completely natural for online economies across national borders to emerge at the time of today.
In the world of virtual economy, game industry, what I’m currently in, is a rare example with direct value creation capacity, so I’m very interested in establishing a new game dApp distribution model by the help of Elastos CR community.
6. As the person in charge of one of Elastos’s ecological cooperation projects, you must have rich experience in fields such as project operation and expansion. What advantages do you think you and ELAfish team have in the CR council election?
First of all, the reason why game products can bring value to virtual items is that they follow certain psychological incentive principles. Years of experience in game development and operation enables me to gain in-depth insights into what users think and feel, which will be of great use in the design of community incentive programs.
Secondly, because I live in Canada now, and I can speak Chinese and English fluently and understand the huge differences between Eastern and Western ways of thinking. I can be more comfortable in promoting the development of the international Elastos communities especially in works involving cooperation between the East and the West.
Lastly, with my personal network and experience in the gaming industry, I can help the Elastos CR community find suitable projects and teams for introduction, or check whether newly introduced gaming dApps are suitable for Elastos.
7. If ELAfish becomes a CR council member, in which area you will be focusing on and what specific methods will you use with respect to the development of Elastos?
As what I said in question 4, unlike most node communities, ELAfish has its own game product and can guide a certain percentage of its players to the Elastos CR community through game promotion in various channels, some of them will become currency holders. It’s proven that the aforementioned method is feasible. As such, even if ELAfish is not elected, we will continue to improve ELAFISH so that it can attract more users to Elastos CR communities. If ELAfish is elected, I will use the CR council ’s incentive funds to implement more incentive programs to gain new users for the game and the communities. At the same time, I will also participate in the design of incentive programs for attracting more dApp developers to the Elastos CR communities and work with everyone to improve the entire ecosystem.
8. If ELAfish becomes a CR council member, what’s your plan for maintaining communication with and better serving the communities?
I think communication with community members can be divided into two operations. The first is information collection, meaning collecting suggestions from community members and discussing these suggestions with more members. If ELAfish is elected, I will regularly launch AMA activities in the communities and encourage community members to make suggestions and interact and discuss with each other; the second operation is the dissemination of information. Once ELAfish is elected, I will make sure to post results with respect to previously recommended proposals through my WeChat, Twitter and other platforms.
During actual communication, we may have problem in information synchronization between domestic and overseas communities, so I will try my best to post English information in domestic communities or publish news in Chinese in foreign communities. In fact, I have been doing similar communication work in the ELAFISH community and have had some success with it.
9. If ELAfish becomes a CR council member, what are your expectations for CR?
For Elastos, the establishment of the CR council marks a clear big step forward in becoming a multi-centralized organization. Yes, I didn’t say “decentralized” but “multi-centralized”. Those who have true network mindsets will understand that a completely homogeneous network structure won’t have any vitality, and the most efficient structure is one with loose connections between multiple supernodes and countless smaller sub-nodes. As such, I have high expectations for CR council because it will allow members of the community to transform from pure investors to participants in the decision-making process and we all will witness a great revolutionary change in production relations.
10. One last question, do you have any other thoughts to share with the community?
Everyone knows that 2020 is bound to be a year of troubles. With global economy suffering from a widespread downturn, doubts over cryptocurrencies have also reached an unprecedented level. However, I still believe that our industry represents the hope for the world economy at a time when its old financial system is about to collapse. The world urgently needs a bottom-up incentive mechanism to realize value storage because the old financial system is causing so many adverse effects on social wealth that it has to be changed. And since such a mechanism has very high requirements on system feedback accuracy that no centralized organization can achieve, I believe CR and other organizations consisting of multiple decentralized communities are pioneers leading a great social change.
The last thing I want to say is that although I have extensive experience in game dApp development and operations, I am just a newcomer in making decisions for a multi-centric organization. Therefore, if ELAfish is elected, I will do my best to carefully handle every proposal and vote.
Thank you for sharing this interview. I’m sure everyone is grateful for what you and the ELAfish team did for the development of the Elastos ecosystem. I wish ELAfish team to be successful in the upcoming CR council election.