This Q&A was held on 26.02.2019 by the HPB Chinese team on WeChat. Please excuse possible translation mistakes and omissions.
Hello everyone, I am the founder of HPB, Wang Xiaoming, and I am very grateful to be able to talk with you today.
Q1: Does Wang work for a few hours a day? Do you have other hobbies in addition to work?
25 hours (I’m joking). But entrepreneurial friends should have this experience, working almost 24 hours per day, in addition to eating and sleeping and only having a short time to spend with their family. As for interests, I used to like to play football, but I can only run now.
Q2: Is there a lot of time to spend with your family?
In the past two years, there have been few opportunities to go home to eat at night. This industry has developed too fast and you have to go all out.
Q3: Many fans are very curious. Did your family object when you first dropped out of school to start a business?
When we are faced with some choices in life, especially if things are not looking good, we often choose to report good news to not cause worry. At that time, I made a decision myself and didn’t want to worry my family.
Q4: You left the high-growth industry of UnionPay Big Data and set up a blockchain technology company that was not known by many people during that time. Do you regret that decision?
Although I encountered a lot of difficulties in the process of starting a business I never regretted it and I didn’t look back. I love this work.
Q5: Do you have an innate interest in the new?
I am curious about new things and bit rebellious. In particular, I am very interested in cutting-edge technology that can change society and am constantly exploring it.
Q6: What was the idea behind translating the Ethereum documentation early on?
Three years ago, there was basically no blockchain-related information, and there were fewer technical aspects. On the one hand, it is about the need to understand the cutting-edge technology of the blockchain. On the other hand, it also hopes to let more people understand the blockchain and join the industry.
Q7: Are you still writing articles now? How do you balance work and life?
The frequency of writing articles is lower now, but it keeps growing, and my personal blog has been updated. Life and work is really difficult to balance, at least I am not good at it. At some particularly important moments, I have not been able to be with my family.
Q8: Would you please release the link to your personal blog?
Mr. Wang, what is the problem that is most trouble or you now?
The Blog is the full spelling of my name: http://wangxiaoming.com/
In the past few years, we have invested a lot of energy and money in this industry, but the industry has not really seen a big application, which worries me..
Q9: How did you get into the cryptocurrency or blockchain industry, who is the leader?
We have been exploring the launch of real projects and hope that everyone will come in and explore together. For years I was working on a cross-border e-commerce platform, involving cross-border payment issues, when we found Bitcoin in the process of seeking a solution. Although bitcoin payments were not mature at this time, we saw the future value of Bitcoin and that held our attention, and then we slowly entered the industry. At this time, Google searched for various solutions, and Google was the leader.
Q10: You are called “Blue Lotus” in China. How did this title come about?
Thanks to those who are supporting me and for giving me such recognition with this title. In the early days of this branche, I have been doing blockchain technical knowledge evangelism. So I published 72 chapters and more than 30 issues of the “Mingyue” blockchain audio commentarys. I also wrote the book “Blockchain Development Guide” during that time and I believe that many of the branch’s technical geeks have gained an in-depth understanding of the blockchain through my articles and books in the early days.
In addition to the Blue Lotus: I like the song — Blue Lotus. It’s lyrics reflect the perseverance of quality, which is what our entrepreneurs should have
Q11: Why did you choose to leave Xi’an to go to Shanghai? Is there anything special that attracts you in Shanghai?
10 years ago, Internet technology was basically concentrated in first-tier cities, so I came to Shanghai. Because I had been in Shanghai for a short time and I was deeply impressed by the diversity and internationalization of Shanghai
Q12: Was Beitong and UnionPay Big Data’s entrepreneurial experience the biggest help for you to enter the blockchain industry?
These two projects are in the process of solving practical problems and let me have a deeper understanding of the value of the blockchain, and identified the direction I’d want to pursue.
Q13: What was the point of contact when you first entered the blockchain industry? How did you think to create HPB?
I mentioned earlier that I want to solve the problem of cross-border payment. Of course, after I realized its value, I worked on getting in early. Later, I tried to improve internet products using the blockchain. In the process, I hit on various problems. I finally chose to solve the TPS bottleneck problem and focused on this area to make a breakthrough.
Q14: How are your current teams formed? Are there any interesting stories? What do you think is the most important quality of a team?
The team has early colleagues, early business partners, and early contacts within blockchain. There are friends who asked questions from the WeChat group, and read my blog and finally joined to become partners and core team. The two PhDs, responsible for the community governance model and the underlying consensus algorithm I known from WeChat groups and blogs. The talents attracted in this way are highly recognized by everyone.
Q15: What do you think is the most important quality of a team?
I think it is very important that everyone has a consistent and professional philosophy and is willing to work hard together for a long time, no matter how many difficulties they encounter.
Q16: How do you view the open source aspect of blockchain?
From a technical point of view, open source is a trend, and the core of blockchain is consensus and value. Therefore, open source technology is needed more, allowing a wider range of participants to collaborate on a large scale based on technology.
Q17: You said that the blockchain technology is in the early stage, and it’s ease of use is relatively poor. Do you still think so? What is the biggest bottleneck of blockchain technology now?
The biggest bottleneck in the blockchain has not changed much in the past few years. Ease of use and performance are still two very important bottlenecks. HPB also hopes to solve these problems in practice as soon as possible.
Q18: I have always felt that the underlying public chain is the investment direction that will be favored by most professional investment structures and investors. What do you think?
I agree with this point of view. In the early days of the industry, the infrastructure was not perfect, and the public chain must be very important.
Q19: Please tell us what you think about the public chain, such as how the public chain will develop in the future? At the current stage, the public chain is one of the most unclear blockchain projects in the business model. How do you view this? How do you plan to break through?
The public chain still needs to do the basic work well, and to be easy to use, high performance and stable. I feel that things have to go back to basics. Other technical directions need to be developed after solving the basic problems. Business model I think is the key to help Dapp applications create value.This is relatively long-term and difficult, but I think it is worth sticking to.
Q20: In what way is HPB a high performance public chain? How will HPB avoid losing its position in the future?
The biggest feature of HPB is the combination of hardware and software. We have made a high-performance hardware based on programmable chips, giving full play to the value of hardware to solve all aspects of the blockchain bottleneck. I feel that a project can only be upgraded through continuous new versions, or else all projects are at risk of being eliminated.
Q21: How to break the blockchain performance bottleneck through hardware and software?
HPB combines hardware and software to improve performance and reduce node cost. We improve performance by making optimization of node performance, network optimization, and hardware and software optimization consensus algorithms.
Our team independently developed the BOE acceleration engine based on the FPGA chip. The full name is the Blockchain Offload Engine. This board can be understood as a blockchain dedicated server, on the one hand to improve performance, on the other hand also greatly enhance the stability of the entire network and node security.
The adoption of real application scenarios is the biggest problem we are going to solve. In addition, we are also attacking the network and storage problems, and already achieved a lot of positive results.
For example, HPB adopts a layered network architecture. The hardware implements the TCP/IP protocol stack, which reduces the number of TCP connections, data copy times and channel delays, and it also reduces the occupation of the host CPU and memory.
Q22: How can we combine the value of the blockchain with the commercialization?
I think the blockchain is going to solve the problem of value and efficiency. Make full use of the characteristics of the Token to solve the pain points of the actual business scenario.
Q23: Before you said at the event, you will focus on incubating some applications that can really be combined with the blockchain. Is there a push now? Which aspect are you going to promote mainly?
We have been supporting the community to do a lot of exploration with clear progress reported.
→ There is an interview with Mr. Wang’s activities. https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/yG6_0T26-feviJe3lne4Mg
Q24: How is the DApp ecosystem now being built? How is progress? Have you encountered any problems? What is the biggest advantage of the entire DApp ecosystem?
We have been working with various entities, including data security and offline, and I have made big efforts to reach out to those communities. Our strategy is to truly serve real application scenarios. There are many areas where there are no reference objects, and various problems need to be solved, such as how to design an open economic model and fully mobilize all participants. And balance the short-term and long-term benefits. I feel that our research and development is very low-level, but our business market operation team is very grounded, willing to innovate, and willing to work hard. I believe we can make something different.
Q25: What is the current situation of HPB in the world? Is there a focus on developing international influence?
HPB’s team has visited many countries to expand — the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and so on. Our international community is still relatively large in the domestic market. Overseas teams are more international and pay more attention to overseas communities. But internationalization is not easy for any startup company, and we still have a long way to go.
Q26: What is the final positioning of HPB?
We hope to provide a high-performance, high-stability, high-security, always forward-looking, software and hardware underlying public chain that can be applied to future new technologies and scenarios, and serve the real scene.
Q27: What is the biggest obstacle encountered in the development of HPB? How did it be overcome later?
Because we are challenging a major problem in the industry, it is very difficult, so the problem mainly comes from the long-term solution to the problem. In addition to the accumulation of technical teams for many years, we rely on the hard work of a year and a half. Slowly breaking through and achieving some results.
Q28: What made you stick to it when you encountered obstacles? Is the bear market less important for technicians now?
We have always been adhering to the original plan and moving forward. In the most difficult period, we have overcome and experienced it. Because I believe, I see it; because I am optimistic about the future, I insist that it is not so difficult when I encounter difficulties. Although the bear market industry will be more difficult, global finance and major Internet companies are actively deploying blockchains. I think technicians should work hard to maintain that this is a very promising area.
The industry is currently facing some difficulties, but whether it is investment or industry development, the prospects are very good. In both of these areas, we have to have long-term plans, and time will give us answers and returns.
Q29: What kind of projects do you think have the potential to cross the bulls and bears?
Although some companies are shrinking, I believe that greater demand is brewing. The core technology talents of the blockchain are scarce. I am also an engineer. I think it is very important to solve the real problem. Is there enough money? When there are difficulties, do you have the courage and patience to stick to your vision?
Q30: Is there something else you want to say to everyone? Give everyone some incentives for the bear market.
This industry is currently facing some difficulties, but whether it is investment or industry development, the prospects are promising. In both of these areas, we have to have a long march of 25,000 miles. Time will give us the answer and return. The short-term market will always fluctuate. I feel that I want to maintain a spirit of independence and simplicity. Choose a good target, invest with long-term funds, and then do something valuable your heart is in. Some things will come to fruition.
Team: Thank you, Mr. Wang. Our Q&A session is over, and now we have five minutes to give everyone a free question! Take your chances~
Q31: Now many companies are engaged in patents? What if the core technology of HPB is patented by others?
Patents have two directions — authorization fees, and protective patents. We will give both due consideration. But the more critical issue is the constant improvement.
Q32: HPB will invest tens of millions every year. Are HPB funds tight? How much was raised last year?
We invest a lot, and the financing amount was 10 million US dollars. Objectively speaking, the downside of this year has a big impact on HPB. Fortunately, I have experienced several bulls and bears, and I have had a lot of experience in blood and tears. I am fully prepared.
Q33: Hello Wang, can you tell me about the technical solutions of software and hardware? For example, what is the design of the BOE? Is the threshold high as a node? And what hardware or principle is the hardware random number generator based on? Thanks.
The HPB blockchain combines hardware and software to improve performance and reduce node cost. We improve performance by making optimization of node performance, network optimization, and hardware and software optimization consensus algorithms.
For more details, please see the source code and documentation: https://github.com/hpb-project/go-hpb
For other hardware code please see here:
Q34: Mr. Wang, the current TPS of HPB is 5000+, how much room there is for improvement? Is the network the bottleneck now?
From the real data, the difficulty is getting bigger and bigger, the network is not too controllable outside, and there is the storage issue. However, technology and 5G upgrades also mean a lot of scope for improvements.
Technical geek, serious strength. Thank you, Mr. Wang!