An interview with Wu Jihan on Stories Behind the Birth of BCH and Road to Future (2)
Thank you all for sharing, commenting and tipping yesterday's story. In today's episode, you will get a glimpse of Bitmain's "go global" strategy, Jihan's thoughts about the POS mechanism, Vitalik and CSW.
Q: You were born in Chongqing, home of hotpot. People say Chongqing people have hot temper. And you seem to have a really hot temper! When BCH was labelled as "centralized", "scam" last year, you said some really harsh words like “fuck your mother if you want fuck”. Do you easily lose your temper? After all, you are one of the most powerful figures in the world of bitcoin. What if you....
Jihan: I will never say such words again. When I saw all of these nasty name calling and verbal abuse, I felt I must insult them right back. But later I realized that it will only hurt me. The F-sentence is so widely spread that someone even designed T-shirts for it…
And I must clarify that I am not powerful. A large portion of our hashrate is trusted. Any unethical behaviors will be spotted and stopped by our clients. We do our best to stay aware of information security threats against our mining pools. And hope nothing bad happens.
Q: There is a very controversial figure whose name is CSW. Some people criticize that the BCH camp find a “faketoshi” to endorse BCH. What do you think of CSW?
Jihan: CSW was not a supporter of BCH in the beginning. He suddenly switched to support BCH afterwards. There are already many stories about him. You can google and read them yourself. I don’t want to comment him.
Q: Let’s talk about your competitors. The Japanese Internet giant GMO recently announced that their miners with the 7nm chips are available for pre-order. Another brand Dragonmint T1 uses 10nm chips produced by Samsung. In comparison, Antminer S9 uses 16nm ASIC chips. How can Bitmain remain competitive in the market?
Jihan: The blockchain network is open to anybody. Competition is good. It makes the system more robust. And the fact that more companies joining the race in the market shows that blockchain has become irresistible. I welcome more people to explore the market and develop blockchain for a better future.
Q: Many people told me that you are a shrewd businessman. I heard that you price Bitmain miners based on ROI period instead of manufacturing cost. Do you see yourself as a shrewd businessman? You majored in both psychology and economics at Peking University. My intuition tells me that what you learnt at PKU has definitely helped you act like a duck to water in the industry and make me feel confident.
Jihan: Pricing is based on market demand instead of cost. Customers don’t care about the cost of a product, they only care what they can earn back when they pay for it. I won’t call myself shrewd. If I were a shrewd businessman, I won’t step into this endless scaling battle. I could have pretended that I don’t know anything, I don’t see anything and focus on other areas of the blockchain industry instead of bitcoin. I am just obsessed with the original roadmap designed by Satoshi.
And I am not as confident as you think. Actually, I feel there are much room for Bitmain to grow. We could have done better in many aspects. But I must try not to be too picky and try to deal with negative thoughts myself rather than spreading them to my colleagues.
Q: Bitcoin has really come a long way. Would you please share what was the best year and the worst year in the journey? And when did you start to feel secure?
Jihan: 2017 is surly the best year and the worst year was 2014 when we almost broke. There are many pioneers in the community who challenge themselves to live only on bitcoin for XX days, or to travel the world use only bitcoin. They are firm believers who see the potential of bitcoin and devote themselves to it. But most investors in the market buy low, sell high, they only wish to make money and improve their quality of life.
As for a sense of security, if that's what I care, I wouldn’t have created Bitmain.
Q: Bitmain didn’t enjoy the first mover advantage in the miner industry. There were Friedcat and Avalon before you joined the race. Bitmain made its debut on November 2013, then it was the 2-year long bearish market. Not until the early stage of 2016 that Bitmain began to stand out as the top choice for miners. I believe you must have some special approaches or philosophies to go through a bear market and win. What important things did you do at that time?
Jihan: Each and every member of Bitmain make important decisions together. We focus on R&D, production organization and resources consolidation. Bitmain is now working closely to integrate R & D with other nations.
Q: Bitmain launched ASIC E3 to mine ETH, which was strongly opposed by the ETH community. Piper Merriam, developer of ETH, suggested a new EIP ( EIP958 )to alter the network’s hash algorithm. And Vitalik revealed that they plan to change ETH into a combination of pow+pos. Do you think ETH will eventually give up the pow mechanism?
Jihan: Vitalik is an idealist who is devoted to the industry. He planned to deploy Bitcoin smart contract, but faced resistance from Bitcoin Core. So he decided to leave the BTC community and created ETH. He was very supportive of BCH from the very beginning. He has been working to achieve POS for many years and suffered many setbacks. He planned to alter ETH to pos at once, but stepped back to pow+pos, which shows how rigorous he is while adding new features. Actually, I feel the ETH community as a whole has such a quality that they are very honest with facts and problems. They carefully analyze the risks of making a change before taking any actions. So far, only POW is both safe and decentralized. But Bitmain will keep an eye on the evolution of POS. When the timing is good, we could also step toward the POS market.
I respect any anti-ASIC coins. It’s a matter a personal choice. But is it wise? I doubt it. some CPU-friendly coins are actually highly controlled by a small number of hackers. Are these coins safe and decentralized? However, it is proved that hackers can hardly control ASIC miners.
Q: You are the first Chinese who translated the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2011 and was dubbed as a Bitcoin evangelist. It's been seven years now. Can you try to explain what is Bitcoin to newbies in plain language?
Jihan: The Bitcoin in a general sense is not what I knew in 2011. As i mentioned before, BCH now represents an independent roadmap. I turned all of my passion into BCH. As for BTC, I don’t want to comment it at all. BCH today is like BTC in 2011 that was misunderstood by the general public, but that’s where wealth and investment opportunities lie.
BCH is now adding multiple new features to grow into the most promising peer-to-peer electronic cash. (hmm, maybe I should be modest and say one of the most) let me give some for instances: giga block、weak block、reactivation of op_codes，UTXO commitment、canonical transaction ordering、sharding、larger op_return、tokenization、money button. BCH will be widely used for micropayments via web.
Q: Unlike many important figures who launch ICOs, deliver speech to support blockchain projects, you keep a low profile. But it seems that you are one of the most hated people in the industry. Coindesk even called you Villain. And some call you jihad. Why so many people hate you?
Jihan: It is mostly because I stick to my position in the scaling battle. There are two me's, one a bitcoin evangelist following Satoshi’s vision and the other CEO of Bitmain. It’s inevitable that the community worry Bitcoin might be controlled by certain companies.
I will keep a peaceful mind in the face of insults and verbal abuse. A lot of people who insult me on the Internet actually look very gentle when I meet them in real life.
And to be fair, I think Vitalik used to suffer more. Blockstream often spread rumors saying Vitalik is investigated by SEC, or going to jail, ETH has this bug, that bug, blah, blah. But Vitalik never complained. He has a big heart.
Q: Bitmain started to have offices in Los Angeles, Israel and Holland. But since 2018, Bitmain has accelerated its entry to global market by setting a branch office in Zug, known as Crypto Valley, a regional headquarter in Singapore, ASCI service center in Russia and by trying to build miners in Quebec. Why all these moves?
Jihan: Bitmain has always been a global company. We set offices in different countries based on their local resources. America is an important foreign market to us. It's a large country abundant with resources and talents. Energy there is also relatively cheap. We have conquered some early-stage challenges to expand our business in the USA.
All right, that's it. Thank you for reading this. (The Chinese link: http://bbs.huoxing24.com/?/question/1871= )
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