6 Questions to Youbi Capital’s Chen Li – Cointelegraph Magazine
We ask builders in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space for their thoughts on the industry…and throw in a few random zingers to keep them on their toes!
This week, our 6 questions go to Chen Li, co-founder and CEO of Youbi Capital, a venture capital firm investing in blockchain technologies and disruptive decentralized applications.
Chen Li is the co-founder and CEO of Youbi Capital. He has a doctorate. in chemistry and worked as a scientist for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, where he won two awards for his contributions to the development of breakthrough antibody drugs. In 2015, he was introduced to Bitcoin mining by his college roommate, then co-founded Youbi Capital in 2017. Chen built the foundation for Youbi’s thesis in blockchain infrastructure and led investments in Algorand, Avalanche, Polkadot, Flow, Kadena, Chainlink, Debank. and others. He was also an advisor to the blockchain team at JP Morgan.
1 — What is the main obstacle to the mass adoption of blockchain technology?
The main obstacle to the mass adoption of blockchain technology is always its infrastructure, especially the scalability and security of layers 1. We have all seen that the watershed moment for Axie Infinity was not the game-to-win movement which began in early 2020, but the game’s migration from Ethereum to Ronin in mid-2021, which immediately led to an explosion of players and revenue growth. .
But Axie was just an application, so can easily be hosted on a dedicated chain, while for DeFi protocols – which are highly composable and already interconnected – we still don’t have a layer 1 for all of DeFi protocols to migrate more without starting to block its traffic. Solana may be the closest to achieving this goal, but it is not horizontally scalable for mass adoption.
There is still a lot to be done to lay a solid foundation for blockchain application.
2 — What will happen to Bitcoin and Ethereum in the next 10 years?
Bitcoin has managed to expand consensus on its trump card as a decentralized store of value for everyone from individuals to a large group of institutions in this cycle. It is only a matter of time before it is universally accepted. Moreover, in the context of global inflation, Bitcoin could also have the chance to become a widely used currency in international settlements. There has been a lot of speculation about Bitcoin’s value proposition broken down into its use in different categories.
In terms of technology, the community has intentionally kept the progress of Bitcoin at a slow pace to avoid introducing any uncertainty. While I think it’s the right strategy for its use cases, Bitcoin will still be limited in supporting smart contracts over the next 10 years.
Ethereum, on the other hand, is going through a much faster reiteration moving to proof-of-stake and potentially sharding in the near future. All chains that support EVM are also part of the Ethereum ecosystem, bringing value to the base layer. Due to the strong network effect, the Ethereum ecosystem is likely to remain a dominant force in the DeFi space over the next 10 years.
3 — When you tell people that you are in the blockchain industry, how do they react?
I remember when I first talked to strangers about bitcoin in 2015 – they fell silent and gave me awkward looks like I was trying to convince them of some kind of scam, or in some cases they excitedly asked me if bitcoin had any value. Bitcoin mining was more of a business that people could relate to, but it was extremely rare to find anyone who was open-minded about the cryptocurrency itself.
Now people are becoming more knowledgeable and engaged about blockchain technology and crypto. I’m often not the only person they know in the industry. I have been asked a lot of basic blockchain questions. But now people who are not blockchain professionals sometimes share their views first once they know I’m in the industry.
They now have much more diverse perspectives on the blockchain industry. In addition to holding crypto in their wallets, several people are NFT collectors or even landowners in blockchain games. They see blockchain as a technology to issue and transact NFT assets as well as an infrastructure for the metaverse, but are more attracted to NFTs and metaverses. This is why I am very confident that the Metaverse will be the entry point into the Web3 era.
4 – Which makes sense to you, and which doesn’t?
Whoever builds a product and then tells a story makes sense to me and whoever just tells a story or builds a product for an imaginary demand doesn’t make sense.
There are many quality products that are carefully designed and iterated to meet the needs of users. For example, Binance has a very effective feedback loop, from customer service to management. As a result, he is able to reiterate his product in the right way and initiate a new trend in the market. The Binance team makes sense to me. Polygon, Debank, and The Graph are all great examples of products that are well suited to the commodity market. All of these teams make sense to me and I see a lot of potential in adopting their product.
5 – List your favorite sports teams and choose the most memorable moment watching them.
My favorite sports teams were the Chicago Bulls and the Denver Broncos. The most memorable moment was Michael Jordan’s last shot with the Bulls which earned them the sixth championship.
6 — Other than today, when and in which country would you have liked to live?
I wish I had lived in Shanghai, China from 2012 to 2015. That was the first crypto market cycle I missed. The two major events of this period were the growth of Bitcoin mining and the fundraising and initial community building of Ethereum. They both performed during this period in China.
Also, China is my home country. I like food and people.
A wish for the young and ambitious blockchain community:
I wish everyone in the community could survive the ups and downs, holding tight to their crypto assets.