Eric Gu is the Founder and CEO of ViewFin and the Metaverse Foundation. He is a senior expert in Fintech and Digital Assets, and a well-known opinion leader in many of the primary blockchain ecosystems.
Since his return to China in 2012, Gu has proactively participated in blockchain research and initiated cutting-edge technology projects. He was part of the editorial team for the translation of the book Blueprint For A New Economy written by Melanie Swan.
Gu started his career in the crypto market in 2013, having invested in BitShares to expand its business. He was also one of the seven co-founders of what was previously Antshares, which is now as known as NEO, China’s answer to major smart contract-based ecosystems like Ethereum. He then kicked off his own business, Metaverse, after selling his NEO tokens to the market.
After a decade of research on the crypto market and investments, Gu has become a key opinion leader for a global audience. As people have been talking about him — his ideology, investment approaches, and strategies — he has inspired many newcomers in this industry to pursue success.
Gu is an advocate for the blockchain industry and personally focuses on long-term investments in the crypto market. And an active venture capitalist for a wide range of valuable projects in the crypto market, as the very first ICO investors for one of the very first ICO investors for Bitshare, Ethereum, and Mastercoin in 2013.
We sat down with Eric and sought his thoughts about decentralised apps, different kinds of blockchains, and the direction the industry is taking, in the near future.
How can businesses and users take advantage of blockchain in digitising their assets?
Metaverse is a blockchain-powered decentralised platform that seeks to digitise assets such as logistics, e-commerce, and gamification products. Our aim is to promote blockchain adoption by offering a full set of services that handles the technical aspects – e.g., blockchain – while allowing enterprises that use Metaverse complete freedom and scalability in their day to day operations.
My basic advice is this: Do what you do best and leave the blockchain to us. The vision for Metaverse is to be the go-to platform for any business, to help the business leverage its advantage with blockchain, and to integrate this technology with any existing business model.
What is the difference between a public blockchain and a federated (private) blockchain?
There are many different types of public blockchains, and Metaverse belongs to the infrastructure layer type, wherein the team provides the base layer technology for individuals and enterprises to use.
Here’s an analogy. For example, if you see a car advertisement while turning on your TV, you’ll probably notice a beautiful lady or handsome man first, and what type of car he drives, but it’ll be difficult for you to notice the highway itself.
We like to consider Metaverse as the highway.
The team mainly focuses on developing the infrastructure of public use for commercial operations.
Perhaps the many have not heard a lot about Metaverse previously. This is mainly due to the reason that we struggled to define a branding strategy for this “infrastructure” at first. It is hard to imagine how this type of open-source platform, that serves the public like a highway, would excite people. However, the value of open highways is hard to deny.
Apart from Metaverse, there are quite a few public blockchain projects that perform well in the market such as NEO and VeChain, who are mainly working on the foundations for decentralised applications (dApps) and other business operations, to provide the best protocols for the market.
Another type of blockchain is called the federated blockchain. This type only focuses on providing specific vertical solutions for enterprises. Essentially, federated — or private — blockchains, are governed by companies themselves. These private chains cover a wide range of services for various industries, and some do not have consensus protocols at all. For example, have you ever heard a car manufacturer change its transmission systems to solely focus on developing highways? This has never happened.
I do not see much potential for federated or private blockchains. Take an example from a traditional business, a logistics company. If you spend part of your budget and time to research vertical solutions for your logistics business, this increases your operational costs and could prevent resources from being deployed in other improvement aspects of your business. Correspondingly, it is difficult to guarantee the basic maintenance of digital assets and digital identities, especially when you lack a team of experienced experts.
Therefore, I believe that it would be better to spend this valuable time on their primary business to expand and explore new products and services, thus increasing their quality of service.
Regarding the development of blockchain, security, consensus, digital assets, and digital identity, you can ask for external service providers to guarantee the utmost quality. That is why I believe in basic public blockchains rather than federated blockchains.
What is the market potential and opportunity behind digital identities?
Technically, dApps are a layer above the infrastructure layer of blockchain technology. That is, dApps are built on top of public blockchains.
Lately, however, we have noticed that these “killer” dApps are not as magnificent as people thought. In contrast, as we know, payment is still part of the fundamentals of financial activities. That is to say, for a fast paced industry like blockchain, Bitcoin and Ethereum still act as the main payment utilities. Metaverse in particular will allow one application to interlink with another, so it is more than crucial to establish a digital identity in order to to connect the different dApps under the ecosystem.
No matter which industry, whether logistics, gaming, or second hand luxury goods, all of these require a digital identity. Any practice without digital identity will run into risks, such as counterfeits and fraud. Comparatively, Metaverse, as an identity chain, enables effective business applications. Imagine any location around the world. If you want to send Eric money, you can type in Eric Gu directly, and that automatically extracts the address. We do not require users to go through complex processes such as understanding the code in the command lines. This is the value of the platform.
The easiest way to find the shortcut to make your ultimate business breakthrough is to identify the misinformation gaps and act upon them. The wider the gap is, the more business value and potential arbitrage opportunities there are. Metaverse has well adopted this opportunity in blockchain tech and is moving forward with new attempts in crypto and blockchain growth.
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