6 Questions for Chen Li of Youbi Capital – Cointelegraph Magazine

We ask the buidlers within the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector for his or her ideas on the trade… and throw in just a few random zingers to maintain them on their toes!


This week, our 6 Questions go to Chen Li, the co-founder and CEO of Youbi Capital, a enterprise capital agency investing in blockchain applied sciences and disruptive decentralized purposes.


Chen Li is the co-founder and CEO of Youbi Capital. He has a Ph.D. in chemistry and labored as a scientist for Regeneron Prescribed drugs, the place he received two awards for his contributions to growing groundbreaking antibody medicine. In 2015, he was launched to Bitcoin mining by his roommate in faculty, then collectively based Youbi Capital in 2017. Chen constructed the inspiration of Youbi’s thesis in blockchain infrastructure and led investments in Algorand, Avalanche, Polkadot, Circulate, Kadena, Chainlink, Debank and others. He was additionally an advisor to JP Morgan’s blockchain workforce.


1 — What’s the foremost hurdle to mass adoption of blockchain expertise?

The principle hurdle to mass adoption of blockchain expertise now remains to be its infrastructure, particularly, scalability and safety of layer 1s. All of us noticed that the watershed second for Axie Infinity was not the play-to-earn motion that began in early 2020 however the migration of the sport from Ethereum to Ronin in mid 2021, which led to an explosion of gamers and income progress instantly. 

However Axie was only one utility, and may due to this fact be simply accommodated on a devoted chain, whereas for the DeFi protocols — that are extremely composable and already interconnected — we nonetheless don’t have a layer 1 for the whole set of DeFi protocols emigrate over with out beginning to jam its site visitors. Solana is likely to be the closest to reaching this aim, however it isn’t horizontally scalable for mass adoption. 

There may be nonetheless loads to do to put a strong basis for the blockchain utility.

2 — What is going to occur to Bitcoin and Ethereum over the following 10 years?

Bitcoin has efficiently prolonged the consensus on its asset as a decentralized retailer of worth for everybody from people to a big group of establishments on this cycle. It is just a matter of time earlier than it’s universally accepted. Moreover, underneath the worldwide inflation backdrop, Bitcoin may additionally have the possibility to change into a broadly used foreign money in worldwide settlements. There was lots of hypothesis on the Bitcoin worth proposition damaged right down to its utilization in numerous classes.

By way of expertise, the group has deliberately saved Bitcoin’s progress at a sluggish tempo to keep away from introducing any uncertainty. Whereas I imagine that’s the proper technique for its use circumstances, Bitcoin will nonetheless be restricted in supporting good contracts over the following 10 years.

Ethereum, however, goes by means of a lot sooner reiteration by transitioning to proof-of-stake and doubtlessly sharding within the close to future. All EVM-supporting chains are additionally within the Ethereum ecosystem, contributing worth to the bottom layer. As a result of sturdy community impact, the Ethereum ecosystem will possible stay as a dominant power within the DeFi area all through the following 10 years.

3 — Whenever you inform individuals you’re within the blockchain trade, how do they react?

I bear in mind once I first talked to outsiders about Bitcoin in 2015 — they both fell silent and gave me awkward seems like I used to be attempting to speak them into some sort of rip-off, or in some circumstances, enthusiastically challenged me on whether or not Bitcoin had any worth. Bitcoin mining was extra of a enterprise that folks may perceive, however it was extraordinarily uncommon to search out somebody that was open-minded concerning the cryptocurrency itself. 

Now, individuals are changing into increasingly educated and engaged about blockchain expertise and crypto. I’m usually not the one particular person they know within the trade. I was requested a lot of primary questions on blockchain. However now, individuals who aren’t blockchain professionals typically share their views first as soon as they know I’m within the trade. 

They’ve way more various views on the blockchain trade now. In addition to holding crypto of their portfolio, a number of individuals are NFT collectors and even landowners in blockchain video games. They see blockchain as a expertise to concern and transact NFT property in addition to infrastructure for the Metaverse, however are extra interested in NFTs and Metaverses. That’s the reason I’m very assured that the Metaverse would be the entry level to the Web3 period.

4 — Who is smart to you, and who is unnecessary by any means?

Whoever is constructing a product then tells a narrative is smart to me and who simply tells a narrative or builds a product for imaginary demand is unnecessary by any means.

There are many nice merchandise which are rigorously designed and reiterated to suit the wants of the customers. For instance, Binance has a really environment friendly suggestions loop, from customer support to administration. In consequence, it is ready to reiterate its product in the precise method and have interaction a brand new development available in the market. The Binance workforce is smart to me. Polygon, Debank and The Graph are all glorious examples of merchandise with sturdy product-market match. All these groups make sense to me and I see a lot of potential within the adoption of their product.

5 — Record your favourite sports activities groups, and select the one most memorable second from watching them.

My favourite sports activities groups have been the Chicago Bulls and Denver Broncos. Probably the most memorable second was Michael Jordan’s remaining shot with the Bulls that received them the sixth championship.

6 — Apart from the current day, in what time and in what nation would you prefer to have lived?

I want I had lived in Shanghai, China from 2012 to 2015. That was the primary crypto market cycle that I missed. The 2 main occasions in that time-frame have been the expansion of Bitcoin mining and the fundraising and preliminary community-building of Ethereum. They each occurred throughout that point in China. 

Plus, China is my dwelling nation. I really like the meals and folks.

A want for the younger, bold blockchain group:

I want that everybody locally can survive the ups and downs, holding tight to their crypto property.

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