Haobo Ma is a blockchain expert and early adopter of digital assets. He is the founder and CEO of aelf and Hoopox. He is also a member of the Blockchain Experts' Commission of the Chinese Institute of Electronics and the China Computer Federation. 
Ma attended Tianjin University and earned his B.S. in computer science in 2012. 
Ma started Bitcoin trading during university and entered the field around 2013, engaging in mining activities for Litecoin and Bitcoin. With increasing interest in the industry, he developed GemPay in 2016, a Bitcoin payment platform akin to BitPay, and an off-chain Gem wallet. 
Later, he also established a crypto exchange named allcoin. Following this, in 2016, Ma founded his own company, Hoopox, offering blockchain services to clients, including prominent entities like Hainan Airlines, a major conglomerate in China. A year later, he started aelf alongside co-founders Zhuling Chen and Wen Shan. 
In a 2018 interview with HashedPost, Ma and Chen discussed why they started aelf. With aelf, they wanted to address three key issues of early Ethereum: performance, resource segregation, and governance. Ma provided how aelf would solve these issues: 
“Ethereum is like a world computer where we can deploy any application on its platform. However, its performance is not very efficient - reason being that each computer can run a full node and every Ethereum full nodes are equal. Therefore, the performance of world computer matches the performance of your own computer, which can be equally inefficient. This is why we want to create a world cloud computing platform. So in our system architecture, the full node will be running on clusters. aelf nodes will have many clusters and data centers, and these data centers are equal and the performance can be very efficient.”
“We also want to solve resource segregation…Thus, we want to make sure each application will run on its own Blockchain…A Blockchain system, being a decentralized network, means no one can control it. Take Bitcoin for example, the community is split between some that want to increase the block size so to improve the performance but the other refused this idea, stalling the the decision making for a long time. We want to make sure the community can vote and such feature will be added onto the system for on-chain governance.”
“Business owners want to keep users and the assets within their ecology. It’s reasonable as all the project is trying to provide the best returns to its liquidity providers, users, token holders, and partners. However, as a DeFi user, I am always seeking the best place to invest my money. DeFi projects have already shown the portent of inevitable competition due to the unmatched need and growing speed of the current market. So, when I need to migrate from one project to another, I want do it without any obstacles.”
He then shared his opinion on Ethereum’s performance at the time, stating: 
“The Ethereum team as well as other developers have been trying very hard to fix the issue in the past years. They are trying to develop an Ethereum Layer 2 to embed an EVM engine. Unfortunately, EVM today is not strong enough to support parallel transactions. In this way, the Layer 2 developers are facing potential long-term challenges.”
“In my opinion, blockchain is just a protocol that aims to provide greater transparency in cyberspace. With a well-developed blockchain protocol, everyone can participate in the construction of a decentralized platform while sharing the profit. In the future, we could invite retail stores to build their business on-chain. We could build a decentralized media platform, protecting all the information and media workers from political pressures. We can develop better games using blockchain empowered economic models that are accurately controlled by open-resource code.”
Launching aelf Ventures
“The problem we are currently facing in the blockchain industry is that regular users encounter many challenges to enter. At present, the primary motivation for most users, including many blockchain gamers, is speculation and financial gain, often seeking monetary rewards and bounties. Unfortunately, these users also possess a better understanding of mnemonic phrases, private keys, and the processes to participate in the blockchain space. While there is a space for them, blockchain should also be accessible to ordinary users.”
Ma also added that the focus was on devising solutions for easy entry and fostering an environment for innovations, particularly emphasizing user-friendly technologies like account abstraction wallets. To transition existing Web2 applications, games, and services into a Web3 environment, aelf Ventures was pivotal in advancing aelf towards achieving this mission. 
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