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Kevin Wang (Nervos)

Kevin Wang is a software developer, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the , a structured to prioritize decentralization, offering minimalism, flexibility, and security. [1]

Education

Wang received a BS in Electronics and Information Technology from Beijing Jiaotong University in 2000 and an MSE in Telecommunications and Networking from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001. [1]

Career

Wang started his tech career at IBM, working as a software engineer and solution architect from February 2002 to June 2011. After leaving IBM, he became a consultant and software developer for Hashrocket, helping early-stage startups launch their products from June 2011 to August 2012. In 2013, he co-founded Teahour.fm, a Chinese technical podcast for developers, and served as a host until April 2016. He also co-founded Launch School, an online school focusing on computer science and core engineering principles for developers. In January 2018, Wang co-founded the with , , , and . Later, in November 2022, he co-founded Khalani Labs, a decentralized solvers network and application platform. [1]

Nervos Network

During REIMAGINE 2021, Wang sat down with Adam Leon from MouseBelt to discuss current trends in and the . At the start of the interview, he talked about his background in engineering and how he got into : [2]

“I was trained as a self-engineer and started my career working in a research lab at a large company, IBM Silicon Valley Lab, where I worked on big data solutions. For many of us who got into , it was . Quite a few years ago, after the last financial crisis, I began to self-educate about economic theories to understand what was going on. At the same time, I came across the and read it. As a software engineer, I was very attracted to the different way centralized systems could be built. Additionally, the concept of sound money, a borderless currency that doesn't belong to anyone but to everyone, was very appealing from a philosophical point of view. More than anything else, this drew me into and the industry.”

He then went on to talk about what is: [2]

“It's an open platform, just like the internet. Using the internet as an analogy, we're at a stage similar to before the modern web browser. People used applications attached to specific networks and servers, much like today, where we have multiple . To use applications on them, you need a specific wallet and must know how to interact with them and access their native tokens and issued tokens. This creates a segmented paradigm for users. The only seamless user experience available now is through , where trading is smooth and abstracts away the underlying interactions.”

“What we aimed to do, and what we believe the industry as a whole is moving towards, is solving the problem of connectivity and user experience. We need to connect all these platforms and provide a seamless user experience, similar to how modern web browsers abstract away the differences between various networks. When developers launch applications, users from anywhere should be able to use them, and assets from all blockchains should be accessible to these applications.”

When asked about projects and use cases for Nervos, Wang responded: [2]

“One is more in the DeFi space, focusing on the cross-chain experience and abstracting away differences between . Instead of building and lending apps solely for and its tokens, with as an exception, you can now utilize the entire top 100 to build apps. This means you don't have to focus on just one thing; it doesn't have to be just one . It could include lending and , offering a lot of design space to build diverse applications, and some people are already working on this.”

“The other space we see activity in is the space. Developers building on various levels have found they can do unique things with that they can't do elsewhere. Unlike , where most users are enthusiasts, the space attracts a lot of non- people. For example, we've been talking to artists, celebrities, and people with a large fan base. These fans, who may know nothing about and likely don't care about , are very interested in because they care about their idols or artists. They want to interact seamlessly in an environment where they are already comfortable.”

Towards the end of the interview, he shared his thoughts on the importance of community in and : [2]

“For a public , there's a diverse set of stakeholders, including or stakers, token holders, and developers. Collectively, these groups form the community. Developers build on the network, making the platform more usable with added features, thereby providing more reasons for users to engage with it. secure the network, similar to how and operate, and token holders also play a crucial role in securing the network, as outlined in our economic paper. Our economic model is designed to ensure that everyone is incentivized to contribute to the protocol. Currently, as we are bootstrapping the network, there is a centralized foundation to help allocate resources and foster growth. Ultimately, the goal is to have people use the network, build on it, and grow the community.”

Interviews/Panels

Binary District

At a -economics meetup in June 2019, Binary District interviewed Wang about the , starting with the main challenges of developing a multi-layered : [3]

“From the very beginning, the biggest challenge in designing this was determining how to draw the boundary of layers and defining the responsibilities of each layer. The overall goal of the was to create a decentralized economy, building a future of a satellite economy. We decided that the layer one protocol should act as a smart custodian of value and assets, analogous to how banks and brokerage companies in centralized systems manage the custody of people's money and assets. In a decentralized economy, we envisioned a layer dedicated solely to ensuring that digital assets preserved within it are long-term sustainable, secure, and trustworthy.”

When asked about changing the perception of for big enterprises, he responded: [3]

“In the beginning, the challenge was trying to push everything at once, which proved too difficult. Therefore, we needed to listen to the market demands, recognizing that most larger companies were more comfortable taking smaller steps to build something more private or permissioned, yet still potentially accessible to the public. As the space grows and more use cases emerge, the distinction between private and public use becomes similar to the distinction between intranets and the internet. Initially, companies might gain utility and productivity from private networks, but over time, they will see the value of their assets increase when integrated with a broader community.”

“For example, if Starbucks issued points on a but kept them within their own ecosystem, those points would remain limited in utility. However, if those points could be transferred to a public , they could be used in more creative ways, adding value. For instance, an airline company could offer extra incentives to Starbucks point holders, or other businesses could provide additional perks, making the points more valuable and versatile. This potential for broader interaction and composition drives greater value for assets otherwise confined to private networks.”

Community AMA

In a community AMA in 2021, Wang discussed the motivations behind creating , the challenges of managing a globally distributed team, and key developments such as the launch of Godwoken and Force Bridge to improve interoperability. He addressed concerns about and network security, emphasizing the involvement of multiple manufacturers in producing equipment for CKB. Wang highlighted the readiness of new on Godwoken, plans for attracting developers, and strategic marketing efforts, including partnerships like the alliance with . [4]

Bridging Blockchains

In December 2020, of Podcast interviewed Wang about and their innovative approach to technology. seeks to merge the strengths of and , creating a layered ecosystem that addresses existing isolation within the space. Wang discusses the challenges of managing a globally distributed team and emphasizes focus on being a store of non-monetary value through . He highlights the economic model linking the value of native token to the assets on the and the importance of interoperability for supporting diverse applications within the space. [5]

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Kevin Wang (Nervos)

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Edited On

June 7, 2024

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