Interviewed By Emmanuel Daniel
He Cong, founder of Probe Group and a leader in China's blockchain industry, met with Emmanuel Daniel, founder, in Beijing to discuss the challenges and opportunities confronting the industry and Probe’s own technology.
He Cong, founder of Probe Group, shared his expert view of the development of the blockchain industry in China, which is still the most promising marketplace for breakthroughs because of the size of the supply chain, transportation, logistics and related industries. He Cong also talked about third generation (3G) blockchain projects and the significance of tokens and 3G applications to their business model.
The following key points were discussed:
Below is the edited video transcript:
Emmanuel Daniel (ED): I’m here on the east side of Beijing on this lovely autumn morning. Today I’m going to be visiting with He Cong. He’s the founder of Probe Group. I’m excited because Probe and Pro is a three generation or third generation blockchain infrastructure. And he’s got amazing applications on it. I want him to tell me where he’s taking Probe to, and what we can learn from the future of blockchain from this world-renowned expert.
He Cong (HC): Hello, Emmanuel.
ED: Hello. Thank you for inviting me to your office. Today’s weather is very good.
The blockchain industry has entered a stage of open and diversified finance
ED: What are the significant and important events happening in the blockchain industry right now?
HC: The blockchain industry has experienced ten years of development. At present, I think it has entered a stage of open and diversified finance. We can see that more than 20 countries are already running their central bank digital currencies or CBDCs. Then we also see that in the open-source community there are a lot of decentralised finance. Many projects and agreements in this part are springing up. We found that between the current CBDCs and decentralised finance, the convergence is also underway. I think that in the next ten years, the blockchain industry will usher in a vision of truly diversified and open finance.
ED: How does 5G affect the blockchain industry?
HC: The underlying technology of blockchain includes a very important part for its performance, which is communication and synchronisation. When performing network communication and data synchronising whether the blockchain is able to synchronise and transmit data in a fast and safe manner determines whether this blockchain can carry many applications. Therefore, the development of 5G and even the future 6G, these type of iterations of communication networks are conducive to allowing more nodes to join the blockchain network. That is to say, the computing and storage capabilities of the entire network will improve exponentially due to the development of technologies like 5G.
Blockchain 3.0 will surpass 1.0 and 2.0
ED: How are you playing in this new 3.0 space?
HC: We believe that blockchain 3.0 will surpass 1.0 and 2.0. We call 1.0 a peer-to-peer payment system, represented by bitcoin. 2.0 is the era of smart contracts. It is programmable and some decentralised applications, then ethereum is the representative.
We think that Probe is creating an infrastructure called Probe Chain. It is the representative of 3.0. We define it as the return of the public bookkeeping right of the graph to the graph. The characteristic of graph to graph is that the main body of the original point-to-point midpoint has become the main body of the graph because every country emphasises its own sovereignty, every company emphasises its own data security. So, we can't expect all single nodes to be very open. At this time, different subjects are actually equivalent to a graph-to-graph, which is equivalent to how the trade between different countries generates new consensus and agreements. This is the important practical significance of graph-to-graph transcendence point-to-point. Then there is another very important feature of 3.0, which is the right to public bookkeeping. Because in the past four hundred years, we think the elites are responsible for the bookkeeping of the nation or companies after you have the bookkeeping right, you may actually promote the development of the country, just like many countries in the great voyage era, such as the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy, so it is also possible that your bookkeeping right will be misused. If you mess up your accounts or even falsify your accounts, it may cause the subprime mortgage crisis in the United States in 2008. It is because of the creation of a lot of false accounts. If the bookkeeping right is returned from the private to the public, it would significantly affect the global governance because the blockchain 3.0 infrastructure can make global finances more transparent, whether it is a country or a company, and it will make the entire wealth more credible. Then this return of trust comes from the public. The nodes participating in the blockchain become a part of the bookkeeping entity instead of always looking at the results of some accounts created by others. Therefore, in essence, the blockchain is called distributed ledger. Then this kind of distributed accounting network, “Who is keeping the bookkeeping?” I think it is the problem that the blockchain 3.0 needs to answer and the answer given by the probe is the return of public bookkeeping rights.
China will support the development of the blockchain industry
ED: I understand there are many restrictions in China now on blockchain. Do you need to be incorporated in other countries?
HC: In fact, we have already established our international headquarters in Singapore, and in some countries in Southeast Asia, we also have some cooperation with local banks and encryption companies. What China restricts is the part related to crypto assets and assets and the renminbi. Actually, a lot of departments in China recently clearly stated that they would support the development of the blockchain industry. For us, we believe that we need to deploy in different countries around the world in accordance with local policies. Our industry, in simple terms, is three pieces in China. We are mainly the enabler of blockchain technology in various industries. So, in Singapore, we are mainly doing digital securities and projects related to open finance. In countries like Thailand, we can do some crypto parts. Some day in the future, when it comes to the cross border between countries, we believe that it will develop to a stage without borders. At that time, we think that the layout of the probe in different countries can form a resonance effect.
Tokens are a necessity in Probe’s blockchain infrastructure
ED: How important is a token to your business model?
HC: Actually, we define token as a kind of accounting unit. It is an accounting unit which means that token must be in our blockchain infrastructure. It is necessary. Then the things we want to do with tokens may be different with the companies or projects that raise funds with tokens. Firstly, we would like everyone to use a globally recognised new accounting unit to realise the public bookkeeping rights then our accounting unit is the Pro token. So, secondly, this token would hopefully in the future make some contributions to the global cross-border trade. Because different entities and countries could have difficulty in trusting each other. When there is an underlying infrastructure, the probe is actually its initiator. In the future, its owners will be thousands or even millions of accounting nodes around the world, when they come to jointly maintain such a trusted network, then I think the token at that time will become a unit of accounting that surpasses what we traditionally think. It will form a global public trust. A credible consensus of the global public.
ED: The existing token technology, you've got Ethereum, you've got R3, ripple and so on. Are they going to make the transition to where you are today?
HC: Yes, of course. We think that they will definitely get through different points and different assets, and this demand will become stronger in the future. Just like in the past few thousand years. Among different countries, they have been thinking of various ways to trade, selling things from this country to that side, and selling things from that country to this side. It is the same in the blockchain field. If we think of each chain as a graph, then among these graphs the graph to graph is meant to be realised. From P2P to G2G, this is what we hope to achieve such a vision of 3.0 and the opening of this kind of connectivity and the establishment of G2G complex network can truly support the blockchain technology to benefit the global economy and society governance. It is based on the connectivity, if everyone’s asset is an isolated and cannot communicate with each other, I think the token is just a game token, it will not have much effect on reality.
ED: Okay, tell me some of the features of your token Pro.
HC: The characteristics of Pro, I think, have three aspects. The first is no doubt that it has higher performance on the technical level and has more flexible privacy protection functions. This is definitely technically surpassed. Just like a chip, we would make it smaller and have a higher performance. Similarly, to our chain, it will also stay in the iteration every day. Its performance will become stronger and stronger, and the security will become higher and higher, and the global distribution and consensus will become higher and higher. The second feature is that we focus on the development of industry blockchains, which means that at the bottom of ours, in hundreds of different industries around the world, it can have industry chains. So, we call the promoters of each industry chain, we call it CEO of the industry blockchain and then the chains of these industries can be parachain of our probe chain, these talents are to promote blockchain technology with the application in every industry, which can promote. The digitisation upgrade of each industry. I think this talent system is a big advantage for us, because without the talents any of this technology and ideals may stay in the laboratory. Thirdly, Probe hope this feature of Pro to have been it can help especially countries that are not that big, It can help them issue central bank digital currency, or be able to make a connection with their central bank digital currency, because now the industry is obviously experiencing a fault, that is to say, between the currency of a sovereign country issued by a traditional central bank and the tokens on the new blockchain, there is no bridge that could connect them and if this bridge involves money laundering, or terrorist organisations no one will recognise it internationally and the government will crack down on it. So, what Probe would like to do is to cooperate with CBDCs of different sovereign countries and be able to build such an infrastructure that is both regulated and open. The token itself has a growing global consensus and influence. And this influence, still as what I said just now, Probe, it is the promoter, it is not the owner, because for an infrastructure like global public bookkeeping rights, no one can own it. It should be owned by everyone so, it brings us a common subject is how to make pro promote this true global governance. Not just the kind of global governance in the United Nations conference room.
ED: To be successful, you need applications. What applications do you have? Are you confident many developers would use your site? This is my question.
HC: At present, the application layer we already have is mainly in three scenarios. The first scenario, mainly aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises to sell their products. In fact, if they want to achieve sustainable financing. Then they need to continue to sell goods to create data. Then we have an app now, which is the Lian Shang. The chain business application is to help SMEs not only sell goods, but also create their own credible business data. After the data line was uploaded to the chain it will form its own new commercial credit. Then he can use this credit to obtain some overseas capital, which can help him expand production. This Lian Shang applications can be said to be an open new generation of e-commerce platform, such an application. The second big application is our field of Internet of Things (IoT) Because we believe that the blockchain is more suitable for machines to do some calculations, storage, and consensus, rather than people as the main body to participate in it. So, we hope that many IoT devices, or smart devices. For example, a scenario that we are currently cooperation with, It already has millions of cars and has formed a network. In fact, every car that moves can have digital financial attributes, and it can also have storage and computing capacity. It doesn’t have to be as powerful as a supercomputer, But let’s imagine that every car that runs all the time in the world, what he is doing is to record every transaction in the ledger on the entire Probe chain. And this level can be done because it is indestructible. Because theoretically speaking, if you want to destroy it, you must blow up all the cars on the earth at the same time. So, to make the Internet field become our node is what we are currently focusing on pushing. We hope that in the next five years, there can be 10 billion nodes of IoT devices on our chain that can be able to participate in the calculation and storage of the entire network and the work of public bookkeeping. The third application is our focus in Singapore. What Singapore’s regulatory authorities pay great attention to that is the digital security. Digital securities are based on the next generation of blockchain, which is an important step for digitising traditional financial products. Regulators, in fact, through communication now, we hope to let them know that this can help the country where it is located and bring a big new development opportunity. Therefore, this application is mainly for regulators, providing them with services and capabilities, and letting them know how to monitor these digital assets. So currently, we think that what behind this is talent building. As I just mentioned, there are nearly 200 industries, and each industry needs its own blockchain. Then, in each industry, we look for chain leaders around the world, which are the promoters of chains in different industries. It’s like sending many ambassadors to each other to promote international relations. So, the chain leader of different industries promotes the industry and cross-industry, so that applications that meet the characteristics of each industry can be implemented. I think this is not one or a few applications, but hundreds of applications, all of which must be developed on this infrastructure.
ED: Your model is very successful. How important is token to your model? And do you have a different operating model in China?
HC: In accordance with national requirements, we are focusing on industrial digitisation and digital industrialisation to achieve our domestic operations. Industry digitisation means every industry, just like the Internet era in the past. Every industry needs to realise the upgrade of the Internet. Similarly in the digital economy in the era of blockchain, every industry needs blockchain technology, digital technologies including blockchain, to upgrade the industry. In this process, the blockchain experience and solutions that Probe has accumulated in the past can help different industries, different companies, especially some large state-owned enterprises, and can help them to implement many industries scenarios and digitalisation. Digital industrialisation means. When an industry has achieved a blockchain upgrade. It will accumulate a large amount of valuable business data stored on the chain.
Blockchain will change the way people live
ED: Last question. What is the next big breakthrough in blockchain that you are looking forward to?
HC: I think the blockchain is currently in a very early stage of its entire life cycle.If you want to ask what the future of blockchain looks like,I think we must extend it to at least 50 to 100 years in the future, such a span. Maybe it’s meaningful to discuss its future because if it’s just a discussion about the technological development in the next five years and ten years,I don’t think there will be a breakthrough. But if we see 50 to 100 years of blockchain in the future, I will be very excited. For example, I think the future blockchain will have a breakthrough in infrastructure. I think there will be a public accounting device, this device might look like the previous radio that we all know.The radio can receive information if the antenna and switch are turned on. And this information is transmitted through electromagnetic waves, it is not transmitted through cables. Of course, when it is launched, it needs certain equipment and energy. Similarly, it’s very interesting that there may be tens of billions of people in the future. Everyone is recording that the other 10 billion people have made some transactions that have nothing to do with you. But through this way, everyone is recording every transaction on the entire planet, ideally, it can indeed form a new state of human cooperation. Conversely, if there is such a device, by using it, and no one can prevent you from receiving or storing this information, receiving this data, storing every transaction record, and the cost is low enough. In other words, everyone really has his/her bookkeeping right. Even if you don't know a word, even if you don't even have a bank card, but you have such a device. It can be said that everyone truly has this bookkeeping right. In the world of blockchain with this bookkeeping right, I think the way of life of people will change. Blockchain will change the way people live, the governance of companies, the governance of the country, as well as international trade, and climate governance. Not only the blockchain, but I think it is more important to inspire us, and it is more important for us to think about where we are in the future. Then the global open, transparent, and credible transaction, how do people make this kind of trust happen? Moreover, through the increasingly large future blockchain network, the interaction of complex, different constantly evolving chains, interaction with sovereign state assets, the role of blockchain in the future I think will gradually not only just a tool. It will resemble the internet era. From the last century, in fact, in the 1950s and 1960s, from the military’s Internet applications to the public, and then to the PC era, to the current era of wireless Internet. Blockchain will also go through every stage. And at this stage, I think to what extent, what scope, and how many people can participate in the global public bookkeeping right, that they could get this right. If there is no or this right is still in the hands of a few people, I don’t think there is any progress on the blockchain. And if this scope continues to expand and the number of people with global public bookkeeping right is increasing, I think this is the advancement of this technology and the advancement of human civilisation.
ED: The restrictions in China has forced players like He Cong to incorporate his company in Singapore. But China still remains the most promising marketplace for blockchain breakthroughs because of the size of the supply chain, transportation, logistics and other industries here.