Mr. Wang Feng has been interviewing celebrities in Chinese blockchain communities since Spring Festival in 2018.
Today I have selected a few questions from the interview with Li Xiaolai and translated them into English. Li Xiaolai was one of the first and most successful Bitcoin adventurers in China. There have been tons of rumors about his experience in Bitcoin world, let’s see how many of them are true.
You can find the original interview in Chinese here.
Interview date: 10 p.m. March, 5th
Interviewee: Li Xiaolai, the so-called richest man in Bitcoin world in China, a VC investor, founder of INBlockchain, multi-industry entrepreneur, English teacher, best-seller author etc.
Wang Feng (referred to as WF below): Rumors are that you are the richest man in China and third richest man in the world (comes after Satoshi and Vitalik) in terms of Bitcoin. And you are highly respected, as long as your name shows on a whitepaper, the project can easily get funded. Other than that, you are also a best-seller author with books such as How to Master the Core Vocabulary of TOFEL in 21 days, and you have a column called The Way to Financial Freedom which is very well received.
So, there are two Li Xiaolai I mentioned – one is a Bitcoin celebrity and the other is a well-received English and life mentor. I prefer the latter, because it’s simple and straightforward. The latter is getting more and more complicate for me. My question is, which version of yourself do you prefer?
Li Xiaolai (referred to as LXL below): Well, I’m just myself. I don’t think there are two version of me. I might have been a little self-loathing when I was young, but not any more now.
Maybe there have been two version of me in someone’s point of view, but it is only because they don’t know me well. However, it is always impossible to let people thoroughly understand who you are, isn’t it?
As what you have seen from me, both version of me are simple, straightforward and controversial, they are fundamentally the same thing, just under different covers. It’s normal for one to multitask, some businesses may be different on appearance even if the underlying logics are the correlative.
WF: I have been noticing that many National Lianghui representatives from tech world, e.g. Pony Ma, Robin Li, William Ding and Zhou Hongyi, having mentioned blockchain during the annual plenary sessions.
Pony Ma, founder of Tencent, said that blockchain is a great innovation and the technology itself can be beneficial, but on the other hand, ICO and cryptocurrency are risky for the time being.
What do you think of his perspective? And if you are in his position, what would you suggest?
LXL: Pony Ma is absolutely correct on this. And I’m not him so I won’t waste time on figuring out what I will do if I’m in his position.
Besides, blockchain will be the cornerstone for future industries such as big data, sharing economy and Internet of things. All these industries are important which have made blockchain essential. So it is of great importance to value and develop blockchain.
I think China has made some detours in the road of becoming a blockchain leading power, and it’s quite regrettable.
WF: Which is more important? Technology itself, or the develop pattern?
LXL: Blockchain technology is actually not that complicated. What you have to keep in mind in blockchain is open-sourcing. If you don’t accept open source, you will be left behind. So, I think the most important part is application.
WF: China made great achievement during Internet age. Why did you say we got detours in blockchain?
LXL: A huge number of blockchain talents are flowing out. (Due to regulation factors)
Question No. 3
WF: I’m curious, rumors say that you have endless visitors coming to your door every day, how many of them would you meet? And how many whitepapers would you receive in a day? How many do you check?
LXL: I don’t know how many whitepapers I receive every day, it’s just too many. And I seldom read them, my colleagues would. I will see 2-3 group of visitors, since we all got limited time.
Question No. 4
WF: According to public information, you have founded EOS in June, 2017 which was called Blockchain 3.0. And EOS raised 185 million USD in 5 days. However, when Chinese government shut down ICO after the announcement on 4th, September, 2017, EOS officially announces that you are not a part of its founding team. What’s happened during that period? How’s your relation with Daniel Larmer now?
LXL: There has been some misinformation in this matter.
First, I am an investor, not a founder or co-founder, I wish I was, but I was not. So if EOS is a scam, I would be a victim.
And Daniel Larimer is an old friend of mine. I have invested him in 2013 when he was working on a decentralized exchange. So when he joined EOS team, I kept investing.
So the statement from block.one is indeed a statement, all fact. It’s just they think at that time by doing this would help EOS avoid negative influence.
It was really unfortunate for Block.one, they set up a Hong Kong office in order to avoid the unclear laws in US. And they were trying to build a base in China. The announcement from Chinese government in September freaked them out. So they were trying to get rid of me.
You know, when EOS price went down, there are a lot of condemns on me. But when the price went up and got stable, my name was no longer mentioned. So, am I a fraud? They would decide only base on prices.
WF: Rumors are that you have 6-digit Bitcoin, is that real? How many have you sold?
LXL: Had. Not so many now. When I was working on exchanges, my bank account got frozen from time to time, I have to sell some Bitcoins in bear market to get liquidity. When the bank account unfroze, I couldn’t buy them back at the sell price any more.
WF: The wealthiest Bitcoin address right now possesses 160 thousand Bitcoins.
LXL: Those addresses are not owned by individuals, they are owned by exchanges.
Zarc Gin is an analyst for Warp Speed Fintech, a Fintech, especially InsurTech-focused Venture Capital based in China.
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