Tokens24 had the pleasure of talking to the CEO and Founder of Wanchain, Jack Lu, in an exclusive interview.
Could you give us a brief overview of yourself and what led you to where you are now as Wanchain’s CEO?
I am originally from China and have been in living in the United States for quite a while now. Back in college, I majored in Enterprise Management at Peking University. I worked in the financial industry for several years in China before I came to study Economics and Computer Science at The Ohio State University. Then, I transitioned into the internet world where I became a software engineer for about 20 years e-commerce. I got into Bitcoin and Ethereum in the early days and eventually started Factom in Austin, Texas as the CTO. Then, I went back to China to start a company called Wanglu to sell blockchain solutions to local enterprises and the government in 2016. It was at this time that I started incubating the idea of Wanchain to solve the interoperability challenge. We did a proof-of-concept and built a platform with Ethereum as the base with cross-chain and privacy added. Then we launched the company in 2017, and the main net launched in January 2018.
2018 has been quite a volatile and memorable year in the crypto space. Could you tell us about your accomplishments this year?
Yes, this has been a very “interesting” year in crypto, but my team has been working extremely hard to execute on what we laid out in our 2018 roadmap. I’m happy to say they’ve done just that. They delivered Wanchain 1.0 at the beginning of the year, which was our native blockchain plus privacy transaction features. Then, we launched Wanchain 2.0 this summer, which provided a bridge from Wanchain to Ethereum. This week, we are launching Wanchain 3.0 which is our bridge to Ethereum and ERC20 tokens. Wanchain is now the world’s most advanced blockchain interoperability platform. This product release features cross-chain transaction capability between Bitcoin, Ethereum, and ERC20 tokens such as MakerDAO’s DAI and MKR. We believe this launch marks a monumental step not only for Wanchain, but for the industry’s progression toward the Web 3.0 economy where all public and private blockchains will be completely interconnected.
Could you tell us more about what Wanchain and what problem you are solving?
For the less technical person, you can think of Wanchain as a decentralized combination of Ethereum, Monero, and Shapeshift. Wanchain is a platform enabling transactions between different blockchains that are isolated in the current crypto landscape. However, we are not only seeking to connect these isolated blockchains, but also aim to connect the traditional financial world to the blockchain world. For example, we have joined Hyperledger and the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance where we are contributing our cross-chain expertise to their efforts in creating standards and specifications to help bring the enterprise world into blockchain. In addition to the enterprise world, we are also working on many integrations with projects who were previously isolated to Ethereum. With the Wanchain 3.0 launch, any Ethereum-based project can now leverage Wanchain’s cross-chain technology to gain access to Bitcoin users and liquidity, plus other blockchains in the near future.
How does Wanchain offer something that was not possible before the blockchain?
Bitcoin was created in the beginning to move away from centralization of power, wealth, and trust. The cryptocurrency and blockchain movement is being driven by a collective mission to continue moving away from centralization. As a consequence of the early stage of this technology, there are still some problems to fix. One of the key challenges in the industry as of late has been interoperability – the ability for blockchain networks to communicate value and data. You can think of it like the early internet days when office buildings used Local Area Networks. These LAN networks couldn’t communicate with the outside world. Then, as technology progressed, Wide Area Networks (WAN) connected all these Local Area Networks into the global internet that we all know today. This is what Wanchain is doing. We are essentially building the Wide Area Network of blockchains, enabling financial transactions between virtually any blockchain. These transactions will be tracked on a ledger, just like with Ethereum or Bitcoin, allowing for openness and transparency and helping move away from the need for central financial authorities in what is being dubbed “Web 3.0”.
Could you give us some background of your leadership team?
We have a very talented leadership team ranging from Austin to Beijing to various cities in Europe. However, I’ll give a brief overview of our three Vice Presidents to keep it brief.
Weijia Zhang is our VP of Engineering. Dr Weijia Zhang has extensive R&D knowledge and engineering experience in the blockchain, cognitive sciences, mental modelling, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), software modelling, computer technologies, and industrial standards. Weijia has published over thirty research and technical papers and is named as an inventor for over twenty patents, granted and pending, in the computer and digital technology. He is a graduate of Tsinghua University and the University of Nebraska. Weijia has been with Wanchain for 15 months.
Oliver Birch is our VP of Communications. Oliver has been with us for 17 months. He graduated from Lancaster University with a BA (Hons) Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Prior to Wanchain, Oliver worked in the healthcare sector with roles including International Marketing at Novo Nordisk and Country Manager at MeDiNova Research in the clinical trial space.
Li Ni is our VP of Business Development. He has over 15 years of experience in IT and internet businesses and has engaged in business development, marketing, public relations and sales activities globally. Li Ni is a graduate of Peking University and Durham University and previously worked for ZTE Telecom, Delta Electronics and SuperMap Software.