NEO founder Da Hongfei recently met with Sam Reynolds, a cryptocurrency and technology journalist writing for Forkast News. Forkast is a press outlet built with a focus on “the enormous technology, vision, and science behind distributed ledger technologies.”
In a brief, 10-minute video interview, the two focused on NEO’s planned interoperability protocol, its support for multiple programming languages, and NEO blockchain’s NeoFS, a distributed data storage service currently in development.
Hongfei started off by clarifying differences between the current technology of the atomic swap (cross-chain trading) and NEO’s proposed joint interoperability protocol.
With atomic swaps, Hongfei noted, “The actual asset does not move from one blockchain to another,” as only the ownership of the asset changes hands. However, NEO’s proposed interoperability protocol is different because the assets themselves can jump chains in a controlled manner. “You can move assets from Blockchain A to Blockchain B in an atomic transaction. That means that the destroying of the asset here and the creation of the asset [there] will be either, both be successful, or both failed.”
“It can be…really any operation, for example, smart contract” with linked invocations and calls, with results returned and shared between two separate blockchains.
Hongfei answered a question about NEO’s multiple language support by saying, “we want to reach the mainstream. There are about 21 million professional developers in the world.” When compared to the estimated 10,000 blockchain-focused developers, he sees the opportunity for growth: “We need to attract those 21 million.”
“China and the U.S. are the two biggest players in this industry. And China is actually trying to catch up.” Hongfei added that in his experience, “China emphasizes more on the engineering side” while the USA and Europe are stronger in research.
When Reynolds pointed out that the current state of cloud servers are quite centralized around “massive hubs”, Hongfei agreed. “They [cloud servers] have backups…But it’s not that decentralized, and they’re running the same software…With NeoFS, it’s fully decentralized. Your files will be divided into very small blocks.”
Hongfei explained that the files in NeoFS could be encrypted for privacy and stored “in somebody’s laptop…even in somebody’s cell phone,” and added that smart contracts will be able to natively use the file storage service.
When compared to current blockchain-based storage, he explained, “The cost will be lowered maybe a thousand, maybe a few thousand times. So we – I – expect to see those dApps will start to save data on NeoFS instead of on a centralized cloud.”
Da Hongfei is the founder of the NEO blockchain.