Neo Global Development’s Seattle office head, John deVadoss, presented at the Delta Summit in the European island country of Malta on October 4th, 2019. Erhan Korhalliler, CEO of EAK Digital TV, a YouTube channel focusing on “blockchain’s thought leaders and visionaries,” caught up with deVadoss during the conference for a 20-minute interview. Topics included deVadoss’ vision of mass adoption, developer recruitment, and the .NET Foundation.
John deVadoss stated that the key theme of his upcoming speech was “Mass Adoption” — how to get the millions of worldwide software developers working on blockchain applications.
Erhan Korhailliler asked deVadoss, “What does mass adoption look like, and how do we get there?”
“There is no mythical dApp that will change the landscape of the industry. The way we get there is quite simple. It’s developers, developers, developers. If you get a million developers building dApps — don’t even call them dApps, call them apps — on blockchain platforms, a thousand flowers will bloom. And of those thousand, you will find these very interesting, these truly game-changing applications…
…You begin at the developer. You make it really easy, really simple, and really productive for developers to be able to build apps on blockchain platforms, obviously including Neo as well. And the more we can get folks to start trying, piloting, building, and deploying, the faster we’ll get there.”
deVadoss then pivoted to another facet of Korhailliler’s question, “How do we know when we get there?”
“Back in 2007 I was working on building Windows Azure — the cloud platform — back at that time, people were saying, ‘Can I use the cloud? Is it secure? Do I have privacy?’ And by 2011, they were saying, ‘Look, if you don’t use the cloud, what’s wrong with you? Something’s wrong with your strategy.’
The same thing will happen to us. People will say, ‘If you’re not building on blockchain capability, what’s wrong with you? What’s holding you back?’
And that’s when we know we have hit the mainstream, when people take it for granted, when we cross that bridge.”
Korhailliler asked deVadoss about the similarities and the differences between deVadoss’ work experience with Neo and Microsoft:
“First, it’s the global community… Back in the corporate world, it was a bunch of guys in Redmond or Seattle basically building the platform… Back then, we had this black box development, building kind of in secret if you will, and then a big bang release… I find it very fulfilling that we get feedback right away, we can see what is happening.”
“The quality of the core developers is significantly better. Significantly… These are devs that understand not just technology, but economics. Being able to balance these two domains is a unique set of skills that I have not seen in the old world.”
Korhailliler commented on Neo’s recent addition to the .NET Foundation and asked, “What does the .NET foundation do, and what opportunities does it give to the Neo blockchain specifically?”:
“In very practical terms, it gives us access and visibility to about 8 million developers every month on the average that use .NET…
…By the way, the root of this all is that Neo was the first and probably still the only major global blockchain platform to have taken a bet on the .NET stack. Which gives us a unique set of advantages in terms of reaching the mainstream developers. In terms of numbers, in terms of strategy, and certainly in terms of partnering, we have a huge leg up.”
Korhailliler asked deVadoss about his recent presentation at the .NET conference, and how he and Neo were received by the audience.
“You get two camps. There’s one camp which says, ‘Well, about time, man’…but there is also a camp that says, ‘What is a blockchain platform?’ This goes back to your earlier question — ‘How do we get to mainstream adoption?’ And we have a huge opportunity because I can go to these and say, ‘Look. Use C#, or Visual Basic, Python, Go, whatever you like.’ Without learning new stuff — new languages, new tools, new frameworks, we can convert these people to be blockchain developers. And that is something we can uniquely do. No other public chain, not even Ethereum, is able to have the same level of support.”
Ethereum and DeFi
The conversation continued forward to address Ethereum’s singular, specialized programming language, Solidity, for its smart contracts, versus Neo’s support for multiple widely used languages:
“My sense is that currently for the most part, we have these high priests of technology who are holding the walls closed in terms of access, in terms of learning, understanding, and building… However, if we want to make a dent in the world out there, if we want to drive mass adoption, the only way we do this is not by having high priests. We’re saying, ‘Every developer out there is a blockchain developer.’ That’s our vision at Neo… as the most developer-friendly blockchain platform… In fact, Erhan, I would say the term “dApp” is not helping us. It’s just an app… We want to commoditize app development… That is the only way to mass global adoption.”
Korhailliler inquired about the current crop of gaming and gambling dApps found in smart contract platforms, and asked what genres might become popular in two or three years’ time:
“Any wave of new technology, whether it be the cloud, the web, or e-commerce, initally you find a wide variety of sectors…that said…the impact in terms of finance, not just at the policy level but at the consumer level — DeFi — that will impact people’s wallets, it’s very real… When we get there, the fulfillment that we will see as a community, as an industry, and the level of support and evangelism we will see from the common man and the common woman is going to be extraordinary. That’s the tipping point for me, in finance, but we’ll get there in steps.”
Finally, Korhailliler pointed out that Neo’s third iteration is around the corner:
“Neo3 is about driving mass adoption…What do developers want? They want tools to be able to build apps on the platform, and they want distribution. So the investment in the core platform, and then the tooling, and EcoBoost, is the triangle. Building a superior platform, having a productive set of tools to build apps, and having something like EcoBoost to help drive distribution… Now, it’s about execution over the next 6 or 9 months.”