From Null to NULS – how a blockchain is born

Interview with Liesa Huang, new CEO of NULS

NULS blockchain held a major main-net launch in Beijing last week, attended by hundreds of blockchain enthusiasts and journalists, and live-streamed to the western community. At the event, Liesa Huang, the new NULS CEO, presented her vision for the future of blockchain and NULS  – see here on their medium. We at Technews, had an opportunity to interview Liesa, to find out a little bit about the woman behind the throne.

Tell me a little about your educational background – what did you study?

I studied at LMU in Munich and received a degree in linguistics. I had looked at other possible countries to study but, in the end, I settled on Germany as it was both affordable and accessible. At first, I found the language difficult but once I became fluent in German I loved studying there. Munich is a great city.

What was your first career job?

I moved into marketing initially and worked for Alantum, a company aiming to control emissions and generate clean air for cities. It was a very progressive company and highly professional.

When did you discover blockchain?

In 2011 a friend of mine was working on an exchange in Shanghai and I discovered bitcoin and blockchain through him. I really connected with vision from the beginning.

I see you are a serial entrepreneur – tell me about it?

I think Chinese people are very entrepreneurial – we like to own and build our own companies. I created a company that provided online data for second hard cars – it was a great experience and major learning curve. I love the spirit of start-ups, the potential, where anything is possible. This is why I love NULS – anything is possible, and the team has ambitions to be a major market leader in emerging blockchain technology.

When did you start working for NULS – what was the attraction?

What I really like about NULS is that it is based on open source technology and that the three founders are open to change and opportunity. The ethos behind the company is openness. We are creating an ecosystem which will both support and listen to our growing community.

I really admire the technology vision of the founders – we are not trying to predict the future of blockchain. Rather, we are positioning ourselves, to create the technology which will allow us to take advantage of whatever emerges. Most other blockchains do not have this scope for flexibility or speed of response to market.

Honestly, I didn’t want to join any other blockchain company after I met NULS.

Which features of NULS interest you the most?

The POC consensus is very powerful. It is an upgrade modification of the POS consensus with a penalty system to strengthen stability and security – this is truly market leading.

Our transactions costs are low:  0.001NULS, making it cheaper than ETH and again is leading the market in this regard.

There is choice. Enterprises can choose part of the chain from our module library: they don’t have to recreate the whole chain from scratch. This will speed up development and save costs.

There is also an upgradeable option where an enterprise can choose to ‘start small’ and try out the tech first, and then expand their infrastructure as future demand arises. This offers great flexibility and an ability to dip a toe into the water for uncertain enterprises. It lowers the barrier for entry while giving enterprises a feeling for our platform.

Overall our modular design allows regular software developers to build on the blockchain without the need for understanding complicated cryptographic technology. They can create a blockchain using our module library, without the need to recreate a whole blockchain from scratch. This addresses a key problem in the industry, the lack of enough blockchain programmers, and the high cost of developing a blockchain.  This system of development, we are calling it Chain Factory.

How will you defend forking?

If someone want to fork us, it means we are doing something right. While you can clone an open sourced chain, you cannot clone a team. We will always be one step ahead. Additionally, sometimes change is needed and only a fork will provide the solution. So it is not always a bad thing. Perhaps a better question to ask is how value will be transferred in the case of a fork? That is the trickier challenge.

How will you maintain security?

NULS operates on a proof of stake basis but also combines this with a credit rating system. If a node appears to act suspiciously it will receive a yellow or red card, diminishing its ability to affect the entire network. This will help to prevent 51 percent attacks.

How will you manage secondary tokens on side chains?

NULS is very much based on community so it is in our interest to help developers build on our platform. We will provide more than just technical support, we will look to assist in terms of branding, marketing and community support. However, a potential flaw when using side chains, is that the sides chains can produce their own cryptocurrency tokens, reducing the necessity for native tokens (NULS, in this case).

We have circumvented this problem in 3 ways.  Firstly, NULS tokens will be required for all processes on the main blockchain. Plus, 220,000 tokens will need to be staked to run a node. Most enterprises on the NULS platform will eventually aim to own their own node. Significant numbers of NULS will be locked up in this manner.

In addition, when a side chain issues their own token, this token will be considered a contract token, which only has value inside the sidechain’s ecosystem. At the point they wish to extract their tokens, the conversion must be completed in NULS.

Finally, if a company issues their own token on a side chain, then they will be required to hold a set value of NULS. This value will be fixed as a percentage of the new token. So for example, Project X, issues a Token X. They must agree to hold (say) 1 percent of the value of Token X in NULS, as a reserve. If the value of Token X goes up, or they mint new tokens, then they are required to buy more NULS. The more successful the side chain projects become, and the more numerous the projects, the greater the demand for NULS tokens.

How did it feel when China banned ICOs?

This is a difficult question to answer. I personally support the Chinese government but we had to make a choice so NULS stopped its ICO and we opted instead to go with an airdrop. This is has proved very positive and our coin has risen in value from $0.40 to almost $2.50 currently. We also have an office in Singapore so we can straddle two jurisdictions.

Where are you based now?

I am personally based in Chongqing and the investment department is based in Shanghai

You have been announced as CEO – how do you feel / what is your vision?

It is a great honour but also a great responsibility. Right now there is a core team working on the project but in time we hope to migrate responsibility and ownership to the NULS community. In other words, the core team is working towards losing their jobs! We started off with a slogan that stated – From Null to NULS –  but in time I want to change that to From NULS to NULS  – to reflect the true vision of a community based ecosystem.

I am sure you are working 24×7 – what do you do for downtime?

I love to watch films and box series – currently my favourites are West World, The Good Fight and Billions. I love AI which is why I love West World.

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Jillian Godsil :