Could you introduce yourself and your background?
My name is Feng Zhang and my work is primarily in three areas:
First, I am a lawyer of JT&N Law Firm (Shanghai Branch). There, I’ve been serving as a notary for quite some time. I have more than 10 years of experience in legal services and I’ve been a legal consultant for central government enterprises, multinational corporations, and private fund managers.
Second, I’m involved in the blockchain community. I am a co-founder and legal advisor of a blockchain learning institute called Bit University. I also created the Digital Times Blockchain Service Alliance which consists of lawyers and accountants.
Third, I’m involved in law and blockchain-related research and training. I am a guest lecturer at the Golden Academy and DACA Blockchain Open Class, a guest editor of the Shanghai Notary, a guest professor and part-time master’s tutor at the Center for Environmental Resources and Energy Law at the Shanghai University of Political Science and Law. I have published more than 10 articles discussing the theories and practices of when “Internet Finance Encounters Asset Securitization” in legal and finance magazines including Modern Bankers, China Venture Capital, Research of Finance and Education, and China Notary. I’ve frequently been interviewed by the media including Southern Weekly, Financial Magazine, Faren Magazine (subsidiary of Legal Daily), China Financial Herald, China Times, Financial Weekly, and China Business Journal. I am now writing a book titled, “Blockchain Regulations and Governance” in my spare time.
How did you learn about Elastos and why were you invited to join the Interim Council?
I met Feng Han in a meeting for columnists at the PBC School of Finance at Tsinghua University near the end of 2015. I started learning about blockchain by reading Han’s blockchain articles and have deepened my understanding through several years.
In September 2016, I started a business project on blockchain certification with some partners. Though we closed the project three months later, my interest in the development and application of blockchain technology has continued to grow and I became even more involved in the field.
In June or July, 2017, when Feng Han and Rong Chen initiated the Elastos project, Han introduced the project to me.
I believe that I was invited to join the Interim Council because I’ve been involved in Elastos since the beginning and my understanding of its potential is great. I often discuss with Rong, Han, Kevin Zhang, Fay Li, Heng Li, etc. about the technical and development issues of Elastos, and I have also participated in many activities and talked to many members of the community, so I am very familiar with the Foundation.
In a new industry like blockchain, regulations usually tighten as the industry grows. How will these regulations shape the blockchain industry and what in your opinion will be its impact to Elastos and the Cyber Republic?
Due to its decentralized, traceable, and non-tamperable trustless ledger, as well as credible certificates of value, blockchain technology has become increasingly widespread and its applications will exert profound impact on the existing legal systems.
However, objectively speaking, establishing specific regulatory laws and policies is a process of continuous adjustment and improvement. I have written articles that have refuted the view that decentralized applications are, by nature, against regulation.
Eventually a legal system that is suitable for the development of blockchain technology applications will be formed.
Based on my understanding, Elastos has embraced regulations from day one. Therefore, from a macro perspective, the gradual implementation of regulatory measures is not contradictory to the long-term development of Elastos. Regulation may actually be a good thing for Elastos. However, microscopically, blockchain regulations are still in the process of adjustment. The scope, scale, timing and specifications of the regulatory measures in different countries may vary, and this may impose good or bad effects on different blockchain projects, including Elastos. I believe that the team and the community will find ways to constantly adapt to the changes.
With your legal background, what is the role you’re filling in Elastos and the Cyber Republic Interim Council?
Currently, there is no well-established standard of governance for blockchain communities. The governance systems of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and EOS each have their own characteristics, but all of them are different from Elastos’ system.
However, there should be some common rules that are applicable to all.
Blockchain itself is an emerging technology that is cross-industry, cross-profession, and cross-cultural. Therefore, it may be narrow-minded to see blockchain from only a few angles, and that is why all community members, including the members of the Interim Committee, must work together to establish a community governance system that is fair and successful.
Personally, my legal background and experience sheds light on compliance, establishment of rules, enforcement of rules, as well as perfecting legal structures.
What are the keys to success for the CR? What are the most immediate actions we must take?
Compared with general public blockchain projects, Elastos is a very ambitious and complicated project. It uses blockchain to empower the smart web, to realize authenticity of the exchange of digital assets, and creates scarcity in digital assets. CR supports the development of Elastos through building consensus within the community so that more developers and teams can create various applications for daily life on this credible, safe, and scarce platform provided by Elastos. The real success of CR is achieved only if these technological goals are accomplished.
Regarding immediate action: from the perspective of the CR, by deliberating and then formulating specific principles and rules, more and more developers, believers, and users will be attracted to participate. This allows Elastos to gain greater influence and the CR will act as fuel to push the adoption of the Elastos ecosystem and its applications.