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Eden Dhaliwal, Global Managing Director, Conflux Network – Interview Series

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Eden Dhaliwal, Global Managing Director, Conflux Network - Interview Series

Eden Dhaliwal, is the global managing director at Conflux Network, an open protocol for a new world of DApps, finance, and Web 3.0. As a fast and secure public blockchain, Conflux Network combines Proof of Work and a Tree-Graph structure to power a new generation of decentralized commerce.

With 14 years of experience in emerging tech, Eden is an industry leader in discovering, incubating and investing in the next generation of the internet. Eden holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, and received a bachelor of science in mathematics from University of Manitoba.

Could you share the genesis story of how Conflux Network originated?

Conflux started out at Tsinghua University, China’s most reputable university, as a research project focused on finding ways to scale up blockchain to make it faster and more secure. Once investors like Sequoia Capital, Huobi Group and Baidu Ventures showed interest and invested, the project turned into a well-funded venture with the aim to launch a global public blockchain network. Dr. Andrew Yao, who is the only Chinese recipient of the Turing Award, and various deans of top blockchain and technology collegiate programs, are among those working to create this next generation of distributed systems. Conflux is now overseen by a diverse global team with the mission to promote cross border collaboration by developing decentralized open source technologies and facilitating open commerce.

What is the mission statement of Conflux Network and how does it differentiate itself from other blockchains?

Conflux Network is seeking to improve security, speed and efficiency across a number of industries and relevant business challenges from finance to government.

A fundamental issue for base layer blockchain protocols is scalability and speed. We’re one of the few layer-1 protocols using a novel PoW-integrated DAG structure providing between 3,000 and 6,000 transactions per second for enterprise applications. That structure, called Tree Graph, is an energy-efficient proof of work mechanism that allows the network to pursue efficiency without sacrificing safety, decentralization, or trustworthiness.

To compare our transaction throughput to the industry standard, Conflux Network’s technology features a reduced confirmation time and increased transaction throughput of 6,400 transactions per second, while Visa handles about 1,000 to 4,000 per second.

In 2020, you signed on with Conflux Network to lead its expansion in North America. What attracted you to working with this company?

I had conversations with Fan Long, one of the founders, over the course of a year about Conflux Network’s breakthrough technology and its unique position in the China market. When I travelled to Beijing to meet the team, it was clear to me that this project was not an ordinary layer 1 blockchain project. From prominent investors like Sequoia Capital to leading mining operators like F2Pool to a fast growing developer community, it was easy to see that Conflux has many brilliant and incredibly ambitious people behind it, determined to make it a success. And when you take into account that Conflux is regulatory compliant and has incredible relationships with enterprise, government and developer communities, I became convinced that Conflux has a clear and unimpeded path to capture market share in China well beyond any other blockchain project. Conflux is a bit of a sleeping giant and the opportunity to introduce it to the world intrigued me.

Conflux is the only state-endorsed public, permissionless blockchain project in China. What’s the current relationship that Conflux Network has with the Chinese government?

The fact that Conflux was born out of academia and conducted a regulatory compliant fundraise, has always allowed us to develop a trusted and productive relationship with the Chinese government. Representatives from our organization sit on the National Blockchain and Distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Technical Committee, a group formed by the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, to discuss and set industry standards for distributed ledger technology.

This relationship is beneficial in many ways. It gives us access to China-based communities, marketplaces and business channels through an extensive network of developers, users, investors, and enterprise industry experts, while increasing reliability and risk mitigation through regulatory compliance and advisory from the Shanghai government.

In partnership with The Shanghai Science and Technology Committee, Conflux Network has created the Tree Graph Research Institute to advance education in blockchain development, particularly public, permissionless networks. Additionally, and also supported by the Shanghai government, Conflux plans to establish an Incubation Center to further innovation in emerging technologies.

Conflux recently began the second phase of its mainnet rollout, Oceanus, which will focus on mining initiatives and the PoW algorithm. What’s the most important aspect of this rollout?

Overall we’ll be focusing on an all-around pilot run around our mining algorithm, DApps, Dex, and other DeFi products with our ecosystem partners. The network features and functions will be gradually released to the community in order to increase the level of decentralization while maintaining high-levels of system security and performance throughout the network. This will ensure that the team’s focus and attention will not be affected too much by the secondary market fluctuation.

To break it down a bit more, during the first half of Oceanus we’re organizing several mining campaigns, ranging from mid-scale with hundreds of participants to large-scale with thousands. This will even further verify the stability of our network. Following that, once we’re sure of the network’s security and stability and we have the right amount of network contributors, we’ll migrate onto the official Conflux proof of work mining algorithm.

Could you share your views on the state-backed blockchain infrastructure project BSN (Blockchain-based Service Network) that was recently announced out of China. What are the implications of this to the blockchain landscape in China?

The goal of BSN is to advance the blockchain ecosystem in China. The Chinese government identified blockchain technology as an issue of national importance. The technology improves the efficiency of various business processes and drives the innovation of new financial instruments. BSN infrastructure, along with the burgeoning ecosystem of compliant public chains will play a pivotal role in achieving this transformative vision.

You are also a partner of Outlier Ventures which examines token economies for investment and advisory opportunities. What do you personally look for in potential investment opportunities?

Generally speaking, the investment areas that interest me the most are web3 infrastructure, developer tooling, DeFi and decentralized data economies. Aside from having a solid team, I’m most interested in understanding the intrinsic value and demand side of the product and/or technology. Traction and a roadmap that can demonstrate product-market fit, community engagement and how tokenization will unfold from an economics, governance and regulatory standpoint are pretty fundamental for me.

Another key question for me is how network effects will take shape. I typically like offerings where a consumer can be a creator at the same time, and the product has ‘“Lego-like” components and toy-like appeal that users can play with for further innovation. This adds to the likelihood of value being generated for the product or network.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about Conflux Network?

We’re very excited about the steps being made in the DeFi ecosystem. To help push development forward, we have developed a cross-chain protocol ShuttleFlow. This, among other DeFi use cases, will play a major role for financial inclusivity, stability, and security, especially in post-COVID economies where we are seeing a rapid shift towards digitalization.

We recently launched a 2.4 billion CFX token (approximately $240 million) rolling grants program dedicated to advancing innovations in software development and research for the Conflux Network ecosystem. The multi-year grants program is designed to kick start the creation of essential components of the technology stack and accelerate venture building on Conflux. Another objective of the program is to get closer to the developer community, understand their vision for the network and support them with requirements to drive innovations.

We’re also working closely with governments and enterprises in China on various blockchain projects like storing contracts and certificates of architectural design on blockchain, tracking of parts on blockchain and provenance of suppliers, a public information systems project, a project with a power corporation for traceability of green energy transfer, among others. The Hunan government recently endorsed us, which is the second of its kind for Conflux after Shanghai’s government did so last year.

Thank you for the great interview, readers who wish to learn more should visit Conflux Network.

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Antoine Tardif is the founding partner of Securities.io, the CEO of BlockVentures.com, and has invested in over 50 blockchain & AI projects. He is the founder of Unite.AI a news website for AI and Robotics. He is also a member of the Forbes Technology Council.

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