PW Interview House 0 :6 friends from 6 countries with Polkadot

11 min readDec 5, 2019

PolkaWorld Interview House is opening! Our first group of guests are 6 friends from 6 countries. Let’s talk about what happened after they get to know Polkadot.

Host: Fuyao Jiang, Founder of Polkawallet in China / Acala network open contributor


Sota Watanabe, CEO of Plasm network, Japan

Chevdor, Polkabot developer, Germany

Victor, melea Validator team, Spain

lvo, CEO of ADEX, Bulgaria

Xiliang Chen, CTO of Laminar, New Zealand

Dillon Chen, CEO of Edgeware, U.S.A

1. Brief introduction of yourselves and involvement in Polkadot

Sota Watanabe:Hello everyone. I am Sota Watanabe, the CEO at Stake Technologies. We are developing Plasm Network, a scalable DApps platform on Substrate. Since we are developing Substrate, this Plasm Network is compatible with Polkadot. We aim to be a Parachain. Polkadot Relay chain doesn’t support smart contracts by design, so we need a Parachain that supports smart contracts well. This is where Plasm Network comes in. We have developing Plasm Network for more than a year and we got grants from Web3 Foundation.

Chevdor:My name is Will and I go by Chevdor on Riot and Github. I work for a Blockchain company in Germany called KI decentralized. The company also offers a great source of information in German and organizes meetups in Germany to help people understand and discuss about Blockchain and decentralized solutions.

I have been following the Polkadot project since day 1 as I see it as a very powerful project led by what is in my opinion a very capable team.

I have made available the initial docker image to the community and keep on building it as new releases come up. I am also the author of PolkaBot.

I have modestly contributed the polkadot-js api and UI with a few PRs as well as a few contribs to the Polkadot and Substrate code base.

I have also a couple of secret projects that have not been published yet and require a bit more of my time. Don’t tell anyone :)

Victor:Hello, I am Victor from melea team, I am currently building about 2 startups at the same time, one based on the validation service and another based on building applications to solve current problems in the population that we have identified over time.

At the same time that we are providing validation service, we are testing the software in which we will build our future projects. Substrate is software that attracts us enough to make our applications.

We are currently in Barcelona, Spain but we are not tribal, that is why we are looking for an international projection with Hispanic ambits for the long term.

Ivo:I’m Ivo, CEO of AdEx, which is a company aiming to address and fix some of the most prominent inefficiencies of the online advertising industry: user privacy misuse, ad fraud, lack of transparency in reporting and others. AdEx intends to use Polkadot for our staking component, called the Registry.

Xiliang Chen:I am CTO of Laminar, Ambassador of Polkadot, contributor of Substrate and Polkadot, Lecturer of a Substrate develop course. At present, i am focus on the development of two Polkadot DeFi projects: Acala network (stablecoin) and Flowchain (off chain asset trading platform). At the same time, as an ambassador of Polkadot, i am also responsible for the promotion of polkadot community and the cultivation of Substrate developer community.

Dillon Chen:I am the CEO and co-founder of Commonwealth Labs, a blockchain research and development firm leading the core development of the Edgeware smart contract platform. Edgeware was built with inspiration from Gavin Wood, and uses Parity Substrate, the modular blockchain project used to create Polkadot. Edgeware is intended to be the first smart contract platform Parachain in the Polkadot network.

2. Why do you like Polkadot and believe it’s a project doing a great thing?

Xiliang Chen:Everyone, including the Ethereum foundation, agrees that there is no future for the current Ethereum, but different people have different ideas about who can become the core platform of the next blockchain ecosystem. At the beginning, when I chose which platform to use for blockchain development, I did a research and finally chose Polkadot.

First, I’m quite confident in Gavin wood and parity. They have realized the nodes of Ethereum. I’m sure they are very experienced in this aspect.

Secondly, Substrate is very consistent with my idea in the selection of technology stack, such as Rust, Wasm, libp2p, which are all technologies with great potential.

Third, I am agree with Gavin / Web3 Foundation’s vision, and I can see how Polkadot has become the cornerstone of this vision.

Sota Watanabe:I have learned a lot about the history of the internet. The 3 biggest inventions were RSA, TCP/IP, and WWW. In this sense, Polkadot is TCP/IP for blockchains because we can talk to each other regardless of the geological location thanks to TCP/IP. There is no ideal and single blockchain in the world. So, there are many blockchains are created. We need a tool to connect one blockchain to another and bring real interoperability into the blockchain space. This is where Polkadot comes in.

Chevdor:Some see Polkadot as a cutting solution for onchain governance.

Polkadot can also be seen as an exciting tech because of its implementation of a unique PoS consensus model.

Some enjoy Polkadot as an exciting playground where you can program in Rust all over the place, from writing bridges, Blockchain runtime modules, completely new chain composed of any of the existing runtime modules mixed and matched with any new module you may want to write.

Some get their thrill in being able to program smart contracts in Rust with Ink!.

Some see a bright future in Polkadot because it aims at being inclusive and interoperable instead of positioning itself as a competitor of other Blockchains.

Some will surely like that Polkadot is much more ‘green’ as it does not require extensive CPU to perform proof of work as many other Blockchains do.

Some will find the scalability strategy of Substrate and Polkadot refreshing.

The truth and what makes Polkadot a very — very — exciting and promising project is that it is all of that together! The Paritytech team does not only takes up on this huge challenge to move on so many fronts in parallel but also delivers very often to the community as it has been done again recently with the launch of the Kusama network.

This is a strategy that is as risky as exciting but Paritytech already prove that the team can pull if off.

Victor:If I can be honest, I only follow the developers I believe in and when I have a feeling about it being a very good project. With Polkadot I feel both.

Why Polkadot?

Knowing the clients of Ether since its inception, the most stable, quick to synchronize, and that occupied less space and resources were always my Parity nodes, so that is why I am a total believer and now witness that they are doing just what I suspected a great thing. and it is the best thing that could have happened to me when I talk to you that I am validating in Kusama and seeing how they are revolutionizing the Crypto scene meanwhile I’m part in some way.

Ivo:There are a few reasons: the interoperability it enables and the novel consensus mechanism. The use of WASM, which enables us to reuse Rust code with some of our off-chain components, which leads to better security and correctness. But most importantly, we know the Parity and Polkadot teams have the ability to ship to production and iterate very quickly.

Dillon Chen:Polkadot helps solve scalability and inter-blockchain communication challenges for the space. The combination of those strong features alongside lower costs of securing networks through the ‘shared security’ of Polkadot makes sense to us — and the development is timely, so we’re confident that Polkadot is a major player in the next generation of blockchain applications.

3. What’s the most unforgettable memories of you during your engagement/ memories with polkadot

Chevdor:I mentioned that the community is very open, so is Paritytech. If you get involved, you can end up sitting in Berlin next so the top devs working on the projects and chatting with them. Not only the folks working on the topic are very skilled but also very open minded and humble.

Soon after publishing the chevdor/polkadot docker image, I started eating my own dog food and using the image in order to power a few of my validators (Crash Override, Acid Burn, etc…) and got the nice surprise to see my validators kicking on top of the list on the screen everyone can see in the Partitytech office in Berlin. I felt home instantly :) as well as a comfy sofa to finish what i was working on.

Victor:My most precious moment and of which only a few are witnesses was that I arrived and how I could not participate in the POC-1 for some days after arriving, because it was very close, due to my impatience I left the Riot chat, but then I came back after days and some good people and dev team received me with encouragement and they let me participate in the POC-2 they educated me, they still do it and since then I participated in all the testnets and now melea team is validating in Kusama mainnet no slashed so far. :-)

I have been learning next to the entire Parity team for more than a year and I think that this opportunity I had to be in a small teaching group makes me feel special. Today a bunch of people, when starting only a few.

Ivo:The most unforgettable moment is obviously the second multisig hack. Back then, we didn’t believe in Polkadot that much, because the original whitepaper was written in a deliberately complicated way. But over time we noticed Polkadot’s innovations and the relentlessness of the team.

Xiliang Chen:The first PR merged by Substrate.

Dillon Chen:We attended Web3 Summit this year, and meeting so many fascinating thinkers, speakers and project-leaders working on big ideas was inspiring, we’ve also traveled to Asia with DOT Days in Korea and Japan!

Sota Watanabe:We have been developing Plasm Network for almost a year. Recently, we released our testnet. We got a great feedback from the community and Gavin Wood shared our press release on Twitter. It was very helpful!

4. How’s Polkadot’s progress now, and what attract you the most of what Polkadot is doing?

Xiliang Chen:Every day there’s new progress, new code, new discussion.

Dillon Chen:We watch the development of Kusama/Polkadot/Substrate closely because they are a technical layer in Edgeware, we’re happy with the pace of development — we really love how amenable they are to our requests and technical support.

Sota Watanabe:Polkadot is still a very early stage. We need to verify the current situation of Polkadot and build meaningful products on Polkadot based on the analysis. We are making a scalable Parachain so that we are very looking forward to seeing Cumulus, a connector between Parachain and Relaychain.

Chevdor:With the launch of Kusama, Polkadot is in the middle of a transition period.

While development keeps going at a good pace, the community is in the process of taking the ownership on Kusama. This is a very exciting time. Everyone and anyone can, by definition, jump in and take part. This is definitely a great time to join.

Victor:The progress they are making is that they are fulfilling exactly what they promised, maybe they will end up with something much better than they thought, for what I am feeling that it will be something very important.

What attracts most of what Polkadot wants to do is that it wants to be useful for a long time.

Substrate Software wants to be the perfect solution in many terms, and in my opinion, they are making it.

We are going to a future where analog things and paper money will cease to exist, they will be useless, that’s where Polkadot plays an important role. If you follow the project and understand the vision of the team, you will understand.

what attracts the most? They don’t sell smoke.

And I can keep telling you more and more and more.

Ivo:Mostly covered in (2): Substrate, the novel consensus (GRANDPA), WASM and interoperability

5. how do you think parity’s tech strength on global scale?

Sota Watanabe:Blockchain is still an early stage and we have many technical difficulties we have to solve. Therefore, we need to solve them quickly. I do like a centralized approach toward decentralization at this moment Parity is leading the community and building amazing products like Substrate. Currently, the community may be centralized, but in the future it will be decentralized. So contributors like you and me are getting more important.

Chevdor:Paritytech is a company that dares to take measured risks. They understand what is important for the success of an Open Source project. Their management strategy is definitely one of its kind but it shows to work. Talking about tech to any dev of the team, I can guarantee you will feel the passion and the motivation after only 30s :)

Victor:For me the parity development team is one of the best, they have a well-structured team and you can see how each one is in charge of its module → 24x7x365, then they are close, with non-corporate human people, and that is appreciated and the It helps to gain more international traction because they are not tribal, they are global. So, they are doing very well.

Ivo:Their global strength is undeniable: they have the majority of Rust developers in Europe, who are also very talented in general. They already have the momentum and funds to keep hiring the best people.

Xiliang Chen:It is fortunately a team can have one or two excellent developers of Rust and JS, while Parity has many of them, covering all fields, which is especially rare.

Dillon Chen:Parity Technology is a prolific developer leveraging the powerful and somewhat rare Rust language to develop foundational tools for the space — given their talent pool and extreme seniority in the space, it’s hard to imagine crypto without Parity for the foreseeable future.

6.If you can picture polkadot’s ecosystem map, what’s the direction from your point of view that we need to work on?

Dillon Chen:Cryptoeconomic primitives like stablecoins, DAO frameworks, and launch tools are just a few areas that we’re looking forward to in the space.

Sota Watanabe:I guess Polkadot will be a toB (to Business) platform. So, we need to make a strong business pipeline and we are very interested in taking official partnerships with Chinese companies and venture capitals. In addition to that, we need to make a common standard of Substrate implementation. Substrate is interoperable without Polkadot. If we made Substrate chains based on the common rules, it would be easier to connect with each other.

Ivo:Controversially, I think Dothereum/EVM is a nice use case: Ethereum is by no means slowing down, but it’s plagued by coordination issues and the community is getting a bit maximalist; So I think being compatible with the Ethereum ecosystem and providing an easy alternative will definitely bring in developers and use cases

Xiliang Chen:Polkadot is determined to become the core cornerstone of Web 3.0, which is a long-term goal, but the market and community vision are generally more concerned about the present, rather than the long-term future. I believe that Polkadot can not forget its original intention and move towards the future of Web 3.0, rather than just going online just for the sake of going online.

Chevdor:The dev team is currently working on solving many challenges that all bring uniqueness to Polkadot. Simultaneously, many volunteers helped by the Web3 foundation helps explaining what Polkadot and Substrate are and how anyone can build a solid and robust validator network. There is a lot of devops work to do there so we can together build a very resilient network.

A lot of usability work has to be done in order to bring the tech to people. For instance, Polkadot allows token holders to participate in votes that will decide how the chain can morph. This is a great concept. I am building PolkaBot so that users get notifications right in their inbox whenever something relevant in the ecosystem is happening, including the availability of referenda.

Many other projects are supporting the ecosystem and are critical to boost the users adoption. The Polkadot.js UI is a cornerstone of using Polkadot today.

Polkascan ( is also one of the tools helping a lot. Polkawallet ( is also definitely a great addition. Other projects such as Enzyme ( help with usability and dApps.

The reader can stop by and have a look of the already ecosystem powered and supporting Polkadot.

Sub0.1 is a conference that is coming soon and that’s also an event you do not want to miss!