Blockchain's first social network in China is the bitch of a 24-year-old entrepreneur

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Xu Ke speaks at a technology conference in Beijing Ben Sin

Beijing native Xu Ke is really good with numbers. University of Riverside, California, in 2013, developed a talent for poker, and although he was not yet 21 years old (the minimum age to gamble in the US), at the time, existence of online poker and indulgent poker The California casino laws allowed her to play regularly and refine her skills in assessing probabilities and risks.

Her days in both digital and physical gambling halls allowed her to meet many interesting and unconventional characters, including cryptocurrency investors, before the digital currencies hit the mainstream, was intrigued and started the extraction of Bitcoin, deeper his experience in Bitcoin, the more he d & # 39; ; agreement with the his philosophy of decentralization via blockchain.

Xu continued to play poker and invest in Bitcoin when he returned to China in 2014. Every time he earned points at the poker table, he invested money in the digital currency. At the height of his days in Bitcoin, Xu says he had over 50,000 units of the currency. It eventually grossed 20,000 bitcoins in 2014 to $ 240 per unit, which was about $ 4.8 million.

Xu plays in a high profile poker tournament in China. Xu Ke

Now 24, Xu & nbsp; he realizes that … he sold them too soon – 20,000 Bitcoins would be worth almost $ 120 million now – but at least he made good use of those two million. In 2016, after creating and selling a social app, he founded Nome Lab, a Beijing-based start-up specializing in blockchain products and games.

Of these, the game of trade in digital goods CryptoDogs was the most successful. But this year, following the recent controversy over Facebook's abuse of personal data and the creation of a platform for far-right conspiracy theorists, Xu has focused on its next idea: a free social network based on blockchain technology, where all user data is decentralized and an autonomous system that rewards users who share quality content.

Nominated Ono the beta version of the network was launched in April and has already accumulated more than three million members, at least according to Xu.

Xu cites the original view of the world wide web as the reason for the launch of Ono: "When [British computer scientist] Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web, his vision was to let humans exchange information and knowledge freely, "says Xu. "The Internet belongs to all of us, but it has become so centralized now.Most of the ten most important technology companies in the world have built their net earnings by selling user data."

"That's why blockchain is important: you yourself You have the data, "he says, elaborating that you and your company would not be able to sell Ono user data, even if they want it because it's an" app, "or decentralized app.

Currently, Ono is available on the Google Play Store, with the iOS version coming this month. It is also accessible via any web browser. I signed up and was surprised to see a good deal of English content, considering that most users are based in China. The network looked like a mixture of Twitter (or, more precisely, Weibo), but without character limits.

Two screens of Ono. Ono

Screenshot of Ono. Ono

"You can write all the words you want," Xu says.

At the moment, Ono is funded by & nbsp; $ 16 million name raised by investors such as China Growth Capital and Korea Investment Partners. But Xu says that the app & nbsp; it will also publish announcements and collaborations with brands across the board.

Xu, front and center, with the Nome team. Name

The Nome team, based in Beijing, has 76 employees. Xu says there are 15 other employees around the world. In addition, there are thousands of volunteers from the anonymous community to help monitor the site. This is crucial because the vision of Xu is that Ono is a democracy

"Ono is & nbsp; works democratically and allows content creators to maintain ownership on their content and being rewarded, "Xu says . This is achieved through a reward system in which the best content creators (voted by the community) receive the digital currency that can be exchanged or used for in-app purchases.

Xu has very high goals with Ono – – "I hope it will be the number one social network," he says – and while beating Facebook will almost certainly be impossible, you can not beat it to have a competitive spirit. He says that every time he sells a business – be it bitcoin or his first social app – he is not "happy," despite the payday.

"I like winning more than earning," she says. "I want to build something that lasts."

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Xu Ke speaks at a technology conference in Beijing. Ben Sin

Xu Ke Beijing native is really good with numbers. University of Riverside, Calif., In 2013, developed a talent for poker, and although he was not yet 21 years old (the minimum age to gamble in the United States) at the time, The existence of online poker and the warm casino of Southern California allowed her to play regularly and refine her skills in assessing risk and probability.

Her days in both digital and physical gambling halls allowed her to meet many Interesting and unconventional characters, including cryptocurrency investors, before the digital currencies hit the mainstream, was fascinated and started to extract Bitcoin: the more he deepened his experience in Bitcoin, the more he was in agreement n his philosophy of decentralization via blockchain.

Xu went on to play poker and invest in Bitcoin when he moved back in China in 2014. Every time he got a big score at the poker table, he invested money in the digital currency. At the height of his Bitcoin days, Xu says he has over 50,000 units of currency. It eventually cashed 20,000 Bitcoins in 2014 to $ 240 per unit, which was about $ 4.8 million.

Xu plays in a high profile poker tournament in China. Xu Ke

Now 24, Xu realizes that she sold too soon – 20,000 Bitcoins would be worth almost $ 120 million now – but at least he made good use of it. In 2016, after creating and selling a social app, he founded Nome Lab, a Beijing-based start-up specializing in blockchain products and games.

Of these, the game of trading digital goods CryptoDogs was the most successful. But this year, following the recent controversy over Facebook's abuse of personal data and a platform for radical right-wing conspiracy theorists, Xu has focused on its next idea: a social network free based on blockchain technology, where all user data is decentralized, and an autonomous system that rewards users who share quality content

With the name of Ono, the beta version of the network has been launched to April and has already accumulated over three million members, at least according to Xu. [19659003] Xu cites the original view of the world wide web as the reason he started Ono: "When [British computer scientist] Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web, his vision was to allow humans to exchange information and knowledge freely ", says Xu. "The Internet belongs to all of us, but it has become so centralized now.Most of the ten most important technology companies in the world have built their net earnings by selling user data."

"That's why blockchain is important – you're the owner yourself," he says, elaborating that she and her company would not be able to sell Ono user data even if they wanted it because it's an app "dapp" or decentralized.

Currently, Ono is available on the Google Play Store, with the iOS version coming this month. It is also accessible via any web browser. I signed up and was surprised to see a good deal of English content, considering that most users are based in China. The network looked like a mixture of Twitter (or, more precisely, Weibo), but without character limits.

Two screenshots of Ono. Ono

"You are able to write all the words you want" Xu says.

Currently, Ono is financed by $ 16 million of Name collected from investors such as China Growth Capital and Korea Investment Partners. But Xu says the app will also publish ads and brand partnerships across the board.

Xu, front and center, with the Nome team. Name

The Nome team, based in Beijing, has 76 people. Xu says there are 15 other employees around the world. In addition, there are thousands of volunteers from the anonymous community to help monitor the site. This is crucial because the vision of Xu is that Ono is a democracy

"Ono is managed in a democratic way and allows content creators to maintain the properties on their content and being rewarded, "says Xu . This is achieved through a reward system in which the best content creators (voted by the community) receive the digital currency that can be exchanged or used for in-app purchases.

Xu has very high goals with Ono – – "I hope it will be the number one social network", he says – and while beating Facebook will almost certainly be impossible, you can not beat it to have a competitive spirit. He says that every time he sells an adventure – be it bitcoin or his first social app – he is not "happy" despite the payday.

"I like winning more than making money," he says. "I want to build something that will last."

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