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Exclusive Interview with Mo Dong, Co-Founder of Celer Network

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At The Daily Chain, we are of the firm belief that one of the most obvious and natural directions for blockchain technology to go is that of the gaming industry.

Whether it be the introduction of unique digital assets in the form of NFT’s or using blockchain technology to safely and efficiently bet on esports events, there are clear synergies between the gaming and blockchain worlds.

One company who strongly believe in this vision are Celer Network. Celer Network burst onto the scene earlier this year in March as they were one of the first Binance IEO’s to take place.

They are a layer-2 scaling platform that they declare “enables fast, easy and secure off-chain transactions for not only payment transactions, but also generalized off-chain smart contract”

At the end of October, Celer co-hosted a 48 hour hackathon gaming event called the Game Oasis Hackathon. Developers weren’t required to have blockchain experience and so this naturally attracted a whole host of local game developers.

Other notable names at this event included Binance Labs, Cocos-BCX, Contentos, Matic Network, Marlin Protocol and Republic.

I recently spoke with Mo Dong surrounding this event, blockchain gaming and some more exciting news for Celer Network.

Mo Dong, Co-Founder of Celer Network

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to speak with The Daily Chain. Could you provide a little background about yourself and your role at Celer Network?

Thank you for having me. My name is Mo Dong and I am cofounder of Celer Network.

I received my Ph.D. from UIUC. I was a founding engineer and product manager at Veriflow, working on network formal verification. I specialize in applying algorithmic game theory to protocol design and teach full-stack smart contract courses with hundreds of students graduated.

Celer Network is founded by four PhDs from MIT, Princeton, UC Berkeley and UIUC and has an all-star engineering team with years of industry experiences from top startups or tech giants like Google, Amazon, Cisco, Oracle, HP and more. Our goal is to bring an internet-scale to every blockchain and help build fast and low-cost blockchain applications through our layer-2 scaling technology. 

You recently attended the San Francisco Game Oasis Hackathon with Matic Network, Binance Labs, Contenos and CocosBCX. For the uninitiated, could you give a brief description about what a hackathon is, why they are important, and what Celer were doing at this event?

The Game Oasis Hackathon is a sprint-like event in which programmers, developers, graphic designers, and others involved work together intensively on game developing projects. We co-hosted this hackathon with other blockchain projects with the same vision –  to bring the blockchain technology to traditional game developers. At the event, we instructed all the teams on how to dig out new values from the gaming ecosystem with the help of the blockchain technology. A lot of the participants without any blockchain experience were amazed by the fact that their HTML5 games could easily integrate with the CelerX gaming SDK (https://developer.celerx.app) with merely two lines of code if they wished to launch and monetize the games on CelerX. This explains why so many users chose to develop their games with our SDK.

Image result for game oasis hackathon san francisco
The Game Oasis Hackathon in SF lasted 48 hours

What did you learn about your experience here and what exciting ideas were concocted in this environment?

What I have learned here is that making onboarding and integration easy for the developers is of great significance. Realizing how easy it is to integrate their games with the CelerX SDK, many developers are intrigued to take a share in the blockchain gaming world. At this year’s hackathon, one of the teams that integrated with the CelerX gaming SDK named Alethea created a deep-fake technology theme game in which the players can compete to identify whether the videos are deepfake-edited. I personally found this edutainment idea very exciting as it brought fresh voices to the blockchain gaming community. 

Here is the twitter link for this game: https://twitter.com/CelerNetwork/status/1188526687786373125?s=20

The first wave of blockchain games have looked quite primitive so far in their design and it’s clear there is a long way to go to meet the current gaming standard. However there is clearly a lot of potential in this area. What do you believe is needed in order for the blockchain gaming space to continue to advance and evolve?

In my opinion, this is a two-folded question. First of all, the current blockchain developing tools are not friendly to many developers. For traditional developers, a mature and standard developing process has been set in stone, so how to integrate with the blockchain has puzzled them. 

Secondly, the business models are different. Traditional games usually make profits through advertisements and props, which requires a traditional application ecosystem like Apple Store at its back. This business model, unfortunately, cannot be transplanted into the blockchain industry. As a result, it is of utmost importance to discover a suitable model that can tap into the blockchain’s potential and ensure sustainability. 

The business model that Celer has established is CelerX, a blockchain gaming app in which users can win real-money prizes while playing skill-based eSports games. Built with Celer Network’s layer-2 scaling technology for the blockchain, CelerX has been optimizing the user experience, irrigating the gaming world with the blockchain technology, and demonstrating a new monetization model for developers’ games in addition to the existing monetization sources.

Since CelerX was first released on Celer Network’s Cygnus mainnet, 13K users from 88 countries have played 347,937 layer-2 enabled games and earned $1,765,993 total prizes on CelerX. Also, CelerX debuted on App Store as the world’s FIRST blockchain eSports iOS app at the end of October. 

Oasis Hackathon
Participants enjoying the Hackathon

A lot has been discussed surrounding blockchain technology and user experience being integral in it’s adoption. Could you discuss your views on UX and the importance of ease of use surrounding blockchain applications?

UX always tops the list of priorities for developers. At present, users are having very high expectations of speed, which has already been optimized to a level of millisecond in the internet world. However, the current blockchain technology lags far behind in this regard. 

Moreover, a number of users are bewildered by the use of the private key as it cannot be recovered once it’s lost or leaked. In the traditional finance and payment world, transaction fees mostly go to the merchant service. In contrast, in the blockchain world, the exorbitant fees on the users’ end have baffled many people. These two drawbacks are exactly what Celer Network is striving to tackle. With our layer-2 scaling technology, we bring transactions to layer-2 to significantly increase the blockchain speed and slash the cost.  

In the last two weeks, CelerX debuted on App Store as the world’s FIRST blockchain eSports iOS app. Can you provide a few details surrounding this release and what members of the community can expect?

After four months’ hard work, our eSport gaming app CelerX, the world’s very first one of its kind, has just been listed on the Apple Store. CelerX features cryptocurrency, real-money, and skill-based games, which makes the approval by the Apple Store no easy task. At the moment, we believe that collaborating with traditional ecosystems lights up the way forward for the blockchain industry and we hope that CelerX can pave the way for the whole community. 

We have given out a total of 10,000 US dollars as prizes for our giveaway campaign. Please feel free to play eSports games and win real-money prizes in CelerX! Here’s the link for downloading CelerX: https://go.onelink.me/N9wI/octevents

CelerX
CelerX – Now available on the Apple Store and Google Play

I’d like to thank Mo for his time.

To find out more about Celer Network follow the links and socials below:

Website
Twitter
Telegram
Github
Medium
Discord

Alex Libertas

The Daily Chain
Inform. Educate. Succeed.

Alex Libertas
Alex is the Founder of The Daily Chain and has been in the space for just over two years. Fascinated by the community and everything that blockchain has to offer, Alex dedicated himself to creating content and contributing back to the industry.

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