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Spiciest Person of the Year Runner Up: Haipo Yang, From Great Adversity to BUIDL

TL;DR: The countdown continues toward revealing the Spiciest Person of the Year for 2019. We’ve narrowed down the field to less than a half dozen total, including four runners-up. Number 5 was Jesse Powell, a no-doubter spicy choice. Beating him by one hot spot is Haipo Yang, who emerged from a harrowing detention ordeal in China and immediately regrouped, building out his beloved trading and mining platforms, CoinEx and viaBTC. 

Number 4, Haipo Yang, From Adversity to BUIDL

The two men, Jesse Powell and Haipo Yang, are undoubtedly cut from similar business cloth. Both hustlers, can-do persons who won’t mind working hard to get what they want. Haipo Yang leaped ahead of Powell in spice this year due to a sudden disappearance toward the end of 2018, actually. Some feared the worst, while others who were close to Yang understood politics beyond his control made themselves known in a big way.

Haipo Yang
One of the first communications from Haipo Yang in 2019.

At the beginning of 2019, CoinSpice received wonderful news. Haipo Yang, co-founder and CEO of trading site CoinEx and mining pool viaBTC, had indeed been released from detention by authorities after nearly three months. He entered a few private social media chats to confirm his return, took a polite digital bow, thanked friends from around the world for their support, and then got right back to work.

“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” Yang later tweeted, catching up for lost time, retweeting friends and making his presence known. By March, he chatted with CoinEx English Telegram fans, stressing, “It’s good we have dreams,” to the more than 10,000 strong members. They noticed he was cheerful and that his mood extended to an uptick in GitHub activity, foreshadowing what was to come. He was so pummeled with curiosity about his plans, Yang scheduled his first Telegram AMA a day later.

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

The resulting 90 minute AMA was rapid-fire, with Yang typing about loose ends with regard to the exchange’s coin to discussing future plans. “We’ve been through a tough time in the past few months,” Yang posted in response to a question about his arrest and jailing last year. “But lucky for us CoinEx didn’t collapse and our core team have confronted the challenge. In October last year, the EXTRA project was exclusively released for trading on CoinEx. Due to the major market fluctuation the EXTRA token saw sudden and obvious plummeting price soon after the listing and the project went through criminal investigation, implicating CoinEx. The Chinese gov and police know little about the industry and they mistakenly compare us to traditional scamming exchanges like postal ticket exchanges, oil exchanges, art pieces exchanges which turns out to be wrong. But the tricky thing is in China’s legal system you are ‘guilty until proven [innocent]’ while in the US you are ‘innocent until proven [guilty].’ (interesting data: in China 90% criminal suspects in China will be ‘arrested’ before any charges and in the US only 10% suspects charged with felony will be arrested) It’s been hard time but I believe what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

Haipo Yang
Questions came fast for Yang’s first AMA.

He also revealed a decentralized exchange in the works, CoinEx DEX or CoinEx Chain. It was designed to offer less fragility in the exchange idea generally, distributing decision making and hopefully adding to CoinEx’s robustness in the process. And true to his word, by Summer the CoinEx Chain white paper was born, offering 3 public chains, all interconnected to form a decentralized exchange, smart contracts, and privacy.

“CoinEx Chain presents a public DEX chain based on Tendermint consensus protocol and Cosmos-SDK,” the white paper introduced. “With transparent trading rules, it is operated by the community and allows users to control their own funds. The native token is CoinEx Token (CET). All the existing CET tokens in ERC-20 form will be 1:1 mapped to the native token of CoinEx Chain.”

Time for Reflection, CoinEx Chain Mainnet

By late August, Yang was clearly in a reflective mood, attempting to set a course for his actions while understanding what had happened to the Bitcoin experiment through forks and contentious splits. He told of entering the space back in 2011, and of how a mere five years later the infamous scaling debate was gathering steam and ferocity. He described turning to the mining community, hoping they’d be more reasonable. “Things could be rather difficult by uniting the miners as there were a dozen of mining pools, big or small, scattering around the Bitcoin network. And Bitcoin miners were no longer early geeks, but a group of professional miners who, without deep understanding or belief in Bitcoin, took it as a profitable business. How hard was it to convince these people to take risks together! However, as long as there was still a glimmer of hope, I got to try,” Yang insisted.

“To be honest, I am the beneficiary of jammed network traffic,” Yang confessed at the higher fees and longer BTC wait times, providing him and his pool short-term incentive. “We know that Bitcoin mining revenue includes two parts: Block mining rewards and transaction fees. As the Bitcoin mining rewards are gradually halved and reduced, yet transaction fees are expected to increase with the popularity of Bitcoin. Before 2016, Bitcoin transaction fees accounted for a negligible proportion. At this time, it remains the unspoken default in the Bitcoin mining pool that the transaction fees were owned by the mining pool, not the miners. With the jammed network traffic in early 2016, Bitcoin transaction fees have gradually become considerable,” he noted.

With heavy thoughts out of the way, Yang once again got down to business. The exchange launched SLP token support by listing SPICE (not affiliated with CoinSpice) and hosted a hilarious and informative Telegram AMA from none other than SPICEtoshi. CoinEx opened margin trading on bitcoin cash (BCH) around the same time as well, showing its support for peer-to-peer electronic cash proponents. His platform was one the first to list HonestCoin (USDH), an SLP-based stablecoin designed to meet US regulators’ exacting standards, also built on Bitcoin Cash.

As the year ends, Yang shows no signs of slowing. “Currently,” he posted in October, “the general perceptions of DEX are: high entry barrier, slow, low-efficiency, etc. In short, it is difficult to use. CoinEx DEX can exactly solve these problems by providing one-stop financial service that can be easily used even you are a newbie in crypto.” To pound home that point, he and his crew organized meetups in Shenzhen and Beijing, stressing the election of “open nodes and license-free issuing for tokens.” If all that was not enough, just last month CoinEx announced the successful mainnet launch of CoinEx Chain. “What a memorable day! The first real Decentralized, Permissionless, Unshutdownable Exchange is launched,” Yang celebrated.

Coffee

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DYOR: CoinSpice is your home for just spicy crypto things. We’re not affiliated with any cryptocurrency project or token. Each published piece is intended for information purposes only, not investment advice and not in the hope of impacting speculative markets. There are plenty of trading sites and coin-specific advocacy journals out there, we’re neither. CoinSpice strives for rigorous accuracy in our reporting. Information presented here is contingent usually on a host of factors, and the ecosystem moves fast — prices change, projects change, and at warp speed. Do your own research.

DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.