Meet Zhuling Chen: aelf’s Co-Founder & COO
Aelf, a decentralized cloud computing project that aims to develop high-performance blockchain-powered networks has been at the forefront of the cryptocurrency ecosystem in recent times. For instance, BTCManager informed its audience how aelf had inked a business partnership to improve the accuracy of information being uploaded on its network. In this piece, we speak to Zhuling Chen, Co-founder, and COO at aelf.
BTCM: Can you introduce yourself to us?
Chen: My name is Chen Zhuling. I am originally from China and have been living overseas for more than 10 years. I am an engineer by profession which makes me fascinated about how things work and always look for being involved in exciting opportunities. I am a globetrotter both for work and for leisure. I truly believe that the world is getting smaller and technology shall make people closer as well, hence working in an international setup excites me a lot.
BTCM: Can you tell us your story, how you ended up at aelf?
Chen: Everything happens unexpectedly in life. I was working as a strategy consultant in a top tier global firm, advising senior management of large corporates in various topics. Life was pretty exciting and I thought I could devote my life to this career. One of my really close friends kept on telling me about this cool thing that he has been working on. He was talking about Whitepapers the whole time when we attended a wedding. As an engineer, I was curious about new things and how things work. During that time, I was already working full time in the Crypto space to understand many new and different technologies. I was helping project teams with my extra capacity, leveraging what I had learned in my consulting life. That’s when I was introduced to Haobo, the mastermind behind aelf. After chatting non-stop for one week about where he saw the industry heading, I decided to help aelf, first on the white paper, then on the pitch to investors. And it has been more than two years that I’ve been helping the project grow and lead an awesome team.
BTCM: What interested you about the aelf project that made you want to get involved?
Chen: First of all, aelf proposes a very interesting technical direction towards blockchain adoption in the future. The concepts were so new that back in 2017 we did not really know how it would look like in reality. If we now look back, we were one of the first few to propose a multi-chain structure. And “one-chain one scenario” has been rephrased in different forms by other projects as well. Parallel processing is a feature that other projects started to talk about in 2019. I’m glad that we proposed things that fit into the larger picture of blockchain evolution. Secondly, helping aelf is a challenging yet rewarding experience for me. And the key theme here is about “how to make a project/ company international and especially help a company with over half of its staff based in China. Chinese companies are so far still mainly domestically focused. Going international requires a large mindset change, talent acquisition, and market understanding. I am happy that I can help a down to earth team progress on the right track for this journey.
BTCM: What does a typical day at the office look like for you?
Chen: My days vary quite a lot given that I dedicated half of my time to the internal teams on various topics and the rest of my time to external topics such as exploring collaboration, commercial negotiation and collecting market information. Usually, I start my day in the office with half an hour checking emails and catching up on twitter and crypto news. Then I’ll touch base with the team on international marketing and operations via video calls. I’ll often follow this with a few meetings with other projects or guests coming to Singapore. In the afternoon, I’ll have calls with the Chinese team to align on action items. When it’s not a super busy day, I try to ask the team to hit the gym for half an hour (we failed many times though). Many evenings include attending crypto events to catch up with friends.
BTCM: What are some interesting facts about you?
Chen: I have traveled to many places in the world including some exotic places, such as rural areas in Indonesia, Myanmar, Africa, Middle East, etc. I can be an interesting person to talk to about history, travel experiences and different cultures. I think I can be a fun person to travel to a foreign land and do outdoor sports. The rest of my life is pretty boring. lol
What is something exciting that you are working on with aelf for 2020?
- Seeing the launch of the network with collective efforts from the community. Aelf has built a complex blockchain system that fits into business adoption. I’m excited to see how we can help more people to fully understand what aelf is, get involved in the system, launch the network securely together and participate in future governance decisions in an orderly fashion
- Provide a platform that each of the team members can take more leadership and responsibility. I’m with the view that everyone in a startup is eager to learn and grow. Therefore, I want my role to be more of a mentor instead of a manager that decides what to do in routine. The team should operate with more autonomy, realize their full potential and feel empowered!
20 in 20
Food: Spicy food
Country: Magala, Spain
The thing to do: Diving
Book: Homo Sapiens
Cartoon Character: KnightsoftheZodiac
3 Hobbies: swimming, diving, traveling
3 apps you’re always on: WeChat, Telegram, WhatsApp
3 desserts/sweets: not really a sweets person. But I have no resistance to Tiramisu
A lesson to others wanting to get into blockchain:
Ask yourself, am I ready for a startup or a new movement, instead of asking yourself, how much am I going to earn