Linda Lu on why Oasis Network is the leading privacy-enabled and scalable layer-1 blockchain network (Episode 293)
Linda Lu joins us to discuss why Oasis Network is the leading privacy-enabled and scalable layer-1 blockchain network.
Linda Lu, the Director of Ecosystem at Oasis, leads cross-functional teams such as Product, Marketing, Community, Business Development, and Partnerships.
Prior to joining Oasis in 2019, Linda worked for 8 years in capital markets and early-stage venture capital. In early-stage VC, her investment focus was on SaaS, developer tools and blockchain/crypto infrastructure. A graduate from Columbia Business School with an MBA degree, Linda has also worked with hedge fund and investment management firms covering internet, hardware, and software sectors.
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The following transcript was created using artificial intelligence. There will be some grammatical errors below.
Richard Carthon: Hey Everyone, welcome to another episode of Crypto Current, your host here, Richard Carthon. And today I have a really special guest all the way out in the Bay Area who recently was at consensus, unfortunately, didn’t get the chance to meet in person, but was glad to at least be in the same facility as consensus was a really solid conference that we both got to attend. We have Linda, who is the head of ecosystem at Oasis. How are you doing today?
Linda Lu: I’m doing great. Thank you so much for inviting me to your show, Richard. I really appreciate it. I’m sorry we missed each other in Austin. Hope you had fun. I had tons of fun.
Richard Carthon: Oh, I had a great time. Hopefully next time you come, I won’t be in the dead of heat of the summer. But I know that next time I go out to the bay, I’ll make sure to reach out as well. So hopefully we can connect that way. But I know I’m excited to learn more about everything you have going on over at Oasis. Can you just give us a little bit of more information and background on yourself for sure?
Linda Lu: For sure, yeah. So my name is Linda and I’m head of Ecosystem at Oasis. At Oasis, I manage cross-functional teams of product, marketing, and community involvement is a lot work. I enjoy a steep learning curve every day and I’ve been with the company for over two years and a half now, and I can see the learning curve is getting steeper and steeper. And it’s quite unusual, to be honest, because you know after I’ve been with the company for like a while, this kind of learning curve plateaus.
Linda Lu: But I think I just got very lucky because in this industry, it never stops. It’s like there are just so many things popping up and so many new developments technology-wise. The market to market-wise, applications-wise. There’s just so much to learn and digest every day. So I’m very happy about it, very happy about being a part, and very happy about learning new things every day.
Richard Carthon: For sure so what was your first introduction into the Web3 space like? When did you first hear about it? And then what made you want to decide to enter this industry with Oasis?
Linda Lu: Yeah, so little about myself. Like so before blockchain, I was promoted to E finance and investment and restaurants like Lonely Equity Fund. And then I moved over to a hedge fund and then I moved over to early-stage VC. It was actually VC when I got exposed, mass exposed to blockchain, I think it was late 2017 and 2018, where I started to meet quite a few crypto and protocol, blockchain founders.
Linda Lu: And I was at a time I remember the deals I looked at, it was just they were just drastically different from your typical equity deal. The terms are different. Token deal versus equity deals and everything and the way founders talk about their, you know, their vision is also very different. And from a software, tool, or project or something and then usually, at that time I remember when I found a deal they were pitched over there and the crypto is that I start with the white paper and so that’s like, you know, very different.
Linda Lu: And that just really got me interested. And in terms of Web3 specifically, I really have to owe it our founder, Professor Dawn Song, founder of Oasis. So it was like I was listening to her talk and then she talked about why she started Oasis, this kind of beauty and the responsibility, the economy, and make sure everyone has the data rights and everything. I think that hit pretty hard in the sense that I really resonate with me in the sense that is the first time I started to think about, oh, the current way, like how we transact data, where like the owners data are not necessarily involved in the whole value chain just because things are the way they are, the way they happen.
Linda Lu: Does that mean that that’s a sustainable approach institution for the foreseeable future? Probably not. It’s about that time I start to have a question mark around what that means with ownership means and after several conversations with her and we kept in touch and then eventually she just, you know I really resonate with the vision Oasis has. And then I joined the team in 2019, and I really enjoy the work here.
Richard Carthon: Yeah. So, so let’s stay there. So you come from a traditional finance background, working in a lot of things, from hedge funds to venture funds to now being in the age of web3 and after, you know, having multiple conversations, speaking with the founder of Oasis. What was it about the mission of Oasis that made you want to be like, okay, this is the company that I want to work for. So tell us a little about what is Oasis and what is the mission that you are going after?
Linda Lu: Yeah, for sure. So in a nutshell, Oasis is leading privacy-enabled scalable blockchain network. So we are highly scalable. We provide low gas fees and are very secure. And we’re actually the first to propose and build this kind of modular architecture design in a sense that we separate execution from consensus. So if you look around like at Ethereum, they do everything, execution and consensus at the same layer.
Linda Lu: And now you have layer2 Ethereum solution and everything. But Oasis, we realize this kind of issue to be able to scale. And some other issues, it’s important to have this modular architecture and this layer architecture where we consensus the layer on top that we have the compute layer. And the compute layer is where things get interesting. Its something very unique about Oasis that we can be very versatile in the sense that if you look around the web3, the common competition in the industry now is to marry EVM compatibility, EVM compatible in solidity environment, Defi, NFT, crypto gaming on certain product gaming is onchains enterprise option. It’s like a very.
Richard Carthon: Very quickly for the audience out there, EVM is Etherium virtual machine so basically something that could connect back to the theory of ecosystem.
Linda Lu: Thank you so much, Richard, for the context. Appreciate it. Yeah. So, yeah, as the industry continues to evolve, especially if our vision is, you know, web3 is not just a small like compared to web2 it is still very small, tiny fraction. Right. If our vision is continue, move forward with web3, we need more compute demands in the sense that they’re going to be wide spectrum of compute demands. And as we move forward with Web3, you need a platform to cater to different types of computing that’s goes way beyond just the EVM compatibility. So that’s why Oasis is best positioned to solve those issues in the sense that we have a very versatile we have computing a parallel runtime, sure, for paratime, so we have EVM compatible paratime. We also have web assembly confidentiality enable. We also have we’re actually about to launch a confidential EVM paratime and there’ll be more. And obviously, the platform is decentralized. We’re open to third-party paratime as they continue to see industry evolves and the breed and each time is built to cater specific compute demands as industry conceded to grow and develop.
Linda Lu: So yeah, so that is, I would say a definitely I think we provide a good foundation for or a critical pillar to move web3 forward. And, and that’s, that’s really exciting and yeah, so and right.
Richard Carthon: I mean it’s cool to see that you are attacking a lot of the challenges that a lot of these other Layer1 protocols are missing. Right, and one element of it with it being private and scalable for Defi, of course, you have a lot of these Defi plays that are trying to come in, but you’re having both, unfortunately, some security challenges and you’re also having some issues with as they have some success, being able to just scale it out. So and then one of the things you mentioned was the parallel smart contract layers.
Richard Carthon: Can you kind of explain that a little bit more? Because I believe that’s something that’s very unique to exist.
Linda Lu: A parallel runtime paratime layer. Yeah. So basically so currently, we have web3 paratime on network. So we have EVM compatible paratime is called Emerald. Then you have a Defi, NFT, typical EVM facility-based apps there and then we have another paratime for Cypher which is Web assembly-based and with confidentiality, privacy, and compute enabled. And we also had Parcel paratime which is targeting enterprise applications and we’re about to launch the fourth one, which is confidential EVM paratime basically to give solidity developers opportunity to build privacy gaps, instability because we recognize the industry, the community, you know, the crypto community, developer community are still premiere solidity based developers are learning facilitate versus other languages.
Linda Lu: And we do want to give those developers out there an opportunity to use the language that they’re familiar with and build privacy layer on top of visiting their application. So that could be like we’re talking about in Defi. So we build defi, right. So they’re decks their lending everything. And the current defi primarily targeting something like crypto enthusiasts, like traders, you know, like they want to do like commodity trading, leverage trading and borrow more money to do some trades.
Linda Lu: Right. But is that what lending is? Is that just lending is not just like the only thing about lending. You know, lending we think is supposed to solve some people’s real financial issues. Could be your student loan, could be a mortgage, everything. So how can defi be part of that real-world use cases currently there isn’t much besides trading but that’s a good starting point. So to be able to tap into real-world use cases seem me like linked with you know real identity by the defi needs to be reputation based credit-based.
Linda Lu: It cannot just be everything be over collateralized because organization doesn’t resell a product you have a tons of money first. Right. The real issue is that you don’t really have a lot money for it yet. So yeah. So make sure is the reputation based credibility that also requires privacy technology. So are we’re building the rails and the we’re looking for developers. We have some developers in the pipeline project. We’re definitely looking for more developers to help us build this together like how do we enable reputation, identity, credit-based lending defi in general to solve some the real-world financial issues such as student loan bank, all these issues that people are facing in their day to day life
Richard Carthon: Consistently, and we’ve seen some over-collateralized issues that have been happening in the market. For those who are listening to this, you’re probably hearing about everything that’s happening over at Celsius. And you’ve also had some other challenges that are coming up. And and with this, you know, there’s a kind of a consensus around the idea of trying to figure out how can you do that as a background checks on people. But like, how can you give an online profile to them to align credit towards them so you can understand like how safe what the risk profiles of the amounts of of.
Richard Carthon: Types of loans you would give to people using different defi protocols. And one of the ways to be able to do this is through security. So you’ve brought up security quite a few times about Oasis protocol. And if you could take a moment like how is a security on this different from other layer1, for example, like a theory. Um, so how, how is the, is the security being set up on Oasis to combat against some of these other layer1s?
Linda Lu: Yeah. So I think this the layer architecture allows us to be secure, like if you separate the execution from consensus. So that’s these they are approach I think by nature allows you to be fairly secure and each paratime remember each runtime is kind of like its own zone. So they’re not really contaminating with one another. They’re not if something happens, one paratime will not affect things on the other paratime. So that allows you with separate things.
Linda Lu: So it will not cost much damage. What kind of have other things become the cloud down that if something bad happens to one thing happens on a network. So I think these kind of like separate execution from consensus definitely is one way that we stand out in the security arena. And also because of this kind of design, we’re able to be better scalable and because, you know, each runtime condition or transaction compute in one paratime but you know any other time we run combinations of transactions on their own, which is not necessarily in fact by the speed happening on other paratime.
Linda Lu: So that allows them to scale as well. And those are what we talk about, you know, is also allow you to target different types of compute demands out there. So yeah it was I would say is really owing to this modular architecture design separate execution from consensus. I think that’s probably going to be the direction where the industry is going.
Richard Carthon: Yeah, I can see that. And it definitely again to your main point is scalability is a big element of this and to not have it at the same time as consensus really does like help to phase out some of the vulnerabilities with a lot of these layer ones. But something that you mentioned earlier, the calling out to developers to come and build on top of Oasis and how it’s being, you know, built with solidity, etc… You have the Oasis Foundation looks like it has the ability to apply for grants.
Richard Carthon: Right now you’re looking for people to run nodes. People can be ambassadors on this. Can you kind of talk to us a little bit more about all the different ways that people can get involved with Oasis Protocol right now?
Linda Lu: Yeah. So we definitely have quite a few programs and I can walk everyone through it. So the first program is the grants program Rose Bloom. And so yeah, we target web3, we target crypto gaming defi data. Data DAO, responsible data economy, any application for data to that area and yeah so it’s been going pretty well. We have a pretty rich account pipeline there.
Linda Lu: And the second program we have is the ecosystem fund. So we announced last year that at the time we had quite a few backers being core contributors to the Ecosystem Fund, such regulatory Electric Capital Pentera and NGC and JON and some other big players in the industry as well. And I think we just continue to see like overwhelming support from the industry. So early this year I think that size grew from 160 to 235. Now with Binance Labs joining the fund as well. So we do believe those backers, those contributors, you know, they came in with such a strong industry knowledge and experience. They have seen cycles. They have helped so many developers out there. They have reached out on their own and that help those founders fine-tune their ideas, brainstorm, and go to market with them. So we definitely value their value out here. So yeah, so this is the same thing. You know, we want developers who are building really interesting web to develop applications that could be confidential and that could be crypto gaming could be on the door. Any sort of applications that do central applications that regarding privacy. Yeah. So basically things now can move back forward from where it is now.
Linda Lu: Definitely, you know, for entrepreneurs, founders, teams out there, if you are doing something very interesting, definitely apply . Outside, we have designated portals for that and we also have a separate program. So one was actually about a senator program with great minds and that we also recently started another one with dappradar. Which was primarily targeting gaming, related control, gaming and related applications.
Linda Lu: Yeah. So and they also had hackathons like Oasis Bloom Hackathon and it was it was quite successful. We have over 1000 high quality submissions and that we picked the winners already. So yeah. So we’re going to do more hackathons in the future. And yeah, so the next phase for Oasis, definitely we want to we want to use a programmable coronagraph and that combined with more hackathons in the future to really help people, entrepreneurs who have the vision to build a better data economy, get a better web3 and find those like missing me.
Linda Lu: Like why spaces that haven’t been the hot problem, haven’t been really tackled and give them some sort of support to allow them to assemble the team and the people that are passionate out.
Richard Carthon: For sure. And I mean, those are a lot of really cool programs that you’ve been able to create to help grow the community, incentivize people to come, keep building on Oasis, and again, give them resources to be successful while also being in this being a part of Oasis now. One of the things that we kind of talked about, you know, pre-coming on the show that I think is important for us to kind of go through. Here is how amazing just the web3 space is and how you think it’s going to foundationally change the way the world is headed.
Richard Carthon: So, of course, we’ve had, you know, Web 1.0, 2.0 and now we’re headed to web3. Can you kind of just talk through like how you’ve seen things evolve over the decades and why Web3 is an incredible space to be a part of?
Linda Lu: Yeah, for sure. So that’s a very interesting topic these days. And right. So if you look we’ll look back in history, right? Like a 1.0 is we started in the eighties and nineties, like is your AOL of the world. You know, you can only read you can only passive receive information from the Web. That’s a stage where like digitized magazines and the newspapers and stuff as a starting point. Back then, that was definitely a good starting point. And then we moved to Web2, and then not only beyond reading, you can write, you can post photos, videos and post comments and interact with people.
Linda Lu: And you start to contribute on Facebook and YouTube, TikTok, to all these channels, amazing channels. And I think web3 is about not just being able to read and write and being able to own because that that was not necessarily enabled or empowered in the back to world own up to his company like you do contribute data but. Then the transaction, unfortunately, was only happening primarily between some conglomerate, some platform, and that the buyers that could be ads buyers could be brands could be many players in the industry and we all know that and we do think data is now just a is more than what it is in the web two world. It’s actually your is actually your digital property something you own if there’s something you own.
Linda Lu: Does that make sense that you are always being left out from the value chain and not even being invited to the table? So we do think there is something that we can improve here in the Web3, like, you know, where I mentioned like data DAO something like that like a couple of times earlier is essentially just thought to create this kind of governance and incentive kind of mechanism to allow data owners to be part of the value chain. Like when they share data with the buyers, they can actually be rewarded, for their contribution. And the owners now just like how they want to, how they want to share their data, such as, you know, right now they share data with the platforms like and the platforms have all the right in terms of, oh, I want to share this data with some of the top brands in the food and beverage space, the Coca-Cola or something.
Linda Lu: They have the right to choose who to share the data with, but is that the right thing to do? Or can we give this kind of like how I want to share my data, give that I like the option, Owners like, for instance, I don’t want my data to be shared with those brands. I only want my data to share with some university, NGO, medical research institute or something. I want like there are certain vision goals that I want to align with my personal mission goal and everything.
Linda Lu: So can I have the right to want my data to be preserved, to be shared. We only like a wireless organization out there versus just any brands, any institutes out there. Right? So I think that is what Web3 is about in a sense that you own and you have the right to choose how your data is being shared, like what that ownership actually means. Like it’s not just about like owning an NFT or something, it’s about whom I choose to share my data with and how I want them to use my data. And then and essentially hopefully be rewarded for a little bit contribution I do or we do to facilitate some of the bigger mission out there. So yeah. So I think that’s something just like, I mean is really big vision and I think we’re still kind of like getting started to solve this big puzzle. And there are some like basic terminology, right? Like privacy is definitely like just like core out of this without privacy like you cannot you and get this done because there are no one will share data yet and I have web3 people don’t have privacy there’s all there is on the public ledger.
Linda Lu: I don’t think that’s what people want. Right. So yeah, so we do think at Oasis to support a crypto critical pillar to facilitate this, to support this move forward in the future. But yeah, but exactly that’s what we are most passionate about is to invite data owners. Basic acknowledged data is actually your digital property a second. Have data owners be back at the table that they’re supposed to be at the table from the get-go you just step we got carried away with web2 in many areas and then hopefully we’re back to the value chain soon enough.
Richard Carthon: Yeah. And I think that. You brought up one of the main points of Web 3.0, which is the ownership piece by being an owner, by being a participant. You can get ownership and the various platforms that you are participating in. And while you drive value to ecosystems, you are rewarded for that value that you’re driving by having ownership. And this is, in a lot of ways is still being like refined out or even the ability to have more choice rights to be able to choose where you want to participate.
Richard Carthon: And and then also, you know, benefit by being a contributor to that ecosystem is one of the most exciting things about Web 3.0. So I appreciate you explaining that everyone listening I’d recommend this one in that Linda dropped really good gem’s in there and you know, we’re getting close to the end of this conversation. But there’s always a couple of questions that I try to bring up that I think would be really good to answer. And the first one I have is now that you’ve been in this space for two and a half years, you’ve seen a bear market before, you’ve seen also a bull.
Richard Carthon: And now we’re back in some bearish territory. With all the information that you have right now. If you could go impart wisdom to yourself when you first got started in the Web3 space, what’s something that you would tell yourself?
Linda Lu: I would say there are a couple of things. I think you know, don’t be afraid of the bear market. Very good product was born in the bear market. If we look at the defi the broad market was seeing at a time was the oh defi start at the beginning of the second half 2020, but people didn’t like that. Yeah. Eunice Well. Oh, this is a great protocols they were born when the market was not necessarily that supportive. So I don’t think the Oasis, our own network, you know, we start 2018 when the market was like, I remember there were days and we were like Bitcoin dropped to $5,000 or something. Like they’re just like, you know, good products. Many good products were born when the market was not necessarily very supportive.
Linda Lu: And so the key is to really like commit to what you’re passionate about. So you have to be you have to be doing something you are passionate about that give you conviction to power yours, to weather the storm and to continue believing what you are building and to continue and really strong yourself with people who share this kind of passion with you so you can give each other courage and support to continue the journey. And yeah, so and then and second thing I would say is in the bull market, there just there are thousands of hives every day.
Linda Lu: There just so many was popping in, popping out. So I sometimes think that like, you know, for builders out there, if you really want to, I think it’s the community and and modesty that drive results versus ego arrogance, you know, those are things. So on our back to the market or less supportive and you have less news and less hype and then less distractions. So which is good. So yeah, just continue to appeal your conviction, commit to what you’re passionate about and we’re truly passionate.
Linda Lu: And cut through the noise and stay humble, stay open-minded, and believe in that. That will eventually dry out, and drive results for sure.
Richard Carthon: And I appreciate those two pieces of advice. You’ve given us a lot of really good information today and a lot of tools that people can use to be using the Oasis protocol. But what are ways that people can connect with you and learn more and start joining some of the communities that you have with Oasis?
Linda Lu: Yeah. So personally I used Twitter and actually my handle is Linda Lu1111. Our team are widely available on Telegram, on Discord, and Slack, on Reddit channels. So do follow us. if you go to our website you will find all our handles on those channels and do find us and find not just me but our amazing team members and that continue the conversation with us.
Richard Carthon: Absolutely. So as we wrap up here, Lynda, what is a final thought that you want to leave with each of our listeners today?
Linda Lu: Yeah. I think just a bear market is not that scary. So let’s have the passion. Commit to what you’re passionate and let’s build. And if you are to be honest continue building because no one really like we haven’t really solved the the big the really hard and big problems. Yes and that would definitely need more people, more talents to solve those big, hard, difficult problems together with that with the community.
Richard Carthon: Absolutely. We can get through this bear market. Wagman We’re all going to make it and you know it. For people have been through this before. We just know that there’s pain before you get to the other side of it. And again, as long as you’re building and you’re playing the long game and the crypto space, you typically come out on the other side. Okay. So Linda, again, thank you so much for spending some time with us. Thank you for sharing all your amazing knowledge and of course, for everyone listening. Make sure you stay cryptocurrency.
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