Many may be aware of Web3, but they still only know its applications, not the actual business behind it — the huge potential is awaiting to be harnessed.
For Yin Haoyu, Co-Founder and General Manager of GreaterHeat, Pte Ltd., a Singapore-based Web3 infrastructure provider, the start to his early life in Singapore was not exactly what you might call promising. “I was not a hard-working student and, when I came to Singapore from China with my mum at the age of 13, the school held me back for one year while I caught up with the rigorous Singapore curriculum,” he admits with a disarming smile.
To make matters worse, at the age of 21 he had to enter obligatory national service like other local lads and unfortunately this delayed his studies even further. National service saved his life in some ways as it made him realise that he couldn’t continue in life flowing from one thing to the next with no clear direction. “There’s something about being in the armed forces that concentrates the mind wonderfully, the discipline translates into self-discipline which is very valuable in life.”
Released from his military duties, the naturalised Singaporean eventually decided to study to be a Chartered Accountant, a process which would take him three more years of study at the London School of Business’s Singapore campus, and it was in this area dealing with cold hard facts, figures and statistics that he finally found his true calling. “As a child, I had already seen my parents trading stocks and shares and so when I grew up it was a natural progression for me to buy them too,” says Haoyu. His parents were retired civil servants and adapted well to their new life in Singapore. He had had the prescience to buy such stocks as Tesla and SIA which ended up making him money although the rest of his stock holdings are a bit disappointing at the moment. He bought SIA during the Covid-19 pandemic, an especially astute move.
As a Millennial growing up in the 2000s, Haoyu had always been exposed to the Internet and mobile phones, but it was during his first job at an IT company which designed websites for schools that he was first exposed professionally to the Internet and webpage budgeting, and learned to understand these in a strict business sense. The evolution of his online education then continued in 2018 when he went to work at a crypto exchange, handling the company’s internal auditing. “My role there was to ensure normalisation and enforce compliance with regulatory rules,” says Haoyu. However, he had a falling out with management there over differing opinions as to how these things were to be achieved and again, he moved on.
“It was a useful training ground for me,” he says. “I did learn a lot about blockchain, different types of cryptocurrencies, wallets and transaction methods. It was really my introduction to the amazing world of cryptocurrency.” Haoyu had already purchased his own crypto mining rig, and in 2018 he invested in cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Filecoin, and Aleo. “This was my phase where I was putting my toe in the water, as it were, to see if this was something that was sustainable for me to go into, and I found it was!”
Haoyu was working as a company secretary when he met his future business partner, entrepreneur David Li, Chairman and CEO of GreaterHeat, through a mutual friend and business partner of David’s. Like Haoyu, David too had originated from China but had come to Singapore much later in life, not due to family circumstances like Haoyu, but due to a conscious business decision which he had made. David had been running a highly successful technology company in “China’s Silicon Valley”, the city of Hangzhou, but in 2021 the Chinese government clamped down on the country’s rapidly expanding internet industry and David realised he needed to find a new home. He decided on Singapore, which appeared much more open to Internet entrepreneurialism and that same year he set up GreaterHeat as the HQ for his global operations. Haoyu and David immediately hit it off. In David, the former appreciated his “can-do” entrepreneurial spirit and David quickly saw the steadfast and methodical approach of Haoyu as the perfect foundation for their shared Web3 infrastructure business.
Haoyu realised back in 2018 that Web3 was the next booming business frontier in the technology and Internet/crypto sector. Upon meeting David Li, he recognised that they had the necessary technological expertise, human capital and collective ethical orientation to forge their new business with an emphasis on full industry compliance. He then set about, together with his partners, building Web3 infrastructure for Singapore and the world.
“Our entire focus at GreaterHeat for 2023 will be on Web3 decentralised cloud storage services for both companies and individuals. Web3 will effectively provide customers with considerably more privacy and safety.” For Haoyu, Web3 is the brave new world of the Internet. But what is Web3? “The original Internet has evolved from a place where mainly corporations owned static websites to its second iteration where individuals began interacting and engaging with each other more,” he explains. “However, this has come at a price and that price has been the extreme centralisation of infrastructure of the World Wide Web (WWW). This has, admittedly, created a stable, robust foundation but the WWW was never originally conceived as a monopolised place by Tim Berners-Lee. Lee saw the WWW as a much more decentralised place where individuals both share and own their data. This is Web3 and it’s really exciting for all of us in this industry!”
GreaterHeat will specialise in providing these much more decentralised and user-centric solutions for both companies and individuals. “We’ve already been providing effective Web3 decentralized cloud storage solutions for companies in US, Canada and Europe since 2022. These companies are in such industries as movies and entertainment, media, internet business and research institutions, and all meet Filecoin Protocol Labs’ stringent requirements. Other companies on Filecoin’s cloud storage are the New York City subway’s data, a few foundations, Internet archives, human DNA data companies, and weather organisations. This is all offered on Filecoin cloud storage and users control access to their private data, with no one else (not even service providers) having access to it. This is the next wave.”
For individuals, the implications of Web3 are slightly different. Web3 can provide cloud storage services for individual users on a decentralised application (dApp) and operates like apps as such Google Drive and Dropbox. However the difference is that, in Web3 decentralised blockchain-based storage, users have full ownership and control over their private data, unlike the Web2 world whereby service providers control and own the data you upload online.
Haoyu’s career thus far has been one of constant learning and discovery. He reflects that his greatest loss was made in the field of stocks. “The lesson I learned from the markets was to be more cautious and always do your due diligence. Retail investment is getting hard in the present times.” His best return by far and away has been his discovery of Web3 development, an emerging trend that has broadened his horizon and given him a clear vision of a more decentralised future for the WWW. And out of this has come GreaterHeat, an achievement of which Haoyu is rightfully proud.
Haoyu remains optimistic about Web3’s long term prospects. “Of course, AI and ChatGPT are on everyone’s lips right now and Web3 is taking somewhat of a back seat. Many may be aware of Web3, but they still only know its applications, not the actual business behind it. This is what interests me passionately. When asked what he does for fun in his spare time, Haoyu smiles again and says, “I enjoy reading up on all the latest Web3 news and keeping pace with this fast-changing industry!”
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