Discus Fish, a pseudonym for a popular freshwater aquarium fish and a favorite of the man behind the fish, isn’t just anybody. Although his go-to fish avatar that’s instantly recognizable might be unassuming, Discus Fish – also known as Shixing Mao – is something of a legend or an OG in the crypto industry.
Best known for co-founding F2Pool, a crypto mining pool that was the top of its game with one million BTC mined in its heyday, Discus Fish has since charted a more traditional path as of late. As institutions have entered the market, the days of wild volatility are just about over, but he’s still as active as ever. Once serving retail clients, now he’s spearheading a lofty ambition to enable more high net worth individuals and traditional institutions in Asia to add cryptocurrencies to their portfolio.
Everything Discus Fish has learned since the youthful age of 22 when he founded F2Pool, has been tucked away in a journal he keeps. His thoughts on his experiences, milestones and investments in that notebook knowing that not money but time is the only currency that he’s fighting against. Now he’s opening his notebook again, but this time not for himself. This time it’s for the next generation of crypto entrepreneurs and investors. After all, time is money and lessons from the past are worth their weight in gold.
Many of these insights are being offered up to his clients at Cobo, which has raised US$40M in Series B funding from a venture partner at DST Global, and has amassed a portfolio of more than 300 institutional clients. Discus Fish is seemingly steering Cobo in a new direction, even if it means diverting the company’s attention to new business lines and not just on Cobo Wallet, a popular crypto wallet that offers Staking as a Service and the product the company is best known for. After all, Cobo has US$20B in transactions to date, collated from its institutional clients and custodial service.
But more importantly, despite starting out with a mining pool, Discus Fish, arguably for those that know him and have followed him throughout the years whether on Weibo or Twitter, is known as China’s leading futurist in the crypto industry. He’s stayed at the forefront of the major waves of innovation, from mining to a successful wallet, and today serving institutions. But tomorrow he firmly believes DeFi will eat centralized finance’s lunch and has been vociferous to say the least.
Of course the numbers speak for themselves. DeFi has grown 7.6 times – faster than crypto’s overall 490% growth rate. In fact, Discus Fish is putting his money where his mouth is as Cobois centrally focused on developing its DeFi as a Service (DaaS) infrastructure, and is seeking to obtain regulatory licenses in Singapore as crypto firms race to serve traditional financial institutions.
“Build, build, continue to build. This year I aim to iterate with the industry so that I can grasp the macro trends, and explore the new and emerging possibilities at the same time,” explained Discus Fish about his goals for this year.
But behind the scenes, institutions feel it’s too early. And rightfully so. It’s estimated that DeFi’smarket size or more specifically the revenue generated by protocols is a mere US$5 billion per year, which just scratches the surface of the US$2.3 trillion annually accounted for by retail banking. But the potential upside is massive. And frankly Discus Fish isn’t really just stopping there. It’s not just DeFi, but GameFi, NFTs, the metaverse, layer two, DAOs and more, which are on the cusp of converging and changing the world as we know it.