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Jimmy Zhao, Senior Solution Architect at BNB Chain, on DeFi, AI, DePIN, Fully On-Chain Gaming, and One BNB | Ep. 318

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 8 min read
Jimmy Zhao, Senior Solution Architect at BNB Chain, on DeFi, AI, DePIN, Fully On-Chain Gaming, and One BNB | Ep. 318

Jimmy Zhao, a veteran Senior Solution Architect at BNB Chain, recently sat down for a chat with Cryptonews Podcast host Matt Zahab.

He talked about BNB Chain and Binance being separate entities, different layers of BNB Chain coming into a unified platform, shifting to fully on-chain models, and bringing 15x lower fees.

He further touched on the team’s 2024 plans for more Layer-2 innovations, AI and DePIN projects they’re working with, and their focus on gaming.

In this episode, Zhao discussed:

  • opBNB and BSC DAU being no. L1 and L2 (top 2 chains);
  • high-frequency DeFi, AI, DePIN, and fully on-chain gaming;
  • the differences between each chain (opBNB, BSC, Greenfield);
  • present-day crypto market and current opportunities;
  • ETH gas fees – will the new update make gas lower?

Jimmy Zhao gave a wide-ranging exclusive interview, which you can see below. Conversely, you can watch the entire podcast episode above.

Binance and BNB Chain: Separate Entities

Zhao commented that the current crypto market gave the industry participants a chance to educate the community about blockchain: what it is and what kind of value it creates both for the market and people’s lives.

Therefore, he is currently looking for opportunities to meet people in person, including different developers and projects. The goal is to have a deeper discussion about the ways to build on top of BNB Chain, as well as other blockchains, and how to contribute to the ecosystem.

Speaking of which, Zhao emphasized that BNB Chain is a separate entity from the crypto exchange Binance.

For example, the team working on BNB Chain can’t help users with Binance-related issues.

This team is taking care of the chain alone and projects built on top of it – not the exchange.

In that respect, it is incorrect to refer to it as ‘Binance Chain.’

That said, Binance is one of the biggest users of BNB Chain. The latter also provides technical insight and works with Binance Lab-incubated projects.

“So basically, we are providing the technical infrastructure for Binance, and also other projects as well,” Zhao said.

Shifting to Fully On-chain Models

Zhao further discussed the One BNB Chain project.

The recently released 2024 roadmap revealed the so-called One BNB multi-chain paradigm for a unified platform.

The plan was formed as BNB Chain encompasses four layers: a governance layer called BNB Beacon Chain, a smart contract settlement layer called BNB Smart Chain (BSC), a storage layer called BNB Greenfield, and a scaling layer that includes zkBNB and opBNB.

One BNB Chain aims to integrate these different chains to have decentralized computing and data storage, “one holistic solution,” Zhao said.

This would also mean streamlining the interconnections between the Layer-1 (L1) chain BSC and the Layer-2 (L2) network opBNB.

Zhao said that,

“With this paradigm, we aim to facilitate the transitions of applications to fully on-chain Web3 framework, so that [the developers] can leverage the unique strength of each chain within the BNB ecosystem.”

Through this approach, the team will accomplish additional goals they’ve set.

These include enhanced scalability, higher transactions per second (TPS), improved interoperability, as well as “making it easier for developers to build and deploy applications that can operate across multiple-chain environments.”

The applications can be fully on-chain, not only the execution part but also the storage part, to adjust to the growing demands for more efficient, more secure, and more user-friendly applications.

Therefore, while the Web3 applications have so far focused on partially on-chain models, the focus is shifting to fully on-chain.

15x Lower Fees

Continuing on the previous discussion, Zhao noted that, at this moment, OP Stack – the standardized, shared, and open-source development stack that powers the L2 scaling solution Optimism – is the most suitable solution for BNB Chain to have performance optimization.

The team, he explained, wants to make sure opBNB is a high-performance Layer-2.

They reduced the block time to one second and increased the gas limit from 30 million gas per block to 100 million gas per second on opBNB.

This means it can make around 4,500 transfer transactions per second.

Zhao added that,

“We also want to set the gas fee to a new level.”

For example, if a user transfers a token on opBNB, the gas fee is around 0.001 dollars – lower than Layer-2s on top of Ethereum or BSC itself, said Zhao.

Moreover, there has been a lot of discussion lately about the implementation of EIP-4844, which introduces “blobs” – that is, efficient data storage channels – to further reduce Layer-2 transaction costs.

Following the EIP-4844 introduction, the Layer-2 gas fee “will be reduced a lot,” Zhao said and added:

“So we will reduce the cost even further to 15 times lower than the current existing level.”

This will be hugely important for the ecosystem because the gas fee is still a very big issue that needs to be solved.

Gas fees, such as those seen on Ethereum, create an industry that is simply “not sustainable.”

The blobs are a sort of temporary storage that L2s can use, and it will be “a good thing for the ecosystem.”

This is why the team will also introduce blob storage to BSC. Zhao said that they would publish the timeline soon.

“We want to show our respect to the Ethereum ecosystem, and we believe this kind of innovation can also bring benefits to BNB Chain users as well,” said Zhao.

More Layer-2 Innovations in 2024

Decentralized finance (DeFi) may just be the foundation of the blockchain ecosystem, Jimmy Zhao argued.

People do not like the centralization of exchanges or applications. And the financial application is the core function of the blockchain, from Bitcoin to the latest developments, he said.

Therefore, in 2024, the team will focus further on DeFi, given that there are “a lot of the very good DeFi projects coming to the BSC.”

That said, they also want to do more innovations in the L2 realm.

The reason they want to increase the opBNB TPS is to be able to support more innovative solutions, such as high-frequent transactions or trades on an L2.

Also, they aim to ensure that the L2 block time can be reduced even further to increase the latency of the blockchain, especially for high-frequent transactions.

Furthermore, the team will introduce interoperability among different L2s “so that a lot of innovations can be built on top of it.”

This means, said Zhao, that the cross-chain DeFi and atomic transactions among different blockchains could also be possible.

AI and DePIN Projects On the Radar

Jimmy Zhao said he is excited about the artificial intelligence (AI) marketplace that can utilize decentralization blockchain technology.

Furthermore, the BNB Chain team wants to offer specific infrastructure: for example, BNB Greenfield can provide a storage layer for AI.

It can tokenize the data and provide a new economic model for data labeling or data analytics for the AI training sector.

At the same time, they want to allow zero-knowledge (ZK) machine learning.

All of these would be exciting and innovative solutions for the whole industry, Zhao said and added:

“We are working together with some of the AI projects to find the best solution on top of BNB Chain. So, you will see a lot of projects coming to the BNB Chain in the future.”

He couldn’t provide more details at this point.

And speaking of partnerships, Zhao said that they “have some collaborations with the DePIN projects that can be built on top of the BNB Chain.”

BNB Chain provides the tokenization of the Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Network (DePIN) service to the users who can pay for that service with crypto.

Also, they want to work together with DePIN projects to utilize One BNB Chain, with Zhao saying that:

“We want to make sure our whole One BNB Chain paradigm can provide the execution layer for DePIN solutions so that their smart contract and their business logic can be implemented on opBNB or BSC.”

The data part of the DePIN solution can be saved on BNB Greenfield.

Therefore, the team works with the DePIN projects to simplify their workflow, give feedback on their business model, and provide technical infrastructure, including token economy.

“There are a couple of the DePIN projects also on our radar,” Zhao said.

Gaming-Focused Chain

Blockchain can bring more opportunities for the whole gaming industry, Jimmy Zhao told Matt.

And Web3 games are very much in the BNB Chain team’s focus because “we do believe our infrastructure can provide values to game developers or game communities,” he said, adding:

“Right now, we are working [with] a lot of game projects.”

The team aims to reduce the transaction time to make transactions on-chain as fast as possible, thus improving the gaming experience.

At the same time, they want to reduce the cost, making it possible to make a game fully on-chain.

Additionally, there are some challenges that game developers face and for which the team has solutions.

These include the complex computations and the big storage requirements. BNB Greenfield can help here and even make non-fungible tokens (NFTs) “evolutionary.”

Also, due to the bigger block size, the chain can support more complex computations on-chain, while allowing offloading off-chain as well. “A bigger block time can make the game developers’ lives much easier,” said Zhao.

Finally, the team is exploring another solution to help game developers: they aim to provide a more innovative and developer-friendly software development kit (SDK).


About Jimmu Zhao

Jimmy Zhao is a seasoned Senior Solution Architect at BNB Chain, leveraging over a decade of diverse experience in system and infrastructure development.

Leading the design and implementation of enterprise-grade blockchain solutions, Zhao focuses on translating business needs into technical requirements, collaborating closely with dapp and infrastructure projects.

His extensive background spans notable roles at Alibaba, HSBC, and IBM, showcasing his prowess in the payment, finance, and technology sectors.

Zhao’s significant contribution to the opBNB system and ecosystem development demonstrates his commitment and contribution to accelerating the adoption of blockchain technology.