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Ethan Shen: An interview with the mind behind Note Blockchain

Ethan Shen is the founder of Note Blockchain, a company which developed the Note Blockchain app, which lets users experience social media in a whole new way by leveraging the power of the blockchain. Note Blockchain is paving the way for the everyday use and integration of cryptocurrencies in life without all of the security hassles of traditional methods.

We sat down for an interview with the founder of Note Blockchain, Ethan Shen.

Can you please introduce yourself and give us some information about you, Ethan?

I have always been interested in technology and engineering.  Starting in High School, I was the team captain for the technology club, and we built a solar car in 1995.  In college, I was the Vice President of the student chapter of AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics), and we went from a club that did a couple of field trips a year, to one that designs and builds huge model airplanes for international competitions.  After graduating with a degree in Aerospace Engineering, I joined the USAF as an engineer and worked on the Titan IV and Atlas V rocket launch programs, eventually taking responsibility for the Centaur Upper Stage vehicle.  After leaving the USAF, I joined the mining industry to join the rapidly modernizing underground mining industry, starting as a project manager, engineering manager, and eventually rising up the ranks to become a General Manager of a 500-person manufacturing plant in Nanjing, China.  After returning to the US, I became an entrepreneur.

Can you tell us about your path as an entrepreneur and your achievement to success?

Returning to the US after spending five years as an expat in China, there was no better time for me to start my own ventures.  I had a good deal of experience managing engineering projects and learned a lot about running a business.  I learned about Bitcoin in 2017 and started Note Blockchain in 2018 after helping several projects as an active community member.  To date, we have 40,000 users on Note Blockchain and growing.

How did you get into blockchain? What are the reasons that led you to the blockchain world?

By 2018, blockchain technology was widely in use. The roadblock to mass adoption was the intimidation cause by loss aversion, combined with a lack of easy to use platforms to ease users into the blockchain ecosystem.  A common story is someone trying to give family or friend a few dollars of cryptocurrency, then having to spend a lot of time teaching them to download an app, give a lecture about what public and private keys are, how to secure them, back up the keys, and by this time, the newcomer is completely lost.  So, we decided to tackle that problem first, by letting users print out a Note in any amount, and give to anyone that you can share a picture, via text, email, chat, or even physically.  From there, we grew the community and decided to tackle many pressing issues to do with social media next.  One of the main issues is monetary dynamic between the platforms and creators, with many creators seeing it as unfair and one sided.  The best proof of this is the existence of platforms like Patreon, where creators must go off the social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube in order to get funding support from their communities.

What is Note Blockchain?

Note Blockchain is a new approach to social media, driven by blockchain technology.  It is designed to be as easy to use as any social media app, with the security of a banking app.  Content creators and users can post their updates to Note, and their friends, family, and followers can interact with them the same way as any social media. In addition to this, the posts can be given a tip in the cryptocurrency of Note Blockchain.  There is no monthly subscription, so users are only tipping for the content they like.  And there is no limit to how much you can tip, from a minimum of 1 Note to as much as you have.  With a single tap, your tip arrives within a few minutes on the blockchain, and can be withdrawn anytime.

What makes Note Blockchain App so special and different from other apps available on the market?

First, Note Blockchain leverages the power of the blockchain to let creators monetize their content on the same platform.  While there are other apps out there that do this, on Note, there is no subscription model. So, users never have to pay a set monthly amount and the users are not locked into anything, if they don’t like the content, they don’t have to do anything.  If they enjoy the content, they can tip as much as they like!  Secondly, Note Blockchain will never use complicated hidden algorithms.  The way posts are listed on users’ timelines will always be easy to understand and can be verified by the user, there is never any shadow banning on Note Blockchain.

Who is Note Blockchain most suited for?

Anyone that has a mobile phone can use Note Blockchain.  There are no ads and no cost to the users. In fact, every user has a unique referral code that they can use, which will give both the referrer and the new user a few Notes to try out.  There is also no cost to post, chat, or anything.  All users have access to all features for free.  This is perfect to new blockchain users, who are often afraid to put funds into a cryptocurrency wallet because they might lose it.  Content creators will benefit by getting paid for their content immediately, instead of waiting for days or weeks to withdraw their earnings, and they keep 100% of the earnings, Note Blockchain will never take a cut from our creators.

What’s next for Note Blockchain?

There are many exciting new developments for Note Blockchain.  We finished the latest development cycle in early November.  Digishield is a big technical advancement that will improve the stability and security of the blockchain, and that change went live on December 26, 2020.  We are improving the infrastructure to further increase the performance and stability of the app.  In Q1 of 2020, we will start a marketing campaign to get the word out and will start the next development cycle to add even more features and a brand new block explorer starting in Q2.  In the midterm, we will implement what we call frictionless advertising, which users can opt in and choose what info they like to share about themselves and interact with ads.  But in a huge departure with traditional advertising, 100% of the ad revenue generated will go to the user.  When implemented, frictionless advertising will upend the $100+ billion a year online advertising industry.

Thank you Ethan for your time!
You can follow up with
Ethan Shen at