Babbitt column | "Does one chain alone" feasible?

Before 2019, I always held the concept of "one chain is big". I believe that in the future development of the blockchain, a large chain will emerge, occupying the main position of the market, while other small chains are not enough. I started to shake this year.

After Facebook released the Libra white paper, it caused a shock in the entire Internet circle. The major Internet giants have launched blockchain business and made substantial response products. Ali engaged in the ant blockchain, Tencent also engaged in a chain of alliances.

Libra's influence has exceeded the Internet community and even attracted the attention of the US Congress. Many Chinese government officials have publicly published relevant remarks.

So many giants are involved in the field of blockchain. They are all engaged in a chain independently, rather than based on the concept of "one chain is big", and engage in two-layer network development in bitcoin or other chains.

If you still hold the "one chain one big" concept, then you should deny the efforts of all these Internet giants and find that their products will fail.

I think, at least for ten years, the Internet giant's blockchain products will not disappear, and the concept of "one chain is big" cannot be implemented.

The TPS written in Libra's white paper is 1000. This technical parameter setting also touched some of my nerves.

The TPS bottleneck has always been a top priority for the blockchain.

The Bitcoin (BTC) chain does not solve this problem, using the lightning network's chain solution. But the lightning network has been engaged for so many years, at least 5 years, the isolation witness activation is almost two years, and the progress of the lightning network is not smooth.

BCH and BSV use the method of chain expansion to solve the TPS problem. BSV is the most radical, but in the 64M and 128M block tests, there have been many block reorganizations. In the BSV stress test, the 210M block was produced, and the theoretical peak value was 1500tps. The actual test was about 1300. But in this stress test, a large number of nodes in the bsv ecosystem were dropped.

EOS abandoned the open peer-to-peer network and used an orderly and limited (21) network nodes to solve the tps problem. The highest TPS actually tested was 3996.

The expansion of ETH is also in the foreseeable future.

In the short term, it is not optimistic to really solve the TPS bottleneck problem effectively. The old route has been going for many years and has not been successful. Including products released by the Internet giant Libra, the TPS is also set to 1000.

If the TPS bottleneck cannot be effectively solved, "one chain alone" will not be realized.

If the blockchain will eventually enter ordinary life, be used by a large number of people, and is mainly used in a chain, then this chain must be friendly with the government. Just like Libra, you must actively get government regulation. After Libra released the white paper, Ma Huateng also commented on the WeChat circle of friends that policy supervision is needed.

In the current decentralized currency, whether it is BTC, BCH or ETH, EOS, there may be a long way to go to get policy-friendly.

As long as policy supervision is involved, the concept of “one chain is the only one” will be greatly challenged. Because policy regulation in countries around the world cannot be consistent. On the basis of cooperation with the government, the chain may present different products in different countries.

A potential solution to adapt to the different management of governments is that the vast majority of ordinary end users do not touch the chain itself. Chains and end users use a bank, an organization, etc. to provide a service layer. Government supervision service layer. But this is far from the current blockchain spirit. Degraded to the financial mechanism close to the present.

Another potential solution is that each country has one or several chains that match the regulation of the country in which it is located. The government directly intervenes in the design of the chain and the production of block production, transaction verification and so on. This is to give up a chain of independence.

Bitcoin (BTC) was originally the best target chain in my ideal "one chain", and later BTC could not be successfully expanded, and Bitcoin cash (BCH) was born. The underlying backbone, plus the architecture of the second-tier network, is indeed capable of implementing all blockchain product designs.

However, bitcoin split into BTC and BCH in 2017, and bitcoin cash was split into BCH and BSV again in 2018. These divisions, objectively, actually weaken the idea of ​​a single chain.

It is too difficult to upgrade the protocol on Bitcoin, and the hard fork will be split if it is not moving. Splitting is too easy. As long as a community concept is opposed to a certain degree, just an excuse, a person or team with a greater influence, can split successfully.

Previously adhering to the "one chain one big" philosophy, a very important thinking is to analogize the blockchain and the Internet. It seems that this analogy is not appropriate.

This kind of thing in the world, that is, the Internet has successfully achieved "global integration." Even in the case of units, there are two sets of standards, metric and imperial. "Global integration" is a special case, and integration is the mainstream.

Although all of the above are some empirical evidence, it is not logical to completely demonish that "one chain is big" is not going to work. However, at present, I personally believe that a reasonable and objective attitude is to temporarily remain suspicious of "one chain and one big", and it will not be late until new evidence emerges.

Author: Huang Shiliang

Welcome to the WeChat public account: Lightning HSL, H13116885

Welcome to BTM: bm1qefc720au672awrgazgw5c3kx7etr5kejju02p7

Editor's Note: The original title is "Beginning to doubt "one chain is big".