BTC and ETH: Positioning victory

Let us first look at a picture. Today, the Internet is hungry, has a vibrato, has Taobao, has WeChat, all the rich applications, services that change people's lives, are based on this picture.


This is the protocol stack of the Internet. Each section is a very important innovation, and more importantly, these sections eventually combine to form the most important infrastructure of today's Internet.

In "The Four Times of Blockchain," I said that Bitcoin is a calculator (single-purpose computer), and ETH is a general-purpose mainframe that represents a more scalable blockchain. Bringing a new era of “application servers” will eventually become a highly scalable, combinable, decentralized “cloud service”.

This judgment now seems to be wrong . The biggest problem is that this view assumes that the blockchain is a linearly changing innovation process, and subconsciously believes that each new era of blockchain will erode the previous one in the dimension of scale and internal integration. era.

If we look back at 2014, the most popular view of Bitcoin at the time was that Bitcoin was the Internet's native payment method . But it is clear that Bitcoin's throughput is not enough to support Internet-scale payment needs. If you were convinced of paying for this position and have been waiting for Bitcoin to improve throughput, you are likely to miss the new role of Bitcoin as a non-sovereign value store and digital gold . In this new positioning, bitcoin throughput and scalability are not that important.

Similarly, the positioning of Ethereum, the early popular view is "world computer" , which led many people to believe that: 1) Ethereum can replace bitcoin because it has better programmability; 2) can Ethereum obtain The criterion for success is whether it can be accepted by more people, so the problem becomes, and the scalability and throughput of Ethereum can reach the level of Internet scale.

The second point is actually a particularly dangerous hypothesis, because it is easy to make a wrong view: the next generation of smart contract platforms are the killers of Ethereum, just because these new public chains provide higher Scalability and throughput.

This is also wrong . Just as Ethereum did not kill Bitcoin, a new generation of high-performance decentralized computing platforms may not kill the Ethereum leader. The most important utility of Ethereum today is not calculations, but the liquidation of the “world accounting system”.

DeFi and DAO are new emerging applications that take advantage of Ethereum as a time-tested, slow, yet secure computer that makes Ethereum particularly suitable for developing "based on new tokens and The application of new assets, such as crowdfunding, lending, self-organization and voting.

Even if network congestion leads to high gas costs, it will take several minutes or even hours to delay. These types of applications are still stalking in the traditional world to find banks to seek loans, convene shareholder votes, or set up (or disband) a family. The user experience of a limited liability company.

The next step in the blockchain – the “application server” and “cloud service” era that really belongs to blockchain computing – is unlikely to kill Ethereum. Instead, it is more likely to open other adjacent The possibility to use the unique features of this chain to support another set of applications with different attributes.

The application chain built by the Cosmos SDK (somewhat like a server built in the blockchain era) is not the same as the Dfinity, Polkadot and ETH 2.0 chains, which use a top-down design through a base chain. To ensure the security of the entire network, more like the cloud computing services in the blockchain era.

These different architectures and designs may ultimately serve different types of applications. Add a few more layers of new services, such as privacy, storage, layer2 scalability, node SaaS, managed services and wallets, etc. We will slowly start to have a rich and multi-layered, combinable network similar to the Internet. Protocol stack.

Of course, this analogy with the Internet must be imperfect, but if you hope that a blockchain can grow a complex protocol stack, expand and break through, then you can easily miss these chains in specific application scenarios. The explosive potential in this is tantamount to ignoring the need for the “specialized division of labor” to continue in a growing and powerful technology stack.

After that, projects that are competitive at this stage may become interoperable in the future.

But this is not to say that Bitcoin or Ethereum has forever won their respective positioning. There are still many issues that need to be addressed or optimized. But because there is only modest need for upgrades and maintenance (such as solving the state explosion problem in ETH 1.x), Bitcoin and Ethereum have a way to continue to grow. And at the level above them, there is more room for innovation.

More advanced new technologies do not necessarily counteract the use of lower-level protocols underneath it. Instead, they generate more complex dedicated protocol stacks based on existing protocols. Based on these separate and different technologies, the space above that can be innovated is much larger than what we currently know.

For developers and builders, the question you need to consider is: What is the correct use case for the project you are working on? How can it be combined with the functionality of other layer protocols and how is it complementary to other infrastructures?

In a sentence, for the public chain, the current chain must determine its own positioning according to its own competitive advantage; for application developers, it should also find the right one for their own application. Chain and ecology. (Editor's Note: In terms of such standards, in addition to Bitcoin and Ethereum, EOS and even TRON have found at least one of their own positioning. After all, the spinach chain is also a chain. The spinach application is also a specific use case. Of course, how many are these positions? The ceiling is another topic. So what about other public chains?

Refer to the original: https: // Author: @jessewldn compilation: Retric @ Orange Book