Babbitt Column | Analysis of the Open Source Economy of Blockchain

Blockchain has many characteristics. In addition to decentralization, there is one more feature that is said to be open source. Some people even say that the development of blockchain also represents the rise of the open source economy.

The open source economy is not a difficult word to understand, but if you think carefully, there are still some problems. For example, what is the difference between an open source economy and a closed economy? What is the difference between the open source economy of the blockchain and the traditional open source economy, etc.

First, open source and closed

In 2000, there was a company called Sun Microsystem, which had a market capitalization of more than $100 billion. They had their own Sparc processor and Solaris UNIX operating system, and they have been the mainstream development platform for many engineers.

But today, many people have never heard of this name because it has been completely eliminated by the open source software Linux based on the open x86 processor. In September 2017, the last batch of Solaris development team members were fired.

Today, all Android software is developed based on the Linux kernel.

An open source business system, sooner or later, can defeat those closed business systems. Today, our Internet industry has a lot of giants. If these giants continue to be so closed, the future is likely to be defeated by the blockchain centered on open source business and open source economy, just like Unix and Windows.

Second, the market and supermarket

When I returned to my hometown in the New Year, I found that the food market in my hometown was still the same, and people came and went, and there were expansions. The scale has expanded a lot. I suddenly thought that the vegetable market is not an open source economic system? The food market is not like a movie theater. If you want to watch a movie, you still have to buy tickets. Some movies have to reach the age limit before they can be seen. The vegetable market is accessible to everyone, no license, what you want to buy, want to buy meat, want to buy fish, want to buy shrimp, follow your own. Not only are there no restrictions, but the more people who want to buy in, the better.

There are no restrictions on consumers, and there are no restrictions on the merchants that are stationed. Some food markets may use stalls. The stalls are sold to individuals. Only stalls can sell vegetables, but most rural food markets are Open, there are many stallless hawkers selling vegetables, they are all picked from their own fields and directly pulled to the vegetable market to sell. There are many small business hawkers, just look for a corner, take the dish to the front, Start selling, no one cares for you, no one is looking for you.

There are a lot of purely fixed stalls in the city. In general, the business is not very good. If there is only a fixed stall in a vegetable market, then this market is not competitive, because lack of competition lacks vitality and lacks vitality. The dishes are difficult to be rich and varied, the price is difficult to be cheap, and the service is difficult; but with the participation of the aunts who sell the small dishes, the dishes have been greatly enriched, the quality has improved significantly, and the service has improved.

The vegetable market is one of the most common open source economies, and everyone can get in touch every day, and everyone has the opportunity to participate.

Corresponding to the market, there are more and more supermarkets on the street. The biggest difference between the vegetable market and the supermarket is that the vegetable market is open and the supermarket is closed; who can sell vegetables to the market, but only when the rent deposit is paid is allowed to sell to the supermarket.

It's not that it's not good to be closed. In fact, supermarkets are also very convenient to buy food. Many people are used to buying food at the supermarket. Both have their own focus and openness has the advantage of opening up.

Generally speaking, there will only be a large vegetable market in a large area, and only a large vegetable market is needed, and it is possible to provide stable and inexpensive vegetables.

This is because the openness of the vegetable market itself, openness brings freedom, freedom brings competition, and competition brings cheap and inexpensive goods. Because there are many merchants, there are many merchants, and there are many customers with rich products. Many customers will attract more customers, so once a vegetable market is mature, all the merchants and customers around will be attracted. .

But supermarkets are different. Often, the prices of some small and medium-sized supermarkets are obviously higher. Not to mention those large items, that is, a bottle of Coke is more expensive than the outside. A supermarket's goods are not automatically cheap, whether it is cheap, depends largely on the level of supermarket operators, conscience and the surrounding competition.

Another obvious difference is that a vegetable market can only survive by selling vegetables and fruits, and at most it can be extended to selling seafood, selling soy sauce, rice noodles, but all related to daily life; but there is rarely a supermarket. Just by selling vegetables to make money, it must be sold with a lot of snacks, selling a lot of household items, electrical appliances, etc., relying on the richness of goods to win.

Third, blockchain projects and traditional companies

If the traditional company is like a supermarket, then the open source blockchain project is like a vegetable market.

The traditional company is a closed interest system. The roles and division of labor are also very clear. Everyone has their own duties and wants to join the company. There is also a certain threshold. The open source blockchain project is a free and open interest system. It is not clear. The role of the holder of the currency is a member of the ecology, even if you do not hold the currency, can contribute to the ecology.

In the traditional company, the decision-making is the management, the ordinary employees just follow the instructions; but in the open chain public chain project of the blockchain, there is no such concept as managers and employees, everyone is ecologically involved. Who, the builder, whoever plans to adopt who's plan, who's strong ability, who promoted the project forward development.

In a traditional company, the profit belongs to the owner of the company. If it is a private company, the profit of the company is mainly owned by the boss; if it is a listed company, it is owned by all shareholders; but for the open source blockchain For the project, the currency is everything. All the profits and income of the company are reflected in the price of the currency.

Moreover, the wealth logic of the two is different. The traditional company mainly relies on the scale of the product to make it more accessible to more people. The larger the scale, the more people use it, and the higher the income; but the open source in the blockchain In the economy, the company's personnel and asset scale are not the most important. The most important wealth logic of the open source economy is that your currency must have enough usage scenarios. The more demanding the currency is, the more application scenarios there are. The richer the ecology, the higher the value and price of your currency, and the higher the market value of the project.

In the traditional company form, many companies in the same industry can exist at the same time and compete with each other; but in the open source blockchain public chain project, it is generally difficult to have many public chains in the same industry. In the case of open source, the network effect of the public chain will be more obvious. On the other hand, the use of the public chain between the same algorithm will have endless computing power. In the end, a particular industry may only have one public chain, maybe two or three, but there will be no countless ones. This is a big difference between the open source blockchain public chain project and the closed company, just like the vegetable market. Relationship with the supermarket.

Fourth, the core characteristics of the blockchain open source economy – no license-free innovation

I remember that Silicon Valley Wang Chuan mentioned a point in Weibo. I deeply agree that he said: "The blockchain is an open source business system. The most essential part of it is that it can accept innovation without permission ."

In the traditional corporate field, innovation is driven from the top down. Someone has to propose, some people do the project, some approve, some donate, some team, and then the project starts. The bigger the company, the more difficult it is to innovate, so often large companies are overtaken by other small companies and cause big companies to die suddenly.

But in the area of ​​blockchain, innovation does not require any permission. The code of the project is open source, you can independently develop new products, new features, let the market choose, you can also submit to the public nature foundation, in extreme cases, you can even fork the project, then add The function you want. In general, excellent innovations will be recognized by the market in a timely manner, and ultimately everything will be chosen by the market.

Forking is a very easy task for open source blockchain projects, and this is bound to be very competitive between blockchain projects. If you are a little dissatisfied in any place, there may be people who will fork. For example, if the bitcoin is slightly bitter in the expansion, there will be a forked BCH. Later, because of the speed of the expansion, the BSV is forked. Although there are many internal statements, the most important thing is that the fork is Inevitably, there are more and more people who are dissatisfied with this project, so there will be more and more people standing on the side of the competition project, and the fork is the ultimate competition means of the blockchain project.

Of course, the fork is only limited to the public chain, because generally only the public chain project is open source. On the basis of open source, everyone will contribute to the project to build the ecology. In the end, the ecology is getting bigger and bigger, and the network effect is getting stronger. Those private chains, such as Morgan's Morgancoin, are more likely to improve efficiency than a subversive appearance, not to mention blockchain projects that have applied for many, many patents. It can help it grow in the Internet age, but in the blockchain era it must hinder its expansion and hinder its ecological expansion.

As Silicon Valley Wang Chuan said:

The essence of the blockchain is that innovation does not require approval and planning. The so-called Permissionless Innovation. On an open system, the only way to do it is to reward it. In the long run, open and compatible cheap systems will eventually marginalize the system that is expensive and incompatible.