Babbitt column | 4 angles, understanding the meaning of blockchain to real life

Author: Monte Carlo

What can the blockchain do? Can't do anything? What does the blockchain mean to real life? This is a question that everyone of us cares about. Both insiders and outsiders hope to find out these issues.

I think we can look at the impact of blockchain on real life from the following four aspects.

First, the technical level

Blockchain is first and foremost a technology.

It is said that the blockchain is a technology first because we have too many "extensions" about the meaning of the blockchain. We say that it is a subversion of the social production relationship, saying that it will subvert the existing organizational structure. These meanings are not non-existent, but most of them are subsequently extended. The blockchain itself is just a technology.

In real life, in many cases, the blockchain technology itself cannot solve the problem alone , and all other elements in real life need to be added to solve the problem.

For example, people used to joke that the blockchain can't be cold beer; for example, when using the blockchain to solve the traceability problem, the accuracy of the data under the chain is never guaranteed.

The existence of these problems stems from our misunderstanding of the blockchain.

Blockchain is just a technology, just one of many technologies. It can guarantee that the data on the chain cannot be tampered with, but the data under the chain is not solved by the blockchain alone, and the vast majority in real life. In the scenario, the blockchain needs to be developed in coordination with other technologies .

The most important significance of the blockchain at the technical level is that it has reached a consensus under the distributed architecture and effectively solved the Byzantine fault tolerance problem that was originally thought to be unsolvable. In addition, on the stand alone, the blockchain itself brings with it some new technologies that have unique meanings in real life.

For example, UTXO, in the bitcoin system designed by Satoshi Satoshi, there is no concept of balance. Bitcoin uses a UTXO account system. UTXO (Unspent Transaction Outputs) is an unspent transaction output. It is a bitcoin transaction. A core concept of generation and verification. The transaction constitutes a chain structure. All legal bitcoin transactions can be traced back to the output of one or more forward transactions. The source of these chains is the mining reward, and the end is the current unspent transaction output.

The use of UTXO has changed the traditional clearing method, and can realize the function of “transaction is clearing”, which can liberate traditional finance from complex settlement and clearing links, reduce intermediate links and make transactions more convenient. At present, many financial institutions are trying to expand the application of UTXO. In my opinion, the potential of this technology is far from being exerted.

There are also proofs such as workloads, hashes, and public-private key pairs. These techniques are not original to Bitcoin, but combining them is the originality of Bitcoin, and combining them does produce a combination of cola and burger. The same magical effect.

These innovative technologies, even if they are not used in the blockchain, can be used for an Internet project alone, which can actually play a role. This is the meaning of the blockchain technology.

Second, the information level

We usually say that the Internet is the transmission of information, and the blockchain is the transmission of value, but don't forget that even the transmission of value is essentially the transmission of information .

For example, bitcoin is now tens of thousands of dollars. What is the bitcoin in the end? In the case of detailed investigation, bitcoin is just data. The transaction and transfer of bitcoin is just the transmission of information. It only uses the special structure of the blockchain to make the information more efficient.

In the blockchain, one of the most classic problems faced by many people is that the blockchain is inseparable from the development coin. If it does not issue coins, what role does the blockchain have?

This question seems to me to have a clear answer: the blockchain can of course be separated from the development currency, and the currency-free blockchain will even become mainstream for a long time to come.

The coin-chain block chain can realize the digitization of assets, so that the value can be effectively transmitted; but the coin-free blockchain makes the information more efficient, which is equally important.

At this stage, our information transfer is already efficient, but it will be greatly hindered in certain aspects. For example, if you go to the hospital for discharge settlement, you can solve the social security problem. You go to the real estate bureau to handle the transfer. In these scenarios, you basically need to line up. If you sell stocks in the securities company, the funds need T+1 to get the account. Why is the information transmission-based Internet so low in efficiency in these links?

The main reason is the problem of information silos. Every centralized organization has its own data. These data will not be shared with other companies. Therefore, when it comes to information exchange between different centers, it needs artificial lines to run. To complete the exchange of information between different centers and complete the "last 1 km" of this information exchange.

The government has previously proposed a slogan: "Let the information run more, let people run less." To do this, relying on traditional Internet technology is more difficult. Although it can force the administrative data sharing problem through administrative power, in a larger business environment, commercial organizations will not take their data out for no reason. At these points, the exchange of information will still be hindered.

However, after the blockchain is released, the data of multiple parties can be shared through distributed accounting, and the parties can still retain their own data, and the privacy of the data will not be leaked. Through distributed accounting, the "last 1 km" in the original Internet information transmission has been truly opened, making the information transmission of the Internet more efficient and less frictional. This meaning may not be as great as the legendary "value Internet", but the same meaning. extraordinary.

We know that Alibaba has launched the ant blockchain. Tencent recently announced the Tencent blockchain white paper. Baidu's superchain has already been in development. These Internet companies are launching their own blockchains, and they have not sent them. There is no financing. There have been many people who have questioned whether these blockchains have any practical significance. Of course it makes sense! Even if these blockchains are not issued, they can effectively solve the problem of information transfer between different organizations in their own ecology, which can make the cooperation between the company and the company, the company and the customers closer.

Moreover, we have misunderstandings about the concepts of value transfer and value Internet. It is not necessary to have Token to be called value. It is not necessary to have a Token transfer to call the value Internet, legal currency transactions and transfers, and financial assets transactions and transfers are also Part of the value transfer . For example, Alipay has a large number of financial products. If you can solve the problem of information sharing through the ant blockchain, even in the case of pure legal currency and no token, these value transmissions can be more efficient and more frictionless.

Third, the organizational level

The blockchain gives us a core feature that is decentralized. The specific performance of decentralization is that the organizational form of the company is different from before.

For example, the original company is a centralized, vertical organizational structure of the chairman, general manager, director, department manager, and employee; but after decentralization, taking bitcoin as an example, although there is a division of labor in the ecology of bitcoin, For example, there are developers, miners, eco-sides, users, etc., but these roles are mobile. You can be a developer today, a miner tomorrow, you can be both an ecological and a miner, and a developer. In this way, there is only a difference in the division of labor between different positions, and there is no distinction between high and low.

Moreover, its position is not fixed, nor is it dedicated to a full-time job. Take mining as an example, you can mine, others can mine, today your calculations are stronger, tomorrow may be more powerful, in this open world, everything depends on the ability, who has Whoever is capable, who has the ability to say the final.

For this kind of non-fixed hierarchical relationship, no fixed power relationship, no fixed role relationship, everything is open to the outside world, everything is through a new organizational form of free market competition, we call it self-organizing.

The emergence of self-organization does not mean that the traditional organization will die out. It only greatly expands the connotation of the organization, and can expand the stakeholder of the project by an order of magnitude, turning the original closed economy into an open economy. The system has allowed a new business paradigm to emerge.

Fourth, Token level

The core of the blockchain, of course, is Token, which is what people call the currency.

Through Token, we can solve the incentive problem in distributed consensus. We can turn it into a tool for large-scale human collaboration. Through the positive and negative incentives of the economy, we can achieve strong collaboration between people. Yan Quotations).

From the perspective of value transfer, we can use Token as a carrier to realize the digitization of many rights and interests, realize the digitization of assets, make the circulation of value more efficient, and the transaction cost is lower.

In the blockchain industry, there are many people who ridicule the ant blockchain and the Baidu blockchain. They think that they are old-school thoughts. They think that they are still Internet thinking rather than blockchain thinking. They think that the coin-free blockchain is just a toy. But I think the meaning of the coin-free blockchain is very important. As I said before, distributed accounting is really useful. It can really make great improvements on the basis of the original Internet, making cross-sectoral and cross-centered Cooperation is possible and greatly improves efficiency. More importantly, these distributed accounting projects will become the infrastructure needed for the digitization of assets in the future. It can even be said that there is no basis for the outbreak of the currency-free blockchain, the currency blockchain and value. The day when the Internet broke out will not come .

If the Token is likened to the fruit of the tree, the fruit must grow out. It must be that the soil is very fertile, the sun is very abundant, the water is very abundant, and the roots and branches of the fruit trees grow very strong, so that the fruit is formed and the fruit is formed. The fruit is sweet.

By the same token, if the coin blockchain really needs to be developed, the infrastructure needs to be perfect, the friction of information transmission is small enough, it needs the support of government policies, and many businesses are willing to use it. I believe in the certification and asset digitization. Before the mass adoption, we will first experience a big outbreak of the currency-free blockchain.

V. Conclusion

1. The blockchain overcomes some technical problems, and these new technologies are useful in many aspects;

2. The blockchain has opened the last 1 km of information transmission, making information transmission more efficient;

3. The blockchain has changed the traditional organizational form, and the new organizational form has great potential;

4. The blockchain reduces the cost of asset transactions, making the value of the Internet possible.