Calm thinking after heavy weights: the three major trends in the future of the blockchain industry

I believe that everyone who cares about the blockchain industry was screened by the well-known heavyweight last night. For a time, the industry has reverberated with excitement and excitement, and “formal institutions are about to enter” is already an industry consensus.

Subjectively, the industry in which he is located is recognized by the top institutions, and emotional excitement can be understood. But objectively speaking, considering that the blockchain industry has more complicated technical routes than other industries and a relatively unique economic ecology, strictly speaking, the positive effect brought about by this positive is not to say that The so-called blockchain industry can benefit from it, and it does not mean that many people think of “lying the win”.

As a former employee of a policy research office, in my opinion, this good is probably not a holistic benefit, but a structural advantage. Without careful analysis, it is impossible to determine what kind of development trend the industry will show in the future. Specifically, the future development direction of the entire blockchain industry will present the following three patterns:

I. Macro-level: The national color of the blockchain and digital currency industry will become more and more obvious in the future. The projects created by transnational communities will not be the mainstream of the future.

Why is the blockchain technology suddenly getting the focus of the central government, so that it has become a topic of national concern?

The specific reasons are difficult to know, but from the recent trend of the international blockchain industry, people seem to be able to see one or two. From a global perspective, blockchain technology has once again become a hot topic after the beginning of 2018. The fuse is mainly derived from the Libra currency led by Facebook in the middle of 2019. After the idea was put forward, not only the giants who frequented the Fortune 500, but also the team, even cautiously Steady central banks have also begun to act, and institutions like the People’s Bank of China and Huawei have boldly proposed the idea of ​​“sending their own currency”.

However, due to the lack of maturity of the policy environment and the economic ecology to support the value of the currency, it has not been publicly available. Therefore, when Libra first proposed, all parties involved in the discussion of digital currency chose to stand still and wait for other players, especially Libra's next move in the front line of regulatory compliance.

However, although Libra and its associations have always been based on the concept of “fair and open” decentralization, its leading Facebook side has expressed its intention to compete with the Chinese financial system in its recent congressional hearings. Under the background of Sino-US competition, Facebook’s statement not only made the Libra currency a little “American national team digital currency”, but also triggered the vigilance of the Chinese blockchain industry.

Strictly speaking, on the subjective issue of the cause of the incident, we may find it difficult to prove that the emergence of Libra and its relative opposition are the reasons why China attaches great importance to blockchain technology, but one thing is certain. : Facebook's position and the Chinese government's high attention to the blockchain mark that the political and business giants will be a force to be reckoned with in the future industry of the district. Since it is a giant with a certain volume, it cannot ignore the influence of the will of the state. So we can judge:

In the future blockchain industry, the will of the country will become a factor that big players in the blockchain industry have to consider. Even in some areas, some state agencies may personally go into battle and mobilize their resources to participate in some project research.

For example, we may see the British “national chain” ENG, the French “national chain” FRA, the German “national chain” GER… and the nodes of these chains will also be mainly regulated by a country. Or control companies with good relations with the country.

As the saying goes, this has strengthened the growth of the discourse power of the national factor project, which will inevitably mean the decline of the discourse power and sense of existence of the “transnational blockchain” that weakens the national factor, given that any enterprise is developing to a certain volume. After that, it is necessary to consider the factors of national supervision, so commercial organizations that can ignore this point generally have a decentralized community similar to the Bitcoin community. Although the current diversified world is sufficient to accommodate the existence of such a community, the development of such organizations faces a key problem: the lack of stable income. Only when the digital assets in their hands can rise like Bitcoin can the entire community achieve financial independence and continuous operation.

Otherwise, it can only be sustained by external donations. But considering this kind of community that doesn't value the country, it's often difficult to get support from the government and big companies, so we can see that in addition to the old digital assets like Bitcoin, other multinational digital currency communities – Including BitShares, Litecoin, and even Ethereum, their members are facing the most realistic pressure to survive. Therefore, it can be expected that the country color of the blockchain industry will become more and more strong, and those idealistic multinational communities, besides the old-fashioned projects like Bitcoin that have sustained hematopoietic capacity, other projects may be afraid. Will gradually decline in the wave of the industry.

Second, the technical route level: the alliance chain of large companies will rise, and the public chain led by start-up small companies will be marginalized.

After understanding the general direction of the future development of the blockchain industry, it is self-evident that companies can benefit from it. At present, the blockchain on the market can be roughly divided into two technical routes: one is the coin blockchain, which is commonly known as the public chain, and the other is the coinless blockchain, which is often said. Alliance chain.

For a long time, the public chain of coins has higher recognition degree than the non-coin alliance chain. The reason is very simple. In theory, the main body of the management of the public account book is extremely difficult because it belongs to different interest groups. Jointly revising the book, which is also an important reason why the public chain and even the digital currency can occupy the high ground in public opinion.

However, for any country in the world. A blockchain that cannot be modified or that needs to coordinate the forces of the world to modify the information is definitely not a good chain. The reason is very simple: there is a need for information modification at the national level.

Although the government will be more admired for reducing the cost of governance for blockchains that are difficult to tamper with information, the cost of this information modification may be high for managed companies and individuals, and for regulators and managers. The government department can't be too high, otherwise it is difficult for the state to enforce the right to modify information. To put it simply: blockchain is really difficult to modify information, but this "difficult" is aimed at enterprises, individuals, and even individual government departments in the commercial society. It is very easy to modify information at the national level. of.

Such demand, in fact, we have already experienced in the Internet industry – in the previous article, the author once said: Although in theory, Internet users are anonymous, but in the eyes of regulators, Internet users information Almost all transparent. This kind of thinking is equally applicable to the blockchain industry: although in theory, the information on the blockchain is difficult to be tampered with, but if it is viewed from a national level, in order to facilitate social governance, if you want to modify Even if you delete the information on the chain, the relevant departments should not need to spend too much cost.

In this way, we can easily find that the blockchain technology route that can meet this demand is not a public chain that is theoretically extremely difficult to tamper with, but should have a privileged role and can easily mobilize more than 51% of the nodes. A coalition chain of joint actions.

That is to say, if the next industrial policy has a large-scale blockchain infrastructure construction demand similar to the construction of 5g base stations (after all, as the author mentioned in the previous article, the current blockchain industry is strict In the first half, the chain will not be officially opened. The chain will mainly be based on the alliance chain, and the related infrastructure will be mainly developed by Ali Tencent, a large company with a layout in the blockchain. As for the operation rights of the nodes, they will fall into the hands of large enterprises in different industries according to industry differences. These two types of large companies with strength and credibility will share the opportunity cake in the first half of the blockchain.

So what about the underlying public chain that was previously in the blockchain industry and related startups? If the opportunity to build blockchain infrastructure really opens up, can they also grab a piece of the market cake? And the bottom-level public chain track that is generally seen in the second half of this year, can you take advantage of this east wind to reverse the trend?

Unfortunately, the answer may still be negative. The reason is very simple: from the technical point of view, the public chain is not an ideal distributed ledger at the national level, but in terms of economic ecology, it is difficult for the public chain industry led by the startup company to develop through its own or external connections. In turn, it binds itself to the prosperous digital economy. In short, even if there is a wave of development in the blockchain industry, public chain companies will find it hard to get more help.

Third, from the owner's level: There will be “bifurcation” within the blockchain industry, and the original grassroots currency circle faces the risk of marginalization.

Under such circumstances, in fact, it is not difficult for us to predict one thing: that is, enterprises in the blockchain industry will present two very different styles in the future –

The first type of institution is a blockchain institution in which the operating entity is in the territory and the relevant business activities consistently meet the policy requirements. In the short term, due to the hotspot effect, these institutions will be the focus of attention, and after a certain competition and screening, some institutions that stand out may share the upcoming blockchain cake. Of course, depending on the field in which the organization is located, the business they are doing may vary, such as blockchain think tanks, some big Internet companies, or research and development institutions for central bank digital currencies.

The second institution, which is a project party and service provider with many altcoins as the core, is likely to face a very embarrassing situation: First, at the blockchain level, many projects have been proved. There is not much correlation with blockchain technology, and even the blockchain technology itself is not just needed in these projects.

Secondly, in the blockchain-based digital currency, the certificates issued by these projects have also been confirmed to be only the existence of securities, unable to circulate in the non-existent digital economy, nor can they be dominated by Facebook. Like Libra, it is recognized as a financial document such as currency. Their nature and destiny can now be said to be entirely dependent on the upcoming top-level policy.

Objectively speaking, from the perspective of relevant policies that have been intensively released in the past, the prospect of the most popular and familiar “coin circle” is not very optimistic. Especially in the past, the industry has experienced a large-scale departure from the public chain to the exchange, making the number of employees in this water-selling industry reach 42% of the industry-wide practitioners. Explain that the fate of a considerable number of practitioners in this circle is actually closely tied to many altcoins.

However, when the information asymmetry between the blockchain and the digital currency industry disappears, where are the institutions and individuals who used to dance against the altcoin? This is undoubtedly a problem that is quite confusing, but has to face. After all, most of the industries that develop from the bottom up will have similar "points" in the face of top-down supervision. The phenomenon of forks, the most typical one is the Internet finance industry a few years ago: those who used to cross the river by feeling the stones, some went to the fintech track, they have their own place in the regular army camp, while the other part is going P2P, waiting for the final outcome in today's policy turmoil.