Xiang Feng, Vice President of Yuantong Express: Blockchain and E-commerce Logistics Remodeling

Source: shared logistics information exchange (micro-channel public number) Original title: "Phase Peak: block chain and logistics reshape the electricity supplier" Author: peak phase, logistics information exchange and sharing technology and application National Engineering Laboratory Director, Deputy Yuantong Express President

As a distributed ledger technology, blockchain provides a decentralized trust mechanism in a non-trusted environment, allowing multiple participants to conduct secure transactions without an intermediary. The characteristics of the blockchain will revolutionize the widespread information leakage, information silos, information fraud and cross-border e-commerce settlement procedures in the e-commerce logistics industry, thus making the business model and prospects widely adopted throughout the industry. Faced with remodeling. Blockchain technology will fundamentally trigger and drive a new round of credit revolution and promote the transformation of the Internet to the value Internet.

I. Introduction

China's e-commerce was born in the late 1990s. After 20 years of ups and downs, it has developed from a "study" to the beginners of the American e-commerce model, becoming an international leader in exporting technology, capital and business models. As an important part of the reform and opening up, China's e-commerce continues to develop rapidly, and has spawned various new models and new formats. It has played a role in enhancing the vitality of economic development, improving the efficiency of resource allocation, promoting the transformation and upgrading of traditional industries, and opening up channels for employment and entrepreneurship. Important role. In the 1990s, China's private express delivery started with the foreign trade customs declaration business. Then, with the 2005 Yuantong Express and Taobao signing the logo, it began to take the “fast train” in the digital era and quickly emerged through the e-commerce business.

In recent years, thanks to the popularity of mobile Internet and smart phones, e-commerce and the express logistics related to it have developed rapidly. According to the "China E-Commerce Report (2018)" report released by the Ministry of Commerce, China's e-commerce transaction volume reached 31.63 trillion yuan in 2018, an increase of 8.5% year-on-year, and the transaction scale maintained a high-speed growth trend. E-commerce spurt growth drives the express logistics industry closely related to it. According to the statistics of the State Post Bureau, the total volume of national express delivery service enterprises in 2005 totaled 50.71 billion pieces, a year-on-year increase of 26.6%. As of 2018, e-commerce components accounted for 76.5% of the total express delivery, with a compound annual growth rate of over 40%. However, behind the eye-catching achievements of the e-commerce logistics industry, there are also a series of pain points that are worrying and have long plagued the industry. User information disclosure, information silos, information authenticity and cross-border e-commerce settlement procedures are always the bottlenecks that restrict the further development of e-commerce logistics, from consumer experience, data management, warehousing and transportation, logistics and other aspects. The industry's quality improvement, transformation and upgrading.

Fortunately, with the rapid development of a new generation of information technology represented by blockchain and the maturity of related technologies such as Internet of Things, cloud computing, and big data, e-commerce logistics is expected to re-establish its operational mechanism under the empowerment of technology. Decentralized, secure and transparent, traceable, and expandable, which greatly reduces transaction costs, improves safety, and improves economic efficiency.

Second, the technical principle and development trend of the blockchain

In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto proposed the concept of Bitcoin in the paper "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System", marking the birth of the blockchain technology. Specifically, blockchain is a new computing paradigm and distributed infrastructure that uses blockchain data structures, distributed node consensus algorithms, cryptographic methods, and intelligent contracts based on automated scripting code to produce, validate, and store. And transfer data. In a nutshell, blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that provides a decentralized trust mechanism in a non-trusted environment, allowing multiple participants to securely trust transactions without an intermediary. Especially in the logistics field where multi-party participation is required, the blockchain is expected to reduce transaction costs and optimize business models, which has great application potential.

Strong security, high transparency and non-tamperability give the blockchain endless vitality and powerful subversiveness. Blockchain applications are likely to eliminate traditional centralized organizations such as banks and clearing houses, to reduce operating costs, reduce settlement time, and increase corporate cash flow. At present, blockchain technology has begun to be applied in many fields including logistics, supply chain, finance, medical health, and public affairs. According to Klaus Schwab's point in the book "The Fourth Industrial Revolution," the tipping point of blockchain technology will come before 2025. By then, the blockchain will store assets equivalent to 10% of global GDP and will be an efficient means of collecting taxes from the government. According to Gartner Consulting, after the first successful blockchain application in 2018-2021, larger industrial applications and investment in this field will appear in 2022-2026, and in 2027- Completely broke out in 2030. The global blockchain technology market will grow to $3.1 billion by 2030. As a core force that brings a credit revolution to society, the blockchain is considered to be one of the most disruptive innovations in the world today.

However, we should also rationally realize that the current blockchain technology has the so-called "impossible triangle" bottleneck problem, that is, the existing blockchain system can only take two points into consideration in terms of security, efficiency, and decentralization. How to break the bureau will directly affect whether this revolutionary technology will land in the future.

Third, the characteristics of the blockchain

The blockchain was originally used as the underlying technology to support Bitcoin, using distributed shared ledgers and peer-to-peer transmission technologies to support the circulation of Bitcoin digital assets in decentralized networks. After years of development, the blockchain becomes a comprehensive system based on P2P networks, asymmetric encryption, hash functions, Merkle trees, chain structure, time stamps, consensus mechanisms, etc. The basic structure is shown in Figure 1. Show. Combining the concept, technology and infrastructure of the blockchain, its basic characteristics can be summarized as follows.

Figure 1: Blockchain technology architecture diagram

1. Decentralization. Distributed ledger technology decentralizes blockchain network data transmission and storage. Each node can maintain a copy of the ledger. The blockchain technology no longer relies on the central network node when transmitting data. Instead, the consensus open source protocol maintains the overall system in which multiple nodes participate together to function well and ensures that information can be Really and effectively spread in the block network. The distributed nodes in the system build trust mechanisms through mathematical methods rather than centralized regulatory intermediaries to ensure equal rights and obligations.

2. Safe and reliable. The blockchain implements the security and reliability of network information through the principle of asymmetric encryption. The blockchain system uses the public key (Public Key) and the private key (Private Key) key pair generated by the encryption algorithm to encrypt and decrypt the data, and combines the KEM and DEM hybrid encryption mechanisms to meet the security requirements and the ownership verification requirements. In addition, the blockchain is designed to achieve unchangeable data modification through time stamping, end-to-end accounting rules, and consensus mechanisms. In theory, as long as the perpetrator is prevented from controlling 51% of all nodes, it can prevent its manipulation from modifying the network data.

3. Expandability. Blockchain has evolved to the present, with scalable programming capabilities to enable developers to build efficient distributed applications through smart contracts. Developers can build decentralized and de-trusted applications for various application scenarios, including e-commerce logistics, based on the underlying open source technology of blockchain. The smart contract automatically discriminates the conditions and obligations of each node to execute the contract, and automatically executes the contract items that satisfy the conditions. In the absence of central agency supervision, the blockchain can ensure the orderly execution of contracts, improve execution efficiency and reduce resource waste.

4. Traceable. The blockchain system uses timestamp technology to implement time dimension records in the process of data information expansion. After the new block containing the data information on the P2P network is generated, it will be branded by the time stamp and connected in a chronological order to form a blockchain. Since the blockchain database cannot be forged and falsified, one can trace any data information through this chain structure.

Fourth, the application of blockchain technology in the field of e-commerce logistics

In recent years, the e-commerce field has undergone earth-shaking changes. The innovation of the model, the number of users and the business volume of the blowout are driving the rapid growth, transformation and upgrading of the express logistics industry. E-commerce logistics industry is in the new era of "Internet +". The new generation of information technology represented by blockchain combined with technologies such as cloud computing, big data and Internet of Things is bound to be from warehousing, transportation, distribution, cross-border and logistics. The various dimensions of finance bring new changes to the industry.

1. Application of blockchain in anti-counterfeiting traceability

The supply source is difficult to trace, the goods are shoddy, the counterfeit and shoddy goods are inexhaustible and so on, which has seriously affected the shopping experience of e-commerce consumers. Therefore, strict control of the quality of e-commerce goods and fine management of all aspects of logistics has become a key issue for e-commerce logistics enterprises to implement.

By setting up a product anti-counterfeiting and traceability management system, the above problems can be effectively eliminated. Blockchain, through time-stamping, distributed storage, and asymmetric encryption, can form non-tamperable records for all aspects of product production and distribution, and technically ensure that data is true, valid, and unique. E-commerce operators and final consumers can effectively prevent illegal and false logistics records through the comparison of full-link logistics information, thus achieving the function of retroactive source and commodity anti-counterfeiting. At present, domestic e-commerce head enterprises have begun to use blockchain technology to upload, track and verify the logistics full link information of cross-border imported goods in order to prevent counterfeiting and sales and improve product quality. The data covers production, transportation, packaging, customs clearance and third-party inspection, as well as the country of origin, the country of origin, the port of loading, the mode of transport, the port of import, the inspection and quarantine number of the bonded warehouse, and the customs declaration number. information. Therefore, the products sold by the e-commerce platform have been tagged with unique identity tags through the blockchain, which makes it easy and quick for consumers to use the traceability system to query the real source of goods.

2. Application of blockchain in e-commerce logistics and transportation

Existing RFID, sensor and other technologies are difficult to form a unified interface with existing e-commerce logistics transportation systems due to numerous standards and complex interfaces, and blockchain technology provides a lightweight and independent interface independent of various systems. With MEC (Mobile Edge Computing) technology, intelligent management of cargo information can be realized in the transportation terminal. When there is a change in the goods in transit, the cargo data in the system will change accordingly. Each node in the blockchain will record and store the change data of the goods synchronously with the support of distributed ledger technology. Under the blockchain empowerment, the cargo information in the transportation process is transparent to the shipper, the carrier and other relevant personnel, thus ensuring the safety traceability of the cargo transportation information and funds.

3. Application of blockchain in e-commerce logistics distribution

The distribution of e-commerce items to consumers needs to be completed through express logistics, but a series of problems such as information fraud, leakage of user data, and lack of compensation mechanism are plaguing the express delivery industry.

Establishing a blockchain data sharing platform in the express logistics industry can effectively solve the above problems. The data sharing platform based on blockchain technology can link the whole process data of express parcel shipment, shipment, transportation, end delivery and signing, thus ensuring the transparency of the package circulation process. Since the blockchain system keeps the information of the mailer and the recipient, when the courier performs the delivery, the real name authentication can be performed through the specific system, thereby avoiding the parcel being unleashes and misleading by the unrelated person. If an accident occurs during the delivery process, the user can trace the package information through the blockchain system to confirm the link and the responsible person in the process of the transfer. In addition, the distribution system based on the asymmetric encryption mechanism can use the key pair to encrypt and decrypt the logistics information and the user information, thereby ensuring the security of the data and the privacy of the mailer and the recipient.

4. Application of Blockchain in E-commerce Logistics Intelligent Warehousing

The efficiency of the warehousing process is directly related to the safety and effectiveness of e-commerce logistics products. Using blockchain technology and effectively combining RFID, GPS, sensors, barcodes and other technologies to intelligently manage e-commerce logistics and warehousing, real-time monitoring of outbound and warehousing goods can be realized, thereby reducing the search, identification and tracking of goods. Labor cost, time cost. Freight management personnel can implement tracking of locker information and cargo transportation status through the blockchain system, and can intercept the first time when there is a problem with the batch of goods. Shippers can connect to proprietary containers based on distributed ledger technology to track and query warehousing information for goods through mobile devices. In short, the full use of blockchain technology in the warehousing process not only increases the transparency of the entire process, but also ensures that warehousing operators maintain and transport goods in a safe and trusted environment.

5. Application of blockchain in logistics finance

Small and micro enterprises in e-commerce logistics have been seriously affected by the lack of credit system and lack of financing channels, and have been restricted by production and development funds. Due to the differences in information symmetry, management level and economic strength, the logistics finance industry leads to low level of business and efficiency.

By introducing blockchain technology, the blockchain is linked with the logistics financial information database, and the transaction information of each participant is recorded in real time by using a chain ledger, thereby establishing an efficient, secure, transparent and trustable trading environment. Based on the blockchain system, logistics companies, financing companies and financial institutions can share transaction data in real time, reduce unnecessary review and inspection, and achieve high levels of collaboration. On the other hand, in the process of capital circulation, blockchain asymmetric encryption algorithm, digital signature, zero-knowledge verification technology can ensure the security and privacy of user data, and ensure that the data referenced by financial institutions in the credit is accurate. Effective. Since each transaction information of the transaction participants is recorded in a timely and accurate manner by the blockchain, the distributed ledger data will be more transparent, avoiding the risks caused by the forgery of credit records.

6. Application of blockchain in cross-border e-commerce

Traditional cross-border e-commerce fund settlement involves multiple intermediation banks and the International Clearing House, but blockchain technology is changing this situation. The blockchain system abandons cross-border transit financial institutions and attempts to complete the transaction with the pass as a medium in the process of capital flow. For example, the e-commerce platform sends a settlement request to the consumer based on the blockchain system, and the consumer receives the settlement information and then settles through the corresponding pass, and the system automatically generates a digital timestamp after the system confirms, and records the transaction information in the block. in. In the cross-border settlement, blockchain technology establishes a decentralized trust relationship for producers, consumers, merchants and other entities, and forms a real-time effective settlement system.

On the other hand, the blockchain information can not be falsified to ensure that user information and product information are true and effective, and that information is traceable and shared by multiple parties. E-commerce users can verify the authenticity of online shopping products through traceability; customs can use traceability to identify smuggled and counterfeit cross-border goods; banks can trace the source to confirm the authenticity of the credit identity; logistics companies can also improve the cross-source The level of logistics management of environmental e-commerce.

V. Conclusion

Today, we have stood on the cusp of a new revolution, because blockchain will fundamentally trigger and drive a new round of change–the credit revolution, so that the credit of physical space is reflected in the information space. The express delivery enterprise commonly known as the “Tongda Department” in China has established a “community trust” mechanism in the acquaintance society in a trusting environment through the “joining” system, and quickly built a nationwide express delivery network in a low-cost manner, in terms of successful innovation in business models. A world-class case. The blockchain technology is to build a decentralized trust mechanism in the untrusted stranger society, so that multiple participants can conduct secure trust transactions without intermediaries, so that the business model of e-commerce logistics is heavy. The prospect of plastic. Blockchain is not a technology that exists in isolation, but is constantly combined with technologies such as artificial intelligence, 5G, Internet of Things, and chips to bring about changes in society. But at the moment, we should pay attention to bottlenecks such as the so-called “impossible triangle” in the blockchain, and continue to make technological breakthroughs in efficiency, safety, and decentralization, paving the way for this revolutionary technology to land in the field of e-commerce logistics. .

After years of development, blockchain applications have extended from the underlying technology that is used solely for Bitcoin systems to many areas, including e-commerce logistics. This new technology is an opportunity and a challenge for all sectors of society. To use this new technology requires innovation from the underlying technology and equipment, breakthroughs in application scenarios, and coordination between the government and the community. stand by. Logistics Information Interoperability Sharing Technology and Application The National Engineering Laboratory and Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications have published the book "Block Chain Technology Reshaping the Future Logistics Business Model", aiming at popularizing and promoting blockchain knowledge, and calling on government departments, Research institutes and benchmarking companies work together to further promote the application of blockchain in the field of e-commerce logistics, and build an e-commerce logistics system that is efficient, transparent, collaborative, professional, highly trustworthy and low-cost.