Text: Tian Mu
Source: Investment Network Business Depth
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Regardless of the stock market or the price of the currency, after the heat fades, it will eventually return to calm and return to the value and application of the blockchain technology itself.
The first fanaticism of the blockchain came from two years ago.
At a closed-door salon in Beijing at the end of 2017, more than a dozen investors from different institutions sat together to summarize their respective investments in the financial technology sector this year. There was a lot of things happening in the industry that year, and the store was listed. Luo Min said that the cash loan was ups and downs.
Chatting and chatting, the blockchain that is not in the topic has become a topic of most concern to all investors. With the arrival of regulation, cash loans were hit overnight, and investors need to find new directions. As a result, an investor who has set up a separate currency fund outside the traditional fund has become the subject of questioning. They want to know from him, the legend will subvert what Old Money's New Money looks like.
Less than a month after the end of the salon, Xu Xiaoping, the founder of Zhenge Fund, spoke out in a WeChat group, saying that the blockchain is “a great technological revolution in which the people who are in the right place, the people who are rebellious,” The CEOs of the company were immediately “hugging the revolution”. For a time, the article on the blockchain was screened in the venture capital circle. Immediately after the arrival of the Spring Festival, “3 o'clock sleepless blockchain group” became one of the hottest topics in the whole holiday network. Some people said that even the rural New Year’s greetings must talk about blockchain and bitcoin.
They were both anxious and excited at the time.
Just last week, after the blockchain was “an important breakthrough in independent innovation of core technologies and accelerated the development of blockchain technology and industrial innovation”, after more than a year of silence, the blockchain once again became a national craze.
This heat wave is reflected in the capital market. On Monday (October 28), the A-share market, 112 blockchain concept stocks closed at the close, and the market value soared 160 billion a day. After a brief surge at the beginning of this year, it dropped the bitcoin under 10,000 US dollars. After a long period of downturn, the price of the currency also returned to above 10,000 US dollars. The article on the blockchain has also undoubtedly spurred people's circle of friends again.
But this time, investors who have always followed the enthusiasm have not joined the carnival team, but instead become a calm spectator. They are no longer anxious and no longer excited.
Casting the net to observe the status quo of investors who participated in the closed-door salon found that they were already investing in the blockchain field and are still doing it. Those who did not participate at the time, still focus on the established track, not involved in the blockchain.
When the investment network sought the views of several investors on this blockchain boom, they were reluctant to talk more. Even a young investor who resigned from a top-level institutional investment position in 2018 and started a blockchain venture has deleted all friends on WeChat related to the blockchain and returned to the traditional investment industry.
The blockchain is hot and the investors are cold.
“A lot of blockchains are mostly hyped”
"A shares have been speculating in the story, especially the blockchain, which is nothing new, and the dealer makes money."
Zhang Ping, a senior risk control manager at an investment institution, is not surprised by the daily limit of hundreds of blockchain concept stocks.
This is also the consensus of many investors who participated in the interview. Pan Rongrong, the founding partner of Spatao Capital, who invested in blockchain startups, bluntly said
“A lot of A shares are speculation, because the previous blockchain business A shares are difficult to get listed.”
However, before the Internet +, AI, big data and other new technologies have been supported by high-level names, but there has not been a collective upswing like the blockchain concept stocks. The reason is that Guo Yuhang, the head of the Chinese blockchain application research, believes that this is a supplementary increase in market sentiment, because the market has long been skeptical about the blockchain, but with the approval of the central government, the blockchain The value has basically been approved, and it is the psychological basis for this rise.
Cao Zhen, a director of a first-line VC, also held similar views. He said that new technologies such as AI, VR, and big data are developed according to conventional boundaries in the traditional technological transformation path, and the technology itself is biased. In contrast, the blockchain was previously played by some people in the country. People think that the country's blockchain technology is not recognized or supported because of the speculation. So when the support and recognition at the central level comes out,
"You won't be excited from 0 to 1, but you will be excited from -10 to 1."
For the rise of virtual currency such as Bitcoin, Guo Yuhang directly poured a cold water. He said that the rise in the price of the currency is more based on sentiment. The default blockchain and digital currency of the currency are inseparable, but in fact, China has always encouraged the currency-free blockchain, which belongs to China. Official privilege, the folks do not yet have the qualification to issue coins.
Regardless of the stock market or the price of the currency, after the heat fades, it will return to calmness and return to the value and application of the blockchain technology itself.
Development is still early
“The blockchain as a basic technology needs long-term accumulation, and it is difficult to do it all at once. The industrial application of the blockchain also depends on the popularity of the industry and education, which requires slow work.”
Guo Yuhang said, "The central government's approval is of course a good thing, but the development of the industry has its own laws, and optimism cannot replace technology."
At an internal meeting attended by the relevant person in charge of the Central Bank Digital Money Institute, a group of experts in the research blockchain set a time frame for the mature application of blockchain technology—about five to ten years. This means that investment blockchain is now more of an investment, requires patience and time, and even trial and error, and is far from the time to pursue returns.
In 2015, Dahe Venture Capital, which started to invest in the blockchain field, and its vice president Xu Shangyue also said that from the perspective of technology maturity, what we call "blockchain" is essentially a new application form of mature technology. . However, in the landing scene, according to the Garner curve, it is likely that it is still in the first phase of the rise, not the fourth phase of the climb.
Guo Yuhang summarized the main problems that restrict the development of blockchain. First, the public and practitioners are still relatively early in their understanding of the blockchain. If potential users do not understand the blockchain, they will not be able to use the blockchain.
Second, informationization and data volume limit the promotion of blockchain. At present, big data and artificial intelligence are still relatively early. With the popularity of 5G and the Internet of Things, the amount of data to be processed will increase geometrically. At that time, the definition of data, sharing and privacy will need to be based on blockchain. Technology can be properly solved.
Third, there are still many engineering problems to be solved in the blockchain landing. Many people now say that the blockchain technology is mature, but it only refers to laboratory technology. In reality, a large number of engineering problems affect the blockchain landing, which requires real technical research.
The investors who pursue the concept of speculation will not understand this, but the investment institutions that have been battling in the first blockchain boom in 2018 have a deep understanding of this.
Liu Junfeng, co-founder of FA Chain Xing Capital, which focuses on the blockchain field, told Investment Network that such companies as Jingwei Venture Capital and IDG have arranged in the blockchain field, and the institutions that have deeper understanding of the industry have also invested financial returns. Not bad. However, more institutions have not been able to understand the feasibility of the business model because of the lack of understanding of the industry itself, and have suffered more losses after turning to the blockchain investment.
Therefore, after the first-round investors have paid tuition fees, they realized that the blockchain development was at an early stage. It is not surprising to be a calm waiter in the face of this blockchain boom. .
In an interview with China Investment Network, Pan Rongrong said that Spades Capital will pay attention to and invest in supporting startups that are truly applying the practical application of blockchain technology. They will respond positively (policy) but will not speculate. Xu Shangyue also said that this round of policy will not change the investment strategy and rhythm of Dahe Venture Capital. "We are not chasing the wind." Guo Yuhang also said that the Star Alliance will continue to maintain a steady investment rhythm.
Cao Zhen and his organization have not paid attention to the blockchain. After this policy appeared, he used this as a reminder. "We will pay more attention to the fact that this matter will be transmitted to the secondary market, especially in the case of IPO approval." If there is no dividend on the market, this is just an ordinary industry information for Cao Zhen. It does not change its existing investment strategy and rhythm.
Blockchain investment and financing will be active
At the national level, the focus on blockchain support is undoubtedly a huge plus for the industry.
Liu Junfeng, co-founder of Chain Hing Capital, believes that although traditional investment institutions are more conservative in the face of this blockchain boom, he believes that the number of startups and investment and financing events in the blockchain sector will increase significantly over the past. .
On the one hand, Liu Junfeng saw that some of the top VCs in China have gradually begun to set up technical backgrounds or special groups to focus on the development of blockchain. On the other hand, Liu Junfeng believes that the combination of listed companies and blockchain start-ups in the future is a major direction. Blockchain technology needs scenes to come to practice. Some suitable listed companies have both industrial applications and sufficient capital investment. The combination of the two parties will accelerate the application of blockchain.
Specific to the application of the blockchain in the scene, Guo Yuhang said that the investment scenarios mainly include supply chain finance, which is commercially sustainable. While other scenarios such as traceability and government affairs have social value, the commercial value has yet to be verified. Both Xu Shangyue and Liu Junfeng put the infrastructure of the blockchain at the top of their attention.
Liu Yun, the founding partner of Huayi Capital, which has been focusing on investment in the medical and health fields, is also paying attention to blockchain technology recently. Medical care is a major application scenario. Liu Yun told the investment network that electronic medical records are one of the recognized major applications in medical care. In addition, medical supply chain finance is the point that Liu Yun believes that there will be great development in the future.
However, the main obstacle to the application of blockchain in the financial sector is the difference in capacity and computing speed. Liu Yun said that the biggest difficulty in the blockchain in the medical industry is the existing medical system. He said that blockchain applications involve data sharing and interoperability, but existing medical systems and regulations are a major obstacle.
In Liu Yun's view, if the medical system is not changed, the application of the blockchain in the medical industry will be difficult to land, and the corresponding investment will be more cautious, or even not.
"At present, the voice of the top layer is definitely helpful for the promotion of this blockchain. So for the medical industry, it is actually more difficult. This has a lot of experience before. So I think (blockchain Come) The bigger changes are not in the medical industry, or in other industries." Liu Yun said.
(At the request of the respondents, Zhang Ping and Cao Zhen in the text are pseudonyms, and thank Cao for their contributions to this article.)