Understanding the General Secretary Xi Jinping's Speech on Blockchain Technology from a Technical Perspective

[Editor's Note] According to Xinhua News Agency, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee conducted the 18th collective study on the status quo and trend of blockchain technology development on the afternoon of October 24. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, emphasized that the integrated application of blockchain technology plays an important role in new technological innovation and industrial transformation. We must take the blockchain as an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies, clarify the main direction, increase investment, focus on a number of key core technologies, and accelerate the development of blockchain technology and industrial innovation.

Recently, Xinhua News Agency reporters made a special interview with our organization. Among them, I have answered all the questions about the technical direction of blockchain. The following is the complete text.

First, the core focus to be urgently broken

1. High-performance consensus algorithm and consensus mechanism without losing enough security

At present, there are three kinds of consensus algorithms that have been theoretically verified and tested in practice: PoW, PoS, and PBFT. These three mainstream consensus algorithms and their variants, such as PoS and VRF (verifiable random functions), can only be combined. A trade-off between performance, security, and decentralization, new consensus mechanisms and algorithms still need to go through the rigors of commercial production environments.

2. For the commercialization of future quantum computers, the upgrade of traditional encryption algorithms and the evolution of national secret algorithms

This is similar to the relationship between spear and shield. The commercial use of quantum computers still takes time. At present, it is still at the prototype stage. At present, there are no ways to effectively validate the various post-quantum and anti-quantum cryptographic algorithms proposed. However, the necessary theoretical reserves and research are still very urgent, including the evolution of the national secret algorithm.

3. High-performance smart contracts and virtual machine engines

Ethereum's Solidity smart contract programming language and EVM virtual machine are a milestone in the history of blockchain technology development, but there are various performance bottlenecks and security flaws, and it is necessary to develop a new intelligent contract programming language. In terms of smart contract virtual machine engine, WASM is a direction, but it is not enough. The direction of building a blockchain smart contract virtual machine based on RISC-V reduced instruction set computing architecture is also worth exploring.

4. Decentralized or multi-centered distributed storage system

The current IPFS is still far from the requirements of commercial production environments, and new decentralized or multi-center distributed storage engines are still on the road. As a storage infrastructure, we require that its storage methods be scalable, scalable, support multi-dimensional, multi-type data storage, and have four or more high availability.

5. Research and development of privacy protection technology

At present, the key research and development areas in the industry include zero-knowledge proof, MPC, and trusted execution environment. At the same time, it is necessary to properly solve the problem of degraded processing performance due to the introduction of privacy protection processing.

6, the oracle (Oracle) external data source services and the coordination of data under the chain, chain

At present, various oracle (Oracle) solutions still cannot meet the requirements of providing reliable data source services under the chain, and the theoretical and engineering implementations need to be continuously verified.

7. Blockchain governance mechanism

The blockchain, especially the public chain, is neither affiliated with the authority nor privately owned. It is a “public land”. The biggest test facing the commons is the “tragedy of the commons”. The similar dilemmas are the “Prisoner's Dilemma Game” and the “Collective Action Logic”. Because everyone is tempted to hitchhike, evade responsibility or other opportunistic behavior, however, each player's choice of their own "best" advantage strategy is not the optimal solution in the Pareto sense, any At that time, as long as one person is not excluded from sharing the benefits brought by the efforts of others, there is no incentive to contribute to the common interests, but only to choose to be a free-rider, which has nothing to do with morality or education. In the theory of tragedy of the commons, autonomy can be achieved through an effective blockchain governance mechanism. The problem is how to solve the problems of the tragedy of the commons, the prisoner's dilemma game, and the collective action logic. It may not be enough to rely on chain governance.

8, cross-chain technology and framework

The future is definitely an era in which multiple public chains and multiple alliance chains coexist. How to realize the cross-chain coordination of these isomorphic and heterogeneous chains, effectively and securely transmit and exchange information and values, and truly form a blockchain network. Further research and development, Cosmos, Polkadot and other projects have only opened the prelude to the cross-chain solution war.

9, a variety of mainstream programming language support

Mainly at the level of the intelligent contract platform, it is required to support a variety of common mainstream programming languages, and to lower the threshold for the Internet industry technicians to enter the blockchain application development.

10. Synergistic development of Layer 1 and Layer 2 technologies

This is also a hot research and development field in the industry in recent years. The common Layer 1 expansion scheme includes fragmentation and DAG data structure. The Layer 2 solution includes Ethereum's Plasma, state channel, etc. How to combine their respective advantages to create performance. The blockchain platform for security and decentralization is worth looking forward to.

11. Blockchain supervision and supervision technology

Blockchain is not an extraterritorial land. Regulation is necessary and necessary, and it can be based on the development of new regulatory technologies and technologies based on the fundamental characteristics of data that cannot be tampered and undeletable on blockchains, as well as related legal and legal interventions. mechanism.

12. Coordinated development of alliance chain and public chain

The public chain and the alliance chain are two completely different tracks. For different application scenarios, it is necessary to balance and effectively invest funds and R&D forces for development.

Second, what is the level of China's blockchain technology in the world?

For the current domestic blockchain technology level, it should be divided into two.

1. The application level is at the forefront of the world, especially in China, which has the most abundant blockchain application scenarios and industry resources in the world.

2, original technical innovation and theoretical level still need to work hard, especially the basic discipline research on mathematics at the bottom of the blockchain is currently seriously delayed.

Third, the long and short board of China's blockchain industry

Our strengths or advantages have the following:

1. In the field of digital assets, major exchanges, mines and computing power, as well as wallets are all in China, occupying the head traffic portal in the field of digital assets.

2, rich landing application scenarios and engineering realization capabilities

3. Strong executive power of government and regulatory agencies

4. Application innovation and user experience are global

5. The world's best communications infrastructure

Our disadvantages or shortcomings are also very obvious:

1. The theoretical basis of cryptography and blockchain has a large gap with the United States. The relative lag of China in the field of basic research also objectively affects the original innovation in the field of blockchain. This is a gap that cannot be rumored. The most fundamental thing is that in the field of mathematics, computer and cryptography is a relatively biased subject, and is based on two basic disciplines of mathematics and physics. The gaps in basic and basic research are also reflected in China's current communications and mobile Internet arena, which is the biggest gap relative to the United States.

2. The shortage of talents in the blockchain industry, including blockchain technology, blockchain product managers, blockchain operations, etc., also lacks industry leaders.

3. Insufficient original innovation, the root cause lies in the weak domestic basic research in mathematics, which leads to more plagiarism abroad.

4. The existing blockchain team in China, especially the public chain team, is small in scale and weak in technology. The survival and innovation capabilities are worrying. This is partly due to the market. In addition, it is also related to the early stage of the development of blockchain technology. And there is a natural flaw in the technical ability, product understanding and strategic vision of the first batch of practitioners who have experienced extensive R&D experience in large-scale Internet distributed platforms.

Fourth, the recommended countermeasures

1. Strengthen the study of basic disciplines such as mathematics and physics, and attract outstanding overseas scientists to come to China for basic research. The policy should focus on the basic disciplines supporting mathematics related to the underlying technology of blockchain, from number theory to geometry to cryptography. , topology and other different levels.

2. Accelerate the pace of the Chinese central bank's legal digital currency DC/EP, and integrate the resources of the government, financial institutions, the Internet and the blockchain industry within the framework of the central bank's legal digital currency.

3. In the current application innovation field where China has advantages, supervision should keep up, and domestic Internet and blockchain enterprises are encouraged to attack overseas markets.

4. In contrast to the basic research, strengthen the training and training system for blockchain talents, including blockchain technology development, product design and market operations, and welcome a large number of large-scale mobile Internet distributed system development. Experienced technicians join the blockchain industry.

5. Blockchain is not omnipotent. As a technology, to solve practical problems, it is necessary to integrate mobile Internet, AI, big data, Internet of Things and other technologies as well as cryptography, economics and other multidisciplinary A group of leading players in the blockchain industry that integrates these technical fields and cryptographic economics, rather than the current KOLs in the industry, will prove that they are just a passing sight.

6. The business community, technology circle, investment institutions, academia, and government and regulatory agencies should strengthen communication and interaction. When I participated in the CCF blockchain meeting, I also discussed with the teachers of the academic circle the four-in-one of the industry, academia and research institute. The aspect is to learn from Silicon Valley in the United States.

7. Strengthen the construction of the blockchain industry and technical standards system, especially the participation and leading international standards. The blockchain industry should be open-minded to Huawei and ZTE, two of the top Chinese technology giants in the field of international communication 5G standards. .

8. For the blockchain industrial parks and policy support that are in the ascendant in various places, it is recommended that the central and local governments should strengthen management to avoid the recurrence of the tragedy of chickens and feathers brought by a swarm of bees.

to sum up

The blockchain is essentially the latest development stage of the Internet, that is, the value Internet phase. There is no need to separate the blockchain from the Internet and even the self-righteous illusion that can subvert the Internet, but the blockchain serves as the infrastructure of the value Internet. More on the software level. On the other hand, at the hardware level, China is at least a global leader in the field of communication network infrastructure. We have communication giants such as Huawei and ZTE in the next generation of quantum communication and quantum. There is no generation difference in computing research and the United States. At present, there is a big gap between traditional silicon-based computer general-purpose chips and core electronic components.

The development of blockchain technology requires the joint efforts of all walks of life. China should have a high stake. One of the goals is to have the Chinese version of Bell Labs in the blockchain industry, producing a number of Nobel Prizes, Turing Awards and Fields Prize winners.