Expert comment: Development blockchain should pay attention to open source governance experience

Author: Associate Professor, School of Public Administration, University of Electronic Science and Technology Jia open

Source: 21st Century Business Herald

The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China recently conducted the eighteenth collective study on the status quo and trends of blockchain technology development. The General Secretary emphasized that the integrated application of blockchain technology plays an important role in new technological innovation and industrial transformation. It is necessary to accelerate the development of blockchain technology and industrial innovation. Under the background of the increasingly deep digitalization, informationization and intelligent transformation, the blockchain has developed over the past ten years. At present, it has formed a vast technical system and industrial ecology, and is accelerating from the digital currency field to other areas. Innovative integration with all walks of life. It is precisely because of its potential to empower the economy to develop new kinetic energy. Both the central government and the local government have placed great hopes on it and tried to accelerate the technological development and industrial application of the blockchain through public policies and public resources.

On the other hand, what we must pay attention to is the special nature of the blockchain's own technical attributes and industrial application logic, which makes it different from traditional information technology and thus will reflect different development laws and development needs. Specifically, unlike traditional information technology, the difficulty in the development of blockchain is not the breakthrough of single-point technology. It depends more on the innovation of application mechanism and governance mechanism, so as to ultimately have many participants, low efficiency, and trust. In the high-cost industrial environment, the consensus, co-construction and sharing of de-intermediation are realized.

Similar to the current general understanding of the logic of comparing blockchains to “value Internet”, the biggest challenge facing the Internet in the 1960s is not entirely at the technical level. The key to cracking its development bottleneck lies in the parties. The consensus on Internet technology solutions and value potential (such as global access to the Internet), on the other hand, is the construction of the underlying resource governance mechanisms of the Internet itself (such as domain name management). Therefore, in the context of increasing the blockchain technology and application investment and accelerating the development of blockchain, we must pay equal attention to the construction and improvement of the blockchain-related governance mechanism, which mainly refers to The creation of value consensus among the parties involved in the development of blockchain, the coordination of interest relations, and the confirmation of rights and obligations.

If you realize that determining the success or failure of the blockchain development is not just because of technical factors, but because of the broader changes in production relations, then the next question is how should we deal with this through ideological emancipation and institutional innovation. challenge? The open source philosophy, spirit and institutional experience represented by open source software will provide a reference for the development of blockchain.

Open source software is a software development model that is “tit-forward” with the traditional software-specific model (not publishing source code). It actually provides a huge code knowledge base for the global society, which is conducive to the progressive innovation and combination innovation of latecomers. The core of the open source concept and the open source spirit is "to promote innovation through openness," but the realization of this process relies on the transformation and improvement of the open source governance mechanism. Specifically, open source governance describes the governance mechanism of the programmer community formed around the development of open source software. The core question to answer is how to stimulate the enthusiasm and innovation of participants in a loose network community structure. Furthermore, the implementation of the program code to achieve consensus, and promote the continuous improvement of the program code.

The problems that open source governance tries to solve are very similar to the problems faced by blockchain development. The potential value of the blockchain is mobilizing the enthusiasm of the parties in a decentralized (or weakly centralized) manner, and ultimately achieving mutual collaboration or collective action between different actors at a lower cost. Whether it is open source software or blockchain, the objects they face are decentralized individuals, and their behavior cannot be managed through traditional methods such as employment relationships, administrative orders, or organizational controls. It is precisely because of this that the governance experience formed by the open source governance in the long-term development process just provides a reference and demonstration for breaking through the development bottleneck of the blockchain. In the long-term practice process, the multi-faceted cultural and institutional experience formed by open source governance, including signal theory, reciprocal behavior, gift culture, and copyright agreement, can be the soil for promoting the development of blockchain.

It should be noted that the current discussion on the development of blockchains pays more attention to solving incentives and coordination problems by means of technology, and ignores the importance of governance system innovation in a big sense. For example, in the discussion of many blockchain application scenarios, most of the viewpoints are that "smart contracts" can automatically achieve constraints and incentives for contract behavior, but ignore the incompleteness of the contract itself and the inevitable existence of code loopholes. The impact of factors such as sex; similarly, many public chain development processes have placed special emphasis on the importance of “chain governance”, and hope that through the design of special token mechanisms, the main bodies of the ecological chain will be automatically formed. A complete economy that can self-circulate and operate effectively, but this idea also ignores the social attributes of economic issues, ignoring the behavioral motives of the diversification of the main body and the endogenous uncertainty of economic phenomena and the possibility of deviating from steady state. Sex.

In the face of the above problems, relying solely on technological innovation is not the solution. The governance innovation at the institutional level should be paid attention and attention at least to the same extent, and the open source governance experience provides a model and reference for the breakthrough development of the blockchain. In fact, when we jump out of the limitations of technical determinism and think about the development of blockchain from a broader social and institutional level, we can truly understand the true meaning of “promoting the development of blockchains and economic and social integration”. It is also possible to truly release the full potential of the blockchain in terms of “building a network power, developing a digital economy, and assisting economic and social development”.