People's Daily Overseas Edition: Blockchain, "chain" to the future

Source: People's Daily Overseas Edition

Author: Leaf

From the theme of collective learning of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee to the convening of the world blockchain conference of international conferences, from the continuous project financing of the capital market to the popular talks of the people after the meal… Recently, the blockchain has stood on the cusp. Has received much attention. So, what exactly is the blockchain? How does it relate to our daily lives? What is the development prospect of the blockchain? What are the competitive advantages of China in the development of blockchain?

The core technology to solve the trust problem

A common problem in daily life, Zhang San in the village borrowed a hundred yuan from Li Si. How can such a piece of information be confirmed and recorded?

Li Si can be broadcasted through the village's radio station. After hearing the broadcast, all the villagers will perform peer-to-peer verification and then record this information on their own books. In this way, all the villagers’ accounts have written “Li Si borrowed one hundred yuan from Zhang San”. This process is a billing system, and the blocks are arranged in chronological order. The blocks are connected in a chain, which is the blockchain. Blockchains are connected end-to-end in chronological order and can be traced back, but they cannot be tampered because they are all encrypted.

Chen Chun, a professor at Zhejiang University and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, used such a simple example to explain the blockchain. He said that, fundamentally, the blockchain is a distributed digital ledger, single-point initiation, full-network broadcast, cross-audit, and common accounting.

Distributed ledger, decentralization, and rebuilding trust are key words for understanding blockchain technology. According to the "White Paper on China's Blockchain Technology and Application Development" issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in 2016, in a narrow sense, a blockchain is a chained data structure in which data blocks are sequentially connected in a chronological order. And cryptographically guaranteed non-tamperable and unforgeable distributed ledgers.

Blockchain technology originated from the paper "Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer electronic cash system" published by the scholar named "Zhongben Cong". Around 2014, the blockchain gradually separated from the digital currency and extended to the vertical field. It has been widely used in various fields of economic society.

Ma Zhitao, deputy governor and chief information officer of Weizhong Bank, said in an interview with this newspaper that blockchain technology and artificial intelligence and big data are a new computing paradigm and collaboration model for building trust at low cost in an untrusted competitive environment. Similar to next-generation information technologies such as the Internet of Things, edge computing, cloud computing, and 5G, they are the infrastructure of digital information systems. If they promote the integration and development of various technologies, they can promote the digital economy and the digital society more effectively. development of.

Building a new credit system

Indispensable

When invoicing, most people think of a cumbersome and cumbersome procedure. Today, the Shenzhen office workers who commute by subway every day use the word "seconds" to describe the invoicing experience. After the consumer settles the account, the self-service application for invoicing through WeChat function, one-click reimbursement, the invoice information can be synchronized to the enterprise and the tax bureau in real time, and truly realizes “no paper invoice, no special equipment, full mobile phone self-service, and the transaction is invoiced. Invoicing is reimbursement." Among them, the help of blockchain technology is indispensable.

In August last year, the country's first blockchain electronic invoice was born in Shenzhen. For more than a year, blockchain electronic invoices have been widely used in financial insurance, retailer supermarkets, hotel catering, parking services and other industries. On October 30, the number of invoices for electronic invoices in Shenzhen City Blockchain exceeded 10 million, and the invoiced amount exceeded 7 billion yuan. Based on the complete traceability of the whole process and the inability to tamper with information, the blockchain electronic invoice not only facilitates consumers, but also helps enterprises avoid false invoices, improve the regulatory process, reduce enterprise costs, build a credible system and promote ecological sustainable development.

The bill business is only a microcosm of the blockchain application in the field of people's livelihood. Many experts believe that the blockchain, with its unique trust-building mechanism, will become one of the indispensable technologies for the future development of the digital economy and the construction of a new trust system, especially in the context of multi-participation, long chain and lack of trust. .

For example, blockchain technology is derived from cryptocurrency and has a natural fit with the financial industry and has already shown significant advantages in the financial sector. In the financial industry segmentation of supply chain finance, cross-border payment, asset management, insurance, etc., the blockchain has many application results. Shenzhen Internet Finance Association and Weizhong Bank launched the first P2P (Peer-to-Peer Network Borrowing) online lending institution to exit the unified voting system. The blockchain technology is the core and has been applied in 20 online lending institutions in Shenzhen. More than 80,000 lenders were introduced, and the principal of the loan was more than 10.2 billion yuan, effectively solving the problem of difficult decision-making in the process of the benign withdrawal of online lending institutions.

In the traceability industry, the blockchain is also very useful. Ping An Property & Casualty built a smart agriculture production and sales traceability platform in Zhongning, Ningxia, and connected the IoT equipment through blockchain technology to realize the traceability management of the whole industry chain, providing a basis for improving the quality and production capacity of alfalfa. The ant blockchain is also used in the traceability of goods. According to reports, last year Tmall "Double 11", 150 million Haitao goods to achieve the origin of traceability, in 2019, the number of goods with blockchain identity cards will reach 2 billion.

The latest issue of the Blockchain White Paper 2019 published by the China Institute of Information and Communication shows that the blockchain integrates traditional finance on the one hand and the physical industry on the other, from finance, product traceability, government and people's livelihood, electronic deposits to digital identity and supply. Chain collaboration, blockchain application scenarios continue to spread, more and more in-depth and diversified.

China promotes blockchain

Effective integration with the main economy

At present, major countries in the world are accelerating the development of blockchain technology. Cai Weide, director of the Digital Science and Blockchain Laboratory of Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, told this newspaper that many institutions in the world, including Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Singapore, have been engaged in large-scale blockchain experiments and published experimental reports.

According to the Blockchain White Paper 2019, the blockchain industry has different development stages and development characteristics in different countries, and encourages technology and policy supervision to focus on each other. For example, Australia, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands and other countries actively develop blockchain industry and formulate the overall development strategy of the industry; the United States, China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Australia and the EU attach importance to blockchain technology research and application exploration; at the same time, China, Australia, France, Switzerland, Finland, Liechtenstein and other countries have successively formulated regulations on blockchain supervision.

As early as the "13th Five-Year National Informationization Plan" issued by the State Council in 2016, China has listed blockchain technology as a strategic frontier technology. On October 24, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee conducted the eighteenth collective study on the status quo and trend of blockchain technology development, and clearly identified the blockchain as an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies.

Ma Zhitao believes that Chinese enterprises are more oriented to promote the effective integration of blockchain and real economy, and promote more technological innovation and application scenarios than other countries. According to the 2019 global blockchain enterprise invention patent ranking released by IPRdaily, the global intellectual property industry technology media, China accounted for 63% of the top 100 companies, the United States accounted for 19%, and Japan accounted for 7%. Among the top 10, China has already occupied 7 seats.

Lu Yifan, general manager of the financial account-breaking blockchain business unit of Ping An Group, said in an interview with this newspaper that China has a good foundation in the blockchain field in terms of the number of practitioners and market perception. According to IDC (Internet Data Center) research, the market expenditure of China's blockchain reached US$160 million in 2018. It is expected that this strong growth will continue in the next three years. By 2022, the market's expenditure is expected to reach 1.67 billion US dollars, and the compound growth rate will exceed 80% from 2017 to 2022. With the continuous development of technology, blockchain technology will “grow more and accelerate,” and achieve breakthroughs in all walks of life.

"Everything Internet + Wan Chain Interconnect"

Will the blockchain technology with such a broad development prospect enter the homes of ordinary people in the future?

Lu Yifan explained that as the blockchain of the underlying technology, most of the current projects are oriented to the B (business, enterprise) side. The people are not very intuitive in many times, but the effects it brings, such as information traceability, prevention Many advantages, such as tampering, data verification, etc., can bring intangible convenience to daily life. "In the future, we will see more and more blockchain C (user, consumer) applications appear, and even lightweight blockchain nodes can be installed in our smartphones, and data sovereignty will gradually return to In the hands of users, personal data abuse and data privacy protection will no longer exist with the help of blockchain technology."

Ma Zhitao also believes that as the market matures, blockchain applications will become more widespread and accelerate. For example, he said that the blockchain government application helps to achieve the goal of letting the people run less or not to run; the blockchain judicial application can help reduce the arbitration cost of the public or small and micro enterprises and improve the arbitration efficiency; blockchain traceability application Helping the people to eat more reassuring food… "In the future, the blockchain will play a role in the food, clothing, housing and even spiritual civilization that are closely related to the people. For example, the application of blockchain social governance will help promote good deeds and optimize society. Governance model to help achieve sustainable development."

"The value of the blockchain is not in the speculation of coins, but in solving social problems." Jiang Guofei, vice president of Ant Financial, believes that the blockchain has entered the commercial era ahead of time, which is first of all thanks to technological advancement, system performance and data protection. The further maturity of the second, followed by the open technology to trigger the group to accelerate innovation, and the third is the cooperation with the industry benchmark to stimulate the snowball effect. In the future, these three points will continue to accelerate the commercialization of blockchain, and there will be more transactions and information exchange to establish an interconnected and trustworthy system through the blockchain, and finally realize a world of “Internet of Everything + Internet of 10,000 Chains”.