Babbitt Column | Neglected Blockchain Node Operations: The Hidden Value of Mining

Author: Sun vice president

Editor's Note: The original title was "Don't overlook the value of node operations when discussing blockchain"

There are two interesting news in the recent blockchain industry. Although they involve different segments, they all have the same effect, which is to give practitioners and investors a strong heart. Needle, let them feel the mainstream society's endorsement of the industry developed from the bottom up-the first news is the October 25th session of the Political Bureau of the China Political Bureau talks, let the blockchain in China has truly become a “formal industry”. The second news is that the well-known mining machine manufacturer Jia Nan Yunzhi landed on Nasdaq on November 20, becoming the first block chain in the true sense.

In the eyes of many people, one of these two news occurred in China, one occurred in the United States, one appeared at the government level, and one appeared at the capital market level. But many people may have missed one point: In addition to the differences between countries and institutions, there is a very obvious difference between the two news: the former news mainly relates to the blockchain technology itself, and the latter news involves What we have arrived at is a relatively low-key but crucial work for the blockchain: the operation of blockchain nodes.

1. The real key indicator of blockchain: decentralization

There is no doubt that in today's society, blockchain has become a hot topic. In all walks of life, there are discussions about "What is blockchain technology", "How does blockchain technology empower the real economy", "Which country or enterprise has achieved the leading position in blockchain technology" and so on. It should be noted that in related discussions, people often focus on the "technology" of the blockchain. This is likely to explain one thing, that is, many people regard the blockchain as something similar to the Internet of Things, big data, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence. They believe that as long as sufficient resources are invested in research and development, it can make relevant The products have achieved performance leadership, just like the 5G networks they are focusing on. But the fact is likely that the blockchain is far less simple than they think. As long as it achieves a leading position in technical performance, it can gain the approval of developers and users.

Why do you say that?

To illustrate this, we must first figure out why people need a blockchain. Unlike other technologies, this digital technology does not play the role of channel in the digital economy system, but the role of trust. That is, to create a credible execution environment in an economic scenario without credibility, and the "credibility" indicator is quite subjective, which determines that the indicators of blockchain products and people's recognition are very likely. Is not a positive correlation.

For example, purely from the experience of transferring money, Bitcoin is definitely not as good as many altcoins that later appeared, but if you want to ask which project has the highest degree of recognition and user group in the cryptocurrency field. The answer is undoubtedly Bitcoin. The reason why this happens is naturally not because of how superior the technical indicators of this project are, but because of the success of Bitcoin in operations-since 2010, this project has never seen a model like this one. Like Satoshi, he is a privileged person on the development path of the project. So people now think of Vitalik when they think of ETH, and BM when they mention EOS, but when it comes to BTC, it is estimated that most people can't think of this project except Satoshi Nakamoto who has disappeared for many years Being the main bone. This is where Bitcoin is most successful and why many fans think it is unique.

In contrast, many current blockchain followers have a misunderstanding of the blockchain: In their opinion, as long as the technical indicators of a chain are strong enough, people can naturally get their approval. However, this may not be the case. Throughout the "public chain war" that began at the end of 2017, the tps of each chain was not low, but in the end they fell into the dilemma of no one using it. So where did they lose? The answer is credibility, and the key to high credibility is not only from the level of technology that is now being thought of by all sectors of society, but also from another job-that is, operations.

2. Neglected Blockchain Node Operations: The Hidden Value of Mining

What needs to be clarified is that in the past few years, because the blockchain industry has been simply and crudely equivalent to the "currency circle", the products that need to be sold outside are "coins", so the so-called "operations" of the blockchain industry , Is also generally seen as activities like "meetings, appointments, noodles," and its purpose is very simple, that is, to connect many social resources through various sales activities, and then create more for the company's tokens With more liquidity, the digital currency will eventually be sold in exchange for the company's fiat currency income.

But in fact, if from the perspective of "chain", that is, the "chain" itself is sold as a product, then the operation of the blockchain industry is actually much more complicated-not only do you have to let users (at this time Of users are not only investors with relatively simple ideas, but also many developers and DAPP users) think that the performance of your chain is relatively easy to use, and more importantly, this chain must have a certain degree of decentralization: Your nodes must not be too concentrated in the hands of a single stakeholder, otherwise the information will be tampered with; if a node exits, other stakeholders must be able to fill in the vacancies to prevent the node from becoming a monopoly situation, or even It is difficult to continue because there are too many nodes exiting; when major decisions are encountered during the development of this chain, the development direction of the chain cannot be determined by a certain privilege, but must be discussed by all parties with close interests … …

It is no exaggeration to say that it is the seemingly subjective "decentralization" that currently lacks industry standard measurement, which makes the blockchain stand out from many digital technologies and attract outside attention. Otherwise, if the performance of TPS is simply pursued, then people simply use a centralized cloud platform, and the speed is really unknown how much faster than the blockchain. The actual operation of the blockchain should actually make the outside world realize that this chain is not only objectively superior in performance, but also worthy of subjective trust in sustainable decentralization. However, unfortunately, this work has always been ignored by people in the past.For example, a well-known public chain project is full of money made through the sale of tokens in the primary market. However, in the subsequent development of the public chain During the process, various centralized events were revealed, which greatly hurt the confidence of investors and developers. In other words, the project was very successful in the operation of "coin", but it was aimed at "chain" Operations have failed. This is also an important reason why its results are currently far below expectations.

As a matter of fact, even now that the blockchain is receiving great attention from the mainstream society, it seems that the operation of the blockchain has not received much attention. Now all walks of life are discussing blockchain technology, and they hope that the company will take the lead in the field of blockchain technology. However, the true essence of blockchain lies in decentralization, and the achievement of decentralization is not only in technology. It is more about the rationality of the system design and the subsequent related operational work, and this is where the real added value of the blockchain lies. For the moment, the industry that is closest to the operation of the blockchain should be considered the mining industry including mining pools, mines and mining machines. It is under the continuous operation of the mining industry that the Bitcoin main chain can produce blocks continuously for 10 years.

However, throughout the world, although countries do have certain preferential policies for the introduction of mines. But this is more from the perspective of the energy industry, hoping that mining can promote local energy consumption and increase employment for labor-intensive energy industries. Few people look at mining from the perspective of the blockchain industry. Although the Chinese side has realized the importance of blockchain technology, at present, the main energy is still focused on technology research and development, rather than related mechanism design and node operations. For example, there are still many people who don't understand the significance of the existence of bitcoin mines. They will think that this is a waste of electricity. This idea just reveals that they currently treat the blockchain as intelligent hardware, big data, and artificial intelligence Channel-based technology, and this understanding of the blockchain is superficial. Because it is precisely because of the continuous competition between the mining pools, the data on the Bitcoin main chain is highly trusted.

From this perspective, the incident of Jia Nan Yunzhi's landing on Nasdaq some time ago actually has another important significance. It at least sends a signal to the outside world: that is, from the perspective of US securities review agencies, the business that Jia Nan Yunzhi is currently engaged in, related to blockchain mining, is of significance, and it can also create certain social added value. of. For the blockchain managers of countries that are gradually increasing their mutual attention, they are likely to re-examine the blockchain mining industry, and finally put aside the stereotype that "mining will only waste energy" and understand the blockchain. The real meaning of operating a business has prompted all sectors of society to invest more resources in this business that is not yet eye-catching, but is vital.