Advertising, traceability, deposit, and blockchain are all false propositions?

In 2019, blockchain practitioners who tried to transform all walks of life discovered that their model might become a "pseudo-proposition."

From blockchain advertising to product traceability, copyright protection, and asset identification, blockchains have experienced difficulties in landing and acclimatization.

More and more cases tell people that blockchain is not a panacea. Blockchain practitioners have also begun to explore, block the blockchain and various technologies to promote its continued landing.

“Perhaps many projects are not false propositions, just that they have not found the best path. These losers have also left a valuable legacy for the industry,” said a blockchain practitioner.

01 pseudo-proposition

A year ago, Xiaomi’s recruitment announcement made the outside world notice for the first time that the blockchain and the advertising industry also had the possibility of combining.

Xiaomi released blockchain engineer recruitment information

“For a long time, there have been many problems in the advertising industry, such as mistrust, cheating, and waste of resources in data collaboration, advertising, and performance monitoring.” Xiaomi official wrote in the recruitment announcement, “The block that Xiaomi is studying. Chain technology can largely break through data, anti-cheating, and solve IP inconsistencies."

"At the time, the blockchain was hot. People in the circle felt that Xiaomi would use the blockchain to 'subvert' the ad network industry, and we are also very nervous." Zhang Yuan, an ad network platform operator, said to a blockchain.

What is an ad network?

In the Internet advertising industry, webmasters and app developers are called “traffic parties”, and companies that have advertising needs are called “advertisers”. A platform that aggregates a large number of traffic parties, advertisers, and delivers advertising content to traffic parties is called an "ad network."

The advertising model of the ad network has always been to earn the "spread" between the traffic party and the advertiser. But in fact, the system of advertising alliances has always been criticized.

"The alliance can give advertisers false reports and increase the advertising fee; then the traffic party will under-report the volume and pay less traffic fees. In the end, the alliance can 'take both ends." Zhang Yuan revealed, "because the actual delivery data Only the ad network knows it. This is also the 'hidden rules' of the entire industry."

But the blockchain has made some people who hate the unspoken rules of the industry see new hopes – the data on the blockchain is open and transparent, and it cannot be tampered with, which may solve the mutual trust problem of all parties in the advertising alliance.

"Ad networks can build a blockchain that links users to the browsing and clicking behavior of advertisements. Users, ad networks, advertisers, and traffic owners can voluntarily act as nodes to record data. All parties cannot tamper with or refute." Zhang Yuan said.

It is expected that blockchain technology will be used to solve the problems of advertising alliances.

However, practitioners soon discovered that refactoring advertising alliances with blockchains is still a false proposition at this stage.

“The problem is first in technology.” Zhang Yuan said, “If every user’s browsing and clicking behavior is on the chain, there is currently no chain on the market that can support the business needs of the advertising alliance.”

He used the Baidu ad network as an example. The latter's official data shows that the platform has an "average billions per day" advertisement, and the daily average online behavior data is "20 billion."

This means that if Baidu is to link all the alliance data, it needs a blockchain of one million-level TPS. In addition, each participating node needs to have a large amount of storage space.

"The original intention of advertisers and traffic masters is to not be "pit money" by the platform. If the cost of operating nodes is too large, everyone will give up." Zhang Yuan said.

In his view, the second factor that constrains the blockchain advertising alliance is the business model.

“Ad network is a heavy-duty industry with obvious scale effect.” Zhang Yuan said, “Head platforms such as Google Adsense, Baidu Alliance, and Ali Mom have already occupied the majority of market share, and the space for new entrants is extremely limited. ""

In his view, advertising alliances are a dirty and tired job: "The platform must be targeted at both advertisers and traffic parties, and the operating costs are extremely high. The head platform has already formed industry barriers."

"Data is not open and transparent, it is indeed a pain point in this industry, but just addressing this pain point does not make a new platform stand out." Zhang Yuan said.

“In recent years, the advertising alliances of e-commerce platforms such as Ali and are popular because they bring new scenes – the webmaster leads the users to the e-commerce platform sellers, and the sellers provide commissions to the webmasters. In Zhang Yuan's view, this may be more important than the blockchain.

As expected by Zhang Yuan, the follow-up development of Xiaomi blockchain advertising plan does not touch the data mutual trust problem of advertisers, traffic parties and advertising alliances. It only uses the blockchain to record the user's “digital virtual ID”. To balance user privacy and ad delivery accuracy.

Another product similar to the ad network product architecture is the gallery platform. But in this area, the blockchain is still very difficult to land.

Recently, the visual Chinese black hole picture incident has sparked heated discussion. It is not clear that outsiders criticize the copyright of some pictures in China. Some photographers have also questioned that the platform has concealed the actual number of sales of pictures and “squeezed” photographers for profit.

"Compared with advertising alliances, the introduction of blockchain technology in the library platform is relatively reliable, but there are also many problems." Feng Liang, head of a domestic Internet enterprise library business, said to a blockchain.

“'relatively reliable' refers to the simultaneous concurrent operation of the library platform, which is far lower than the advertising alliance. The performance of the blockchain is not high.” Feng Liang said, “But the gallery platform is similar to the advertising alliance, and it is scale effect. In an industry with obvious, heavy capital, heavy operations, and heavy labor costs, the absolute openness and transparency of information is not the key."

"At present, the biggest pain point in the gallery industry is that the social copyright awareness is weak, and the platform is difficult to obtain customers." Feng Liang said, "For the library platform, the introduction of the blockchain clearly defines the copyright, which is just a icing on the cake, and is more suitable as a corporate vision."

02 landing puzzle

Although the pain points in the industry are clear and clear, and the business itself has a prototype of distributed nodes, the blockchain is still full of challenges in industries such as advertising alliances and photo galleries.

Not only that. The current hot blockchain chain, blockchain traceability and blockchain asset confirmation rights are also plagued by “difficult landing”.

Taking the blockchain traceability as an example, the architecture of such products is not complicated: the full process information of the product traceability can be recorded on the blockchain to make the data transparent and not tamperable.

However, the biggest problem with the traceability of the blockchain has appeared in the “data source fraud” – the blockchain does not guarantee whether the uplink data itself is true.

“Taking the traceability of food information as an example, the blockchain can record the circulation data of food, but it can't solve the problem of fake raw materials.” Song Wenhua, head of the traceability business of a blockchain enterprise, said, “If the data on the chain itself is fraudulent,” The chain's credit certification will cause even greater harm."

In addition to fraudulent data sources, the second problem that constrains the traceability of blockchain development is the anchoring of the digital world on the chain and the physical world under the chain.

"The current universal solution is anchored by two-dimensional code and chip." Song Wenhua said, "But this technology is only applicable to standard products, such as packaged foods; for non-standard products, such as raw water, etc., anchoring is very difficult."

Therefore, relying solely on the blockchain to solve the traceability of goods is still a false proposition.

Blockchain is not a panacea for copyright protection.

Taking the copyright protection of digital works as an example, the blockchain can store the digital work information in the form of a hash value, and fix the copyright according to the unique hash value to detect plagiarism.

However, the plagiarist only needs to make a byte change to the original content, which will generate a new hash value and invalidate the system.

In addition, in the judicial certification, it was not until June 2018 that the first case in which evidence of blockchain deposits was adopted appeared in China. Once the case enters the judicial chain, the blockchain can only solidify the evidence and cannot speed up the process of rights protection.

In the field of asset securitization, the difficulty of identifying the blockchain is also outside the technology. In 2015, the world's first land-right rights project in Honduras failed.

"In essence, this is a political project, and the speed of the Honduran government is much slower than we think." The notary public who provided technical services for the project said.

The blockchain is sure to land, and there is still a long way to go in law, policy, and more realities.

"Technology's return to technology, legal return to law, blockchain is not a panacea." Some concluded.

03 What is the future?

More and more practitioners have found that many blockchain solutions, which are highly anticipated, are plagued by “pseudo-propositions” due to factors such as unclear patterns and difficulties in landing.

“Before the influx of capital, the blockchain model that many 'thought brains came up with was flooding the market. When the capital dissipated, people discovered that many models are pseudo-propositions themselves.” Blockchain researcher Zhang Heng is on a district. Blockchain representation.

“Even so, many blockchain projects that are considered to be 'pseudo-propositions' are also a hundred times more conscience than the eye-catching project of cutting the leeks.” Zhang Heng said, “The failure of these projects also gives other blockchains. The practitioners have left a profound lesson."

Why is the blockchain industry full of false propositions? In Zhang Heng's view, the "hot money herd effect" brought about by the influx of capital is the primary factor. In addition, the blockchain technology itself has limitations.

"At this stage, the efficiency and performance of the blockchain is still very limited, and the system has high requirements on storage costs." Zhang Heng said, "In addition, another limitation of blockchain technology is that information on the chain cannot be Direct interaction with out-of-chain information."

However, in his view, with the continuous improvement of blockchain performance and the continuous development of technologies such as smart contracts, these problems will eventually be solved.

"Beyond technology, there is also a problem of speculation and lack of awareness in the blockchain industry." Zhang Heng said.

"The wealth effect of Bitcoin in the early years has made the 'coin circle big guys' have too much right to speak. Whether the blockchain technology can really land, it seems irrelevant to these people." Zhang Heng said, "but in the speculation In addition to the currency players, most ordinary people have a very poor understanding of the blockchain. The outside world has always misunderstood the blockchain industry."

If the blockchain product wants to crack the curse of the "pseudo-proposition", the most crucial thing is to land smoothly.

"Our solution is to combine blockchain technology with other technologies," Song Wenhua said.

“Through the traceability of the blockchain we are engaged in, we solve the problem of source fraud by combining the Internet of Things with the blockchain—replacement of artificial data collection with IoT devices,” he explained. “The less manual intervention, the source. The lower the possibility of fraud."

In addition to IoT data collection, Song Wenhua's project will also use artificial intelligence and other technologies to clean up the original data, so as to ensure that only the most important data is saved.

“Many blockchain projects fail, perhaps not because their model is a 'pseudo-proposition'.” Song Wenhua concluded, “There are countless paths to achieve a model, and the losers’ attempts are also left for the industry. Valuable heritage."

"Blockchain technology is just a technology that solves the problem of trust. Don't over-deify it," said a blockchain practitioner.

There is still a very long way to go to make it really land.

In this process, the explorer needs patience and perseverance.

* Some of the respondents in the text are pseudonyms.

Text: Ratchet Pizza

Source: a blockchain