Blockchain industry landing cycle cold thinking: banks have built their own blockchain platforms, who will win?

Source: 21st Century Business Herald

Author: Hui Package

Fintech is increasingly becoming the main battlefield for the application of blockchain technology. Major banks, Internet giants and traditional IT service providers have all joined the battle.

The five major state-owned banks of ICBC, Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of China, China Construction Bank and Bank of Communications all have their own blockchain platforms. Among the stock banks, China Merchants, People's Livelihood, Ping An, and Zhejiang Merchants also all have their own blockchain platforms, even the People's Bank of China. Take the lead in setting up the "Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Trade Finance Blockchain Platform".

Naturally, the tech giants are not far behind. From the January 1st to December 24th of this year, China ’s blockchain patent application rankings show that Tencent and Alibaba rank first and second, respectively. On December 19, Hang Seng Electronics released four block chain products that are all used in the field of fintech.

Over the past decade, the blockchain has developed from a digital currency to a technology system with its unique distributed, point-to-point, traceability, anti-tampering, and programmable features and mechanisms, and has gradually evolved from edge innovation to Mainstream technology system. Governments, central banks, and technology giants in some countries around the world have included blockchain in their strategic horizons.

In 2019, under the attention of the national level, the blockchain has entered the industry landing cycle, and it has reached a transition period from "what is the blockchain" to "how to use the blockchain".

Bank Department Layout Features

From the perspective of the application of the blockchain in the financial field, it is more widely used in the banking field, especially in the supply chain financial business, because many large and medium-sized banks have certain development capabilities, but the blockchain requires multiple parties to participate, and each Large banks want to take the lead, resulting in the supply chain financial blockchain platform is still in a melee phase.

A product manager of the business department of a state-owned large bank company told a reporter of the 21st Century Business Herald on December 26, "The problem now is that no one in the bank buys any account and wants to be the leader. So there are many in the market Platforms, but none of them can be very large. As long as each entity has the appropriate resources or the corresponding operational capabilities, they can build their own alliance chain. "

Even his state-owned company had to walk on two legs. One is a self-built platform, and the other is a platform built by joining other core super jumbo companies.

Even official-led progress has been slow. For example, the "China Trade Finance Interbank Transaction Blockchain Platform" is a trade finance ecosystem blockchain project led by the China Banking Association and jointly participated by 12 leading banks. This platform has fully implemented the domestic letter of credit and forfaiting business on-chain.

A person familiar with the development of the platform revealed that the platform has taken two years from launch to actual business, and the time is very long. The biggest problem of joint operations is that it is difficult to reach consensus, but if each bank or each core enterprise builds its own platform, it is also problematic. Because there are fewer subjects participating in a chain, its meaning no longer exists.

"For example, if there is a transaction between the two of us, we can go offline or electronically. There is no need to use a blockchain. If we want to participate together, we need to include some public facilities on the device, such as invoice verification, taxation, and government. If all other departments of the company are involved, the benefits of this link will be very high. "The person familiar with the matter said.

The cost of distributed accounting is another issue. One of the pain points of the blockchain is storage. The nodes of each chain store the same data, which is duplicated storage. Centralized storage is sufficient.

"If you really roll out a huge application, you probably won't say that all nodes will be stored. You should choose some members of the alliance as storage, and you won't say that all nodes will be stored. In this case, the social cost is fundamental. I ca n’t bear it. In addition, because T-level storage is common, I do n’t think storage is a big problem. The key point is that the economy is not economic. ”

A person in the stock bank has different opinions on this. The self-built platform of small and medium banks still has a certain value, and even small and medium banks also have some core corporate customers. But he also agrees that it is definitely a problem to build a blockchain platform. "In the future, there should be integration. Everyone prefers large-to-large docking, and small platforms will naturally be eliminated and integrated. In the end, the main thing is to See who has many core corporate customers, whoever has the right to speak and survival space. It is not ruled out that in the future, the People's Bank will take the lead in creating a platform, and small banks can join directly. So the core now is not the question of whether to build a blockchain platform. It is not difficult to build a platform. The most important thing is whether you have a good risk control model and enough core enterprise customers. "

The industry generally believes that, objectively speaking, from the perspective of the entire business volume, blockchain technology has not yet formed an industrialized and large-scale effect. Even if there are some large supply chain financial platforms that can achieve hundreds of billions of dollars a year, how to distinguish which of these businesses are caused by the increase in blockchain technology is also a problem.

Fatal defect or resolvable problem?

Since the birth of the blockchain supply chain financial platform, there have been opposing views that the blockchain can only guarantee that the real data will not be tampered with during circulation, and other issues such as how the source can prevent counterfeiting cannot be solved. So it doesn't make much sense to develop this technology.

Regarding this issue, Zhang Yifeng, director of the China Banking Technology Institute of Blockchain under the central bank, told reporters from 21st Century Business Herald on December 26, "You cannot use and treat technology in isolation, including blockchain technology, like brushing your teeth. It is not possible to completely eliminate tooth decay. However, the blockchain has a positive effect on establishing multi-agent collaboration in a weak trust and distrust environment. "

Chang Xiaoxiao, general manager of the Hang Seng Electronics Corporate Finance Division, told a 21st Century Business Herald reporter on December 26 that the blockchain can only guarantee that real data will not be tampered with during the transfer process, but the Internet of Things can solve most of the problems. Pain points. The blockchain can guarantee that the data will not be tampered with, and the Internet of Things can guarantee that the goods will not change.

"There is currently no plan to completely use technical means to solve credit risk. But even so, data security and tamper-resistance are still the biggest value of the blockchain. Therefore, the biggest use of a bank's blockchain now is in asset circulation and information disclosure." Chang Xiao Xiao said.

Gao Hang, the founder of Qin Technology, a blockchain company, told reporters from the 21st Century Business Herald on December 26 that there has always been such a doubt about this problem, that is, the blockchain cannot solve the problem of single-grained counterfeiting and source fraud But he believes that after all the granularities are connected to the blockchain, the blockchain network can solve this problem.

How to solve? First of all, the credibility of traditional Internet information dissemination is gradually reduced, and each time there is a corresponding noise, loss and distortion, so the longer the chain, the less credible the information. However, the blockchain network gradually increases its credibility, which is a completely different process.

Secondly, the authenticity and right verification of such business processes on the blockchain-type Internet is a continuous authenticity verification, not random, not a verification process of extraction. It may be possible for a business to make a fake once in a while, but in the long-term continuous business process, it is very easy to cause abnormalities and protrusions, and it is easy to be caught.

"Continuous, coherent, full-process verification and random extraction, single verification, the credibility dimension is different. The more perfect this process, the larger the network scale, the better the credibility effect. This is the chain zone One of the values ​​of the blockchain network. Based on this assumption, the allocation and effects of digital resources in the future digital economy and value Internet must depend on the blockchain. "Gao Hang said.