Opinion | Will the alliance chain gradually disappear?

Source: Vernacular blockchain, the original title "Is the alliance chain really so fragrant? Either disappear or become a "vassal" of the public chain

Author: Five fireball leader

I don't know if you noticed it. At present, there seems to be only a "half of bitcoin" trend in the market.

No one cares about sharding or the various new consensus mechanisms that can promote the so-called TPS, and few people care about new technologies, new projects, from institutions, to the media, to ordinary investors. Mint is a hot spot worthy of attention.

In addition to halving, those who barely qualify as hotspots have always seemed to be hot, but in reality, they ca n’t find too many DeFi for real users. As a life-saving straw, if a blockchain project does not work with Defi Above, you are embarrassed to say that you are engaged in blockchain.

On the other side, the coinless alliance chain is ushered in a wave like spring.

In February 2018, Cainiao and Tmall International started to use blockchain technology to track, upload, and verify the full-link logistics information of cross-border imported goods; in August, Tencent teamed up with the Shenzhen State Taxation Bureau to launch the nation's first "block Chain Electronic Invoice "; In 2019, Thunder and the Guangzhou Municipal Government jointly launched a local financial blockchain credit-sharing and sharing platform. In the first quarter of 20 years, the Ant Financial Alliance chain, which has landed in nearly 40 scenarios, has over 10,000 TPS. Will be officially launched.

The vernacular blockchain also wrote a while ago, "Most public chains stay in the" air "stage. Is the alliance chain a big killer for landing applications? 》 , Enumerates some application scenarios of the non-currency alliance chain.

However, in the long run, is this really the case?


01 The so-called advantage is often a double-edged sword

As we all know, compared with the current public chain, the alliance chain has many obvious advantages.

From the perspective of performance, the impossible triangle of the blockchain. After decentralization is removed, the alliance chain can make great progress in scalability (performance). In the stage where the public chain has only a few hundred and up to thousands of TPS, Ant Gold The service has reached the level of 100,000 TPS.

In terms of security, because of its authorization and access mechanism, the short board of the wooden barrel theory has been greatly improved, and the security of the alliance chain can be said to be much higher than that of most public chains.

And aside from the technology, the application scenario alone , the alliance chain has already stepped into the "landing application" stage. Electronic invoices, logistics traceability, credit reporting platforms and other applications have begun to take shape. In contrast, it seems that the public chain side Only DeFi barely managed.

At the policy level , let alone, at least in China, there are various policies to support the alliance chain.

However, the good things in the world can't let you alone. These characteristics, while giving the advantages of the alliance chain, also give him hidden dangers and defects that are almost irreparable.

Many readers should know that the Huashan faction in Ling Yong Chong in Jin Yong's "Swordsman" is divided into sword sect and qi sect. The head of the book Zhonghua Mountain Yue Buqun once said: "Jiang Zong Kung Fu is easy to be quick and effective Quick. Everyone has practiced for ten years, and it must be Jianzong who has the upper hand; each of them has been practicing for 20 years, which is the best place to compete, and it is difficult to separate the top and bottom; after 20 years, the practice of qi is gradually getting stronger and stronger ; In thirty years, those who practice sword sect kung fu can no longer look back on qi sect. "

In the ten years of the blockchain, it is not uncommon for the "Jianzong" alliance chain to overwhelm the "qizong" public chain. After another 10 years and 20 years, the shortcomings of the alliance chain may be exposed, and it may be public chain at any time A ride on the dust, far behind.

So, what are the disadvantages that make the author make such judgments?

02 Disadvantages of the Alliance Chain

1. Technical Substitutability-Special Database

I have discussed with people who know technology. Can an alliance chain be replaced with a specially designed distributed database? The answer is that it cannot be completely replaced, but it can be replaced to a certain degree.

In a traditional distributed database, each node is credible, and if one is hacked, the system basically collapses.

And the alliance chain, whether there is a token or not, there are still blocks, there are chains, the data is packed into the block to generate a hash, and each block also stores the hash value of the previous block. In this way, hashing into a chain, and any small change at any position will lead to a complete change in the hash value of the entire chain, which is also a technical implementation means of the core elements of the blockchain "immutable".

Can distributed databases achieve similar properties? Theoretically, if all users only have "read" and "add" permissions, but not "delete" or modify permissions, then a distributed database can essentially simulate the capable things of the alliance chain at the application layer. It should work.

Of course, there will not be a database designed in this way. In any case, there will always be an ultimate super administrator account that can perform all operations on the database. As long as such an account exists, it will be leaked or hacked. risks of.

Therefore, from a purely technical point of view, the alliance chain only has an important feature of "hashing into a chain and cannot be tampered with" than a distributed database , while the other aspects are relatively more demanding than database systems that have been used for decades. It's immature, so it's not clear whether it's better or worse.

2. Followers, not leaders, of technological progress

Modern society is an era with faster and faster pace!

I used to be able to work for a lifetime if I knew some skills. Now I am out of school and face unemployment, and I am forced to study for life if I find a job.

The previous model can be unchanged for 10 years. Now it has to be changed a little in three years, and it has been changed a lot in 5 years. There is no way. If you do n’t change it, others wo n’t sell it.

Previously, a software can be used for a long time. It may be upgraded one year a year. Now a few days a patch, you must update it when you use it.

The first few years of the blockchain were all poor imitations of bitcoin. Now smart contracts, Layer 2, sharding, cross-chain, DeFi … new concepts and new technologies one by one. If you leave the circle for a few months, you may come back again. I don't understand what everyone is talking about.

And you will find a very important point, that is, all these concepts you can think of, whether it is POW, POS and other consensus mechanisms, or the technical concepts just mentioned, use scenarios, etc., all originate from the public chain.

In other words, the public chain is the leader of the iterations that drive the "blockchain" technology and scenarios.

As an alliance chain, it is destined to follow the public chain to "eat ashes". "Hey? I heard you have invented a new technology? Then I'll wait. If it works, I'll see if I can use it …"

This follow-up model may be feasible in the early stage. When the industry technology gradually matures, innovations such as blowouts, or a large number of application scenarios that require tokens to achieve, will the currencyless alliance chain still be as it is today? Its status is difficult to say.

Otherwise, developing countries that have long been good at learning and imitating Western technology, why are they paying more and more attention to the ability of independent research and development and innovation? Why is the newly started blockchain regarded as one of the chips for cornering overtaking? Because we know that there is no future in being a Follower. To be strong, you can only be a Leader.

3. Security ceiling

Blockchain is not absolutely immutable, but generally speaking, the cost of tampering is too high and the price is too high. A 51% attack is almost impossible for a public chain like BTC.

But on the other side, a 51% attack is very easy for many new chains with a low market value.

In other words, the "immutable" of the public chain is essentially based on games in economics, not technology.

On the alliance chain side, due to the absence of market value and the limitation of the node bucket theory, its security is much higher than that of most public chains and distributed databases. It seems that it is a good choice.

However, this security has a ceiling. In other words, the security of the alliance chain can never exceed the public chain on the head.

In the past ten years, the total value of the "mining" equipment invested in Bitcoin has reached tens of billions of dollars. In addition to the electricity costs accumulated in the past ten years, the so-called "immutable" of the Bitcoin ledger The investment of tens of billions of dollars so far is guaranteed, and with the development of the blockchain, this security will be further strengthened and amplified. Do you think which alliance chain dares to say that its security will be better than Is this bitcoin higher for real money?

So in the end, the use scenarios of the alliance chain can only be those that require "more security, but not absolute security". For those scenarios, only Bitcoin or other tried-and-tested security can be used. Public chain reinforced with money.

03 Essence of Blockchain Trust, production relations, quantitative change and qualitative change …

There are many sayings about the nature of blockchain:

Some people say that the essence of blockchain is an immutable database.

Some people say that the essence of blockchain is a machine to trust.

Some people say that the essence of blockchain is to a new human production relationship.

The alliance chain, it seems, the data is difficult to tamper with, and the trust has been strengthened. However, this quantitative change seems to be away from the real qualitative change and there is something missing. This last point often determines its long-term vitality.

You must know that before Satoshi Nakamoto, there have been many attempts at digital currencies, but in the end they all stopped at the double spend problem. The method Satoshi Nakamoto came up with was to give someone who extended the longest chain (those who are considered honest) a bit of reward, which is Bitcoin. After Bitcoin, there was a blockchain.

The most popular netbook of the year

At that time, notebooks could not balance the screen size, thinness and portability with performance. Therefore, a number of netbooks with light weight, low performance and small screens were sought after by the market.

However, within a few years, with the improvement of technology, mainstream notebooks are getting lighter and lighter under the conditions of both performance and screen size. Finally, netbooks are slowly squeezed out of the market.

Imagine that one day, Ethereum or a mainstream public chain has over 10,000 TPS, and the security is high enough. When you can choose such a public chain to achieve your business, what other reasons do you have to choose the alliance chain? You might say that flexibility and customization? Maybe then, when you use Cosmos or Polkadot to quickly build a custom, cross-chain public chain-based proprietary alliance chain, which is far cheaper than your own independent development costs and better security, you will also choose to use the so-called The alliance chain?

Perhaps, the alliance chain will coexist with the public chain for a period of time, like netbooks, and gradually disappear into people's vision.

Maybe, the alliance chain will coexist with the public chain for a period of time, and will attach to the public chain on the head and become its "vassal" …

Do you think this article makes sense? What is the future of the alliance chain? Welcome to share your views in the comments area.