Recently, the national epidemic started. Various industries are facing severe tests, and blockchain is no exception. What impact will the epidemic bring to the industry? What are the tough challenges for startups and can they survive them? What can the blockchain do to fight the epidemic?
In this context, on February 7, SheKnows held the opening debate on the theme of "2020, what do you think? How do you do it?" In the first round, "Encountering the Epidemic" Black Swan "and the" Danger "and" Opportunity "of the Blockchain, we invited Meng Yan, the Deputy Dean of the Digital Asset Research Institute, the sponsor of the Token Thinking Lab, and Price Capital Partner Jiang Chun, to discuss the current epidemic, whether the blockchain industry is blocked, how do practitioners break through? And can blockchain technology play a role in fighting the epidemic?
Talking about what blockchain can do for the epidemic? Both guests had very deep thinking.
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Meng Yan said that the biggest advantage of the industrial blockchain is to reduce the verification cost. Nowadays, for many transaction chains, more and more verifiability is required. Food and medicine, raw materials, dangerous goods, etc., especially the transportation of charitable donations and emergency supplies, are both a high verification cost, and there are compelling reasons to require various Links are fully transparent, fully coordinated, and fully reduce the area of data shielding. Therefore, he proposed to study and deploy a national-level donation and emergency material tracking and management blockchain platform as soon as possible. If this platform exists today, then with the due diligence and impartiality of managers, it will certainly be able to manage and schedule donations and disaster relief materials more efficiently than the current tools. Effectively limit the misconduct of individual interests.
Because of his involvement in the management of donated materials, Meng Yan also realized a more important issue to discuss. Just in the face of the catastrophe, what are the most scarce medical, medical and other resources allocated? Originally we only had two resource allocation methods, one was based on power and its relationship with power, and the other was based on price. In this case, the above two methods seem unreasonable. He believes that blockchain and tokens actually have the opportunity to help us establish the third, fourth, and fifth resource allocation methods, such as voting, sympathy, and credit points that a person usually accumulates.
Jiang Chun said that today everyone is mourning Dr. Li Wenliang. This incident exposed the problem of information sharing and transparency. What everyone asked was why they did not transmit the warning to the society in a timely and transparent manner, which eventually led to such a tragedy. From the results, we can see that a large amount of information has not been shared. If there is an information sharing mechanism that cannot be modified and shared transparently, this should be much better. This is not a technical issue in itself, but a mechanism issue, but blockchain can technically provide such a possibility, so that such tragedies can be less.
On the other hand, Jiang Chun believes that not all Red Societies can do well, but this kind of single-point transparency can't penetrate the whole process from end to end, which is flawed. Therefore, we need this transparency more urgently than in the past to restore public confidence in the government and confidence in these public charities. Good mechanisms keep bad people from doing evil, and they also make good people better officers. This is the meaning of the mechanism.
Here is a text review of this issue of SheKnows.
1. What impact did the outbreak have?
"It's not the listed companies that are most affected, but small and medium-sized enterprises. Ask the SME owners around them how their cash flow is and how much pressure they may have. This may be more real than the fluctuations in the capital market."
"One of the means for the Chinese government to regulate the economy counter-cyclically is to carry out infrastructure construction, and the infrastructure construction is shifting to new infrastructure with digital and intelligent infrastructure as the core. These places are where blockchain companies can show their skills."
Babbitt: This year's Spring Festival is extremely heavy. Where do you spend the year? What is the epidemic that you have observed and experienced?
Meng Yan: I am from Wuhan and have been sealed in the city for almost twenty days. At present, living materials can still be guaranteed. Although the prices are expensive, they can still be afforded. The complete severance of medical supplies is a cause for concern. Since I participated in the dispatch of some rescue supplies, some classmates and friends were on the front line, and the situation was more specific than you, and it was very tragic and painful.
Last night, I lost sleep like many people, not only because of Dr. Li Wenliang, who is a representative, and there are more living people and things here. I spoke with Mr. Zhu Jiaming, the director of the Digital Asset Research Institute. He experienced a lot of things. He told me that the so-called empathy has never been possible. There are many things that the parties ca n’t tell, and onlookers cannot imagine. Only through personal experience can you realize. This is indeed the case, and my and many people's views on some issues will change permanently.
Of course I believe the epidemic will pass, but I hope this generation will not forget it. I hope that many people ’s lives have not been lost, especially that many families that have suffered the catastrophic disaster are no different from us, except that one of them has accidentally gone somewhere. Then we are on the platform of Babbitt, and we have to think about what we can do on the blockchain, what we can do now, and what we can do in the future.
Jiang Chun: Zhejiang and Hubei have close economic ties. At present, they are also provinces with severe epidemics. We have also participated in some rescue work in Hubei and have many heavy feelings. The emergency situation in Zhejiang is relatively better, and some words cannot be said here. It can only be said that this puts forward new requirements on how to better realize the openness and transparency of information, and through digital means, to improve the social governance capacity of blockchain technology. Babbitt: The macroeconomic impact of the epidemic was first reflected in capital markets. On the first trading day of the opening year of A shares, 3,000 shares fell. How do two people view the impact of the epidemic on the macro economy?
Meng Yan: For the impact of the economy, you don't need to look at the capital market now. Because the hardest hit is not those listed companies, but small, medium and micro enterprises. We don't need to talk about what to predict. Everyone asks the SME owners around them, what is their cash flow situation, and how much pressure they may have. This may be more real than that in the capital market. As entrepreneurs, we are faced with the risk that we have nothing to do for a few months, and only have input and no input. And private enterprises account for 90% of the total number of enterprises in the country, and 80% of employment. If everyone has a hard time, the macro economy will naturally be difficult.
(Babbitt Note: Tsinghua University and Peking University jointly surveyed 995 small and medium-sized enterprises, and the results showed that 34% of enterprises can only last for 1 month, 33.1% of enterprises can last for 2 months, and 17.91% of companies can last for 3 months. It is said that 67.1% of enterprises can maintain for 2 months, 85.01% of enterprises can maintain for up to 3 months, and only 9.96% of enterprises can maintain for more than 6 months.)
Jiang Chun: The epidemic will definitely have an important impact on the macro economy this year. The extent of the impact depends on the length of the epidemic, and it is still difficult to estimate. For the government, how to master the balance between epidemic control and economic preservation is a difficult problem. It must not be taken care of, or the consequences will be disastrous. We only hope that the epidemic will be brought under control as soon as possible, and I believe that governments at all levels are also actively considering this issue.
Babbitt: The epidemic has caused a huge impact on physical enterprises. The chairman of the well-known catering company Xibei said in an interview that "the cash flow on the account has not been carried for three months, and more than 20,000 employees have been employed." The real industry is difficult to see. Although the blockchain industry is a high-tech industry, it will be attached to nothing. Facing the grim situation, according to your observations, how are blockchain companies now in the epidemic? How much is it affected? What are some suggestions for startups?
Jiang Chun: Different companies are different, but in general, blockchain companies are mainly toB and toG businesses, which is better than offline and toC companies. In addition, blockchain companies are generally IT companies, regardless of culture or organization, the possibility of online office is also greater. But just like you said, "there will be no skin and no hair", the real economy will be hit hard because of the epidemic, and the impact will be transmitted step by step.
Today the atmosphere is more depressing, and I want to say something positive. Everyone must see that one of the means of the Chinese government to regulate the economy counter-cyclically is to carry out infrastructure construction. Moreover, the infrastructure construction has also changed from the "iron public base" in the early years to a "new infrastructure" with digital and intelligent infrastructure as its core. This epidemic reflects that there are still many places in our social governance that need to be strengthened through digital means. These are the places where blockchain companies can show their skills. Blockchain companies may be facing a big opportunity.
Therefore, I also hope that our blockchain companies must practice their internal skills and grasp internal management in special periods, including team management and cash flow management. On the other hand, they must also actively think and actively participate in the current disaster relief operations. , Learn from and refine what we can do for social governance, occupy a place in post-disaster reconstruction and predictable counter-cyclical new infrastructure construction, make your own contribution and achieve the take-off of the entire blockchain industry.
Meng Yan: Before the collective study of the Politburo in 1024 last year, the blockchain was dying. But after that, the enthusiasm of all sides was ignited. According to the original rhythm, many specific plans and supporting resources will come down in March this year, and may even accelerate in the second half of the year. Many blockchain companies are planning for 2020 according to such an expectation. Now interrupted by the epidemic, this state is definitely uncomfortable.
In this issue, blockchain companies are not special, and they share their interests with all walks of life. It must be said that there are two differences. There may be two. The first is that there is a bit of market for digital currency, which is widely considered to be related to halving Bitcoin. The second is that blockchain companies often have more For a flexible culture.
I know that some companies are thinking of using a token economy, living up and down tightly together, and survive the epidemic. I don't know if it will succeed, but I think some ideas are quite interesting. Many people believe that after this epidemic, blockchain will usher in great development. I partially agree with this view. Therefore, survival is the most important right now. Babbitt: In order to effectively reduce the impact of the epidemic on the production and operation of small and medium-sized enterprises, some places have recently introduced measures to support the sustainable and healthy development of small and medium-sized enterprises, such as reducing rents, deferring tax payments, subsidizing research and development costs, reducing financing costs, and so on. In your opinion, what kind of policy support do you currently want?
Jiang Chun: I think these are good, especially all the support related to cash flow, which are urgently needed by enterprises. Government departments must act quickly to avoid major economic and employment problems after the disaster.
Meng Yan: I have to help everyone survive, then give everyone hope. In terms of regulation, can we release some good news? At this time, the role of policy is, but it mainly depends on itself.
2. What can the blockchain do?
"I recommend that the national donation and emergency material tracking and management blockchain platform be researched and deployed as soon as possible, and it can certainly be more efficient than current tools to manage donations and disaster relief materials, and effectively limit the misbehavior of individual interests."
"In the face of disaster, what principles are used to allocate the most scarce medical, pharmaceutical and other resources? Now we only have two modes of allocation according to power and price, which seems unreasonable. Blockchain and tokens have the opportunity to help us build a third , Fourth, and fifth resource allocation. "
"Not all Societies do well, but this single point of transparency cannot penetrate the entire end-to-end process. We urgently need a transparent mechanism to rebuild the public's confidence in the government and the charity's Confidence, this is the meaning of the mechanism, and blockchain can provide such a possibility technically. "
Babbitt: ABCD is currently the four leading science and technology technologies that are receiving the most attention. In the face of this epidemic, in the area of A (AI), the Ali Dharma Institute uses AI algorithms to reduce the time for genetic analysis of suspected cases from hours to half. hour. In the area of C (Cloud): Shuguang Cloud assists the Linchuan District Government of Fuzhou City in building an epidemic information management system. In terms of D (Big Data): Baidu maps and migration big data identify the flow of 5 million people in Wuhan. And B (BlockChain), a major technology that is regarded as a change in production relations, has not yet seen a successful application, which is really chilling. What is the reason? What can the blockchain do for the epidemic? How to do it?
Meng Yan: Some people have indeed asked me these days. The blockchain usually boasted to the sky. Why didn't this epidemic see you make a difference? We can only laugh bitterly, the blockchain and other several technologies are completely at different development stages. To be honest, when the epidemic broke out, the entire industry of blockchain was untied for only 80 days. What can it do? Of course, if the outbreak is a few years later, the blockchain will be full of people, and the system will be reformed, with fewer pig teammates. The blockchain can play a huge role in similar scenarios.
(1) Used to reduce verification costs
Let me explain why. Generally speaking, we say that the application of industrial blockchain is to treat blockchain as a super reliable information integration platform, which is especially suitable for information integration along an industrial chain, supply chain, and logistics chain. There are many ways to integrate information, such as SOA and ESB, which are cross-enterprise information integration technologies.
So what are the advantages of industrial blockchain? If only let me say one, it is to reduce the cost of verification. A large part of transaction costs is the verification cost, which is the cost to ensure that commercial contracts are executed without compromise. With the development of modern society, transactions are becoming more and more complicated, transaction contracts are becoming more and more complicated, and the requirements and costs of verification are also getting higher and higher. Blockchain can greatly reduce the cost of verification, and the open blockchain can prove itself innocently. So far there is no second technology to do this.
Everyone increasingly requires verifiable transaction chains, such as food and medicine, raw materials, and dangerous goods, especially charitable donations and emergency supplies. If you want to be verifiable, you need to do some information transparency work at each link of the chain to reduce the degree of information obscuration. However, in practice, most links only want to see other people's data, and do not want to share data. This is obviously a game. Where is the Nash equilibrium of the game? This is the biggest difficulty in the implementation of industrial blockchain.
Charitable donations and transportation of emergency supplies are just an area that requires high verification costs, and there are compelling reasons to require that each link be fully transparent, fully coordinated, and fully reduce data shielding. Especially in the event of a major disaster, which is related to rescue and disaster relief, what other information do you cover? Unreasonable. Therefore, this scenario is particularly suitable for blockchain applications.
I propose to study and deploy the national donation and emergency material tracking and management blockchain platform as soon as possible. If this platform exists today, then with the due diligence and impartiality of managers, it will certainly be able to manage more efficiently than current tools, dispatch donations and disaster relief materials, and effectively limit the misbehavior of individual interests.
(2) Allocation of scarce materials
There is another area that I have been thinking more about these days, and that is the problem of the allocation of scarce materials. I was involved in some donation materials dispatching work. I encountered this difficulty and felt that this might be a more important issue to discuss. In the face of a catastrophe, in accordance with what principles are the scarce medical and pharmaceutical resources allocated?
We suddenly discovered that there are usually only two ways of resource allocation, one is based on power and the relationship with power, and the other is based on price. In extreme cases, neither approach seems reasonable. And we have not considered or prepared the third resource allocation method, lacking the corresponding infrastructure and experience, so we are helpless.
Blockchain and tokens actually have the opportunity to help us establish the third, fourth, and fifth resource allocation methods, such as voting, sympathy, and credit points that a person usually accumulates. However, too little thought has been given to these issues before, and there are many ambiguities in regulation. After this disaster, can everyone discuss together how to do this with blockchain. In a sense, the rational allocation of resources is more important than transportation.
Jiang Chun: It is unfair to say that the blockchain is not doing anything right now, just like everyone knows the story of "the last opinion in the cone". Now the blockchain is not in the "capsule". There is no way to be effective. The blockchain really "has gotten in its pockets, but it stands out from the rest, it's just a matter of last sight." The lesson from this epidemic is painful. But it is also a wake-up call for everyone, and it is possible to speed up the construction of a blockchain-based data infrastructure.
(1) Information sharing and transparency
We can at least see these issues; the first is information sharing and transparency. Today everyone is mourning Dr. Li Wenliang. Through this incident, in fact, everyone is asking why the information was not transmitted in a timely and transparent manner to warn the society, which eventually led to such a tragedy.
Including the local government, national CDC, and Wuhan Virus Institute mentioned on the Internet, we do n’t know what ’s wrong with the information transfer between them. However, from the results, we can see that a lot of information has not been shared. Everyone has done their own things, such as the research and development of medicines and the research and judgment of epidemic development. If there is an unshakable, transparently shared information sharing mechanism, this should be much better. This is not a technical issue in itself, but a mechanism issue, but blockchain can technically provide such a possibility, so that such tragedies can be less.
In addition, some places hope to manage all materials well through a centralized mechanism, but there is no corresponding mechanism and ability to do this. Not all Red Societies do well, such as the Zhejiang Red Cross. But this kind of single-point type of transparency can't penetrate the whole process from end to end, and it is still flawed. Therefore, we need this transparency more urgently than in the past to restore public confidence in the government and confidence in these public charities. Good mechanisms keep bad people from doing evil, and they also make good people better officers. This is the meaning of the mechanism.
(2) Low cost and high efficiency verification and tracking
We have also seen a lot of scenes, and the community is now being closed, and the entry and exit are all based on the very original means of paper. Is it possible to use blockchain-based mechanisms to track and verify to improve efficiency? For example, we are facing resumption of work immediately. This is necessary. We cannot let the epidemic ruin the economy. Do people from other places need to be isolated for 14 days without discrimination? This efficiency is too low to kill our own economy. We need tracking methods and low-cost verification methods to accurately investigate, track, and isolate those who are quarantined, and those who are allowed to release, so that the subsequent epidemic prevention can be normalized.
It is too late to use some other alternative means. But these thoughts, I think we need to summarize, so that we will not be at a loss when the next epidemic comes. We have wasted a lesson from SARS, and we can't waste another lesson from SARI. This is the result of everyone's blood and tears. Therefore, we hope that the digital social governance system based on blockchain is truly established, transparent, penetrates information barriers, minimizes bad operating space, reduces trust costs, and prevents the recurrence of tragedy. Babbitt: If this epidemic is an exam, how many points do you give the blockchain industry's performance in it? What should practitioners deserve to reflect on?
Meng Yan: I ca n’t score. I ca n’t see that the blockchain has played any role in this epidemic. But many other more mature technologies haven't worked as they should. There are a lot of objective reasons here. Scientists' understanding of the virus had huge misjudgments at the beginning, the epidemic suddenly turned sharply, and the institutional issues that everyone discussed most.
For the blockchain practitioners, I think the biggest lesson is that many people, including me, have completely ignored such extreme special situations like this before. For charity, donation, and emergency affairs applications, I know that blockchain is very suitable, but I think this field is so small, so biased, has no imagination, is not attractive to capital, and has many vested interests in the system. Trouble, so they are ignored. We did not expect that this situation was really encountered. We lost an opportunity to prove the capabilities of the blockchain. Of course, the time given to us was too short. The airstrikes at Pearl Harbor were taken by surprise and excusable.
3. 2020 industry trends
"The general direction of the early application of blockchain will not change. 2G and 2B will not change. After this epidemic, the country's determination to strengthen its digital social governance through the blockchain will be strengthened. The country will do more in the digitalization of government affairs and blockchain. More push. "
"If the epidemic is thoroughly controlled in the first half of the year, I think the application of blockchain will accelerate. Borrowing a word from real estate, called retaliatory rebound, will make it faster to implement large-scale applications."
Babbitt: In 2019, the landing of blockchain is mainly concentrated on government affairs. Will this trend change in 2020?
Meng Yan: In addition to the application of legal evidence in 2019, not many government blockchain projects have actually landed. Why can the application of legal evidence be applied? Because the Supreme Law issued a notice in September 2018 to promote the use of blockchain, it will take time for any government blockchain application to land. A few days ago, the Politburo Standing Committee met and talked about learning from lessons and improving the shortcomings of governance. The Central Document No. 1 released recently talks about agriculture, and it also mentions blockchain. I think these all provide a good opportunity for the implementation of blockchain government affairs applications. Therefore, we should see some government affairs applications landing in 2020, and this trend will become more obvious.
Jiang Chun: I think the general direction of the early blockchain applications, 2G 2B will not change. This time I understand that the country's determination to strengthen the ability of digital society governance through the blockchain should be strengthened, and the state will do more to promote government digitization and blockchain. Our charity will also strengthen this work under government influence. Government action will also promote the entire society's emphasis on blockchain-based data governance. But these things require companies to come up with ideas and find ways to implement them. I still think that after this epidemic, there will be a better promotion of the development of the blockchain. In other words, this is also the historical responsibility of blockchain companies. Babbitt: Alibaba Institute believes that 2020 will be the year of large-scale landing of blockchain, and there will be 10 million blockchain applications per day. Affected by the epidemic, will there be any large-scale application of blockchain in 2020?
Meng Yan: If the epidemic is completely controlled in the first half of the year, I think the blockchain application will accelerate. Borrowing a word from real estate is called retaliatory rebound, and large-scale applications will land faster. After the epidemic, everyone worked hard to regain lost time. In many places, transaction costs will be reduced, and policy resistance will be less. Two days ago, I heard that the leader of a development zone in a developed area told a person in charge of a blockchain company that priority should be given to the social governance and commercial issues exposed by the epidemic, and it is imperative that projects be established and implemented as soon as possible. I usually need to invest a lot of money and wait for a long time. Now I spend very little money and can do it soon. I hope that leaders in most parts of the country will have such understanding and courage. If so, the explosion of blockchain applications is expected.
Babbitt: Will the blockchain equity financing wave still happen in 2020? Do you have any recent plans to invest in a blockchain company?
Jiang Chun: I fully agree with Mr. Meng. Therefore, equity investment will also follow up and accelerate. One more thing, to replicate a good governance structure, it is limited to rely on several good officials, and the mechanism established by the computer system will be more effective. Therefore, it can be expected that after a mature IT service management IT system is established in a locality, it can be copied to improve the national management level. If this is the case, it may be a small climax of blockchain construction.
Babbitt: After the "10.24 speech", the industry is in a state of excitement. In the face of this epidemic, will there be a wave of blockchain startup closures, which will cause a rapid reshuffle of the blockchain industry, which will affect 2020 and even the future What is the pattern and trend of the blockchain industry in a few years?
Meng Yan: Frankly speaking, I think a group of startups will die, but a group of companies will also be achieved. When we recall SARS in 2003, it was actually the starting point for many of today's giants, such as JD.
I think the development of China's blockchain industry is about to enter a new logic. 1024 loosened the industry. The new crown epidemic created new scenarios and needs for the industry. The loose policy that followed the epidemic will inevitably add fuel to the development of the industry. I think that we should generally consider the objective conditions for the development of the industry. Have confidence.
Of course, the objective conditions are here. Subjectively, how well we can perform as an industry, who can stand out depends on ourselves. The choice of strategic direction is now the most important. Because the industry does have the possibility of reshuffle, then you choose the right direction, good luck, or quite decisive.
I am particularly concerned about the issue. During the six months and a year of survival of small and medium-sized enterprises across the country, can the token economy play a special role and can supervision be more flexible and detailed than before? I think there is room for imagination in this area, and it may affect the future pattern and direction.
Jiang Chun: Many deficiencies in social governance exposed by the new crown epidemic will bring many new opportunities to the blockchain. This so-called opportunity is actually a historical responsibility. We blockchain companies have to shoulder this responsibility and use the power of technology to make the future better. Right now is to take care of yourself and not fall in the night before dawn.