Blockchain invoices go to midfield: giants have already laid out "new infrastructure"

Source: China Business News

The 25 trillion key projects and new infrastructure concepts released by 7 provinces and cities instantly ignited the enthusiasm of the capital market, and blockchain is becoming a key technical element among them.

"New infrastructure" is essentially an infrastructure for digitizing information. As an extension and upgrade of traditional infrastructure, it helps promote the optimization of the economic structure (urban agglomeration) and economic structure (digital economy). As an important part under the influence of the new infrastructure effect, e-government has been regarded as one of the most suitable scenarios for "chain reform".

In early March, Beijing's first blockchain electronic invoice was issued in the parking lot scene, which once again caused the blockchain's attention to penetrate the tax scene. It is worth noting that in the "blockchain + tax" application field, China is currently leading the world. Before Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, Fujian Pingtan, and Yunnan tax service management have entered the block. Chain pilot era.

Behind the multi-speed racing of blockchain invoices, the "trend" of e-government reform, electronic invoices and financial and tax system innovation is also a historical opportunity for new digital and intelligent infrastructure.

As an important breakthrough in e-government, the high threshold of invoices, due to the huge data governance imagination space and financial realization value, has also attracted giants from all sides to compete.

Many interviewed industry people believe that the test of the invoice scenario can be regarded as an important practice of blockchain technology in the field of new infrastructure. However, to promote the transition of tax authorities from "ticket-based tax control" to "real information-based tax control", blockchain technology still has a long way to go. In particular, because electronic invoices have not been able to circulate across cities, the coupling difficulties involved in invoice circulation have not been systematically resolved, and the substantial value brought by blockchain invoices is still waiting to really erupt.

Blockchain invoices "horse racing"

Blockchain invoices frequently land. The background is that the popularization and promotion of electronic invoices in China is entering a critical stage.

Relevant data shows that, as of the end of 2019, ordinary electronic invoices for value-added tax have occupied 45% of the share. Especially since this year, non-contact demand has suddenly erupted. The national tax departments of cities including Shenzhen and Guangzhou have announced that they will accelerate the electronic popularization of special VAT invoices, and try to gradually cancel paper invoices in designated areas to achieve full coverage of electronic invoices.

Public information shows that in August 2018, Tencent and Shenzhen Taxation Bureau cooperated to issue the first domestic blockchain invoice. As of now, the Shenzhen Blockchain electronic invoice invoice volume has exceeded 16 million.

The person in charge of Tencent's blockchain product told the China Business Daily that traditional electronic invoices are more like a paperless transformation of paper invoices. "Compared with traditional electronic invoices, the biggest feature of blockchain invoices is the use of blockchain's non-tamperable, non-repudiation, and anti-deletion distributed ledger technology, which allows invoices to truly restore the transaction and payment scenarios at the time. A circulation can be interconnected. Blockchain electronic invoices paved the way for the digitalization and programmability of electronic invoices. "Previously, although some startups have developed prototype products for blockchain invoices, overall, blockchain Invoice is a scene that is highly dependent on the will of local government departments and the qualifications of corporate entities. Players focus on giants, listed companies, and large enterprises with tax control qualifications.

For example, Tencent is responsible for the bottom layer of Shenzhen blockchain invoices, and the chain parties in different scenarios include Guangdian Express (9.310, -0.39, -4.02%) (002152.SZ), Kingdee, etc .; Hangzhou is mainly provided by Ant Financial Technical support; the partner of Beijing Taxation Bureau is Donggang (11.400, 0.27, 2.43%) (002117.SZ); Guangzhou Taxation Bureau has selected Jincai Internet (10.430, -0.15, -1.42%) (002530.SZ) … …

An executive of a company that participated in the negotiation of the local blockchain invoice project told reporters: For the pilot of blockchain invoices in various places, the State Taxation Administration has not formulated a unified technical route or relevant standards to encourage the eight immortals to cross the sea, but regardless of the choice of enterprises It is still the choice of technical route, and the local area is definitely more inclined to a big factory halo and safe and reliable.

The horse racing situation everywhere is also reflected in the choice of technical route.

Some people in the electronic bill industry told reporters that Beijing ’s first blockchain invoice system was constructed. Donggang shares used IBM ’s Fabric as the bottom layer, and companies, governments, and ticket companies jointly established an alliance chain to conduct bill circulation through smart contracts. .

The person in charge of Tencent's blockchain product revealed to reporters that its blockchain invoice platform uses an independent research and development bottom layer and a hybrid alliance chain form. Participants include tax bureaus, service providers, and directly connected enterprises. Super nodes and businesses have been set up according to the authority requirements. There are two ways for nodes to participate. A two-layer blockchain network is formed by two kinds of nodes to complete two-layer consensus.

The upgraded version of the “tax chain” product of Guangzhou Taxation Bureau was developed by Ant Financial on the Ant Financial BaaS platform.

Invoice pivot lever data chess game

Blockchain invoice horse racing around the world is becoming increasingly fierce, and the system construction investment is high, but according to reporters, it is difficult for related companies to get equivalent commercial returns from a single project.

The aforementioned electronic bill industry sources revealed that competition in the field of electronic invoicing systems is fierce, and the return on pure system development is minimal. Last year, a large electronic invoice service agency went to bid for a state-owned enterprise's self-built project. The bidding amount was 30 million yuan, and the winning bid was only 500,000 yuan. Electronic invoices do not make money, and blockchain electronic invoices do not make money. "Take a project in a certain place and a large factory as an example. The winning amount of the whole project is in the millions of levels, which is not enough to cover the costs."

Therefore, behind the invoice business, the imagination space brought by corporate and personal data may be the focus. Relevant reports show that electronic invoices have a higher cost-cutting effect on high-frequency trading industries, and the value of data in offline industries is huge. After the industry penetration volume has accumulated to a certain extent, derivative industries such as bank-tax cooperation to assist credit reporting businesses and enterprises Gradual development of services, etc., can e-invoice industry space be completely opened. The first is the use of data for financial realization of risk control. According to reporters' understanding, since last year, the amount of loan lending to tax invoice companies has grown extremely fast. Aerospace Information (20.400, -0.04, -0.20%) platforms such as its loan assistance business, Weizhong Tax Bank, and Kingdee Credit are all important players. Behind this, is actually a multi-dimensional characterization of tax invoice data on the company's operating capabilities.

An invoice circulation chain usually involves multiple parties such as tax bureaus, tax control equipment providers, ERP finance companies, drawees, and issuers. From the perspective of the industry's upstream and downstream divisions, aerospace information, Baiwang shares and other tax-control equipment providers are equivalent to the invoice "export", which is the industry infrastructure, but in the context of "de-tax control", in recent years, it has begun to develop systems The construction of the platform has a strong driving force for transformation.

While the Internet giants have entrenched traffic and transaction entrances, and want to realize the right to speak in the closed loop of electronic invoices that are "transaction is invoicing", blockchain technology is a very suitable stepping stone. According to industry insiders, the blockchain hashing algorithm used in the crypto area of ​​the blockchain invoice project in a certain place is not a tax control disk code, which essentially bypasses tax control disk enterprises.

In addition to commercial value, the introduction of blockchain technology is of great significance for the government affairs department to implement the "information to control taxes" governance upgrade. It is worth noting that the "big data center" is also one of the seven core areas of this round of new infrastructure layout and can become an important resource for tax administration of relevant departments. Zhang Pei, vice president of Jingtong Technology, told reporters that electronic invoices as metadata, its use, circulation, and transactions as secondary behavior data can provide more dimensions, and provide more data mining value for electronic invoice service agencies. Taxation has become an important big data grabber for government affairs, but many local governments have not realized the importance of data governance and data sovereignty building.

In Zhang Pei's opinion, the purpose of the existence of invoices is for taxation, and the purpose of invoicing is not. With the development of technology, the form of invoices is gradually changing. Discussion of electronic invoices should not be confined to on-demand votes. For government departments, they should consider how to expand the tax base, reduce taxation costs, and optimize the tax experience. For invoicing service companies, consider how to rely on invoice services to make profits.

Still in transition

Although the momentum of racing blockchains everywhere is strong, for end users, the difference in experience is not obvious. A blockchain startup person bluntly said: For manufacturers and the industry, bringing the "blockchain" is the biggest difference. "When the tax systems can automatically reconcile each other is the real landing application."

It is worth noting that most blockchain invoice projects currently circulate within the designated scope and designated ecology. From the perspective of the person in charge of Tencent's blockchain products, cross-city circulation is a problem that is urgently needed for blockchain electronic invoices. If the invoices issued by Shenzhen can be reimbursed in other regions of the province and in other provinces, it can really accelerate the reduction of corporate and tax management costs.

The industry tends to believe that from the perspective of innovation, most of the current blockchain projects are based on the existing VAT model combined with the innovative application of blockchain technology, and have not yet created a new business management model. It should be said that it is still in the "transition period" .

Zhang Pei told reporters that the traditional pain point of traditional electronic invoices is that when the invoices are transferred from the electronic invoices in the personal end of C to the enterprise invoice management system, they need to rely on various uncoupled financial systems. The tax department often needs to introduce multiple electronic invoices to report the accounts. System companies help to build social infrastructure, but the ideal blockchain electronic invoice solution should be dedicated to solving this problem.

In his opinion, blockchain invoices should be transactions that are invoiced and invoiced that is on the chain. Invoices have changed from a flat file to a networked, distributed existence. The private key is used as the identity credential management. The invoices exist in the form of distributed ledgers, and the status of invoices is updated through electronic signatures. The circulation of invoices should be a transfer of permissions, not a traditional data transfer.

However, in reality, especially under the background of electronic invoice reform, there is a huge interest in the overhaul, and the local government still deploys in accordance with the principle of using the existing system to replace the traditional Internet technology with blockchain technology. The probability is very low.

And some emerging cities without historical baggage may actually be more advanced in the exploration of blockchain invoices. An industry source revealed to reporters: At present, the construction of the electronic invoice system of the blockchain in Xiong'an New District is in the stage of demonstration. Unlike other local governments, the Xiong'an government is very concerned about the underlying technology, not just the function, and advocates that the convenience of electronic invoices for enterprises should be comprehensive, not just in the process of invoice issuance, in the circulation of invoices, and reimbursement of accounts Links must also be considered from the underlying infrastructure and technically.