Yao Qian: What is the role and value of blockchain construction in epidemic prevention and control?

Author: Yao ago

Source: Contemporary financiers

Editor's Note: The original title was "Qiao Yao, Science and Technology Bureau of the CSRC: The Role and Value of Blockchain Construction in Epidemic Prevention and Control"

Technology is an important means to fight the new crown epidemic. Proper use of big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain, supercomputers, robots, drones, infrared detection, Internet of Things, intelligent logistics and other technical tools can enhance our ability and courage to "hit hard" with viruses. This article focuses on the blockchain and discusses its possible role and value in combating the new crown epidemic from four aspects: trusted donations, trusted health codes, cash digitization, and new infrastructure construction.

Trusted donation

The core of charitable donations is open and transparent operation. The whole process from donation to payment has long process, wide coverage and many parties. Traditionally, it only relies on public welfare organizations to operate the whole process. Not only must the donation be completed efficiently, but also the burden of heavy information disclosure must be undertaken. During the epidemic situation, the sudden workload skyrocketed, making it difficult for public welfare organizations to effectively meet the needs of society and human resources. In this regard, blockchain technology can be used to build a public welfare shared ledger, and the whole process of public welfare donation can be collaboratively linked to the chain, which can not only effectively help public welfare organizations solve the problem of information disclosure and credibility, but also enable all parties on an open and transparent platform. The joint participation is completed, which greatly eases the pressure of public welfare organizations on the operation and management of funds and goods.

The blockchain can be initiated by public welfare organizations, with the participation of credible social parties to form an alliance chain, jointly maintain an open and transparent shared donation account, and provide on-chain information certification and disclosure services for participants in public welfare donation activities. Donors can initiate donations, record donation information and requirements on the chain, public welfare organizations are responsible for registering the public information of the beneficiaries on the chain, and banks and warehousing and logistics will complete the donation payment or logistics distribution as required, and then upload the result information to the chain. For donated funds with specific purposes, relevant businesses and schools will upload the information according to the collection situation. After receiving the donated materials or money, the beneficiary sends the actual payment and receipt to the chain. The above operation records the entire process of the donation activity in the public account on the chain, and can perform cross-validation of multi-party information. Not only can the donors publicly understand the flow of donations and items, the public can also supervise the donation activities.

Figure 1 Information on the entire process of donation

Trusted Health Code

The health code plays an important role in protecting safety and ensuring the restoration of production activities during the epidemic. At present, various localities and institutions are stepping up efforts to develop and promote health codes, and have launched various convenient health code application and verification applications. In view of the key role of health codes in epidemic prevention and control, the credibility of health code verification results is particularly important. Behind it requires data sources from multiple channels, and all parties need a public trusted platform for shared verification. At the same time, with the flow of the crowd, there are still problems in the communication of health codes everywhere. The core lies in the lack of mutual recognition in the data verification process behind the health codes and the inability to verify the true information presented by the health codes.

The use of blockchain technology can effectively achieve the sharing of verification information between multiple data sources of health codes, record the complete verification information on the public trusted ledger on the chain, and calculate and generate health verification results by smart contracts on the chain to effectively ensure the health code The credibility of the result information presented. At the same time, the health code ledgers in various regions can provide verification services to each other, which not only meets the mutual recognition problem in various regions, but also can share the data channels of health code verification in various regions, and jointly improve the accuracy of health code verification.

The health code sharing verification blockchain is participated by multiple local trusted nodes, and realizes connection with various data sources such as health, transportation, customs and so on. The user has a digital identity on the chain, and the health code operating agency provides the user's real-name identity authentication service. Each data source returns the verification result according to the health verification rules according to the user's real-name identity information, and deposits the certificate on the chain. The on-chain health code verification smart contract is aggregated and calculated based on the verification results of various data sources on the chain to generate the final health status of the user. At the same time, privacy protection technology can also be used on the chain. For companies operating health codes, in the unauthorized state, only the final health status information can be obtained, and the intermediate process information cannot be obtained.

The health code sharing verification blockchain in each region can also realize mutual recognition by verifying the calculation process on the other side of the chain under mutual authorization, and can further achieve cross-validation based on the sharing of data sources to expand the calculation results of health codes Accuracy, and gradually realize data interconnection and unified health codes across the country.

Figure 2 Health code data source sharing verification

Digitization of cash

The epidemic highlights the necessity of digitizing cash. Banknotes, coins and other physical cash carry the risk of carrying viruses. After being recovered from the site, they are either directly destroyed or must be sterilized before being released to customers. The digitization of cash helps avoid this risk. Social isolation has increased the demand for online payments and further reduced the demand for physical cash. The central bank should pay attention to the challenges brought about by "de-cashification". In order to maintain the status and importance of legal tender in the economy and society, it is necessary to optimize the payment function of fiat currency through the digitization of cash.

What is particularly striking is that the United States is considering the introduction of the Digital Dollar (Digital Dollar) to create a "helicopter" for the Federal Reserve to "spread money". All along, the US digital currency R & D and innovation activities are mainly in the private sector, such as FedCoin's theoretical ideas and all kinds of private digital currencies such as Morgan Coin and Libra. In the impression of the outside world, the US public sector does not seem to have much interest in dollar digitization. But after the outbreak, in order to quickly stimulate the real economy, the US public sector urgently needs to bypass financial institutions and open the balance sheet directly to the corporate and household sectors, that is, "helicopter squandering money." Digital dollars are a weapon to achieve this goal. Various indications indicate that the United States is already considering digitizing the US dollar. For example, the recently launched 2.2 trillion economic stimulus bill in the United States included digital dollars in the first draft, and proposed that financial subsidy funds be directly "pushed" into the public in the form of digital dollars Holding a digital dollar wallet operated by the Federal Reserve, or a "pass-through" digital dollar wallet operated by a member bank agent, directly stimulates household spending. It may be because the time is tight, the system is not ready, or for other reasons, the digital bill plan was deleted in the final draft of the bill. However, the digital dollar has opened up more policy imagination for the Fed, which has cut interest rates to zero, creating more policy tools, such as more direct balance sheet expansion, breaking the lower limit of zero interest rates, and intelligent issuance mechanisms triggered by conditions. Real-time transmission of monetary policy, precise and targeted currency placement, counter-cyclical currency control, and forward-looking guidance.

Blockchain is a key technology for cash digitization. The author once pointed out (Yao Qian's "The Origin, Development and Future of Digital Currency", "Comparative" Total 98th Edition, 2018 Issue 5), the so-called digital currency should be the integration of electronic currency and physical cash, that is, " Point-to-point + electronic payment system ". From the point of view of physical cash, "+ electronic payment system" is required; from the point of view of electronic payment instruments such as bank deposit transfer and third-party payment, "+ point-to-point" is required. The digitization of cash needs to retain the characteristics of “point-to-point” payment and anonymity of physical currency. Blockchain fits this need. Most central bank digital currency experiments in various countries are based on blockchain technology architecture. When the US draft economic stimulus bill defined digital dollars, it also emphasized the digital value of digital dollars including distributed ledgers. Recently, the digital dollar solution proposed by the Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE) is also based on the architecture of distributed ledger technology, which is more similar to "Alipay" based on blockchain technology. It is reported that the digital dollar may be based on more mature blockchain technology such as Ethereum.

New infrastructure construction based on blockchain

With the effective control of the epidemic in China, economic operations are rapidly recovering. The current biggest economic risk is external risk. If the global epidemic is not effectively controlled, the impact of the epidemic on the global economy will be sustained and far-reaching, or it will trigger a global economic recession. As an export-oriented economy, China's economy may not be able to survive alone. On March 27, 2020, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China convened a meeting to analyze the situation of prevention and control of the new coronary pneumonia epidemic and economic operation at home and abroad. The meeting emphasized the need to "intensify macro-policy hedging efforts, effectively expand domestic demand, and comprehensively do a good job of" six stability. "

Compared with the traditional infrastructure construction such as railways, highways, airports, ports, power, etc. that have become saturated, 5G, artificial intelligence, big data centers, cloud computing, industrial Internet, Internet of Things, blockchain and other new infrastructure construction investments The demand is huge, and it can play a key role in expanding domestic demand and hedging the lack of external demand. Among them, the potential of information infrastructure construction based on blockchain is expected and is an important direction. In the 18th collective study of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that "we should promote the combination of the underlying technology services of the blockchain and the construction of new smart cities, and explore the promotion and application in the fields of information infrastructure, smart transportation, energy and power, etc. Improve the level of intelligence and precision in city management. "

The significance of the construction of information infrastructure based on blockchain is not only the stable growth and employment in the short and medium term, but also the long-term promotion of development and transformation: the construction of new information infrastructure will be green and innovative for smart economy, digital economy, etc. The solid economic model lays a solid foundation to effectively promote the high-quality development of our economy. In 1993, the Clinton Administration of the United States launched the "National Information Infrastructure" construction plan, using the Internet as the prototype to build a "highway" in the information age. The construction of the U.S. information superhighway has rapidly transformed military Internet technology in the Star Wars era of the Reagan era into civilian use, so that only today ’s global Internet infrastructure, and large network technology companies such as Google, Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Ali, and Tencent, and Internet economy, sharing economy, platform economy in full swing.

Blockchain is considered to be the fifth disruptive innovation of the computing paradigm after the mainframe, personal computer, Internet, and mobile Internet, and the prototype of the next generation of cloud computing. It is expected to completely reshape human social activities like the Internet and achieve The current transformation of the information Internet into a value Internet. The significance of the construction of information infrastructure based on blockchain may be no less than that of the 1993 US information highway construction plan.

The author has written several times to elaborate on the application value and significance of new infrastructure based on blockchain from all aspects. such as–

☆ Blockchain-based bill trading platform (Xu Zhong, Yao Qian "Preliminary Scheme of Digital Bill Trading Platform", "China Finance" 2016 No. 17) can solve the problem of the authenticity of data on the chain and realize the disintermediation of bill value transfer To eliminate the chaotic phenomenon of the bill market intermediary, and can use smart contract technology to improve the efficiency of bill transactions and reduce regulatory costs.

☆ Blockchain-based trade finance platform (Yao Qian, Qian Youcai "Technical Mechanism and Realistic Significance of Trade Finance Blockchain Platform", "First Finance APP" September 2018) can well solve the traditional dependence Manpower, low business efficiency, high financing costs, repeated financing, and high risks of false financing, and other trade finance problems provide an effective solution from the perspective of financial technology for solving the difficult and expensive financing problems of small and micro enterprises in China.

☆ Blockchain-based asset securitization information disclosure platform (Yao Qian, Jiang Guoqing, Peng Feng "Innovative Design and Application of Asset Securitization Blockchain Platform", "First Finance APP" October 2018) improved The underlying bookkeeping efficiency and authenticity of the supply chain asset securitization business has established a dynamic, complete, true and credible information disclosure mechanism for investors, which has fundamentally solved the information penetration problem of the asset securitization flow of small and medium-sized enterprises.

☆ Through incentive-compatible algorithm rules and related contract arrangements (Yao Qian, "Algorithm Economy: A New Mechanism for Resource Allocation", "Tsinghua Financial Review", Issue 10, 2018), effective distributed collaborative production has truly become Possibly, it constitutes the cornerstone of the crypto economy, making the crypto economy a completely new economic model of de-organization independent of enterprises.

☆ Blockchain is the technological prototype of a new generation of financial market infrastructure (Yao Qian "New Blockchain-based Financial Market Infrastructure", "China Finance" No. 23, 2019), Blockchain-based financial market infrastructure Not only is it feasible and controllable, but supervision can also be made more precise, therefore, it is standardized; distributed ledgers are not easy to forge, difficult to tamper, and traceable, and easy to audit, so it is transparent; at the same time, it opens up traditional distribution The wall of the distributed system makes financial services more free and open, and more dynamic; and it is also based on trusted technology, which is fault-tolerant and more resilient.

Obviously, the new financial infrastructure based on the blockchain is a financial market infrastructure that meets the five standards of "standardization, transparency, openness, vitality, and resilience", with unlimited potential and promising prospects.


The history of mankind is a history of anti-epidemic and a history of technological development. In the face of crisis, humanity will not be defeated, only stronger. With the help of technology, mankind will definitely win this war with viruses. Blockchain is a brand-new information network architecture, the prototype of a new generation of information infrastructure, and the foundation of a new type of value exchange, a distributed collaborative production mechanism, and a new algorithmic economic model. It has the advantages of being difficult to tamper with, traceable, traceable, safe and credible, heterogeneous and multi-active, and intelligent execution. Its in-depth research and proper application can provide effective technical support for winning the epidemic.

(This article only represents personal academic views, not the opinions of the institution.)