Dialogue with Weizhong Bank Fan Ruibin: "Connector" and "Open Source Ecology", two major tools for micro-blockchain layout

Image source: 2019 Global Blockchain (Hangzhou) Summit Forum

As the first Internet bank in China, Weizhong Bank has become a pioneer in the deepening of financial technology exploration in the financial field. Especially in the blockchain field, Weizhong Bank is not only early in layout, but also a leader in technology and application.

Weizhong Bank was established in December 2014 and has been actively deploying blockchain since 2015 . In 2016 , the Golden Chain Alliance initiated by Weizhong Bank and launched with its hair was formally established, and cooperated with many domestic financial technology institutions to jointly build a blockchain research base for the financial industry. In June of the same year, Weizhong Bank released the first domestic chain cloud Baas platform for the financial industry on Tencent Cloud. Then in August , it joined forces with Shanghai Huarui Bank and other banks to launch the first inter-bank alliance blockchain application scenario inter agency reconciliation platform.

On May 17 , 2019 , at the 2019 Global Blockchain (Hangzhou) Summit Forum hosted by Babbitt, Fan Ruibin, deputy general manager of Weizhong Bank's Distributed Business Technology Development Department and head of Weizhong Blockchain, accepted the Zero Financial Interviews with other media have conducted detailed exchanges on issues such as the blockchain layout of Weizhong Bank, the construction of open source ecosystem, the status quo and prospects of the industry.

Talking about the blockchain layout, in the fields of supply chain finance, judicial deposit, traceability, copyright, Internet of Things, government affairs, etc., Fan Ruibin believes that "there is a lot to do."

But he also admits that it is difficult to find and develop new scenes now, because the development of the industry has not yet reached the stage of “hundred flowers”. However, compared with two or three years ago, the industry has made a qualitative breakthrough .

This breakthrough is not only reflected in the gradual landing of a number of blockchain projects rooted in the real economy, the realization of commercial value, but also in the ethos of the entire industry: "Now everyone is no longer as fanatical and original as before." The whole industry is more pragmatic and more stable. It is no longer entangled in concepts and hype. It focuses on how the blockchain can enrich the real economy from multiple levels of demand, scenarios, business, and technology.

As far as Weizhong itself is concerned, “Now, in the practice of blockchain business, Weizhong Bank always adheres to the positioning of ' connector ' : through the connection with partners, to better serve customers”, Fan Ruibin said, Multi-party collaboration The scene is the soil for the development of blockchain technology, and the positioning of Weizhong Bank naturally has many multi-party collaboration scenarios. "

In addition, he believes that financial institutions are still more cautious in the blockchain field. Especially as a licensed financial institution, you first need to ensure business compliance. In addition, the current blockchain also has certain thresholds at the technical level. This threshold is mainly reflected in the threshold of technical psychology and the threshold of technology itself. Among them, the psychological threshold is mainly due to the lack of customer trust due to the technical "black box". Fan Ruibin believes that open source is a feasible way to lower the threshold of psychological and customer technology.

"Public code is just open source in a narrow sense. This is the first step in an open source project. Of course it's important, but it's not enough." Fan Ruibin said. According to him, the current main work of the blockchain team of Weizhong Bank is the underlying technology research of the blockchain and the construction of the open source ecosystem. "Building a valuable and open source ecosystem on the underlying platform of the open source blockchain" is the common goal of Weizhong Bank and many partners.

The following is a dialogue record:

I. The blockchain practice of Weizhong Bank

– Weizhong is a "connector"

 

1. Weizhong Bank is currently paying more attention to the application of blockchain in which scenarios?

Fan Ruibin: We are studying a new technology and will not study it for research. New technologies need to be applied to actual production scenarios to solve real-world business problems and generate real value in order to form a sustainable and virtuous cycle of technological development.

Based on this consideration, Weizhong Bank has tried many blockchains internally. The positioning of Weizhong Bank itself is a “connector”: uniting with many partners, complementing each other's advantages, sharing value, and providing customers with better service. This kind of positioning will naturally have many multi-party collaboration scenarios. The multi-party collaboration scenario is the soil for the development of blockchain technology. Therefore, many of the businesses of Weizhong Bank are well suited to blockchain technology.

Weizhong Bank began to lay out the blockchain in 2015 , and the first real application landed in 2016 . At that time, the cooperative banks such as Weizhong Bank and Shanghai Huarui Bank used the technical characteristics of the blockchain “shared books” to make an inter-agency reconciliation system. This attempt has improved the efficiency and cost of our operations.

This inter-agency reconciliation scenario is simple and the blockchain technique used is not complicated. But looking back now, we instead think that such scenarios will have more use of blockchains in the future. why? Because of the cooperation between organizations, whether it is sharing data or user resources, it will eventually involve clearing settlement. Business cooperation between enterprises can not be separated from this link. Clearing accounts cannot be separated from the books. If there is a “shared book”, there will be a significant improvement in efficiency and cost for ongoing collaboration between agencies and companies.

In addition to the reconciliation platform, supply chain finance is also a scene that Weizhong Bank pays more attention to. There are many companies in the industry doing supply chain finance, which shows that this is the direction that everyone is optimistic about.

In addition, financial services often need to use third-party data preservation, which is simply a third-party deposit certificate. Therefore, Weizhong Bank is also practicing the blockchain. Weizhong is not the first institution to do blockchain deposits, but the way of Weizhong is not the same. We are doing it together with the judiciary, and we also have a contribution to the industry: for the first time, there is a district based on the ministry. The blockchain certificate issued the industry's first judicial award. This marks the judicial recognition of the blockchain judicial deposit technology and completes the closed-loop value of the scene. There are many companies engaged in blockchain deposits, but they are on the data, not the evidence. These data need to be taken out as evidence. After the complicated verification and appraisal process of the judiciary, a certain probability is regarded as evidence, but this will have a great impact on the timeliness and efficiency of business processing. Therefore, our blockchain deposit certificate has been recognized by the judiciary as a small breakthrough in the industry.

These are the attempts of Weizhong Bank in the blockchain, but these internal scenarios are not the focus of my attention. We now prefer to build an open source ecosystem based on FISCO BCOS, the underlying blockchain platform, in addition to these in-house applications, and it is a valuable and viable ecosystem. Today, our open source ecosystem has begun to take shape: hundreds of companies are using and participating in research, and there are a large number of applications, most of which are not projects in the financial sector, including but not limited to government affairs, copyright, traceability, and society. Governance, talent recruitment, etc.

In general, Weizhong Bank's application of blockchain technology is mainly divided into two aspects: first, the blockchain practice in Weizhong's internal business; more importantly, the blockchain open source ecology built with partners. The application generated in the circle hopes to promote the development of the whole industry.

 

2 , Zero Finance · Binary has done a report on the exploration of blockchain by domestic banks. We found that the practice of domestic banks in the blockchain basically does not involve the core deposit and loan business. I would like to ask, is MicroBank still the same?

Fan Ruibin: As the first Internet bank in China, Weizhong Bank was formally established at the end of 2014 . Therefore, we are still a " very young" bank. After more than four years of development, our bank's effective customers have exceeded 100 million.

Generally speaking, the main business of a bank can be summarized as “storage and loan remittance”, but the underlying practices of different institutions will have a big gap. Weizhong plays more of this familiar "connector" role. Weizhong's business model is to complement the advantages of more partners and provide better services to customers.

Weizhong is also trying to use blockchain technology to transform some of the links in the original “loan and loan” business process. Taking loans as an example, the entire chain of loans is relatively long and involves more links. Currently, we use blockchain technology to cut through the real pain points, such as inter-agency reconciliation, third-party data preservation. We use the blockchain technology, the blockchain to improve the efficiency and solve the shortcomings in the whole process to optimize, without forcing the blockchain technology to run well and have no obvious pain points. .

 

3. What is the difference between Tencent Cloud and Weizhong Bank in the blockchain field? Did blockchain technology be used in the open banking structure jointly announced recently?

Fan Ruibin: Of course. Tencent Cloud itself is a cloud service platform and is currently offering Baas services. Baas needs the underlying support of the blockchain , and FISCO BCOS is the bottom layer of the Tencent Baas platform. Above is the cloud service, below is the bottom of the blockchain , so that together is a complete Baas .

As far as the blockchain is concerned, Weizhong is more at the bottom of the blockchain technology and open source ecology, and Tencent Cloud mainly uses the bottom layer of the blockchain to do the Baas platform. We cooperate very well and deeply.

The “openness” of open banks includes Open Platform , Open Innovation and Open Collaboration . Blockchain is an important part of open banks.

 

Second, financial and blockchain

— Committed to creating a valuable and viable open source ecosystem

 

4. Do you think that financial institutions are more cautious in the blockchain field. Besides the regulatory factors, are there any bottlenecks in terms of technology (such as multi-party trusted computing)?

Fan Ruibin: Finance is a highly regulated industry. The first thing to ensure is legal compliance. Financial innovation must take into account financial stability. Of course, there are certain thresholds and obstacles in the technical aspect, which is one of the reasons why we must open source.

In my opinion, blockchain technology has two thresholds: the threshold of the mind and the threshold of the technology itself. Needless to say, the threshold of technology itself. The psychological threshold means that everyone regards the blockchain as a trust machine, but if the whole machine itself is a "black box" (meaning not open source), it is actually a very embarrassing thing. But we can open this "black box" through open source. This can reduce the user's psychological threshold on the one hand, and help to lower the threshold of technical use on the other hand.

In addition to regulation and technology, the scene is also an aspect that has to be considered. Now the application scenario of the alliance chain has not reached the stage of blooming, but there is still a qualitative breakthrough compared to two or three years ago. We can see very clearly in the open source ecosystem. On many tracks, a number of alliance chain companies have gradually grown up. They began to use the alliance chain technology to make the original products better, truly generate value and gain profits.

However, many projects are still searching for existing business scenarios when they are looking for the scene of the alliance chain. This is limited by the difficulties of multi-agency collaboration in the past. Some business models that have been formed for a long time are centralized, and the thinking is centralized. We need to jump out of the existing model and discover more real multi-party equal cooperation and rational division of labor value sharing business model (distributed business), in which the blockchain chain is naturally a good infrastructure .

 

5. Take Weizhong Bank as an example. What is the current status of blockchain talents in financial institutions such as banks?

Fan Ruibin: As far as Weizhong Bank is concerned, when we first started doing it in 2015 , we made it clear that we should be a chain of alliances, but it was difficult to recruit relevant professional talents at that time. Fortunately, the blockchain itself is not a new technology. It just combines many of the technologies that have existed before and produces a good chemical reaction. The majority of our team are from experienced R&D personnel of massive Internet services. They have deep knowledge in massive distributed systems, information security, privacy protection, cryptography, etc., so the transfer to the blockchain is relatively smooth, and we have also established our own district. The training program for blockchain professionals is basically cultivated by our colleagues.

As far as the whole industry is concerned, the current high-end blockchain talents are still very scarce. On the one hand, the current turnover rate of industry talents is relatively high, and the time period and cost of self-cultivation technology teams are not in line with the needs of many start-ups, but they are attracted by the market and worry that the industry is too impetuous and frequently lost; The blockchain industry is in the early stages of development, the industry is highly volatile, and the demand for talents fluctuates greatly. This is also a very big challenge for the training of blockchain talents. However, Weizhong Bank and Golden Chain Alliance can still play the role of “connector” in this way: the blockchain talents of the training institutions are connected with the enterprise talents in our open source ecosystem to match the supply and demand.

 

6. You mentioned the open source ecology of building blockchain many times. How do you understand open source?

Fan Ruibin: Open source is not simply to expose code. This is not really open source, nor has value and vitality. I personally think that open code and documentation are just open source in a narrow sense. This is the first step of open source, of course it is important, but not enough. Open source also needs to let customers know you, recognize you, use you, and let everyone contribute. So we found that it is not enough to rely solely on the power of the people. Only by working with many partners to create a valuable and viable open source ecosystem can we truly open up the open source project and really push the industry forward.

 

7. In your opinion, after several years of development of the blockchain, what changes have taken place today?

Fan Ruibin: First of all, now that people are no longer as fanatical as they were before, the whole industry seems to be introspective. The most I heard at the summit these days was to explore various "misunderstandings": technical misunderstandings, misunderstandings of the scenes, and misunderstandings. It can be seen that the whole industry is now more pragmatic and more stable, no longer entangled in concepts and hype, but from the demand, scene, business, technology and other aspects of how the blockchain can enrich the real economy.

For another example, the previous blockchain was decentralized, but we did not think that the blockchain was “decentralized” from the beginning, and “multi-center” was more in line with our view. Nowadays, more and more people are beginning to realize this. This is the epitome of the growth and change of the entire industry.