Low-key layout blockchain: another big game under Huawei

Trump’s ban on paper has pushed Huawei, a low-key communications giant, to the forefront.

Huawei, which is the leader in the 5G field, has become the eye of many competitors. However, little known is that in the field of blockchain, Huawei has also had a layout.

Huawei's research on blockchain can be traced back to 2016. A year ago, Huawei released its own blockchain white paper. Since then, many of the applications mentioned in the white paper have begun to gradually fall.

The blockchain is also regarded by practitioners as one of the key points for Huawei to break through in the cloud computing market.

Starting with communication equipment, Huawei, which is widely deployed in 5G, smart phones and cloud computing, will continue to explore the blockchain.

01 Incoming blockchain

On May 15th, US President Trump’s administrative order made Huawei receive global attention. Huawei and its 70 affiliates were included in the US “entity list” – US companies must not use Huawei-produced telecommunications equipment, and Huawei will also be banned from acquiring components and related technologies from US companies.

Many US suppliers quickly stated that they will stop cooperation with Huawei. The administrative ban has become the killer of the US government's crackdown on Huawei's 5G technology.

Little is known as a communications industry giant, Huawei has also invested in the blockchain field. As early as April 2018, Huawei published a 49-page "Huawei Blockchain White Paper."

In this white paper, members of the editorial board of Huawei discussed the rise of blockchain, core technology principles, industry development status and typical application scenarios, and introduced the technical solutions and product positioning in the blockchain field.

The blockchain service provided by Huawei is called BCS (Blockchain Service) and belongs to the Huawei cloud brand. In terms of product positioning, Huawei's blockchain service is also based entirely on the B-end – providing customers, partners with a customized, easy-to-use and scalable blockchain platform.

In fact, Huawei has long been exploring the blockchain. As early as May 2016, Huawei became the first member of the Financial Blockchain Cooperation Alliance (Shenzhen). In October of the same year, Huawei also joined the Hyperledger blockchain alliance project initiated by the Linux Foundation.

Huawei Cloud's blockchain service BCS is built on Hyperledger 1.1. Its official website shows that Huawei Cloud BCS currently supports multiple consensus algorithms on the product, and at the technical level, the platform can achieve a 5000+TPS second-level consensus.

Different from many blockchain platforms, Huawei introduced a certificate signature mechanism based on the “national secret algorithm” in the BCS architecture. Its customers can choose the national secret algorithm as the encryption algorithm for the blockchain platform.

The national secret algorithm is a series of encryption algorithms developed by the National Cryptographic Bureau of China, including SM1, SM2, SM3, SM4 and other algorithms. At present, the national secret algorithm has already landed in the field of second-generation ID cards.

Historically, most of the internationally accepted encryption algorithms have been born out of US military and intelligence agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA). According to the "prism door" protagonist Snowden broke the news, NSA had previously left the back door in RSA's elliptic curve and other encryption algorithms. This potential risk makes the national secret algorithm the only choice for many classified institutions.

Huawei's BCS platform allows users and nodes to exchange data using the national secret algorithm to encrypt and transmit, so that the encrypted information can be controlled autonomously. At present, the national secret algorithm has also entered the ISO/IEC international standard and began to export.

Huawei's official recruitment platform is also recruiting blockchain talent. Huawei's "Global Cyber ​​Security and User Privacy Protection Office" recruited the "Cryptography Expert" position, requiring candidates to "familiar with the application of password technology in blockchain technology", and can conduct security analysis and vulnerability identification for specific solutions. ", and in the field of cryptography, "lead the team to meet the requirements of the national level regulatory body."

Into the blockchain, what is Huawei's intention?

At the Meapup event at the end of 2018, Huawei's cloud blockchain architect Zhang Ziyi once said that Huawei cloud blockchain services will focus on data, IoT, finance, and operators in four directions, with a blockchain platform as the core. , combined with the network and the chip, form a "trinity end-to-end solution."

Up to now, Huawei's exploration in the blockchain field has mostly focused on Huawei cloud business. Its landing area is also completely concentrated on the B side. Based on Huawei Cloud, Huawei is helping partners to promote blockchain technology.

02 Application landing

Supply chain logistics may be one of the first areas in which Huawei's blockchain has landed.

In December 2018, the annual meeting of China's logistics and supply chain industry blockchain innovation application was held in Shenzhen. At the annual meeting, Liu Zaiyao, director of Huawei's cloud blockchain service product, demonstrated Huawei's case of tracking and managing logistics goods through blockchain technology.

As an established communications manufacturer, Huawei itself also produces a large number of hardware devices. From small civilian products such as mobile phones and routers to professional equipment such as switches and towers, they need to be transported to central warehouses around the world through logistics partners.

This has also brought new challenges to Huawei. “The process of logistics and transportation has many problems of compliance, such as the replacement of goods, damage, recycling, packaging and other complex issues.” Liu Zaiyao explained at the annual meeting.

In addition, the entire supply chain logistics field is facing multiple pain points.

To this day, there are still many links in the logistics industry that use manual and paper documents, which results in long time-to-run, high cost, slow reconciliation, and easy loss and fouling. However, many industry practitioners still reject electronic information because of the fear that ordinary electronic information is easily falsified.

At the same time, the information systems of the various partners in the supply chain are relatively independent, lacking a unified standard and tracking system, and also poses challenges for the establishment of electronic information platforms. The carriers of the logistics industry are mostly small and medium-sized enterprises, and they also face the lack of credit records and funds.

"Huawei has spent a lot of money to solve these problems, but it is still difficult to solve." Liu Zaiyao said. The deployment of Huawei cloud blockchain service in the field of logistics has also started.

With the Internet of Things technology, Huawei has built a blockchain collaboration platform that is jointly participated by manufacturers, warehouses, logistics providers and customers. In this platform, the production of goods, warehousing, trunk logistics, as well as information on dealers, local logistics, and end customers can be stored on the chain.

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Supply Chain Logistics Blockchain Solution Architecture

“In the past, most logistics waybills were paper-based, and it was difficult to track the whole process.” Liu Zaiyao said, “Now, customers only need to complete the signing through the APP with embedded certificate, and all the conveniences can receive the signing information.”

With the help of blockchain technology, once the logistics link has problems, it is easy for each participant to track the logistics goods.

“Because the data is on the chain, it is extremely difficult to be tampered with. In this way, the participants in the logistics supply chain can no longer need a lot of tools and processes to ensure the authenticity of the logistics information.” Liu Zaiyao said, “At the same time, they also Tracking, signing and underlying settlement of goods can be completed very quickly."

In addition, in order to solve the problem of tracking international logistics, Huawei also chose to cooperate with partner SAP to build a cross-border blockchain logistics system.

In May of this year, Huawei Cloud updated the product documentation information of the blockchain service BCS. In addition to supply chain logistics, the new version of the document also includes e-government, inter-company transactions, medical health and other industries as examples of solutions for blockchain landing.

Taking e-government as an example, the Huawei cloud blockchain service document shows that there are many pain points in the e-government field. For example, whether the government data is credible, there are trust breakpoints between the data collection department and the use department, and privacy leaks may occur. .

In Huawei's blockchain e-government system, e-licenses can be shared among multiple departments according to functions, and have the functions of timely synchronizing privacy protection, anti-tampering, and retrospective auditing, and fulfilling the previous requirements of the State Council. The door once–"online service "one network through", offline "only enter one door", on-site handling "maximum run once".

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E-government blockchain solution architecture diagram

According to public information, Huawei is currently cooperating with various government departments in China in the field of e-government. In addition, Huawei Cloud has also cooperated with governments such as Serbia to explore the overseas application of e-government.

03 Cloud computing changes?

"It is not difficult to see from Huawei's blockchain white paper that Huawei's exploration in the blockchain field is concentrated on the B-end." Blockchain researcher Sun Yuan said to a blockchain, "compared to mobile phone mining, districts Blockchain mobile games are biased towards the concept of C-end, and Huawei pays more attention to the actual implementation of blockchain technology."

In his view, the reason why Huawei vigorously promotes blockchain services is to create more sound for Huawei Cloud.

This month, IDC, the global consulting organization, released a tracking report on China's public cloud service market in the second half of 2018. According to the report data, in the second half of 2018, the top five public cloud companies in China were Aliyun, Tencent Cloud, China Telecom, Amazon AWS and Baidu Smart Cloud. Huawei Cloud is among the others.

Compared with Internet companies such as BAT, China Telecom and other operators, as well as overseas giants such as Amazon, Huawei still has a large room for growth in the cloud computing industry.

“In the latest list of IDC, Baidu’s performance is the most outstanding.” Sun Yuan explained that “Baidu’s smart cloud business grew by 410% in the second half of 2018, ranking first in the top five for the first time. The main reason is from AI New. Technology blessing."

In his view, the addition of new technologies such as AI has brought new variables to the cloud computing industry. In the future, blockchain technology may also become a new change factor in the cloud computing industry.

Like Huawei, Internet giants such as BAT are also focusing their own blockchain business on cloud computing brands. Take Alibaba Cloud as an example, it can provide customers with a number of blockchain services including product traceability, supply chain finance, data asset sharing and digital content copyright.

In essence, Huawei's blockchain service BCS can still be regarded as a category of BaaS. "Compared to Internet companies, Huawei's biggest advantage in the blockchain field is its ability to integrate hardware and software." Sun Yuan said, "In addition, Huawei's cloud blockchain support for the national secret algorithm can also help its Get more customers in the financial and government sectors."

However, the cloud computing industry is still a highly competitive and strong market. Huawei chose to apply blockchain to the cloud computing industry. It also means that at the blockchain level, Huawei is no longer the old rivals in the mobile phone and communications industries, but Internet rookies such as BAT, as well as Amazon and Microsoft. Giant. The result of the competition is full of variables.

However, in any case, Huawei, as a communications company, is still in the blockchain industry and is on the right path.

Beyond 5G, Huawei has also made a blockchain.

In the eyes of practitioners, Huawei avoided the drowning of “blockchain mobile phones” and chose to focus on blockchain technology.

Can the blockchain help Huawei break through in the cloud computing market? The answer remains to be revealed.

Author: Ratchet Pisa