Comment: Libra's routine, the pressure of innovation

About a decade ago, there was a god drama called "Prison Break" that raged across the river and became the enlightenment of many people of the same age to follow the American drama. In fact, I want to come now, in addition to the exquisite performances of the big coffees such as Mi Shuai and T-bage in the drama, the concept of bold and full-fledged political and business dramas is indeed remarkable. However, although there is common sense that "art comes from life", after all, there is still a "higher than life" half-sentence. At that time, we are naive, and we can hardly think of the future reappearance of similar routines in real life. However, it is impossible for Facebook to be able to do so, and its leading Libra project will be eye-catching when it comes out. However, it is not difficult to see that Libra itself does not have much novelty. The payment settlement can be found on WeChat and Alipay. The encryption technology used does not exceed the special currency ratio, Ethereum, and even its asset support is also familiar with our balance. Similar. That being the case, why is the controversy so fascinating?

It turns out that this is just a routine for "to fight ghosts and use Zhong Rong". It is the squad of the Internet economy in the "boat to the middle stream". The eve of the big change and great differentiation is trying to carry out the deeper beyond the event by the event itself. The discussion of the topic will lead to a consensus and seek the direction of future development. These topics (or more accurately, doubts) are like "companion stars". They have grown quietly with the slogan of the Internet economy. Nowadays, the spurt of the underground submarine flows into the rivers and rivers, which is bound to re-evaluate the value of innovation and the future. Deep impression.

The first topic is an assessment of Internet companies, especially BigTech, which is a platform economy model. Looking through the history of the United States, it is not difficult to see that the fear of "big" has been deeply hidden in the heart of this country. Since the 19th century, the "Antitrust Law" has been slashed several times, and it is a large industrial enterprise and a large financial institution. However, what is more worrying to its elite is that BigTech is more than “big”. In addition to its scale, they have built a platform ecosystem through the Internet platform economic model on the traditional market and enterprise resource allocation model. New mechanism. However, the process of online construction is accompanied by the process of deconstruction under the line. While the platform ecology is full of vitality, it also outputs negative externalities, which has a negative impact on the overall development of enterprises and even the economy.

This is the case, but the attitude of the United States to encourage innovation is still obvious: from the supervision to the academic circles, many voices advocate that the emergence of the negative externalities of the Internet platform is more a "tragedy of the commons" caused by the failure of the regulatory mechanism to keep up. For example, in the supervision of Libra, the US national decision-making level has chosen to pick it up, but the heart is still regarded as a pro-son. The key point is to satisfy certain "rules" and obey the "needs" of the state, instead of prohibiting them.

In view of this, for the Internet platform economy, the correct attitude is not to reverse the history, to return to the "pre-Internet" beautiful era that does not exist, on the contrary, it is innovation, not old-fashion, that is truly facing and solving problems. select. The same is true for China. On the one hand, our past problems are that there is not enough innovation, the quality is not high, and it seems that under the technical appearance of the tall, in fact, many of them are "N-1" pseudo-innovations that cannot be used on the table; another On the other hand, under the rapid growth of enterprises based on the Internet, the regulatory mechanism has not kept up in time, so there is a lack of supervision and regulatory arbitrage. Looking into the future, following up and grasping the commanding heights in key areas such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and information technology, and forming a new business model that is compatible with high-tech and a new regulatory mechanism that is compatible with the economy of the Internet platform, will become an innovative competition. Break through and win the hand.

Further, the second topic relates to the discussion of whether Internet companies can get involved in financial services. Just as the Libra controversy is still at the forefront, the US House of Representatives, which is “not too small”, has thrown a draft of “Let Large Technology Enterprises Stay away from Financial Operations”. Interestingly, the administration's operation is the opposite. According to publicly disclosed information, Facebook has obtained a currency service license, and its supporting wallet Calibra has also applied for a money service provider license, and is still applying for payment and related licenses. This has a certain amount of conspiracy to "make the road, darkness and Chen Cang".

In fact, the American elite and even the mainstream public opinion do not have a cold on the operation of the parliament because of this waste. Like at the second congressional hearing on Libra, Patrick McHenry, vice chairman of the US House Financial Services Committee, said that "Washington must avoid becoming a place to stifle innovation, and we must not ban because we cannot understand technological innovation for the time being." In addition, history and reality also tell us that, in one case, there is never a financial system that is separate from the real economy. Instead, financial institutions are more likely to emerge from the sideline of companies that operate other categories; both, from credit cards to mobile Payment, every revolutionary innovation breakthrough in the financial industry, without exception, can not lack the input of external resources; three, finance is essentially a service rather than a specific institution, whether it is not rooted in Miaohong, on the contrary, as an industry that allocates resources in an information asymmetry environment, technology companies have their natural advantages and affinity with their innovative capabilities, and become the transformation goals of technology companies and even established financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs.

So, the above draft of the US House of Representatives is only a "no brain" speculation of individual members? Not necessarily, the draft actually reflects the anxiety of the technology and its new financial model to subvert the current financial order. However, when Internet and information technology applications have become more and more a social public infrastructure, it is almost impossible to perform a "rollback" operation similar to the upgrade failure. The "moat" measures that are cut off by identity are also undesirable. The key to this is the evolution of the financial system itself, and the digestive of scientific and technological achievements through a series of innovations such as concepts, methods, systems, and systems. In addition, in the practice of technology companies, we should also maintain the awe of the industry's long-standing accumulation of exhibition industry and risk control traditions. These traditions are full of predecessors' efforts and even life, and can't be subverted by a few keyboard man's code.

In fact, the first two topics are only appearances. The deeper level is from the occupation of Wall Street to the challenge of Silicon Valley, from North America to the rise of Western Europe's populist ideas. This idea is reflected in the legislation is the public's concern for data privacy rights. . In the past, information was only an accessory to trading behaviors. Consumers were able to exchange information for convenience. Now, information has become a fuel for driving transactions. Not only technology companies but financial institutions have become famous, consumers have become highly sensitive. In particular, the emergence of the Internet platform economy, consumer information is fully, comprehensive, full-time spying and use, and one of the controversies of the Libra project is the original Facebook crime and old case of the publisher Facebook. However, Rao is so, "it is easy to vote with the feet". It is easy to separate and kill each other. The jigsaw of the boundaries of data privacy rights between enterprises and consumers has become more and more restrictive to the continued growth of the Internet economy.

However, although the rights dispute over data privacy has arisen from the Internet, it is more complicated: the most obvious is that there is no unified understanding of the definition of related rights from the existing legal systems of various countries to the academic opinions. No matter whether the right belongs to the enterprise or the individual, whether the individual right is personal or property right, whether the property right is tangible property or intellectual property, there is still much room for discussion; further, the protection of data privacy rights and the protection of previous rights are very The important difference is that in addition to the legal mechanism, it needs to be innovatively set from the system and technology aspects. In addition, the rights dispute itself is a process of “dividing cakes”, and more importantly, “making cakes”. It is undeniable that the current controversy is directly related to the stagnation of development and the unevenness of the people. The effective solution depends directly on whether Reactivate development through innovation.

In addition, under the current world political and economic situation, innovation has also been given more grand significance: on the one hand , after the natural economic model, the driving force of human economic development is increasingly driven by technological innovation, the first few of us The economic development achievements witnessed and enjoyed by the year actually benefit directly from the legacy of the previous technological innovation cycle. In this way, identifying and activating new technological innovations is of great significance; on the other hand , when “incremental development” is transformed After the “stock game”, competition among countries has become increasingly explicit, especially in the Internet and financial technology that is considered to be the most likely to ignite the next economic development cycle. For example, the US House of Representatives is proposing to suspend Libra’s issuance. In doing so, it includes going to Switzerland instead of setting up a new payment system in the United States.

This raises the deeper existence of the innovation challenge: With the strong rise of the Chinese economy in the early stage and the integration of the Sino-US supply chain system, the “Chinese dollar” has also put a lot of pressure on it while becoming a new support point for the US dollar system. The Libra project, in which half of the reserves are in dollars, largely represents the United States’ efforts to regain and consolidate dollar hegemony with digital currency. This competition for currency dominance, along with the impact of blockchain technology on traditional businesses and payment systems, will re-establish the strong monetary status of the dollar, continue to replace and erode weak currencies, and enable the flow of weak currency countries to strong currencies. The region (ie the United States) is looking for a safe haven.

In contrast, although China has made great achievements in the early stage of financial technology practice, there have been financial technology applications such as heavyweight enterprises and mobile payment that are comparable to FAANG (ie Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netfilx, Google). There are still many shortcomings in frontier technology, system construction, and market environment. As mentioned above, if the Libra project is launched smoothly, not only the international efforts of the RMB but also the impact of the coinage rights, even the advantages accumulated in the early stage of financial technology development may be “cut off”, and even the data security challenge is unprecedentedly severe. These issues need to respond positively in innovative ways. There are a lot of discussions on the specific path. There are two main aspects to discuss here:

On the one hand, the practice of launching Libra-like projects under the premise of controllable risks. Indeed, as Patrick McHenry said, “Whether today is Facebook or not, this change has arrived, blockchain technology is real, we should not stop this innovation, and the government cannot stop this innovation.” China Construction Bank Mr. Tian Guoli, Chairman of the Board of Directors, also believes that the blockchain is “a trend. As China’s financial sector and researchers should pay attention to this, it may be a future. It may determine the issue of the right to mint in the next 100 years and 200 years. China is so large. It should be an active participant, to some extent not research, because the technical content is not very high, and more is to promote and use."

The end of the paper is so shallow that I know that this matter must be carried out. Faced with Libra's “forced palace” trend, in the case of domestic enterprise morale available, the regulator should guide China's own digital currency research and development to the fast lane, while the previous ICO supervision is a guide, in the complete control of the similar sandbox. Under the system, set the necessary thresholds to encourage organizations with real R&D investment and outcomes for blockchain technology, especially Libra project leader David Marcus, who mentioned in digital currency payments and cooperation with financial institutions. Institutions with rich experience take the lead in piloting.

On the other hand, it is necessary to create the necessary support environment for practice. The first is to build an innovative and inclusive ideological market. In fact, in China, the development of the Internet economy is also controversial, but in the past, regardless of supervision, enterprises or academics, the public, most of them talked to themselves, lacked a communication platform, and always wanted to lead rather than dialogue, such as the public’s opinion on BigTech. It is hard to say that the negative perception is not the result. In this way, although the controversy has been suppressed on the surface, it will not be able to cure the problem. In the end, it will suddenly erupt at some point in time, giving the parties unexpected results. Moreover, the debate itself is also a process of correcting mistakes and building consensus. In particular, the Internet is an open economy facing the future. Without authority and prophets, the more extensive and diverse the discussion in its development and governance, the more the future innovation trend will be. Deeper and farther.

In addition, it is necessary to cultivate professional services for service innovation. Innovation is a complex social project. It is of course important to transform the achievements through the "national system" and to activate the market itself. It is equally important to activate the market itself. However, the power of the market is not only reliant on government or semi-official industry self-regulatory organizations, but also requires a large number of professional and meticulous services from lawyers, accountants and consulting agencies to construct a “micro” environment for service innovation. In this regard, the United States has built a complete service chain, not only to help enterprises "armed to the teeth", but also solved many jobs through this high-end service industry, so that innovation has a more solid soil, and its experience is indeed worthy of us. Learn from.

At this point, I can’t help but feel a lot. The choice logic that is brought to us by experience, vision and even evolution, whether it is individuals, institutions or industries, will pay too much attention to the detailed discussion of the grotesque, and ignore the long-term trend of the stone. Just as quietly, the competition for technological innovation has evolved to the stage of the national game. At one time, because of the operational problems of the local business in the financial sector, we slowed down and even frozen the progress of innovation. This is not only not conducive to the cutting-edge technology and theory in practice, but also not conducive to national competition in the fields of science and technology and finance. There is also a lack of training for the stage of training. The so-called "full of vitality, the daily workers are vying for new", and watching the performance of Libra full of routines on the other side of the ocean, it is time for us to regain innovation.


Author: Ning car, the Agricultural Bank of China senior manager of Internet Banking Department, Beijing network Law Research Association, the Beijing Consumer Protection financial advisor cum work dispute resolution specialists.

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