Blockchain “chain” to the future

Blockchain “chain” to the future
Schematic diagram of the blockchain image. (file picture)

From being the subject of the collective study of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee, to the holding of the World Blockchain Conference, an international conference, from the steady stream of project financing in the capital market, to the popular talk of the common people after dinner… Recently, the blockchain can be said to stand on the air. Much attention. So, what exactly is a blockchain? How does it relate to our daily life? What is the development prospect of blockchain? What competitive advantages does China have in the development of blockchain?

The core technology to solve the trust problem

A common problem in daily life is that Zhang San in the village asked Li Si to borrow 100 yuan. How can such a piece of information be confirmed and recorded?

Li Si can broadcast through the radio station in the village. After all the villagers hear the broadcast, they conduct point-to-point verification, and then record this information on their own account books. In this way, the accounts of all the villagers were written “Li Si lent Zhang three hundred yuan”. This process is a bookkeeping system, and blocks are arranged in chronological order. The blocks are connected into a chain, which is the blockchain. Blockchains are linked end-to-end in chronological order and can be traced back, but cannot be tampered with because they are all encrypted.

Chen Chun, a professor at Zhejiang University and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, used such a simple example to illustrate the blockchain. He said that, fundamentally, the blockchain is a distributed digital ledger, which is initiated by a single point, broadcast on the whole network, cross-checked, and shared accounting.

Distributed ledgers, decentralization, and rebuilding trust are the key words for understanding blockchain technology. According to the “White Paper on the Development of China’s Blockchain Technology and Application” issued by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in 2016, in a narrow sense, a blockchain is a chain data structure that combines data blocks in a sequential manner in chronological order. And cryptographically guaranteed immutable and unforgeable distributed ledgers.

Blockchain technology originated from the paper “Bitcoin, a Peer-to-Peer electronic Cash System” published by a scholar under the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto”. Around 2014, the blockchain was gradually separated from digital currency and extended to vertical fields , has now been widely used in various fields of economy and society.

Ma Zhitao, vice president and chief information officer of WeBank, said in an interview with this newspaper that as a new computing paradigm and collaboration model that can build trust at low cost in an untrustworthy competitive environment, blockchain technology is closely related to artificial intelligence, big data , Internet of Things, edge computing, cloud computing, 5G and other new-generation information technologies are similar to the infrastructure of digital information systems. If the integration and development of various technologies can be promoted, it can more effectively promote the digital economy and digital society. develop.

Build a new credit system

indispensable

When it comes to invoicing, most people think of the troublesome and cumbersome procedures. Today, Shenzhen office workers who commute by subway every day use the word “seconds” to describe the invoicing experience. Because consumers can apply for invoicing through the WeChat function after checking out, one-click reimbursement, and the invoice information can be synchronized to the enterprise and the tax bureau in real time. Reimbursement upon billing”. Among them, the help of blockchain technology is indispensable.

In August last year, the country’s first blockchain electronic invoice was born in Shenzhen. For more than a year, blockchain electronic invoices have been widely used in financial insurance, retail supermarkets, hotel catering, parking services and other industries. On October 30, the invoicing volume of Shenzhen blockchain electronic invoices exceeded 10 million, and the invoicing amount exceeded 7 billion yuan. Based on the characteristics of complete traceability of the whole process and non-tampering of information, blockchain electronic invoices not only facilitate consumers, but also help companies avoid fake invoices, improve supervision processes, reduce corporate costs, build a credible system and promote the sustainable development of the ecology.

The bill business is just a microcosm of the application of blockchain in the field of people’s livelihood. Many experts believe that, especially in the scenario of multi-party participation, long chain and lack of trust, blockchain will become one of the indispensable technologies for the future development of the digital economy and the construction of a new trust system by virtue of its unique trust establishment mechanism. .

For example, blockchain technology originated from cryptocurrencies, which has a natural fit with the financial industry, and has played a significant role in the financial field. In the financial industry segments such as supply chain finance, cross-border payment, asset management, insurance, etc., blockchain has many application results. The Shenzhen Internet Finance Association and WeBank launched the country’s first P2P (peer-to-peer loan) online lending institution’s benign exit unified voting system. With blockchain technology as the core, it has been put into application in 20 online lending institutions in Shenzhen. More than 80,000 lenders have been introduced, and the principal to be received is more than 10.2 billion yuan, effectively solving the problem of difficult decision-making by stakeholders in the process of benign exit of online lending institutions.

In the traceability industry, blockchain is also very useful. Ping An Property & Casualty has built a smart agricultural production and sales traceability platform in Zhongning, Ningxia, connecting IoT devices through blockchain technology to achieve traceability management of the entire industry chain, providing a basis for improving the quality and productivity of wolfberry cultivation. Ant blockchain is also used in commodity traceability. According to reports, last year’s “Double 11” on Tmall, 150 million Haitao products achieved origin traceability, and in 2019, the number of products with blockchain ID cards will reach 2 billion.

The latest “Blockchain White Paper 2019” released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology shows that the blockchain integrates traditional finance on the one hand, and helps the real industry on the other hand, from finance, product traceability, government affairs and people’s livelihood, electronic certificate storage to digital identity and supply. Chain collaboration, blockchain application scenarios continue to spread, more and more in-depth and diversified.

China promotes blockchain

Effective integration with the main economy

At present, major countries in the world are accelerating the development of blockchain technology. Cai Weide, director of the Digital Technology and Blockchain Laboratory of Beihang University, told the newspaper that many institutions in the world, including the central banks of Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, Singapore and other countries, have engaged in a number of large-scale blockchain experiments and published experimental reports.

According to the “Blockchain White Paper 2019”, the blockchain industry has different development stages and development characteristics in different countries, and encourages technology and policy supervision to have their own priorities. For example, Australia, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands and other countries are actively developing the blockchain industry and have formulated an overall industrial development strategy; the United States, China, South Korea, the United Kingdom, Australia and the European Union attach great importance to the research and application exploration of blockchain technology; at the same time, China, Australia, France, Switzerland, Finland, Liechtenstein and other countries have successively formulated regulations on blockchain supervision.

As early as the “13th Five-Year Plan” National Informatization Plan issued by the State Council in 2016, China listed blockchain technology as a strategic frontier technology. The Political Bureau of the Central Committee conducted the 18th collective study on the current situation and trend of blockchain technology development on October 24, and made it clear that blockchain should be regarded as an important breakthrough for independent innovation of core technologies.

Ma Zhitao believes that Chinese enterprises are more oriented towards promoting the effective integration of blockchain and the real economy, and have promoted more technological innovations and application scenarios than other countries. According to the 2019 Global Blockchain Enterprise Invention Patent Ranking released by the global intellectual property industry technology media IPRdaily, among the top 100 companies in the list, China accounted for 63%, the United States accounted for 19%, and Japan accounted for 7%; Among the top 10, China has already accounted for 7 seats.

Lu Yifan, general manager of the blockchain business department of OneConnect, a subsidiary of Ping An Group, said in an interview with this newspaper that in terms of the number of practitioners and market perception, China has a solid foundation in the blockchain field. According to IDC (Internet Data Center) research, China’s blockchain market spending reached US$160 million in 2018, and this strong growth is expected to continue in the next three years. By 2022, spending in this market is expected to reach $1.67 billion, with a CAGR of more than 80% from 2017 to 2022. With the continuous development of technology, blockchain technology will “bloom and accelerate” and achieve breakthroughs in all walks of life.

“Internet of Everything + Interconnection of 10,000 Chains”

Will the blockchain technology with such a broad development prospect enter the homes of ordinary people more in the future?

Lu Yifan explained that, as the underlying technology of the blockchain, most of the current projects are oriented towards the B (merchant, enterprise) side, and the common people are often not able to feel it intuitively, but the effects it brings, such as information traceability, prevention Many advantages, such as tampering and data verification, can bring invisible convenience to daily life. “In the future, we will see more and more blockchain C (user, consumer) applications appear, and even lightweight blockchain nodes can be installed in our smartphones, and data sovereignty will gradually return to In the hands of users. At that time, the abuse of personal data and the protection of data privacy will no longer exist with the assistance of blockchain technology.”

Ma Zhitao also believes that with the gradual maturity of the market, the application of blockchain will become more widespread and accelerated. For example, he said, the application of blockchain government affairs helps to achieve the goal of letting people run less or not; blockchain judicial application helps to reduce arbitration costs and improve arbitration efficiency for the public or small and micro enterprises; blockchain traceability applications It will help the common people to eat more reliable food… “In the future, the blockchain may play a role in the basic necessities of life and even spiritual civilization, which are closely related to the common people. For example, the application of blockchain social governance will help promote good deeds and optimize society. governance model to help achieve sustainable development.”

“The value of blockchain is not in speculation, but in solving social problems.” Jiang Guofei, vice president of Ant Financial, believes that blockchain has entered the commercial era ahead of schedule, which is first due to technological progress, system performance and data protection. The second is that open technology leads to accelerated group innovation, and the third is that cooperation with industry benchmarks stimulates the snowball effect. In the future, these three points will continue to accelerate the commercialization of the blockchain, and there will be more transactions and information exchanges through the blockchain to establish an interconnection and mutual trust system, and finally realize a world of “Internet of Everything + Interconnection of Ten Thousand Chains”.

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