The fervor for blockchain technology is evident in the frenzy for bitcoin across the Internet and financial industry. web browser pioneer Marc Andressen noted, “In 20 years, we’ll be talking about blockchain as much as we’re talking about the Internet today.”
So, what exactly is blockchain? Why has it suddenly sparked such dramatic interest? What layouts have been made by industry giants, including Google, Facebook, TAB and others? How will blockchain technology affect all industries, the new business civilization, and human society?
1 What is blockchain?
Nowadays, when it comes to blockchain, it sometimes refers to the commercial application of the technology, and also refers to the technology implementation itself. How about a vivid image of the internal workflow of blockchain? In the traditional model, transaction requests are submitted directly to the centralized system, which is responsible for verification and settlement, etc. And one of the core features of blockchain is decentralization.” In the blockchain system, A and B are transacting directly, and everyone around them is acting as “witnesses” to the transaction. Everyone around becomes a node, and every transaction between A and B is recorded one by one. If B tries to deny receiving the money, everyone around him will rebuke him (unless B can buy more than half of the people). To avoid bias in the recording of information by the “witnesses” themselves, the system has a set of strict rules to govern. Everyone can keep a record, and the system will choose the fastest and best person to write down the contents of his record in the “central book”, and send the contents of the book to the system content owner for backup.
Blockchain is essentially a distributed bookkeeping database, and as the underlying technology for Bitcoin applications, it establishes a decentralized trust mechanism that allows everything to run automatically through a predetermined process, without intermediary involvement, with an efficient and transparent process that reduces security costs and improves data security, relying on a set of strict algorithms that decentralize the data to ensure that it is authentic. With a set of strict algorithms, decentralization ensures that the data is true, accurate, transparent and traceable, and cannot be tampered with.
2 How will blockchain redefine the world? The birth of
blockchain replaces “third-party institutions” and avoids the injustice that occurs when records are not available and information is lost. How will the creation of this solution redefine the world by creating a “bookkeeping method” to solve the mistrust between each other?
It is worth noting that the core meaning and value of blockchain is that, for the first time in history, mankind will be able to establish a relationship of trust from a technical level. It is based on this that humanity will thus begin the process of moving from information transfer to value transfer. When the Internet of value is gradually formed, the advantages of blockchain – fast, efficient, low cost, transparent, relatively fair, etc. – will be applied to various fields and the advantages will be amplified. At that time, people will be able to instantly transfer values online like real-time chatting and transmitting information, and these values can be expressed as assets, funds, resources, etc. This alone has already excited countless technology companies, and well-known companies such as Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, IBM, Intel and Microsoft have all joined the blockchain industry.
In addition, blockchain will not only bring revolutionary marketing to the financial industry, but also the potential changes that will be brought about by its combination with the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, and there are infinite possibilities, such as reducing the operating costs of the Internet of Things, solving the problem of overexposure of user privacy, creating a new business model, and further evolution under the interaction, all of which are worth cheering for and investigating in the industry. .
3 Blockchain era, the great social wealth transfer is about to unfold
Each round of the great technological revolution will open a new era. The handover of the old and the new era is accompanied by a massive wealth transfer.
Blockchain technology, has stood at the crossroads of the corner. For gold diggers, most of the time window of wealth transfer, the front five years will be largely completed.
In 2018, we will see exponential growth in the blockchain and digital currency industry, and more and more big companies will flock to impact more industries and sectors, not only limited to the finance and insurance industries, but are also starting to impact other industries such as the internet, manufacturing, human resources industry, healthcare industry, legal industry and retail, to name a few.
This is the power of the trend, and if companies don’t follow in time, they will be left behind or even disappear. As blockchain begins to transform the market structure, companies need to change their business models and business models to meet the requirements of the new market and find and become new nodes on the blockchain ecosystem as soon as possible.
4 The blockchain revolution is here! Hundreds of CEOs are on their way
— Google —
Google’s blockchain investment roadmap is aimed primarily at banks and financial institutions, hoping they can use their solutions to optimize large commercial projects. Google’s investment in Currencycloud is currently on a roadmap similar to the R3 consortium; instead of anchoring its own system to the blockchain, Currencycloud gives the financial industry new technology from the blockchain for many processes, such as executing transactions.
— Facebook —
On January 5, Facebook founder Mark Zucker announced that his annual personal challenge for 2018 is to transform the platform using “crypto and cryptocurrencies” and to apply decentralized technology to Facebook services.Making the vision of “power back to people from centralized, centralized systems” a reality.
– Amazon –
On October 31, 2017, a subsidiary of e-commerce giant Amazon registered three new blockchain-related domains: amazon cryptocurrency, amazon cryptocurrency, and amazon ethereum. This application for cryptocurrency-related domain names indicates that Amazon wants to enter the blockchain space and not just accept cryptocurrencies as a single way of payment, but may even have innovations related to corroboration or traceability.
– Microsoft –
Over the past two years, Microsoft has partnered with well-known blockchain projects (e.g. Ether, R3, Little Ant, etc.) to develop its blockchain business. Microsoft even offers its own blockchain services through Azure Cloud. blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) for Azure is Microsoft’s blockchain enterprise solution. The service is based on the ethereum blockchain and uses the Solidity language to help customers test or deploy blockchain applications.
— IBM —
IBM is one of the first large companies to adopt blockchain. winterGreen Research reports that IBM has captured 32% of the blockchain products and services market, which totals more than $700 million.
First, IBM believes that enterprise-grade blockchain consists of four major components: shared ledger, smart contracts, privacy protection, and consensus mechanisms. To implement these four major components, IBM has developed a set of technical frameworks and standards, including membership management, blockchain management, transaction management, blockchain infrastructure and technology development environment.
Secondly, IBM has introduced corresponding algorithms, products and services for implementing the above technical framework, which is Blockchain as a Service Blockchain as a Service.
Once again, IBM also established a new business unit to integrate advanced technologies such as Blockchain and Watson to provide industrial platform business.
It can be seen that IBM’s blockchain strategy stands at the height of seizing the entire industrial technology standard, providing complete technology as well as corresponding products, services and solutions for the next-generation Internet represented by blockchain, and incubating next-generation business models and ecosystems based on blockchain networks.
— Huawei —
As early as May 2016, the Financial Blockchain Cooperation Alliance (referred to as “Golden Chain Alliance “Huawei joined as a member of the Alliance in May 2016, focusing on the development of blockchain in finance. In October of the same year, Huawei officially joined the HyperLedger blockchain project, and also became the largest smartphone provider to join the blockchain technology alliance at that time.
The then vice president of Huawei believes that blockchain is the next generation of technology evolution to meet customer needs. While there may not be a lot of Huawei blockchain partnerships as of now, they firmly believe that most businesses will use it in the future and will definitely need to run on a cloud like Huawei Cloud.
— Tencent —
In April 2017, Tencent FIT and Tencent Research Institute officially released Tencent’s first blockchain solution white paper. This is the first time Tencent out of the social platform, relying on Tencent in blockchain technology, the main payment and financial applications of Tencent Internet financial business; in November, Tencent officially joined with the idea of conceiving blockchain + ecology.
On the basis of its own innovation, Tencent has created the “Tencent Blockchain” solution, which provides enterprise-level services. Based on the concept of “open sharing”, Tencent will build blockchain infrastructure and open up its internal capabilities to share with enterprises nationwide to jointly promote the development of a trusted Internet and create a win-win ecology for blockchain.
(the use of blockchain in the public welfare scene of Ant Financial Services)
In July 2016, Ant Financial Services first applied blockchain technology to the Alipay love donation platform; in October of the same year, Ali cooperated with Microsoft, Xiao Ants and Fada to develop “In March 2017, Alibaba cooperated with PwC to create a traceable cross-border food supply chain; in August, Ali Health cooperated with Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province to launch China’s first blockchain application based on medical scenarios – -In August, Ali Health and Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, launched China’s first blockchain application based on medical scenario – “Medical Association + Blockchain” pilot project; on October 11, Cheng Li, CTO of Ant Financial Services, disclosed for the first time the future technology layout – “BASIC “strategy, of which the B corresponds to blockchain (Blockchain), while the Technology Lab announced the opening of blockchain technology to support imported food safety traceability, commodity authentic traceability, etc.
From this point of view, Ali’s practice in blockchain technology application has covered the public welfare, traceability, medical, depository and other fields.
— Baidu —
In the past two years, Baidu, which has fallen behind a bit in the BAT, began to strengthen its layout in the field of blockchain and AI, injecting strong technical genes, including blockchain, into Baidu Finance, based on its own strong technical scene advantages, to empower the financial consumer ecology.
In 2016, Baidu invested heavily in blockchain startup Circle, an attempt by Baidu to strengthen its payment layout. in August 2017, the “Baidu-Changan New Life – Tianfeng 2017 Phase I Asset-Backed Special Plan” was issued, which is the first single Chinese This product is the first exchange-traded ABS based on blockchain technology in China, which enables real-time monitoring and accurate prediction of cash flows and improves the management capability of the whole life cycle of the underlying assets. In addition, Baidu is also exploring the application of blockchain technology in areas such as unmanned vehicles.
— NetEase —
In January this year, Ding Lei, the founder and CEO of NetEase, invested in ArcBlock, a U.S. blockchain company, and served as a project advisor.
Recently, NetEase has developed the “Zhaocai Cat” blockchain pet game project based on its strong game strength. This game is actually based on blockchain technology, the use of digital currency trading pets, is also the layout of NetEase blockchain heavyweight products.
The current layout of the blockchain of each Internet company is mostly 2Bbusiness, and this game from NetEase introduces blockchain technology to the masses in a significant way. Arguably, it opens the door to a world of crypto assets, a world of completely personally owned virtual assets.
– Xiaomi –
In April 2017, Xiaomi first announced the launch of a data marketing collaboration technology based on blockchain technology, the product of which is the Xiaomi marketing data chain, a data collaboration platform that can support the secure interaction between data logic on the chain and private data under the chain, and includes two major products, OnBoarding full data matching and co-built Panel.
OnBoarding is a data collaboration between Xiaomi’s DMP (data management platform) and the CRM (customer relationship management system) of brand owners to change the phenomenon of data silos while protecting user privacy; Co-Building Panel is a multi-party verification of specified TA (target audience) data to improve the consumer profile through data linkage. improve the consumer portrait.
— 360 —
In December 2017, 360 Financial, a 360 company, established the 360 Financial Blockchain Research Center and went online with the official website of the Bit Community. This fintech research platform aims to promote the application and innovation of blockchain technology in the financial sector, and create a high-efficiency and low-cost operation system for the new finance of the future.
On January 9, 360 announced the launch of its Shared Cloud Program, which will also release a Shared Cloud Router and Shared Cloud App product. The aim is to allow users to share their idle bandwidth and distribute it to the application scenarios that need it. This plan not only includes blockchain and cloud computing technology, but also combines the concept of sharing economy.
5 The huge business opportunity in the trend of “blockchain + industry”
– marketing – – –
In marketing, blockchain can be used in the following ways:
1. Eliminate unnecessary supply chain intermediaries: Blockchain can help ensure that the supply chain avoids intermediaries that control media lists or third parties like ad blockers.
2. Facilitate data sharing: It helps break down data silos. When sharing data with partners, using blockchain as a way to record data transactions enables knowing exactly what available data assets were acquired by partners and when.
3. Reselling inventory: By selling media futures contracts through the blockchain, the blockchain will be used as a ledger to record all of these transactions and their value, enabling advertisers to feel comfortable about purchasing future inventory contracts.
4. Advertising anti-fraud: Using the high transparency of blockchain, by adding code to advertising material, it can be used to fight fraud and ensure transparency of advertising transactions.
5. Transparent advertising attribution: blockchain-based distributed bookkeeping technology can solve the quantification of advertising effects, attribution can be more objective, and media can have more transparent revenue sharing.
6. User privacy protection: If a user uses a blockchain architecture browser, he can only disclose the data he feels he can publish, and he can actively maintain his identity profile.
– smart contract –
“smart contract”, is a pre A “smart contract” is a pre-edited “digital language record of terms” that, when triggered, executes the corresponding terms or records whether the terms are executed. The working theory of smart contracts has been slow to materialize because of the lack of digital systems and technologies capable of supporting programmable contracts. The
blockchain technology not only supports programmable contracts, but also has the advantages of decentralization, immutability, transparency and traceability of the process, which makes it naturally suitable for smart contracts and offers the possibility of their realization. Smart contracts based on blockchain technology can not only bring into play the advantages of smart contracts in terms of cost efficiency, but also avoid the interference of malicious acts on the normal execution of contracts.
Blockchain-based smart contracts are constructed and executed in the following steps:
1. Multiple users participate in the development of a smart contract;
2. The contract is proliferated through a P2P network and deposited in the blockchain;
3. The smart contract constructed by the blockchain is automatically execution.
– e-commerce –
The deep combination of e-commerce and blockchain technology can make e-commerce more efficient and reliable.
1. Build trust system: blockchain + e-commerce, blockchain-based shared trust system, all participants on the blockchain (buyers and sellers and others) are in a shared trust body, no matter who has problems, all records can be checked.
2. Responsibility traceability: blockchain + e-commerce can create an e-commerce platform with high quality, good price and forensic quality. Through blockchain traceability technology, all merchants can realize seamless cross-border union based on credit and trust as a bridge under the collocation of blockchain smart contracts. The transaction process can also prevent the goods from being tampered with, and in case of problems can easily find out in which link there is a problem and clarify the relevant responsibilities.
3. Simplify the procurement process: blockchain solutions will help simplify the procurement process for customers and help them make an informed choice before buying.
4. Cross-border e-commerce payment solutions: blockchain payment technology can provide payment solutions for cross-border e-commerce companies and enhance consumer trust in their global purchasing business.
– Internet of Things –
There is no doubt that blockchain can provide many application scenarios for the Internet of Things. And these may no longer be futuristic, but here and now!
Imagine a scenario where driverless cars in the IoT can ensure real-time safe communication with vehicles, including car starts and driver confirmations, and use smart contracts to understand maintenance service information, and also provide real-time location information to track vehicles. In addition, the blockchain-enabled IoT will also produce high efficiency in the following eight verticals.
With the blockchain technologyPervasive, enterprises will move from the IoT, which only generates incremental revenue, to new production relationships that create new business models and revenue streams.
What this will bring is the disappearance of industry silos, and there will be more and more cross-industry products and services, so enterprises can derive greater value from their IoT investments, allowing for broader adoption of IoT and AI.
– Digital Currency –
Digital currency can replace the cash bills of the day and make people’s transactions digital and simple. The past year can be described as the year of digital currencies, with the word bitcoin appearing wildly on the hot list.
The underlying technology of Bitcoin is based on blockchain, the biggest feature of blockchain technology is decentralization, which can be used to record the ownership information of any asset, as well as the transaction information of ownership.
This means that everything centralized will be completely eliminated from the game. Money, banks, securities, and other types of economic and financial regulatory authorities will be turned upside down.
Decentralized credit mechanism
On the other hand, blockchain technology reconstructs the credit system in the economy, not only the traditional credit institutions and access methods are subverted, that is, the latest means such as big data and cloud computing will also face challenges.
– supply chain –
blockchain can benefit every link in the supply chain and improve the efficiency of supply chain management.
Blockchain-based product supply chain collaboration model
After the blockchain is joined, data is shared among the supply chain participants, and a complete and smooth information flow can be formed throughout the supply chain to ensure that the participants can timely identify problems in the operation of the supply chain system and find targeted solutions to them. This ensures that the participants can find out the problems in the operation of the supply chain system in time and find the solutions to solve them in a targeted manner, thus improving the overall efficiency of supply chain management. In this regard, blockchain technology greatly accelerates product traceability and product recall, and reduces the quality risk of products.
The supply chain of the future will be more dynamic, flexible and customer-oriented than it is today, and geographic location and long-term partnerships will be less important.
– sharing economy society –
With the development of blockchain and other technologies, the sharing economy will see new developments, and in the future leasing will become the norm, while all will be a luxury performance.
Distributed ledger technology will transform and reshape the sharing economy by “democratizing” the ownership of facilities such as drones, driverless cars, smart homes, automated machinery, and 3D printers through distributed ledger technology. That is, instead of a single “centralized” organization buying all the equipment and receiving all the profits, everyone would be free to invest in a share of the equipment and receive the profits from its production.
6 Challenges to Large-Scale Commercialization of Blockchain
In general, the expansion of blockchain from digital currency to the real world is getting closer and closer, but it will still take some time before it is commercially available on a large scale. So what are the factors that are currently preventing the large-scale application of blockchain?
Technical aspects: some characteristics of blockchain technology itself will limit the commercialization process.
1. Performance: The performance of blockchain nodes determines the speed of transactions. At present, the fastest transaction speed of a mature blockchain system can reach 3000 TPS (Transaction Per Second) . If large-scale commercialization is to be carried out, the performance is not enough to meet the requirements.
2. Scalability: Blockchain uses distributed nodes, so it is difficult to increase arithmetic power by traditional horizontal expansion (increasing the number of nodes), and there are already companies studying the use of logical nodes to increase the computing units under logical nodes to improve performance.
3, security: theoretically there is also the problem of 51% attack. For example, if more than 51% of the bookkeepers modify the bookkeeping records, the previous transactions can be overturned.
Application scenario level: the current blockchain technology hype is very hot, but the market still lacks killer applications to drive the development of blockchain technology. The most successful application at present is Bitcoin. Standard level: At present, there is a lack of technical standards, and no mature solutions have been formed in storage, communication, transmission and network security. Policy regulation: The application of blockchain technology on the ground will also be affected by the regulatory level. With the rapid evolution of blockchain and the development of business, policies and regulations must also make appropriate adjustments to better promote the healthy development of blockchain-related business.
In short, we still need time to perfect many details, as well as a mature, killer blockchain application. This application must meet at least one condition, that is, to support millions of users, and can attract millions of users. To do this, the blockchain behind it needs to be able to significantly reduce transaction costs, easy upgrade iterations and bug fixes, fast response and superb load capacity. Of course, cross-chain interaction, permission control, key recovery, authentication, and other detailed features are not to mention. Now look, both the Bitcoin blockchain and Ether are still a long way from this goal. However, the direction is clear and the future will not be far away.
Blockchain is not only a technology and tool, but also a new way of thinking and rules of the game, which will be a pass for the future digital world and an action guide to touch the future in advance.
In the blockchain-enabled business world, in the decentralized and fully transparent business ecology, the only way for enterprises to embrace open cooperation, in the new production relationship change, to repeatedly and deeply rethink their business logic and positioning, from directly providing services and products, to creating new rules and participating in open rules, in order to take off with the trend.