Blockchain has been in the limelight for a while. The concept, which is yet to enter the stage of widespread application, has taken its rightful place among the key buzzwords in global tech circles.
In March, EqualOcean published the ‘Blockchain, China’s Story’ research report, digging into the domain and dissecting the leading players’ strategies. We analyzed the biggest episodes in the Chinese blockchain narrative to determine the most promising application scenarios likely to play out in the near future, with an eye on those that look set to succeed.
Following this research, as well as the recent COVID-19 outbreak, EqualOcean held a live webinar on April 26. We invited corporate strategy expert and vice president at Huawei, William Genovese, two executives from local blockchain startups – Fuzamei Technology vice president Cao Jing and Mark Xuan, a co-founder of Ziggurat IT, and well-known influencer in the field Antonio Grasso, who is also the founder and CEO of Digital Business Innovation Srl.
In this series of follow-up articles, we will walk through selected insights shared by our guest speakers. The topics include:
Blockchain as a concept
What is blockchain and what’s the value of it?
William: Blockchain is not a single technology but a basket of technologies. It is in a layered architecture or a tech stack consisting of an application layer, services and optional components, protocols – providing the engine while also kind of acting as the hindrance in the space up to now – the network layer, and the infrastructure layer where blockchain as a service is running in cloud environments to control nodes.
Antonio: Blockchain technology falls in the field of distributed ledger technology, where cryptography is employed to assign different values to different data. It provides us an easy way to concatenate information.
Xuan: Blockchain is a digital mechanism to create a distributed ledger to allow more participation on a peer-to-peer network, where people can exchange information and digital assets without a trusted third party to intervene. It can help to facilitate an increasingly trusted and reliable network in exchange for information and digital assets.
Cao: I would like to approach this issue from an economic perspective. Blockchain inherits the characteristics of decentralization. We have been consulted frequently in the past few years on why people need to use blockchain, and we told them blockchain is not only a technique, but also a kind of ideology that allows people to build their commerce without any physical interaction, for example, things can be done through a DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization).
About the ‘Blockchain trilemma’
Cao: The blockchain trilemma is somewhat comparable with the CAP theorem in a distributed system. More or less, it can be concluded as a balance between scalability and tolerance, to fit into different scenarios.
Xuan: The blockchain trilemma is currently a big problem, especially in terms of public blockchains. I fully agree with Mr. Cao that the key to solving the issue is to find a way to keep balance. There's nothing absolute in this world – absolute security, absolute decentralization, they don’t exist independently. For example, the consensus of the Bitcoin network and that of EOS made their respective trade-offs.
William: I have seen agreements on the trilemma of security against decentralization for a while. However, when talking about this issue, security and decentralization are givens. Blockchain came out as it is supposed to solve the problem of security and decentralization. So you cannot look into the problem and say it’s a balancing act and you will give up security to reach decentralization. It has to be secured, it has to be a hybrid of decentralization and centralization – at a minimum – as architecture, otherwise, it can never get into the enterprise structure.