From chip research and development to privacy computing, from artificial intelligence to the third generation of the Internet

Breaking the "blockchain island" National teams and big factory teams are working hard

On May 5, Zhongguancun Forum held a parallel forum "Blockchain + Privacy Computing Development Forum" - embracing the future of trusted digital economy. Since the 27 Zhongguancun Forum first set up a blockchain parallel forum, this year's Zhongguancun Forum continues this setting. Compared with the previous one, the blockchain session of this year's Zhongguancun Forum focuses more on application scenarios and privacy protection.

As a cutting-edge technology, blockchain has become an important information infrastructure in the fields of global data transactions, financial settlement, international trade, government affairs and people's livelihood, and an important engine for the development of the global digital economy. In fact, the many parallel forums of this year's Zhongguancun Forum, from chip research and development to privacy computing, from artificial intelligence to the third-generation Internet, cannot bypass blockchain as the underlying technology. As a key technology in the next generation of scientific and technological revolution, blockchain has become a strategic highland of science and technology that countries must compete for.

The reporter of Beijing Youth Daily learned from the "Blockchain + Privacy Computing Development Forum" that the National Blockchain Technology Innovation Center has been officially put into operation recently. China will accelerate the construction of ultra-large-scale blockchain computing power clusters and build a national blockchain computing power network; Build nodes in key industries and key areas of the national economy and people's livelihood such as energy and finance, build an open and inclusive national blockchain main chain, and completely break the phenomenon of "blockchain islands".

Fifteen years of blockchain

Widely used in all aspects of modern science and technology

Counting up, nearly 2008 years have passed since Satoshi Nakamoto first published the blockchain classic "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash Transaction System" in 15. Today, blockchain technology has been widely used in all aspects of modern technology.

Two months after the publication of Satoshi Nakamoto's paper, the first genesis block with sequence number 2009 was born on January 1, 3, and a few days later, on January 0, 2009, a block with sequence number 1 appeared and connected to the block with sequence number 9 to form a chain, which marked the birth of the blockchain. Blockchain is a new distributed computing and storage paradigm that incorporates multiple existing technologies. In a narrow sense, blockchain is a chain data structure formed by connecting data blocks in chronological order, and is a distributed ledger that guarantees the immutability and unforgeability of data blocks by cryptographic methods. This involves mathematics, computer science, cryptography, and economics.

In the following ten years, the application of blockchain technology has been extended to digital finance, Internet of Things, intelligent manufacturing, supply chain management, digital asset trading and other fields, showing a wide range of application prospects.

The construction of the national blockchain computing power network was launched

On May 5, at the parallel forum of the Zhongguancun Forum "Blockchain + Privacy Computing Development Forum", the National Blockchain Technology (Energy Field) Innovation Center was officially unveiled. The National Blockchain Technology Innovation Center is led by Beijing Microchip Blockchain and Edge Computing Research Institute. The center will accelerate the construction of ultra-large-scale blockchain computing power clusters, build a national blockchain computing power network composed of provincial and municipal backbone node networks and industry application node networks, form a powerful digital infrastructure, and serve a large number of important industries and key areas of the national economy such as cross-border trade, supply chain finance, energy, safe production, and food industry.

Zheng Zhiming, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and professor of Beihang University, said at the forum that in recent years, China's blockchain has developed rapidly, and a number of "application chains" have emerged, but due to the uneven underlying technology, the fragmentation of the technical ecology, and the independent operation of different blockchain application platforms, the phenomenon of "blockchain islands" has become increasingly serious. This new type of information island phenomenon has seriously hindered the high-quality development of the digital economy.

Not long ago, the National Blockchain Technology Innovation Center led by Microchip Research Institute was officially put into operation. The center clarifies that it will accelerate the construction of ultra-large-scale blockchain computing power clusters, build a national blockchain computing power network, and build nodes in key industries and key regions of the national economy and people's livelihood such as energy and finance, and create an open and inclusive national blockchain main chain, which can break the phenomenon of "blockchain islands".

A new R&D institution, Microchip Research Institute led the development of China's first independent controllable blockchain software and hardware technology system "Chang'an Chain" with leading performance. At present, "Chang'an Chain" is constantly achieving core technological breakthroughs, giving birth to Huge, the world's largest blockchain open source storage engine, and Hive "Hive", the world's leading blockchain and privacy computing power cluster. In particular, the "hive" can process 2 million smart contract transactions per second and perform tens of billions of data privacy calculations, which has taken on the task of operating ultra-large-scale digital economy scenarios.

In terms of application scenarios, Mao Ke, chairman of China Huadian Group Materials Co., Ltd., mentioned at the unveiling ceremony of the forum that in recent years, China Huadian Group Materials Co., Ltd. has worked closely with the "Chang'an Chain" ecological alliance to use China's first independent and controllable blockchain software and hardware technology system "Chang'an Chain" to focus on the difficult pain points in the material procurement process and take the lead in exploring the integrated application of blockchain in material procurement scenarios. Mao Ke said that before the application of blockchain technology, e-commerce platforms had problems in data mutual trust, data security and data permissions in the links of bidding and bidding, supplier qualification review, major equipment quality management, internal and external supervision, etc., which greatly affected the supervision efficiency of material procurement business and procurement process, and the quality of major equipment could not be reliably tracked.

The "blockchain impossible triangle" has become an important topic

Chinese mainland main development of blockchain technology direction is the alliance chain, which is very different from the overseas business represented by public chain technology. The advantage of the consortium chain is that the processing speed is faster than the public chain. Since the number and identity of nodes have been specified, a relatively loose consensus mechanism can be used, so the data processing speed will be greatly improved compared to the public chain. Although the speed of the consortium chain is faster, the alliance chain is not completely decentralized compared to the public chain. Theoretically, consortium members can jointly modify on-chain data. At present, the domestic policy requires that the core of the alliance chain be "manageable and controllable".

The information between domestic alliance chains is closed to each other, and the logic, information, and data are not connected to each other. A completely open public chain like Ethereum, and an alliance chain with the participation of multiple institutions, are more like two parallel worlds. The domestic alliance chain can be divided into two teams: Chang'an Chain, Guoxin Public Chain, Spark Chain Network, and BSN four "blockchain national teams"; Blockchain application solutions represented by Internet giants such as AntChain, Baidu Super Chain, Tencent Cloud Blockchain, and JD Zhizhen Chain.

In the nearly three-hour forum exchange, one of the words that the Beiqing News reporter heard the most was "independent and controllable". A senior Internet person said that autonomy and controllability are an important strategic factor for our development of blockchain technology. This is rarely seen in foreign blockchain forums. Zheng Zhiming, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and professor at Beihang University, pointed out in his speech that decentralization, security and efficiency constitute the "impossible triangle" of blockchain applications. Balancing this ternary paradox is the most important criterion for measuring the international advancement of blockchain technology, the core technology to avoid the isolation of blockchain applications, and the frontier hot problem of competition with advanced countries in Europe and the United States.

The Beiqing News reporter noted that the "blockchain impossible triangle" has recently become an important topic in the industry. The "impossible triangle" refers to the fact that no single blockchain network or system can achieve the three goals of decentralization, scalability, and security at the same time. Industry experts believe that in a certain sense, the breakthrough of the "blockchain impossible triangle" is the fundamental driving force for the technological innovation of the underlying blockchain industry.

Another way to break down "blockchain silos"

The Beiqing News reporter flipped through the guest list of the "Blockchain + Privacy Computing Development Forum", but did not find that there were representatives of AntChain coming to the meeting. In fact, just last month, AntChain proposed another way to break down the "blockchain islands" between consortium chains. Slightly different from the national team's main inward exploration, the "big factory team" chooses to be compatible outward. On April 4 this year, at the Ant Digital Developers Conference, AntChain announced that it officially opened up its heterogeneous cross-chain protocol AntChain Bridge to global developers. It is reported that the protocol is based on IEEE cross-chain standards and is also the world's first cross-chain general international standard. After open source, developers can use AntChain's cross-chain code to transfer assets between different blockchain networks.

According to Ant Group's live demonstration, AntChain transmitted several NFT commemorative badges to different blockchain networks, including a public blockchain, Conflux. Blockchain developers only need to download cross-chain plugins in the Antchain Openlab area in Github to obtain cross-chain system contracts and cross-chain business contracts. It can realize the intercommunication of data and assets between different blockchain networks, and support cross-chain operations between multiple mainstream public chains and alliance chains. AntChain also opened a new generation of Web3 open alliance chain in conjunction with a number of institutions at this event. Ant Group said that the ecosystem is a full-stack technical service deployed in accordance with the four-layer architecture of Web3, compatible with the world's largest blockchain network Ethereum, and DApps on overseas public chains can also be deployed to the alliance chain with one click. It can be seen that in breaking the "blockchain island", the national team and the "big factory team" are working hard.

Privacy Computing

"Privacy computing + blockchain" can promote business model changes

A rising 100 billion industry

The focus on privacy computing is a highlight of the Zhongguancun Forum Blockchain Parallel Forum. Experts at the meeting were pushing the boundaries of privacy computing. Experts believe that if blockchain solves the trust problem with technology, then privacy computing is to solve the security problem.

"In the morning, I received calls from bank loan intermediaries, at noon I received marketing calls from real estate enterprises, and in the afternoon, tourism companies and education and training enterprises called one after another." This is a portrayal of the daily life of a white-collar worker in Beijing. As urbanites in the pre-digital economy era, the troubles caused by data breaches have always lingered. In the Internet era, we have left data in many places, and once these data are leaked, private life may be exposed to the eyes of others, such as when to use the computer, do laundry, browse what websites, buy something... Once it is illegally obtained by merchants, such as for "big data marketing", the consequences are more difficult to predict. According to the Digital China Development Report (2022), China's 10.26 billion netizens face various risks of privacy data breaches. Against this backdrop, privacy computing takes the stage. What is Privacy Computing? In layman's terms, it is to analyze and calculate data under the premise of protecting privacy, which ensures that "data is available and invisible" and "original data is not leaked". Under the traditional calculation method, there is a risk that it will not be available, abused, or sold. Data owners are often afraid to share and are unwilling to share, and privacy computing makes data "usable but invisible" solves this problem and establishes a foundation for information security.

Information sharing and transparency are the advantages of blockchain, but they are also the limiting conditions for its application in the commercial world. No one wants complete transparency about their data, and many people are reluctant to share their data for privacy reasons. Similarly, in a highly competitive market, few businesses are willing to share their data selflessly.

The combination of "privacy computing + blockchain" can solve this problem. For example, Liu Ming's ID number is 11010120010101××××, and his identity information is encrypted into a line of encrypted data, which is then converted into a QR code. When Liu Ming checks into the hotel, the hotel only needs to scan the QR code to get the encrypted information to determine his identity. During the whole process, the hotel will not know Liu Ming's name and ID card information, but it can confirm that it is Liu Ming himself.

In terms of market entities, enterprises can store their own data on the blockchain in encrypted form, and when they need to trade data with others, they can directly provide data in encrypted form. The other party will verify the encrypted information obtained in the blockchain, so that the other party can ensure the authenticity of the data without letting the data be disclosed on the chain. The combination of "privacy computing + blockchain" can promote significant changes in business models.

According to iResearch's report, in the technology procurement of privacy computing basic products and services in 2021, finance, government affairs, and operators accounted for 75%-80% of the market share, and the medical field accounted for about 10%. In the banking field, it is expected that in 2025, state-owned commercial banks, joint-stock banks, and 40%-50% of urban commercial banks will complete the construction of privacy computing platforms. According to the Huajing Industry Research Institute, privacy computing will grow at a rate of more than 110% in the next two years, and the market size will reach 2025.192 billion yuan by 2. According to the Gartner report, privacy-driven spending on data protection and compliance technologies will exceed $2024 billion worldwide by 150.

The historical opportunity of blockchain competes for industry Web3

The last session of the parallel forum "Blockchain + Privacy Computing Development Forum" of the Zhongguancun Forum was "Imagination: Blockchain + Privacy Computing Empowers the Global Digital Economy to Take Off", with guests including Lu Chuncong, President of China Industrial Internet Research Institute, Zhang Bo, General Manager of Information Technology Management Department of CITIC Group, Xu Huijun, Chairman of China Energy Group Digital Intelligence Technology Development Co., Ltd., Zhang Jingbo of Technology and Design Management Department of China State Construction Group, and Liu Yong, Vice President of Tencent. They introduced the cooperation with "Changan Chain" from the perspective of the company, which can basically be classified into the category of industrial Web3.

Last month, the Web3 Carnival was held in Hong Kong, and after articulating last year to become a global virtual asset hub, the city is gradually becoming a gathering place for cryptocurrency and Web3 practitioners in Asia. However, compared with the overseas Web3 format with cryptocurrency as the core, Chinese mainland first chose industrial Web3 at the application level of blockchain. Jiang Guofei, vice president of Ant Group and president of the digital technology business group, once said in an interview with the media that Web3 (popularization) of the consumer Internet will take a little time, because the production relationship in it, including the incentive mechanism, will take a while to build. On the contrary, Web3 in the industry is real, and the entrants are both contributors to value and distributors of benefits. Jiang Guofei said that industrial Web3 may run faster than Web3 for consumer Internet.

When experts from the "Blockchain + Privacy Computing Development Forum" talked about the vision of blockchain, the "Zhongguancun Digital Culture Market" was being held in Haidian Park across the wall, and there were many cutting-edge technologies related to blockchain in the market. Haidian District has already used blockchain technology in many areas related to citizen services. It is reported that "smart contracts" have been enabled in 9 government service scenarios in Haidian. Unknowingly, blockchain has entered the lives of ordinary people.

(Photo by Beijing Youth Daily/Reporter Zhu Kaiyun, Coordinator/Chi Haibo)