区块链技术实际应用的关键在于平衡理想与现实

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  • Brian Lio
嘉宾简介

Brian Lio

SmithandCrown区块链研究所首席执行官

核心要点

区块链技术广泛应用于多维领域

监管关键在于多方公开对话

企业区块链技术运用应该量体裁衣

开放成果,通力合作拥抱创新

01

区块链技术广泛应用于多维领域

金融界: 区块链技术最近取得了哪些突破?未来区块链技术发展的总趋势是什么?区块链技术高度发达的时代将是怎样的?

Brian Lio: 在当前的区块链技术格局中,我们看到许多新的趋势已经出现,但有三个并行发展的趋势需要特别关注:企业/机构区块链、数字证券(Stos)和一系列更加去中心化的举措(公用代币、基础协议、IEO等)。这些技术中的每一项都代表了区块链技术在比特币之外的重要应用成果。

企业区块链技术主要应用于提高效率,并通过参与者联合管理的受信任系统来去除中介。从《财富》100强企业到各国政府,许多组织都采用和发展了这些技术。虽然现在还处于早期,但大型组织将会越来越多地看到区块链可以为企业带来的潜在效率提高。

在数字证券和STOs中,我们看到了金融系统和结构的进步。证券业可以受益于区块链技术的有效性、安全性和流动性。第一批被采用并活跃使用的STOs(证券通证发行)很可能与现有产品非常相似,而它们真正的潜力,则在于将加密经济系统的巨大潜力与由证券建立的工具和价值体系结合在一起。这种加密经济系统的设计,常见于所谓的实用型代币里。一旦基础设施建成,同时投资者更习惯数字资产后,我们就会在第二代数字证券中看到真正的创新发生,其中可能会包括各种新奇而强大的创新结构。

尽管传统的参与者和商业模式(如企业和传统金融)在实施这些技术的方面具有巨大资源优势,但我们看到大多数有趣而颠覆性的发展来自于非传统项目的应用前景。这些项目在如何寻找用户、建立社区和筹集资金方面,都是有别于传统的。在Genesis Mining、ICOs和现在的IEO的第一轮募资活动中,我们都看到了这一点。此外,我们还看到了一些领域,如Web3、完全去中心化的交易所、预测市场、私人货币、非同质化代币(NFT)和分散的自治组织(DAOS)等等,所有这些领域都以自己的方式开辟道路,并不断发展壮大。

当我们评估区块链技术的当前状态时,了解技术发展的速度、以及它在任何两个领域的应用之间有多大差异是非常重要的。人们普遍希望能够将整个行业体系简化为类似互联网的应用,正如我们经常听到的,“这就像X年的互联网”。然而,我们已经拥有了一个强大的全球互联网,这些想法已经以不同的速度、在不同的组织、以不同的方式应用于数十个行业。下一个大型发展和应用可能来自其中任何一个行业。


02

监管关键在于多方公开对话

金融界: 对加密货币交易的有效监管是世界各国政府面临的一个共同问题,美国一些地区最近甚至呼吁禁止加密货币。您认为与传统的支付方式相比,加密货币交易有哪些优点和风险? 政府有必要严格监管吗?

Brian Lio: 监管是必要的,具有积极意义。当监管适当时,它为参与者给出了明确的指导和清晰的框架,这为公司投资开发这些技术提供了信心,也让用户对安全、追索权和风险有明确的期望。但由于这个呈指数增长的行业具有广阔的前景,在行业发展和演变如此迅速的情况下,制定出全面而明确的监管方案是不可能的。成功的关键让是监管机构、企业、企业家和终端用户之间通过透明的方法进行公开对话,重视信息披露和信息标准。当一项技术和市场同时有如此多的侧面时,提高活动与参与的质量和标准的一个更关键的方法是集中精力确保参与者能够获得他们决策所需的信息,包括关于披露、教育和信息的标准。技术的增长是全球化的、去中心化的、而且极其迅速的,传统的监管方法往往不奏效,因此行业和监管机构需要共同努力,确保在创新的同时,保留适当的保护措施。

03

企业区块链技术运用应该量体裁衣

金融界: 微软、facebook、IBM等世界知名企业都致力于区块链的战略布局。您认为企业在区块链相关的技术突破、用户开发、招商引资等方面应该做些什么?

Brian Lio: 企业采用和应用区块链技术的最重要方面是平衡其当前状态的现实情况与技术的快速采用和开发速度。

我们经常看到进入这个领域的公司把区块链视为下一代企业必须拥有的技术和必须检查的板块,但在现实中,区块链技术的在应用的成熟程度以及取得价值回报的时间上都存在着巨大差异。这是一项必须要结合背景来考虑的技术,每个公司的最优策略只属于他们自己。我们现在还不能找到最优的实践方案。我们看到,应用企业区块链技术最好的机会,在那些投资用来深入研究、调查和分析区块链技术的组织身上。即使组织并没有将区块链技术视为其个别路线图的一部分,它也具备极强的破坏或重塑行业的能力,不容忽视。公司很少能对颠覆性创新做出反应,而基于区块链的系统的开发和应用将是一个特别强大的例子。虽然对任何一个集团来说,要全面描绘整个区块链行业的前景都是一件令人望而生畏的事情,但对于付出努力研究新技术在自身业务、所处行业和关键流程的公司来说,这是重要的机遇和价值。


04

开放成果,通力合作拥抱创新

金融界: 区块链在影响人类生活方式和商业模式的方面具有巨大的潜力。在研究区块链的过程中,您对区块链的认知和态度发生了哪些变化?区块链深度研究的意义和瓶颈在哪里?为了提高区块链的研究能力,如何建立学术机构与商业机构的合作模式?

Brian Lio: 我们有一个基本观点,即区块链行业在整体上,大概每六个月就会在框架、流程或主题方面取得一次有意义的发展。通过这样一项开辟诸多新领域的技术——不仅在技术方面,而且包括商业模式、监管、组织、资金等——空间复杂度发生了复杂的变化,而技术的分布性、全球化和开源特性更放大了这一点。

思想、新创新和实践以群体的形式迅速传播围绕着世界各地,从每个新的网络、机制或公开信息中学习。作为一个组织,我们已经跟进这个领域六年了,从第一天开始,我们就挑战自己,要建立一个公司、基础设施和专业知识,使我们能够识别这些关键趋势,然后探索和分析它们。

05

对话实录

JRJ: What are the recent achievements in the development of blockchain technology?

Brian Lio: In the current landscape of blockchain technology we are seeing the emergence many trends, but there are three parallel developments of particular note. These are enterprise/institutional blockchain, digital securities (STOs), and the spectrum of more decentralized initiatives (utility tokens, base protocols, IEOs, etc.) Each of these represents key developments in the evolution, adoption and impact of these technologies as they move beyond Bitcoin.

Enterprise blockchain typically revolves around the use of these technologies to increase efficiency and remove intermediaries through a trusted system governed by a federation of constituents. We see adoption and development of these systems in organizations ranging from Fortune 100s to a variety of governments. While in the early stages, large organizations are more and more seeing the potential benefits of the efficiency that blockchain can bring to enterprise.

In digital securities and STOs, we see a natural progression of many current financial systems and structures. Securities can benefit from the effectiveness, security and liquidity of blockchain technologies. The first wave of STOs that are adopted and actively used will likely closely resemble existing offerings; their real potential lies in combining the vast potential of cryptoeconomic systems design more often found in so-called utility tokens with the tools and value systems offered by securities. Once the infrastructure is in place and investors become more comfortable with the idea of a digital asset, we see the real innovation taking place in this second generation of digital securities where novel, exotic and genuinely powerful structures can be created and used.

Though traditional players and business models, such as enterprise and traditional finance, have a large advantage in resources to implement these technologies, we see much of the most interesting and disruptive developments coming from the vast landscape of non-traditional projects. These projects are non-traditional in how they find users, build community and raise funds. We observed this in fundraising efforts with the first waves of genesis mining events, ICOs and now IEOs. Further, we see areas such as Web3, fully decentralized exchanges, prediction markets, private currencies, non-fungible tokens and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), to name a few. All of these are new frontiers in their own way and have growing communities around their exploration and development.

When looking at the current state of blockchain technology it’s important to aPPreciate how rapidly technology is moving and how it’s application to any two areas can be wildly different. There’s a common desire to reduce the whole industry to an analogy of the adoption of the internet. "It’s like the internet in year x", we often hear. However we already have a robust global internet and these ideas are already being applied at different rates, by different organizations and in different ways across dozens and dozens of industries. The next big development, application or mechanism could come from any of them.

JRJ: ?Effective regulation of cryptocurrency trading is a common problem for governments around the world, with some parts of the United States recently even calling for a ban on cryptocurrencies. In your opinion, what are the advantages and risks of cryptocurrency transactions compared with traditional payment methods?Is strict government regulation necessary?

Brian Lio: Regulation is necessary and positive; it creates guidance, direction and a clear framework for participants when done well. This gives companies the necessary confidence to invest and build on these technologies, and users clear expectations of security, recourse, and risk. . Since this is an exponential industry with so many frontiers, it’s impossible to develop comprehensive and clear regulation while the industry is in such a rapid state of development and evolution. The key to success will be both open dialogue between regulators, enterprise, entrepreneurs and end users through transparency-based approaches that value disclosure and information standards. When there are so many new aspects to a technology and market, one of the more critical ways to improve the quality and standards of activity and participation is to focus on ensuring participants have the information they need to make informed decisions and that there are standards around disclosure, education and information. The global, decentralized and extraordinary rapid advancement of these technologies mean that traditional approaches to regulation simply are often not effective both industry and regulators will need to work together to ensure that appropriate protections can exist alongside innovation.

JRJ: Microsoft, facebook, IBM and other world-renowned enterprises are committed to the blockchain strategic layout. In your opinion, what efforts should enterprises make in blockchain-related technological breakthroughs, user development, investment attraction and other aspects?

Brian Lio: The most important aspect of enterprise adoption and application of blockchain technologies is to balance the reality of their current state, (as they relate to a specific business, industry and environment) with the rapid rate of adoption and development of the technologies. Too often, we see companies moving into the space treat blockchain as the next enterprise must-have technology and a box that must be checked. In reality, applications of blockchain technology vary wildly in how ready they are for adoption and the timeline for returning value to the organization. This is a technology that must be looked at in context; the right strategy for each organization will need to be their own. We are too early for a playbook or even best practices. We see the greatest opportunities in enterprise blockchain for those organizations that invest in thoughtful research, investigation and analysis in their exploration of these technologies. Even if an organization does not see blockchain technology as part of their individual roadmap, its ability to disrupt or reshape industries is too large to be ignored. Companies can rarely afford to be reactive to disruptive innovation and the development and adoption of blockchain based systems will be a particularly powerful example of this. While a full mapping of the entire blockchain industry would be a daunting prospect for any group, there is opportunity and significant value to companies working to develop an understanding of the unique applications of the technology to their own business, industry and key processes.

JRJ: Blockchain has great potential in changing human lifestyle and present business model. In the process of studying blockchain, what changes have taken place in your understanding of blockchain? What are the implications and difficulties in advanced research for the development of blockchain? In order to improve the research ability of blockchain, how to build the cooperation model between academic institutions and commercial institutions?

Brian Lio: We have a fundamental thesis that the blockchain industry as a whole goes through a meaningful development in framework, process or theme about every six months. With a technology that presents so many new frontiers - from not just a technological perspective, but business models, regulatory, organizational, funding, and so forth - there becomes a compounding effect on the complexity of the space. This is further amplified by the distributed, global and open source nature of the technologies. Ideas, new innovations and practices rapidly spread as groups around the world learn from each new network, mechanism or release. As an organization, we’ve been following the space for six years and from the first day have challenged ourselves to build a company, infrastructure and expertise that allows us to identify these key trends and then to explore and analyze them.

It’s hard to overstate the complexity and potential that exists within the application of these technologies. At Smith + Crown we’ve had a particular focus on cryptoeconomic design and analysis over the last few years. This area of study effectively didn’t exist just a few years ago. Blockchain technology enables an immutable system of control over capital, and a programming language for human governance. Even at the most local levels or in specific applications this represents a whole new frontier of scientific and practical exploration, research and study. We have only begun to explore what’s possible and there will be incredible demand for the kind of research that will be necessary to understand and implement these technologies.

For the past six years we have published free, open and independent research because we believe that it’s critical that this type of research is available to those looking to participate and contribute to the industry. We always ask ourselves: what is the research and format for that research that will have the greatest impact? To that end we focus on cryptoeconomics, global trends, and asset intelligence through in our work and via an intelligence platform (sci.smithandcrown.com) that will launch later this month, We also work directly with organizations in an advisory capacity to help ensure that we understand the set of practical challenges and opportunities faced by teams around the world. We see it as critical that research is both open to participants and thoughtfully applied in collaboration with organizations that are working to build the next generation of infrastructure, applications and businesses.

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