Since the 1990s, China has never actively or passively missed any wave of new technological revolution, whether it is mobile Internet or new energy vehicles, nor whether it is artificial intelligence or autonomous driving. Of course, it also includes the most popular Web3.0 nowadays. Given that the argument that “Web 3.0 has nothing to do with China” is quite popular recently, if you believe or agree with it, there are only three possibilities:
1. Your daily work and life have nothing to do with Web 3.0;
2. What you do in the name of Web3.0 has nothing to do with China;
3. You yourself have nothing to do with China.
There is a popular saying that all the people in China taking Web 3.0 adventures went to Singapore, and a small number went to Miami – since the mining and trading of cryptocurrencies was banned in China, the soil for Web 3.0 to live in China disappeared. . What is the point of digital assets (tokens) without cryptocurrencies? If digital assets (token) lose their meaning, where does the blockchain come from? If the blockchain is not established, how can there be Web3.0? This logic seems to be transparent, but in fact, it confuses the most critical concepts from the very beginning. The blockchain technology that the next generation of the World Wide Web (Web) depends on is different from the blockchain technology that was born to support the issuance of Bitcoin; it also confuses The difference between the nature of Internet economics of smart contracts and digital assets and the appearance of monetary finance is discussed.
——On December 20, 1990, particle physicist Tim-Berners-Lee, known as the “Father of the World Wide Web”, published the first website in human history: European Nuclear Research Home page of the meeting. However, it was not the home pages of scientific research institutes or professors that built the first decade of the human commercial Internet world, but AOL, Yahoo, Orkut, Google, Sina, NetEaseand BaiduHundreds of global news media sites and search engines.
—Evan Williams , August 23, 1999(Evan Williams) released Blogger, the first platform that allowed people to build personal blogs and allow users to comment and interact with bloggers, which is considered the beginning of Web 2.0. But blogs quickly became unimportant tools, and Williams co-founded Twitter in 2007, with FacebookZuckerberg, and his Chinese counterparts on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, opened the door to a new world of social networking, video tools, personalized e-commerce and Internet life services.
——On October 31, 2008, a mysterious figure who called himself “Satoshi Nakamoto” invented Bitcoin and applied the blockchain network design for the first time. People quickly realized that blockchain could be used to undertake all kinds of criminally thrilled financial adventures. In 2013, Ethereum, the blockchain platform of the native cryptocurrency, was born, and thousands of “alternative coins” emerged on it, setting off a more crazy than the “gold rush” on the west coast of the United States in the 1850s. Gold Rush. However, the consensus algorithm created by the distributed network transmission technology and the blockchain formed by the chain structure, as the basic structure of the next generation World Wide Web, namely Web3.0, can breed more application scenarios based on information networks: Web3.0 games have been Scale at first sight, IBMThe tokenless blockchain is helping it return to the throne of enterprise-level services, and fields such as healthcare, logistics, real estate transactions and trade are also exploring what Web 3.0 will bring them.
This is the premise for us to discuss whether Web3.0 has anything to do with China, and how China deeply participates in the Web3.0 information technology revolution. Those wishing to continue discussing the future and fate of alternative currencies in China can now turn away from this article.
1. Discussion on the nature of Web 3.0: the perspective of China
The currently popular and generally recognized interpretation and description of the evolution and change from Web1.0 to Web2.0 to Web3.0, from Messari, a blockchain database and research institution in New York, and its researcher Eshita in “Web3.0, In one word”, the defining feature of Web1.0 is “read”; the feature of Web2.0 is “read+write”; the feature of Web3.0 is “Read+Write+Own” (read+write+own). This is a description from the user’s standpoint. It seems to capture the evolution of the increasingly rich interactivity and personalization of the Internet, and also captures the essence that all information and transactions circulating through the Web3.0 network have the attribute of “digital assets”. However, it is not a precise conceptual description of Web1.0, Web2.0 and Web3.0.
In the era of Web 1.0, people can not only read, but also write on the Internet. In addition to submitting articles to news portals or being invited as website columnists, BBS is a “writable” speech expression square for netizens in that era. In the era of Web 2.0, more people are “writable”, but this is not the most important change. People become nodes interacting with each other on the Internet, individuals with specific identities and images, able to Expressing, interacting, meeting, and transacting more freely and flexibly based on individualized identities are the keys to this change. In the era of Web 3.0, through encrypted hashing, time stamps and transaction data, the “writable” of every individual and every organization on the chain network has become a digital asset and an encrypted digital contract, which is far more meaningful. more than “owning” itself. This report by blockchain research institute Messari lacks an understanding of the past history of the human Internet, especially the lack of understanding of the provision of services and transactions through the Internet other than the “Internet of Information”, which makes it impossible to even better understand the region. Blockchain and Web3.0 itself.
To understand the essence of Web1.0 to Web3.0, we might as well jump out of the cognition of American shaping. The United States is a country with a highly developed cultural content and financial industry and a dominant position in the world, which is also reflected in its Internet development history: Yahoo and PayPal in the Web1.0 era, YouTube and Stripe in the Web2.0 stage, Netflix/Gamify and Block/Coinbase, etc., which are being transformed into Web 3.0, are both sides of the United States’ strong output of Internet content and finance. Compared with the United States, the development of China’s Internet has more tool attributes to transform the infrastructure of the physical world and integrate the development of the real economy, which can also help us form our own cognitive framework from Web1.0 to Web3.0—especially for Web3 .0 Cognitive Framework:
Web1.0 is the “Internet of Information”.
In the early days of the commercial Internet, receiving, transmitting and publishing information were the main purposes and scenarios for humans to use the Internet. News sites, search engines, BBS communities, advertising sites (eg Craiglist), chat rooms, online games in their original state, etc., are all tools and platforms with distinct information attributes. There was a popular saying at that time, “No one knows you are a dog” on the Internet. The ambiguity, uncertainty and dynamic change of a person’s online identity are important features of Web1.0. Even if you transfer money to a friend via PayPal, or use early AmazonWhen shopping with eBay, your ID only points to a residential address or bank account, and has little to do with who you are. Therefore, in the “information Internet” stage, various “accounts” registered by a person on the website are of little value.
Web 2.0 is the “Internet of Identity”.
With the advent of blogging and social networking, it has become important to be “who” people are on the Internet. Tags such as gender, nationality, region, occupation, education, hobbies and lifestyle, in rigid or flexible ways, become part of our registered accounts on social networks, video sites, shopping platforms and even online car-hailing software. The matching degree of dating in dating apps, public feedback on opinions expressed on social networks, the effect of online celebrity live broadcasts, and patients’ evaluations of doctors’ online consultations are all closely related to “who you are”. An identity that is close to the “real” will bring more direct results and benefits to people who have behavioral tracks on the Internet. And a person’s behavioral trajectory on the Internet also potentially forms part of their “identity”, which is used by recommendation engine algorithms to recommend articles, videos, friends, products, and even car-hailing drivers that they are more looking forward to. Everything online is socialized, whether you are a person or a dog, people know it, and so do the algorithms.
And Web3.0, it is “contract Internet”.
The “identity” of Internet users, through the distributed file transmission and storage system composed of encrypted hashes and time stamps, will be strengthened like never before, and can even be traced back to government-issued birth certificates, academic registrations, business registrations, and vocational qualification certifications, etc. Information is encrypted and solidified by “stamping”, which can only be added and cannot be tampered with. A series of network behavior trajectories based on the user’s “identity”, such as the release of pictures, texts and videos, online shopping records, bulk transactions, water and electricity bills, commercial contracts, forensic collection, production and supply chain process connections, etc. The “identity” asset token (token) and smart contract operations are clearly recorded and stamped, and even automatically promoted by smart contracts. It makes the “truth” no longer have the opportunity to be artificially shaped. For a person or institution, its identity and behavioral trajectory are truly recorded, and the contract with other parties is systematically advanced and cannot be tampered with. Blockchain, as the next-generation World Wide Web of infrastructure, not only allows users to confirm ownership by the digital mapping of digital assets or physical assets with “tokens”, but also clearly fixes the contractual relationship corresponding to “ownership”.
Looking at the evolution from Web 1.0 to Web 3.0 from the above perspective, it is not difficult to find that it is the evolution process of a user’s “identity” from abstract to concrete, from useless to useful, from a referential symbol to a contract system.
The essence of Web3.0 is “Contract Economics”.
“Contractual economics” is an ancient discipline, which aims to study how economic subjects solve the problem of information asymmetry through specific contractual arrangements. It belongs to the same category of “information economics” as “Freecomics”, which was popular 15 years ago, and the former is the reaction of the latter. The blockchain Internet is the soil for the revival of contractual economics: it no longer emphasizes the freedom of users to come and go and enjoy all Internet services free of charge brought by the early Internet, but instead emphasizes the implicit commercial and monetary value, and protect these implicit commercial and monetary values through smart contracts concluded by the blockchain network. From a long-term timeline, Web 3.0 will reflect on any human business behavior that needs to generate value and consolidate contractual relationships with the help of the blockchain network.
Let’s take a look at the essence of Web3.0 “contract economics” and what it means to China——
In the Web1.0 “Internet of Information” period, China is an uncompromising follower.
In the stage of Web2.0 “Identity Internet”, China has gradually become the world’s major Internet business power, and even surpassed the United States in some areas. This is not only because of the explosive growth of mobile Internet in China, but also because of e-commerce, mobile payment, local life A series of network formats that are deeply integrated into the real economy, such as logistics services, and solve the contradiction between unbalanced and insufficient development in China, have achieved a geometric leap in commercial value through the identification of user “identities” and algorithm optimization.
In the era of Web3.0 “Internet of Contracts”, China’s highly digitalized real economy and business formats continue to develop, while contractual trust and protection of rights and interests between commercial institutions and consumers, as well as commercial institutions, are still prominent crux. It needs a technology system that is less likely to be artificially shaped, fairer, and more automated to bridge the gap between development and trust, so as to create brighter commerce, better consumption and more solid individual value.
And the more huge, complex, diverse and perfect industrial chain system of business and social forms, the more need such a “contract”-based technology base, such as China.
2. Falsification of “Decentralization”: The Role of China
Some people say that an important feature of Web 3.0 is the “decentralization” effect brought about by the blockchain network for distributed file transmission and storage.
For example, “Decentralized Finance” (De-Fi, Decentralinzed Finance), which was born based on the application of blockchain in cryptocurrencies, means that people can “freely” exchange currencies without the participation of banks and governments, so as to realize the control of the government and the government. Decentralization of the banking control system. Another concept derived from this is “DAO”, which is the abbreviation of “Decentralized Autonomous Organization” (Decentralized Autonomous Organization).
Many people who hold this concept believe that China is a country that believes in the principle of “centralization” in both social and business governance, and does not have the theoretical and practical soil for “decentralization”. The draconian ban on cryptocurrencies is a prime example of China’s push for “centralized” governance. Therefore, whether it is in finance or other fields of commercial and social life, it is difficult for Web 3.0 with blockchain as the cornerstone to truly become a reality. Therefore, Web3.0 has nothing to do with China.
This logic seems reasonable, and it also caters to the secret psychology of some cryptocurrency enthusiasts who have been expelled from mainland China to sit on the sidelines or gloat, and it is also a good material for popular articles. However, if we have some basic understanding of the history of human beings – even the history of the Internet, we will find that these people’s understanding of “decentralization” has been a skyscraper built on a sand dune from the very beginning.
The first-generation World Wide Web (Web 1.0) invented by Tim-Berners-Lee is itself the ideal of human “decentralization”It is also the product of human “consensus”. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), launched by Berners-Lee in 1994, is itself a “consensus organization” dedicated to promoting the development of new standards to promote compatibility and agreement among industry members. The contribution of the World Wide Web to human beings, from motives to results, all point to the decentralization of the right to construct information. At that time, what better way to check and eliminate the discourse hegemony of broadcasters, TV stations, newspapers and publishing houses than to build a website or homepage, linked to each other with hypertext links?
However, the early “decentralization” experiment of the World Wide Web quickly turned to its opposite: a group of portals and vertical professional websites with media attributes, such as AOL, Yahoo, PChome and Sina, etc., formed a super entrance that devoured Internet traffic . Soon after, the traffic and influence of these super websites had to be attached to the more powerful portal websites – the weight ranking given by search engines such as Google and Baidu. The ideal of “decentralization” of the early Internet was eroded by business giants a little bit.
Therefore, when blogs (Blogs), as a distribution center for personal voice expression, and early social networks such as Friendster and MySpace, came out in the name of “Web 2.0” at the beginning of this century, whether it was their self-promotion or users’ expectations , all point to the “decentralization” of independent creation, independent comments, voting with feet, interactive sharing and mutual connection. At the first Web2.0 Summit held in San Francisco in October 2004, the concepts of “managing the wisdom of the crowd” and “decentralization” were frequently proposed as the signature features of Web2.0. Who dares to say that Wikipedia is not a What about the large-scale knowledge database generated by centralized, user-free editing? Who can deny that users will not have more freedom to express, share and connect on Facebook and Twitter, which are long overdue in the future?
Those who are desperately advocating and rendering the rose-colored vision of Web3.0 “decentralization” at the moment may have accurately removed the information about how Web2.0 achieved “decentralization” more than 10 years ago in their brain memory. The heroic manifesto; of course, this may be related to the fact that some Web 3.0 activists are too young. What happened after Web 2.0 is clear to everyone: Facebook and Twitter have become a testing ground for the super will of a few people and a black box for recommendation algorithms, including some Chinese content and social products of course. And life services based on social, location and identity attributes, such as Uber and Didi, and also use recommendation algorithms to look down on their users from a “God’s perspective”. They are the new “central nodes” of the Internet, and they also nurture and breed new centralized users.
With history like this, how can we believe in the “decentralization” ideal of Web3.0 advocates and practitioners?
After all, the history of the human Internet for more than 30 years is a story of technological idealists opening a new chapter in the prophecy that “the sky is dead and the sky is up”, and speculators with ulterior motives and silent realists take advantage of it , and finally become a new “Cangtian”, and then wait for the cyclical history to be ruthlessly subverted by the next generation of “Huangtian”. Unfortunately, the current Web 3.0 world has entered a stage where ill-conceived speculators and unabashed realists are cautiously dismantling the essence of “decentralization” before it has time for anything other than cryptocurrencies. “Contract economy”, what real value does it bring.
Perhaps no one can deny that the legendary Satoshi Nakamoto is a technical idealist, and the Bitcoin system he invented has indeed established a ground-breaking autonomous system for “decentralized” currency trading and issuance, and based on ” Mining” the “consensus” algorithm of the proof-of-work mechanism. Ethereum, which was born later, also seems to have inherited and developed this system and consensus algorithm very well. However, in the past 10 years, many cryptocurrencies have emerged one after another, but what consensus have they established? In addition to realizing the decentralization of the free issuance and trading of “currency”, the mining, distribution, trading and warrants of cryptocurrencies seem to be decentralized on the distributed blockchain computer network, and it has brought more people. what? How many participants in this radical decentralized financial game are connected in the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO)Have you participated in “community building” by voting and really defended your wealth?
When “decentralization” becomes the “legitimate name” for a few people to obtain wealth that originally belonged to more people, and a technical tool that is popular for computing and storage through a distributed block network, we can no longer use “decentralization”. “Centralization” technology path is confused with some idealistic human society ideas that it once contained. “Decentralization” as a social ideal has appeared many times in the history of the human Internet, and it does not exist at all.
Those proponents of Web 3.0 “decentralization” may not want to mention it at all: the early “miners” at the beginning of Bitcoin’s release – most of them who dealt with “Satoshi Nakamoto” – in the short term A lot of bitcoins were mined. They are likely to control more than 50% of the Bitcoin in the blockchain world, and have the ability to override any “consensus” by organizing more than 50% of the Bitcoin network’s hash rate to form the central node of fact, while Bitcoin The future fate of the system will largely have to depend on the moral sense of this small group of people.
Those advocates of “decentralization” of Web 3.0 may also be reluctant to explain: how Solana, the blockchain cryptocurrency project that was picked up by the venture capital giant a16z, was developed on the blockchain from the beginning The core node, and its verifiers need to pledge “Solana Coin” (SOL) equivalent to 1 million US dollars to conduct blockchain verification, and requires a lot of computing resources, resulting in few participants joining the consensus verification, making the Solana has almost become a blatantly “centralized” public chain – which is also proved by its ultra-high performance and ultra-high downtime rate that it surpasses Ethereum.
Those proponents of Web 3.0 “decentralization” may be more shy to admit it: they’re adding a “consensus mechanism” based on consistent validity rules, in most cases because of their understanding of the hashes and codes on the blockchain Exactly how it works is unknown. They participate in a consensus that they don’t even know how to participate in, and they become the reapers. And Elon Musk-like characters’ “bringing goods” to a certain cryptocurrency on social media is largely the only basis for their decision to accept this “consensus”. The popularity of “social standard” through cryptocurrencies does not necessarily bring the centralization of computing power and technology, but it must bring the centralization of influence and beneficiaries.
It’s time for another disenchantment with “decentralization”.
Only when we realize that the “decentralization” idealism of the blockchain inventors has been disintegrated to pieces by the influx of speculators, can we calmly accept a future based on realism Web3.0——
On a “centralized” blockchain network mastered by core nodes, “decentralized” distributed ledgers and encrypted hashing are used to ensure that digital property rights and commercial values between different economic entities are not infringed, and Shape their mutual contractual relationship – this is also the role played by China’s government, enterprises and social organizations in the Web3.0 wave.
China’s participation has removed the “decentralized” fundamentalism of Web3.0, giving it a stronger color of technological neutrality, enabling it to more effectively use “decentralized” technical means to serve complex business chains, Social systems and transaction contracts.
“Centralization” is a part of Chinese cultural tradition and a deep element embedded in social and commercial structures, but it does not prevent “decentralized” cells from growing on the nerve endings of this body. After all, the wise emperors of the feudal dynasties in China all knew one truth: only by distributing the land to more people to occupy and cultivate, and cultivate various crops that can be traded, instead of allowing the land to be annexed by a few people, the imperial court can collect more Centralized power can be more indestructible.
The 14-year technical practice of blockchain has also verified a fact that is close to the truth: the absolute “decentralization” of computing nodes is the natural enemy of operational efficiency and scalability – more precisely, decentralization, efficiency / There is an “impossible triangle” between scalability and security, and both must be sacrificed. Well, in China, which has long pursued business and social efficiency as a virtue, and is committed to applying blockchain technology to a wider range of business and social contract scenarios, rather than a group of people quietly observing a certain cryptocurrency transaction What do we care about most about countries in the process of mobility?
If an “alliance” is established on a relatively centralized blockchain network of computing nodes, under the premise that laws, regulations and supervision participate in “centralized” governance and become the largest consensus, the efficiency and efficiency of transactions, contracts and mutual linkage can be realized. Maximum security, what is unacceptable?
In other words, instead of pretending to be “decentralized” to establish various exchanges and issue tokens on a “centralized” blockchain such as Solana, accepting a grand centralized consortium chain will create more actual value, and Is it a good deal for the Chinese government, organizations, commercial institutions and consumers?
3. On the inevitability of “non-currency”: China’s choice
Put aside the fundamental myths about “decentralization” and give the blockchain technology behind it – or Web3.0 a stronger color of realism and technological neutrality, we can see its technological evolution more clearly path, and its relationship to the previous two generations of the World Wide Web, mapping and substantial breakthroughs.
Web 3.0 websites or applications generally adopt IPFS (Interplanetary File System) invented in 2014 – it is a network transmission protocol designed to create persistent and distributed storage and sharing of files, and it is also a content-addressable Such as hypermedia distribution protocols, that is, nodes in the IPFS network will form a distributed file system, data will be split into dozens of smaller data, distributed and stored in dozens of different servers, even if one server goes down Does not affect other storage. This is also the principle of “decentralization” in the technical realization of Web3.0.
The first two generations of the World Wide Web used the HTML protocol invented in the early 1990s, that is, fetching data from a centralized data storage center and generating static or dynamic web pages through protocol standards. In this sense, you can even think that IPFS is the real “Second Generation World Wide Web” (Web 2.0).
This is undoubtedly a breakthrough in technological evolution. If we look at some technical keywords about Web 3.0 again, it is not difficult to find their mapping relationship with the previous two generations of the World Wide Web, which will help us understand what a sound Web 3.0 should look like——
”chain” ≈ operating system
Any “chain” is composed of blocks, which are responsible for storing information, which are connected into chains in the order of time they are generated, and stored in servers (nodes). Each “chain” – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, etc., can be regarded as the “operating system” of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. The “on-chain” project is a software or APP running on an operating system. The “public chain” is like Windows or Android, as long as the basic protocol and “consensus” are followed, applications can be uploaded. And the “consortium chain” is more like AppleFor the iOS system, the project needs to undergo stricter audits and follow a stronger centralized “consensus”.
”Smart Contract” ≈ TCP/IP + API
A “smart contract” is a computational protocol that propagates, verifies, or executes a contract, allowing for traceable, irreversible, and tamper-resistant trusted transactions without a third party. As a protocol, the reference objects that “smart contracts” can map are the “TCP/IP protocol” of Web1.0 and the “API protocol” of Web2.0, which ensure the transmission of information between different networks and data calls across applications. However, smart contracts have stronger economic properties of service contracts and transactions, and their traceability, non-tampering and irreversible characteristics are not available in the previous two generations of the World Wide Web – after all, it is easy to interrupt network transmission and close data retrieval permissions. matter.
”Scenario”/Dapp ≈ Website, desktop software + mobile APP
The application “scenario” on the blockchain, also called “Dapp” (distributed application) by some people, is equivalent to websites, desktop software in the Web1.0 era, and mobile applications (APPs) in the Web2.0 era. Distributed applications and scenarios based on Web 3.0 can be accessed both through browsers and through specific mobile APPs. The current mainstream Web3.0 application scenarios are undoubtedly an endless stream of cryptocurrencies and cryptocurrency exchanges issued on various public chains, as well as digital asset non-fungible token (NFT) applications. You have to admit that Web 3.0 is the next generation World Wide Web infrastructure that most seamlessly integrates with money, assets, transactions and finance.
Why is Web 3.0 a hotbed for cryptocurrency trading and financial adventure? The reason lies in the issuance of tokens.
“token” is a computer science term, usually translated as “token”, which is a secret code for exchanging information between different devices. The token on the blockchain network is the “secret code” for the “smart contract” to be verified and executed, and it is the symbol of asset ownership. It is a new thing that cannot find a mapping reference in the previous two generations of the World Wide Web, reflecting the essence of the blockchain network. In a blockchain application whose main function is to mine, issue and trade cryptocurrencies, “token” is the incarnation of “token”, which can be directly used to confirm its ownership and conduct buying and selling transactions. Since blockchain technology was born in response to Bitcoin, the earliest token is a Bitcoin.
However, with the development of blockchain networks and the emergence of more application scenarios, people need to have a clearer understanding of the nature of tokens. It’s not just a cryptocurrency, it may not even be a cryptocurrency. It should be translated as “token”, that is, “certificate of tradable encrypted digital rights and interests”, which reflects the ownership of asset rights.
A token can be a digital real estate certificate, a large batch of CATL delivered to TeslaLithium battery cargo records, the property stamp of an imperial Xuande furnace, the publisher’s copyright fingerprint of a Jay Chou single… They can get the proof of ownership because of the token, and then use smart contracts to “circulate” the ownership and use. right. The transaction method for circulation can be the encrypted currency attached to the token itself, or it can be digital legal currency.
This is the token, and it is also the theoretical and technical basis for Web3.0 “non-tokenization”.
Almost every proponent claims that Web3.0 and blockchain technology can bring a more trustworthy and wonderful future to the human business world. However, what we have seen so far are still various cryptocurrencies and exchanges. Blockchain is all the rage. Others claim that there are rich and attractive application scenarios built on the blockchain, and these scenarios still point to token trading and wealth harvesting.
One example is StepN, a recently popular running app released on the Solana platform. Can you imagine running for money? I spent nearly $1,000 worth of “gold coins” to buy a pair of virtual sneakers, and then spent a lot of money on equipment, then ran every day, leaving traces on the map, accumulating gold coins, upgrading equipment, and waiting for new ones to join. people buy it. The founder of StepN claimed that: because gold coins and equipment can be traded on the platform, StepN only charges transaction fees, so it generates actual value, which also prevents it from becoming a “Ponzi scheme”.
However, the only difference between StepN and a classic Ponzi scheme may be this: as long as there are always fewer sellers than buyers on StepN, it can go on and on. And the Ponzi scheme needs to constantly have new “downline” to buy the “upline” assets. However, can such expensive “shoes” and “equipment” really attract more downlines to join in forever? And is “running” really that important in this increasingly expensive game of drumming and passing flowers? What value does it embody other than something that can be purchased with the token?
Web3.0 trendsetters are so keen on the “X to earn” model, games make money, learn to make money, sing to make money, sleep to make money… They open up another way for people to understand Web3.0, allowing some people to participate in meaningful However, it usually lacks an effective mechanism to stop the influx of speculators and turn them into a token financial game with the main goal of “online harvesting offline” rather than the action itself.
At present, this seems to be the paradox of the Web3.0 model of “X to earn”: when people try to use the blockchain network to create “de-financialization” application scenarios, only tokens are used as incentives and rewards. At that time, the financial attributes of tokens will inevitably stimulate the greed of human nature, which will quickly overwhelm the original appearance of these scenes and become the protagonist of the game. When the X of “X to earn” becomes a decoration, and you can earn without even needing X, it is only one step away from a financial scam.
Why must this be so? The history of the Internet may tell us some answers: pornography sites are almost as old as the early commercial Internet, and gambling is the most enduring Web 1.0 application. After the rise of the Web2.0 social network, the “friendship” app for strangers is the fastest to make money through membership fees, and of course there are live broadcast rewards for beautiful and handsome guys. In essence, cryptocurrencies, like pornography, gambling, dating, and ambiguous live broadcasts, are the things that can most provoke people’s inner secret desires and impulsive movements, and naturally have a strong vitality. What is even more frightening is that the financial attributes of cryptocurrency make it more like a kind of gambling, and it is even more irresistible.
Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 can give birth to a series of applications that change human life and business forms, and create companies with a market value of hundreds of billions of trillions of dollars, because despite the temptation of “pornography, gambling and drugs”, it still cannot prevent people from becoming more yearning for good things. In contrast, cryptocurrencies can be described as “fatal temptation”, and are blessed with idealistic concepts such as “decentralization”, “community autonomy” and “financial revolution” – whether idealists, speculators or realists, all Can find a reason to join it openly.
This leads to an embarrassing situation: cryptocurrencies stand in the way of Web 3.0’s beautiful vision of changing the world.
From this perspective, it is not difficult to understand why the “non-currency” of Web3.0 has become an inevitable choice for China to participate in the Web3.0 revolution. It is not difficult to understand why China’s policy authorities, while severely cracking down on the issuance and trading of domestic cryptocurrencies, are still actively learning and exploring the application of blockchain technology and accelerating the popularization of digital renminbi.
In the jungle world of cryptocurrencies, the global Chinese are an extremely active force. Before 2018, mainland China was also the most prosperous region for cryptocurrencies in the world. Hundreds of thousands of miners, cryptocurrency issuers and traders only smelled hot money, not danger: whether it was Early players who have harvested their fortunes through cryptocurrencies, or latecomers waiting to be harvested, are premised on buying the corresponding amount of cryptocurrencies with dollars to participate in this game. And most people’s US dollar assets are in China, or they need to exchange RMB for US dollars to remit abroad. It has caused the outflow of China’s foreign exchange reserves and is also suspected of “money laundering”.
No matter how much cryptocurrency advocates emphasize that they are pursuing financial “decentralization”, no one can hide an obvious fact: “decentralized” Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, etc. any kind Tokens, the starting point of their circulation, are the most “centralized” legal tender in the world – the US dollar. Otherwise, how do you understand the enthusiasm of US dollar venture funds such as Sequoia and a16z for cryptocurrencies? Without the global centrality of the U.S. dollar, there would be no global popularity of cryptocurrencies.
So, what does this mean for China, which is committed to promoting the internationalization of the renminbi and the application of digital renminbi, to open the door to cryptocurrencies and let the wealth in China be converted into US dollars to join the game?
Federal Reserve official John Williams recently stated that cryptocurrencies cannot negate the Fed’s role in supplying money and liquidity and bringing stability to the economy and financial system, adding that the Fed must carefully consider appropriate regulation to protect consumers and investors, ensuring the stability and security of the financial system. The U.S.’s attitude towards prudential supervision of cryptocurrencies, but not abolishing them, relies on the world status of the U.S. dollar, while small countries such as El Salvador and Honduras, whose fiat currency credit has long since collapsed, directly announced their acceptance of Bitcoin as legal tender – I am afraid there are only these two extreme situations in the world. Can give cryptocurrencies the most opportunity. China, on the other hand, does not belong to any of the above situations.
For China, the internationalization prospect of a strong and credible RMB is irreversible, and the digital asset rights and interests on China’s blockchain network must also be circulated and guaranteed through the digitization of the RMB. Perhaps, when the internationalization status of the renminbi is consolidated as never before, China may show another flexible attitude towards cryptocurrencies.
In terms of the scale and speed of returns, the allure of digital finance is always greater than that of the ordinary digital Internet economy, and the allure of the digital economy is greater than that of digital-based manufacturing and the real economy. If China’s Web3.0 and blockchain network are dedicated to serving, it is the complex commercial chain, social system and transaction contract on this huge economic and social organization, the “non-tokenization” of tokens and the certification of digital assets , may be a necessary choice at the root.
4. About the “growth of all things” led by the alliance chain: China’s imagination
From a long-term perspective, Web 3.0 will reflect on any human business behavior that needs to generate value and consolidate contractual relationships with the help of the blockchain network. And China’s Web3.0 is committed to serving the complex commercial chain, social system and transaction contract on this huge economic and social organization, and it is bound to emphasize the “non-tokenization” of tokens and the attributes of digital asset certificates, so as to avoid being encrypted by currency at the source. “Kidnapping”.
More application scenarios of Web 3.0 must also accept the fact that the economy, business and governance of the real society are born out of the already formed laws, rules and cultural customs, and are constrained by the “centralized” rules of the real world.
The application of Web3.0 in real society and business will never be able to completely set up a new set of “decentralized” rules like the cryptocurrency world – this is the case for any country and region. It must dispel the charm of “decentralization” and accept “centralized” participation at least at some levels, such as those involving laws, regulations, and guiding policies. This also means that the “consortium chain” with the centralized characteristics of typical server nodes is a more realistic choice.
Promoting the “consortium chain” is not only a choice suitable for “China’s national conditions”. On a “centralized” blockchain network mastered by core nodes, “decentralized” distributed ledgers and encrypted hashing are used to ensure that the digital property rights and commercial values between different economic entities are not infringed, and Shaping their mutual contractual relationship – this should be the “Chinese solution” for Web3.0 and blockchain technology to be truly applied to the world and the real social, economic and commercial operation of all mankind on a large scale.
In China, Tencent, Alibaba(Ant Group), Baidu and JD.comAll of them have built their own alliance chains, providing “on-chain” services in terms of content copyright, equity, insurance, bonds, supply chain finance, taxation, justice, commodity anti-counterfeiting traceability, logistics transportation, and ecological protection. Consortium chains initiated by BSN and Changan Chain and other state-owned enterprises, think tanks and government agencies have also been established successively. In addition to being used in business and government affairs scenarios, they are also committed to solving the problem of autonomy and control of the underlying public infrastructure and intellectual property rights of the blockchain.
Chinese Internet giants have never been reconciled to aphasia in the face of new technological waves. For example, Tencent is a company that has successfully crossed the two cycles of Web1.0 and Web2.0. Now, together with Alibaba and JD.com, it is trying to continue to play the role of Web3.0 in China. However, this is not a sign that the Web 3.0 revolution is taking place in China.
The Web3.0 revolution took place in China, which means that the next generation of companies that will truly change the way people live, do business, and transactions will be born in this land, and thus change the world; instead of letting Tencent, Alibaba and ByteDance live Consolidating their splendor day after day.
Sounds too optimistic? Let’s go back to 2005, when Wang Xing was forced to sell the “China’s Facebook” intranet to Thousand Oaks Group, can he imagine that Meituan will become China’s top three technology giants by market value 12 years later? Let’s go back to 2011. After WeChat was born and quickly became a national-level social network and life network, can it predict the challenges of Toutiao and Douyin a few years later? Founded in China, ByteDance became the world’s leading social media company only fifteen years after the concept of Web 2.0 came out.
Let’s imagine how Web 3.0 will land, take root and grow in China from several fields:
1. Copyright-based digital content—
In recent years, digital content based on the traditional Chinese cultural value system has emerged on the Internet platform. They exist in various forms such as stage plays, music, film and television works, cultural and creative products, art collections, etc., which not only shows cultural confidence, but also itself It also contains huge commercial value. And these works created or published in digital form, such as an antique version of the Song Dynasty blue-green water-sleeved uniform in “A Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains”, a new piano version of “Dunhuang”, a set of blind boxes of Buddha statues in Mogao Grottoes, a L’Oreal and the Forbidden City jointly custom-made amber orange lipstick, a private collection of the story of Cai Xiang’s immortal characters in the Kangxi period, a blue-and-white porcelain pen holder, a pixel-level replica of the bronze Zeng Houyi bell… They can all be on the blockchain network. Token, and sell its digital content to the public by issuing “non-fungible digital asset certificates” (NFT). The original copyright of these works is confirmed through the consortium chain as the basis for the transaction.
Other digital content can also be turned into tokens for NFT issuance. Are we already on Tencent Music ?Tired of the copyright spat with NetEase Cloud Music about a certain music album? What if the copyright of musical works can be traced through the blockchain from the beginning, and then distributed in the form of NFT? If the publication of novels and the adaptation of film and television dramas can be “on the chain” to determine the ownership of copyright, and then the copyright sharing and distribution of works are automatically performed by smart contracts, the creation and distribution of digital content will become a lower cost, more convenient transaction and various more profitable things, and this is the foundation of the digital content boom. Ordinary users can also consume new content by purchasing NFTs – of course, it will challenge the current membership model of video sites, after all, you won’t buy a full year of site membership for a drama anymore.
Unlike the large number of NFTs currently issued on Ethereum and Solana, the ultimate purpose of copyright-based digital content distribution is to allow more people to have digital cultural products and content worthy of collection, and to generate consumption value, rather than creating new financial derivatives. Taste. Does anyone really believe that the “Boring Ape” NFT comics that have been fired for $100,000 a piece have any long-standing collection value? Or are those 10,000 oddly ugly monkeys with different expressions a more valuable art collection than Van Gogh’s sunflowers? The “non-homogenized” ugly monkeys and virtual stones are actually just another form of “tokens”. The more “non-homogenized”, the more variants are issued, and the more convenient it is to buy endorsements from celebrities. The suspended token circulation is still a game of asset harvesting. The distribution and consumption of copyrighted content based on digital cannot be reduced to a token issuance game in China, nor can it become a fertile ground for virtual currency secondary market transactions.
Its real value is that it will drive the formation of a new generation of digital content platforms – whether text, video or music platforms. They bring content creators (and in many cases copyright holders) closer than ever to content consumers. The use of NFTs also brings the process of consuming content closer to “retail” rather than buying memberships. For advertisers, Web 3.0 will bring a previously unexpected scenario: when every user “on the chain”, his behavioral trajectory of consuming digital content and browsing digital content is protected by “identity encryption”. Being directly tracked, acquired and analyzed by advertisers is actually equivalent to opening up the “algorithm”. Those Web 2.0 social media that turn users’ behavioral trajectories into “algorithmic black boxes” and then turn them into advertising weapons will lose their crystal balls. It brings not only more independent users, but also more independent decision-making advertisers.
2. “Internet of Everything” driven by smart contracts——
China is a country with high popularity of “Internet of Everything”, which benefits from the development of the Internet of Things driven by the real economy that integrates Internet applications into real life. China is also the country with the largest number of connected IoT devices in the world, with hundreds of millions. Smartphones, computers, air conditioners, new energy vehicles, road facilities, smart grids… Every device can become a computing “node” of the Web3.0 blockchain through a distributed network.
You can imagine what this means for the future operation of commerce in China: these huge numbers of smart devices are based on both IoT and blockchain networks. Each device is a token. They are based on the interconnection relationship of the Internet of Things system, and are automatically triggered by “smart contracts” based on the blockchain system to trigger each other’s instructions, allowing business and transactions running on hundreds of millions of smart devices. It works without human intervention and confirmation. If you believe that Web 3.0 is not only the world of cryptocurrency, but also a collection of complex business chains, social systems and transaction contracts based on blockchain networks, then it is not difficult to realize that the entire Internet of Things should be built on On the block of Web3.0. Whoever has the most developed IoT infrastructure will have the opportunity to create a more developed and more scenario-based blockchain network, such as China.
“New York Times” columnist Steven.P. Williams described in the book “Blockchain Wave” the future application of blockchain to real-life scenarios: you are sitting in a car that looks like a Japanese rice ball. In future electric vehicles, the entire surface, including the annular windshield, will be composed of high-efficiency solar panels. The solar panels store power into a battery on the underside of the car, which has a conductive sheet attached to a smart meter that is wirelessly connected to the blockchain. The driving task is mainly completed by artificial intelligence. When the car stops at a red light, the car will automatically wirelessly transmit the excess power to the grid, and the automatic digital smart contract records all this. The electricity uploaded to the grid can be bought by other car owners, and the car may travel through countless grids, and all purchases, purchases, and transaction transfers of electricity are processed by smart contracts, allowing electricity to circulate. When the solar panels stop working or the wind is low, the grid’s digital agency asks the car to discharge the power stored in the battery to supplement the overall power supply. At the same time, the smart contract can ensure the balance of electric energy in the car, so that the car will not collapse.
The above scenario will not be completely unfamiliar to anyone who has experienced Tesla’s charging and self-driving capabilities, although it’s still a bit ahead of its time. However, will this scene be the first to happen in the United States, not in China? You must know that China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of new energy vehicles. China is also one of the few countries in the world that spares no effort to promote large-scale and multi-scenario commercial use of clean energy. China also has the world’s largest and unified management power grid. And China is still exploring the “vehicle-road coordination” of highways and cars… When all these organic business practices and public governance measures can be run on the basis of the Web3.0 block network, you will still doubt Web3. Will the revolution of 0 happen in China? When new energy vehicles become part of the blockchain, and smart meters and solar panels are Web3.0, who can deny that this is a new world?
In China, there are not only smart cars and smart grids, but also countless TVs, desk lamps, air conditioners, industrial robots, smart factory production lines, warehousing and logistics bases that can simultaneously access the Internet of Things and blockchain. Each token, and behind these staggered and polymorphic tokens, is the transition of commercial species and commercial forms. You can even think that the financialization of tokens and the materialization of tokens may be one of the essential differences between China and the United States in the development of Web 3.0.
3. “X to earn” that generates actual value——
Even without the emergence of Web3.0, “X to earn” as a business form has already grown in China, such as “Ant Forest”: people use Alipay to swipe bus cards, pay household water and electricity bills, register in hospitals, buy books Low-carbon behaviors such as tickets can reduce the corresponding carbon emissions, so as to obtain virtual “green energy”. The use of this energy can accumulate to a certain value, and users can virtually plant trees on Alipay. Correspondingly, Ant Group can cooperate with partners. Together, plant a real tree for every virtual tree on Alipay. And the saplings in Alipay must be irrigated and grown by “green energy”.
Ant Forest has the element of “X to earn”, because the “green energy” accumulated by users’ low-carbon behavior is actually a token, which can theoretically be used to exchange for corresponding Alipay coupons, Huabei and small sums Loan Equity. The trees planted by “green energy” form a forest and become a forest park. Part of the tickets and camping revenue sold by the park can be returned to the users who contributed “energy”. The Ant Group itself has also built its own alliance blockchain – “Ant Chain”. The essential difference between it and StepN’s “running to make money” is that “green energy” must be obtained through the user’s practical low-carbon behavior, and cannot be used for financial transactions. StepN is essentially a reissue of cryptocurrencies. Users don’t even need to “run”. As long as they buy and sell equipment to attract “downers”, they can reap the money of latecomers.
This model can be used to transform business and social activities in many fields in China, such as “Treatment to earn”: China is a country with insufficient and unbalanced medical resources, including unbalanced medical case sample resources; China’s health insurance system isn’t enough to cover all of people’s medical practices. Just imagine, if a patient allows his/her medical records to be legally obtained by medical institutions and medical academies, as a case of scientific research and resource sharing, he/she can obtain a reduction in medical expenses, any hospital that uses the relevant medical records, or even new ones. of patients need to “pay” for these medical record data, and related behaviors are connected to the medical insurance system. If the entire process is objectively, irreversibly and tamper-resistantly recorded and executed by “smart contracts” on the blockchain network, then obviously not only one party will benefit. It can also reshape many online medical platforms, and even make platforms such as “Shui Dichou” and “Easy Fundraising” have completely different operating rules and methods.
Another example is Drive to earn. Although Didi and Uber have already helped drivers achieve this, they are highly data- and operation-centric institutions, which play a role in matching transactions and maintaining trust between drivers and passengers, and also provide information that makes many consumers suspicious. algorithm. Imagine what it would be like if the online car-hailing service became a “on-chain” Dapp: any car that meets the road standards (driver and license plate qualifications meet government requirements) can directly find the passengers who need it, and no longer need it. An intermediary platform is required to dispatch orders; because the blockchain can realize the transparency of the algorithm, there is almost no room for operation in the dynamic price increase of Didi and Uber. Drivers can even dynamically set their own prices (within the pricing range stipulated by the government, which also needs to be guaranteed by the blockchain mechanism). The platform only needs to charge a very small commission percentage, and it also no longer needs to hire so many people. If it is a self-driving electric car, it can even go out to make money by itself, and purchase and sell its own electricity through smart contracts.
None of this is utopia, and many scenarios that were considered utopias 15 years ago have become reality today. These “X to earn” future Internet businesses that generate specific value and bring new business models should be closer to people’s reality than StepN’s running to make money. Since the Web 3.0 revolutionaries in the United States and Singapore are busy issuing and trading cryptocurrencies, and similar business forms have real soil and signs in China, then let them happen first in China.
4. Web3.0 underlying technology and infrastructure——
It is conceivable that if Web 3.0 will carry the meaningful business and social behaviors of human beings and form a technically constrained contractual relationship with the “smart contracts” unique to the blockchain, it will create an astonishingly large amount of data. quantity. In the era of Web 2.0, the massive data created by the global outbreak of social networks and mobile Internet has driven profound changes in global data storage, whether it is Amazon Cloud AWS, MicrosoftCloud Azure, Google Cloud Google Cloud or China’s Alibaba Cloud, Tencent Cloud and Huawei Cloud are all products of this profound change in the Internet.
In China, if the IoT system of “everything grows” is grafted on the blockchain network to create a business connection based on the contract economy between people and things, and things and things, it is bound to require a low-level reconstruction of data storage technology. In order to reduce the cost of super-massive data storage, adapt to the “distributed network”, and reduce the dependence of new innovators on traditional data centers such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. This is why “decentralized” data storage is on the agenda.
At present, there are some decentralized data storage startups in the world, such as Ar weAve, Firecoin, Safe Network, Sia and Utopiad, etc., Google is also working hard to promote the upgrade of distributed storage technology. It is worth mentioning that in China, Oceanbase, launched by Ant Group in June 2020, is a player that cannot be ignored in the field of distributed databases.
This also means that technically “decentralized” distributed databases are still a key area for technology-driven startup teams to explore, at least in the early stages. This is also one of the most radical advocates of Web3.0 in the world, and the venture capital institution a16z is quite keen on investing. Just like cloud computing architecture, decentralized data infrastructure is also a field involving core key technologies and independent intellectual property rights. China needs independent and controllable decentralized data storage technology and services to support the construction of a more complex and huge business and social contract operating system in China’s blockchain and Web3.0 ecosystem. It’s hard to imagine that a system of important data, property rights certificates, transactions and smart contracts that support China’s production supply chain system runs on a distributed data storage architecture built overseas, which also means that a new generation of technology-driven companies Business opportunity.
And, “on-chain security” is bound to become a new topic of network security. Given that the data carried by Web 3.0 is closer to the essence of human economic and commercial behavior than any previous generation of the World Wide Web, such as contract transactions such as finance, insurance, games, energy, and real estate, there are disputes, doubts and criminal pleasures about its security. It is impossible to stop trying. Just take Ethereum, which is most trusted by cryptocurrency developers around the world, as an example. The frequent outbreak of its smart contract security loopholes has caused the loss of tens of trillions of dollars in assets. A future of .0 is impossible to accept. Therefore, the “new network security” around a series of key links such as data security, vulnerability mechanism, and permission intrusion of blockchain and smart contracts will also become new opportunities for the next generation of technology-driven companies. Generally speaking, the richer the blockchain network application scenarios and the more mature the development, the “on-chain security” will accordingly become a larger market.
Although the “consortium chain” is becoming an operating system-level facility for building the next-generation Internet advocated by China, and is even expected to become the mainstream configuration of the blockchain network connecting more real economy and business operations around the world, we still cannot ignore the “public chain” There are still some valuable financial scenarios and application scenarios accumulated on the platform, and the “interconnection” between the public chain and the alliance chain has become a key. Obtaining more users through the public chain, attracting more developers, and creating more business models and application scenarios are also issues that must be considered by the alliance chain. The bottom-level solution that provides the interconnection between the consortium chain and the public chain based on trust and security mechanisms, and balances privacy and supervision, is likely to become an important underlying technology entrepreneurial direction, and it is also the next generation of China’s Web3. Provides an entrance to the Web3.0 “China Solution”.
The above are just some imaginings of Web 3.0 being “related” to China’s future economy, society and business, and they can’t be all of them.
From Web 1.0 of the “Internet of Information”, to Web 2.0 of the “Internet of Identity”, to Web 3.0 of the “Internet of Contracts”, observing the evolution of the world Internet for more than 30 years, we cannot deny a fact: the Internet of China and the United States , In the Web2.0 period, it began to gradually separate, and moved towards two different development paths. It doesn’t matter whether it’s good or bad, or even values.
The United States is a country with a highly developed content culture industry and financial industry, which also determines that its Internet technology revolution usually takes the lead in producing subversive breakthroughs in these two fields. As early as the Web 1.0 era more than 20 years ago, Google and Netflix appeared shortly after the birth of Yahoo and AOL.(Netflix), and PayPal was born at the same time – making Bank of America at that timeUneasy existence. In the era of Web 2.0, Facebook and Twitter have become powerful tools for the global export of American values, and financial tools based on corporate and personal identities such as Stripe and Wealthfront have emerged. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand why when Bitcoin was born as a blockchain network and the future Web 3.0, it and its countless imitators will grow recklessly in San Francisco, New York, Austin, Miami and other places in the United States Come out – the high development of the financial industry is the key to the brutal growth of innovation in finance and its derivatives in the United States.
In China, Web 1.0 is a relatively lackluster stage. Entering the historical cycle of Web 2.0, China gave birth to products such as WeChat and TikTok, which either profoundly changed the global social network order, or strongly influenced the product form of global social networks. However, a more important trend is: China’s Internet has begun to deeply integrate into its itself and even the process of global real economy and trade. It has spawned the world’s most developed backbone logistics network, the most convenient urban life application, the most flexible consumer credit model, the largest number of connected IoT smart devices, and a relatively developed and highly information-based manufacturing industry. To a certain extent, it is a “lesson” to make up for the insufficient and uneven economic and social development of China in the past, but it does bring about a stronger China’s digital economy. Finance, on the other hand, is only part of the supporting role.
From this perspective, it should not be difficult for us to understand why the revolution of Web 3.0 will definitely take place in China, and it will take place in China in a completely different form. It is not a decentralized practice of financial derivatives, but an application of “decentralized” blockchain technology to deeply shape the real economy, manufacturing, commercial transactions and society brought by “contract economics” The practice of governance change. Finance will play a role, and financial technology will change, but that’s not the whole story.
Let them do their Web3.0 revolution, we do our Web3.0 revolution. See who can do it faster and shape a better future world.