Currency, blockchain and social scalability

User 9624935 2022-04-03 05:14:10 阅读数:943

currency blockchain social scalability

Contents of this article :

1 Introduce (Introduction)

2 Money and markets (Money and Markets)

3 Social expansibility of network security (The Social Scalability of Network Security)

4 Blockchain and cryptocurrency (Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies)

5 Conclusion (Conclusion)

1 Introduce (Introduction)

Blockchains are popular , The largest and oldest blockchain is bitcoin . so far , After eight years , The value of bitcoin has also experienced from 10,000 Bitcoin buys a pizza to ( Bitcoin is priced in traditional currency before it can be traded ) Per bitcoin 1,000 More than $ . As of this writing , The market value of bitcoin has exceeded 160 Billion dollars ( translator : The article is written in 2017 year 2 month 9 Japan ). Eight years of uninterrupted operation , Bitcoin blockchain has little economic loss , Now it has become the most reliable in the world 、 The safest financial network .

The secret of bitcoin's success is certainly not computational efficiency , Or scalability in terms of resource consumption . Professional bitcoin hardware is made up of top ( High salaries ) Designed by experts , And only complete one specific job —— Solve a very specific problem repeatedly , Deliberately designed computational problems . Because the only output of the calculation is just a “ prove ”( Prove that the computer has done a costly amount of work ), So this problem solving is called workload proof . Bitcoin's hardware for difficult computing may cost about 500 More than megawatts of electricity . But this does not lead engineers or businessmen to focus on reducing resource costs ( To a minimum ) The only reason . Every computer running bitcoin does not minimize protocol information , Instead, use a lot of redundant “inventory vector” Packet injection (spray) The whole Internet , To ensure that all messages can get through accurately (get accurately through to) As many bitcoin computers as possible . therefore , Bitcoin blockchain cannot be like traditional payment network ( Such as PayPal or Visa) That handles a lot of transactions per second , But bitcoin inspires the sensitivity of engineers and businessmen to maximize resource perception and performance measurement .

contrary , The secret to bitcoin's success is : With a lot of resource consumption and poor computational scalability “ Buy ” Something more valuable —— Social expansibility . Social expansibility refers to the ability of an organization —— A relationship or shared endeavor( Collaboration ?). This relationship or shared endeavor It means that people can participate in , And reflect customs 、 Rules or other ( Constraining or motivating the behavior of participants ) features —— To overcome human thought and organization ( In terms of incentives or constraints ) The defects of ( Limit who or how many people can participate in ). Social expansibility means that with the diversity of participants 、 The growth of quantity and its relationship , The way and scope in which participants can think and respond to the organization and other participants . It's about human limitations , Not the limitation of technology or physical resources . Those independent engineering disciplines , For example, computer science —— Used to assess the physical limitations of the technology itself , Including the ability to handle the resources required by more users or higher resource utilization —— These engineering extensibility specifications are not the subject of this article , But it will be used in comparison with social expansibility .

Social expansibility is related to the cognitive limitations and behavioral tendencies of the mind , It has nothing to do with the physical resource constraints of the machine . For all that , Thinking and discussing the social expansibility of technology is of great help to organizations , And it's usually crucial . The social expansibility of organizational technology depends on how the technology restricts or encourages participation in the organization , Including protecting participants and the organization itself from harmful attacks . One way to examine the social expansibility of organizational technology is to observe the number of people who can benefit from participating in the organization , The second is to observe the additional benefits and hazards that the system gives or imposes on participants ( For cognitive or behavioral reasons , The expected costs and other hazards of participating in the system outweigh its benefits ).( Can benefit from participating in the organization ) People's cultural and jurisdictional diversity is often also important , Especially in the global Internet Environment . The more organizations rely on local laws 、 Custom or language , Then its social expansibility is worse .

Without past organizational and technological innovation , Participate in shared endeavor The number of people is usually limited to the maximum 150 people —— The famous “ Dunbar ”. In the age of the Internet , Innovative technology will continue to expand our social capacity . In this paper , I'll talk about blockchain ( In particular, the public blockchain that implements cryptocurrency ) How to improve social expansibility , Even when there is a huge reduction in computational efficiency and scalability .

cognitive ability —— Here in the form of the relative size of the neocortex of the species —— Limit the size of primate groups . Maintaining the intimacy of animal or human groups requires a lot of emotional communication and relationship investment , For example, the comfort of primates , gossip , Humor , Storytelling and dialogue among traditional people , Singing and games . Human cognitive limitations , That's famous 150 People around “ Dunbar ”, Decide who can participate in an organization or how many people can participate in an organization . Overcoming the limitations of human cognition requires organizational and technological innovation .( source )

The innovation of social expansibility includes organizational innovation and technological innovation , Transfer cognitive function from mind to paper or machine , Reduce cognitive costs , At the same time, it increases the value of information flow between minds , Reduce vulnerability , It is conducive to finding and discovering new mutually beneficial participants .Alfred North Whitehead say :“ This is an extremely wrong cliche , All pedants (copy-books) And celebrities will repeat in their speeches : We should cultivate our habit of thinking about things . The opposite is true , Civilization advances by expanding ( Execute directly without thinking ) Number of important operations .” Friedrich Hayek Add :“ We keep using the formula , Symbols and rules ( And we don't understand these meanings ), And by using these formulas , Symbols and rules , We get the help of knowledge we don't have . We are ( Have proved successful in their own field ) Develop new practices and organizations from habits and organizations , And this has become the foundation of our civilization .”

All kinds of innovations reduce our understanding of participants , The vulnerability of intermediaries and outsiders , This reduces our necessity concerns : Use our limited cognitive abilities to worry about the growing number of , How will increasingly diverse people behave . Another type of innovation has contributed to an increasing number of , Accurate collection and transmission of valuable information among increasingly diverse participants . There are other innovations that enable more mutually beneficial participants to discover each other . All these innovations have improved social expansibility in the process of human prehistory and history , Even make it possible for modern civilization based on a large global population . Modern information technology (IT), Especially the discovery of computer science since modern times , More mutually beneficial matches can be found , It can stimulate the improvement of information quality , And it can reduce the need for trust in some institutional transactions ( Reduce the cost of trust ). For the increasing number of , For increasingly diverse people , These technologies further improve social scalability in a very important way .

The flow of information between minds —— I call it an inter Principal Agreement —— Both oral and written , Custom ( Tradition ), Legal content ( The rules , Customs and precedents ), Various other symbols ( For example, online reputation system “ The star ”) And market price, etc .

Minimizing the cost of trust reduces our vulnerability to potentially harmful behavior between participants and between intermediaries and outsiders . Most organizations have gone through a long cultural evolution , Like the law ( Reduce violence , Vulnerability to theft and fraud ) And security technology , in general , It reduces our vulnerability in many ways . therefore , Compared with the vulnerability before the introduction of these organizational and technological evolution , We need to trust our fellow human beings . in the majority of cases , A sufficiently trustworthy organization ( Such as market ) Rely on the trust of its participants —— Usually implicitly , To the other ( Trustworthy enough ) The trust of the organization ( Such as contract law ). These trusted organizations, in turn, implement various accounting , law , Safety or other control measures , Make it sufficient and customary , At least it can promote the function of its customer organization and be trusted ( By minimizing their own participants ( For example, accountants , The lawyer , Regulators and investigators ) The fragility of . Innovation can only partially eliminate certain vulnerabilities , That is, reduce the need for trust or risk of trust in others . There is no organization or technology that doesn't need trust at all .

Even with the most powerful security technology —— encryption , There is no need for trust at all . Although some cryptographic protocols ensure a very high security possibility with very high computational power , It does guarantee some specific data relationships , But considering all possible behaviors of participants , Cryptographic protocols do not provide 100% assurance . for example , Encryption can strongly protect e-mail from direct eavesdropping by third parties , However, the sender still believes that the recipient will not directly or indirectly forward or otherwise disclose the contents of the email to any unwelcome third party . Another example , In our most intense consensus agreement , Assume that the harmful behavior of some participants or intermediaries is far less than 100% ( With computing power , Equity holdings , Personalization and counting ), It can destroy the integrity of transactions or information flows between participants , And ultimately hurt the participants . Recent breakthroughs in computer science can significantly reduce vulnerability ( Reduce loopholes ), But it is far from eliminating any possible vulnerability ( Loophole , Harmful behavior of potential attackers ).

Matching is to promote mutual discovery among mutually beneficial participants . Matching may be one of the social expansibility that the Internet is best at . image Usenet News,Facebook and Twitter Such social networks help to find souls close (like-minded) People who , Two hearts please each other (mutually entertaining) People who , Or the heart has a soul (mutually informing) People who ( Even a future spouse !). When it is possible for people to find each other in a mutually beneficial way , Social networks can promote different levels of personal investment relationships , From casual to frequent to infatuation .Christopher Allen Et al. Made some interesting and detailed analysis on the group size and time interaction in Internet games and related social networks .

eBay,Uber,AirBnB And online financial exchanges significantly improve social scalability through business matching activities : Search for , seek , Bring together and promote mutually beneficial business 、 Negotiation of retail transactions . These or related services also contribute to businesses such as payment and transportation , And help verify transactions between strangers ( Whether other obligations undertaken in these transactions are fulfilled , And perform quality communication , Such as “ Star rating ” System ,Yelp Comments, etc ).

Given that the main advantage of the Internet in terms of social scalability is matching , Then a direct advantage of blockchain in terms of social scalability is to reduce the need for trust ( Minimize the cost of trust ). Blockchain by locking integrity (integrity) To reduce vulnerability , For example, some important businesses ( Such as creating and paying funds ) The integrity of , The integrity of some important information flows , There may be some important matching function integrity in the future . Private Computing ( Secret and arbitrarily variable activities ) The trust can be calculated by the public confidence ( Verifiable general immutable behavior ) Instead of . This article will focus on reducing vulnerability and its benefits ( Promote the application of standard beneficial practices to a wider range of potential counterparties ), That is, money without trust .

2 Money and markets (Money and Markets)

Money and the market match through the market ( Widely accepted and standardized countervailing performance ) Match the seller with the buyer of mutual benefit , So as to directly benefit each specific participant . The market here , I use Adam · Smith's term : Not as a specific place or service where buyers and sellers gather together ( Although this may sometimes be involved ), It's a series of typical pairwise exchanges , The supply chain uses these exchanges to coordinate products .

Money and markets will also stimulate the creation of more accurate price signals , So as to reduce the negotiation costs and errors of other similar transaction participants . therefore , And the previous exchange system ( Compare to competitive markets , The previous exchange system is more similar to bilateral monopoly ) comparison , The effective combination of money and market ( Competitive market ) Allow a greater number and variety of participants to coordinate their economic activities .

Money and markets involve matching ( Combine buyers and sellers ), Reduce the cost of trust ( Egoistic trust, not altruistic trust of acquaintances and strangers ), Improve scalability ( Performance through money or a widely accepted and reusable medium ) And information flow quality ( Market price ).

The earliest thinker on money and markets was Adam · Smith . At the beginning of the British Industrial Revolution , Smith at “ On the wealth of Nations ” Pointed out in , Even the most insignificant products , It also depends directly or indirectly on the work of a large variety of people :

In a civilized country , If you look at the daily necessities used by the most ordinary craftsmen , You will know , So that they can enjoy it , You must contribute a small part of your work ( Even if it's just a small part ) There are countless people . for example , Although it looks rough , The wool coat worn by workers is also the result of a large number of workers working together . shepherd 、 Choose Maoren 、 People comb their hair 、 Dyer 、 Carding workers 、 Spinner 、 Weaver 、 Steamer 、 Sewing workers and many others , They must combine their different skills to complete this very common product . Besides , How many transportation practitioners are needed to transport materials to the farthest place ! How much business and shipping is needed , How many shipbuilders are needed 、 Sailor 、 Sailmaker 、 Rope maker , To bring together the different dyes used by the Dyer —— These dyes often come from the furthest corners of the world ! so , How much variety of labor is required to produce the tools used by the most ordinary workers ! Not to mention a ship like a sailor 、 The Miller's Mill , Or the Weaver's loom, those complicated machines , Let's just take a look at the scissors used by shepherds to cut wool, a very simple machine , Its emergence requires a variety of different labor . Mining worker 、 Furnace maker 、 Lumberjack 、 Charcoal burner 、 Brick maker 、 bricklayer 、 Furnace worker 、 The designer and builder of the Iron Shop 、 Blacksmith 、 Blacksmith …… They must combine their different skills , To produce scissors . If we look at the clothes and household appliances of shearers in the same way , The coarse linen shirt he wore close to his body 、 The shoes on his feet 、 The bed and all the different parts of the bed ; The kitchen and stove where he prepares meals , Coal for cooking ( It may have been transported by sea or land far away ), All the utensils in his kitchen , All the utensils on the table, such as knives and forks , Ceramic and tin plates for holding meals , He eats bread and drinks beer , Weather proof 、 Keep the house warm 、 Lighting the glass windows of the house 、 The knowledge and skills needed to invent glass ( No glass , People living in the north of the world cannot have very comfortable homes ), Together with all the tools used in the production of these convenience items ; Oh dear , If we look at all these items , See how much different labor each item uses , We'll see , Without the help and cooperation of thousands of people , The most common worker in a civilized society cannot get his simplest daily necessities , Even if they can get it according to our false imagination . Compared with the extreme luxury of rich people , His daily necessities are undoubtedly extremely simple and ordinary ; However, the following statement may be true , That is, the daily necessities of a European monarch are much more than those of a hardworking and frugal farmer , But it is not as much as the farmers' daily necessities are more than many African monarchs —— These monarchs are the absolute masters of tens of thousands of lives and freedoms .( Translation from :《 On the wealth of Nations 》( Britain ) Adam · Smith Writing , Sun Shanchun , Li Chunchang China Overseas Chinese press )

This is a 1776 Years ago . since 1776 Since then , With the industrial revolution and the wave of Globalization , The division of labor has been redefined many times 、 Elaborate and expand . Money and markets do not believe in altruism between strangers , But create many mutually beneficial matches , So as to encourage the huge human networks that ignore each other to cooperate for common well-being :

In a civilized society , It is always necessary to obtain the cooperation and assistance of the majority . Other animals , Once you reach adulthood , Almost all can be independent , In a natural state , No need for assistance from other animals . But mankind needs the help of its compatriots almost anytime, anywhere , If you want to rely only on the grace of others , That must not work . If he can stimulate their self-interest , To his advantage , And tell them , Do something for him , It's good for themselves , It's much easier for him to achieve his goal . whoever , If he wants to do business with others , The first thing he has to propose is . Please give me what I want , meanwhile , You can also get what you want : This sentence is the general meaning of trading . The mutual help we need , Most of them are obtained according to this method . The food and drinks we need every day , Not from the butcher 、 The favor of a winemaker or a Baker , But out of their self-interest .

Smith went on to describe how the division of labor and labor productivity depend on the scope of the pairwise exchange network :“ Division of labor is caused by exchange , The degree of division of labor , Therefore, it is always limited by the size of switching capacity , That is, exchange is bound to be limited by the scope of the market ”. With the development of national and global exchange networks , More and more producers are involved in this switching network , So as to increase the division of labor and labor productivity .

Money promotes social expansibility by increasing trading opportunities . By reducing the coupling problem ( Demand coupling in transaction and demand and event coupling in unilateral transfer payment ), And widely accepted as a form of storage and transfer , And can be reused , Money greatly reduces transaction costs , Thus, more transactions involving more kinds of goods and services can be carried out , establish ( More people and all kinds of people involved ) Other wealth transfer relationships .

All kinds of media , From the oral language itself 、 clay 、 paper 、 The telegraph 、 Radio to computer network , Have been used to convey the offer , Acceptance and the resulting transactions and prices , It also conveys business monitoring and other business information . How markets and currencies generate price networks ? The most knowledgeable insight into this can be found in Friedrich Haye( The famous Hayek ) The article “ The use of knowledge in society ” Find :

Basically , In a system where knowledge of relevant facts is in the hands of many scattered people , Price can coordinate the individual behavior of different individuals , Just as subjective values help individuals coordinate parts of their plans . below , We need to look at a simple and common example , To clarify the role of the price system . Suppose somewhere in the world there is a way to use a certain raw material —— For example, tin —— New approach , There is a supply of tin or has been exhausted , As for which of these reasons caused the shortage of tin , It doesn't matter to us —— This is very important . All tin users need to know is , Part of the tin they used to use , Now it's more profitable to use it in another place , So they must save tin . For most of these users , You don't even need to know the place or use where tin is more needed . As long as some of them are directly aware of this new demand , And divert resources to this new need , As long as people who know the new gap created by it turn to other sources to fill the gap , Then its influence will quickly extend to the whole economic system ; and , This does not just affect the use of all tin , It also affects the use of alternatives to tin , And the use of substitutes , It also affects the supply of all tin products , Its alternatives , The supply of substitutes, etc , And the vast majority of those who help provide alternatives , I have no idea the original reason for these changes . All these constitute a market , Not because any market member needs to know all about the market as a whole , Because their vision is limited to cover the whole market . therefore , Through many intermediaries , Relevant information can be transmitted to all members . A single manager with all the information could have come up with a solution through the fact that , That is, there is only one price for any commodity , Or rather , Prices everywhere are interrelated , The difference depends on the cost of transportation and so on . But in fact , No one has all the information , Because they're all in the hands of all the people involved . …… it is a wonder that , In case of shortage of one of the above raw materials , No command was issued , Not many people know why , So many people —— Their identity took months to investigate the Qing fan —— Make more economical use of this raw material or its products . …… The price system is a kind of accidental discovery by human beings , A system that learns to use without understanding ( Although human beings have far from learned to make full use of it ). The role of the price system , Not only is the division of labor possible , It is also possible to make coordinated use of resources on the basis of equal distribution of knowledge . People who like to ridicule such claims , Often distort their arguments , Suggest that this argument asserts , This system most suitable for modern civilization was spontaneously formed through a miracle . …… This explanation , Such an approach is fundamentally wrong , This method habitually ignores the knowledge of an important phenomenon we must deal with. It can't be complete , Therefore, a way of continuous communication and knowledge acquisition is needed . The translation of the quotation comes from the thought of love : http://www.aisixiang.com/data/24310.html

3 Social expansibility of network security (The Social Scalability of Network Security)

Long ago , We use clay to trade , Recently used paper , Today we use ( Running on computers and data networks ) Procedures and protocols enable most business transactions . Although this greatly improves transaction matching and information flow , But the price is increased vulnerability to harmful behavior .

With the development of the Internet , More people who don't know each other's behavior habits and restrictions join in . A small, intimate office like Bell Labs , Colleagues know each other well , Revenues and expenditures are generated through a paper-based process ( Instead of executing on an office computer ) Well controlled . This is security based on root trust access control . As the organization gets bigger , The boundaries of the organization begin to cross , And more valuable and concentrated resources ( Like money ) Placed or activated by a computer , This efficient and effective security mechanism began to collapse . The more emails you receive from strangers , The more likely you are to receive phishing attacks or malware attachments . Traditional computer security does not have social expansibility . As I'm writing “ The dawn of Trusted Computing ” Described in the :

When we use smart phones or laptops to access the community network or the Internet , The other end of these interactions usually runs on other independent computers , For example, web server . actually , The architecture of all these servers is designed to be controlled by a single person or a hierarchy of people who know and trust each other . From remote Web or APP From the user's point of view , These architectures are based on the unknown “ root ” Full trust of the Administrator . These administrators can control everything that happens on the server : Read at will , change , Delete or block any data on the server . Even if the data sent over the network is encrypted , It will eventually be decrypted , The computer is completely controlled in this way . For the present Web service , We fully trust , let me put it another way , We are very fragile , Or more specifically , Those who have access to the server , Whether it's insiders or hackers , Can execute our order , And ensure payment . On the other hand , If someone wants to ignore or falsify your feelings about Web Instructions from the server , So no strong security measures can stop them , Only unreliable and expensive human organizations can stop them , And these organizations are often bounded by countries .

Many servers are for internal or external personnel , Not vulnerable . But as more and more valuable resources are concentrated on the server , This inspired the attack . The scale of centralized root trust security is very small . As resources controlled by computers become more valuable and concentrated , Traditional root trust security has become more like what we are used to in the real world “ call 100”. Fortunately, , Through blockchain , We can do better for these most important calculations .

4 Blockchain and cryptocurrency (Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies)

Scalable markets and prices require scalable currencies , Scalable currency requires scalable security , In this way, a large number of different people can use the currency , And not because of forgery 、 Loss of currency integrity due to inflation and theft .

2009 year , With “ Nakamoto (Satoshi Nakamoto)” A person named for correspondence / Bring bitcoin into the Internet group . Nakamoto's breakthrough in currency is through reducing trust ( Minimize the cost of trust ) Provide social expansion : Reduce the vulnerability of both parties and third parties . With “ High cost calculation 、 Automation Security ” Instead of “ Low cost computing 、 Traditional security for high cost organizations ”, Nakamoto has made a good improvement in social expansibility . A group of partially trusted intermediary organizations replaces a fully trusted intermediary organization .

Calculation “ steroid ” Financial control : Blockchain as an army of robots , Check each other's work .

When we pass computer science , Instead of traditional Accountants , Regulators , Investigators , When the police and lawyers protect the most important function of the financial network , We start with a manual 、 The local 、 A system with inconsistent security moves to an automated system 、 Globalization 、 A safer system . After the cryptocurrency is correctly implemented on the public blockchain , It can replace the computer army of traditional bureaucratic banks .“ These blockchain computers will enable us to place the most critical parts of the online protocol on a more reliable and secure basis , And make it possible for trust interactions that previously dared not be carried out on the global network .”( source )

for example , Blockchain technology, especially bitcoin, has the following most remarkable features :

• Basic operations independent of existing organizations

• Cross border seamless operation capability

From high security and reliability , Blockchain can run automatically without human intervention . Without a high degree of security , This is just an unprovoked waste of distributed database technology . Distributed database technology , To maintain integrity , It still depends on the local bureaucracy it must rely on .

since 20 Since the middle of the century , The efficiency of calculation has been improved by many orders of magnitude , But humans are still using the same brain as in the past . This provides a great possibility to solve the limitations of human beings and organizations . The organization is based entirely on human thinking , Computing power and security do what they are good at , Human minds also do what they are still best at . result , Humans don't have more energy to expand our organization . But replacing some people's functions with computers , Can improve social expansibility , This has great potential .( It is important to note that —— This assertion depends on the slope of the human ability line rather than the absolute position , The absolute position shown above is arbitrary , Depends on the humans we measure “ Ability to calculate ”).

A new centralized financial entity , A no “ Human blockchain ”( Used in traditional finance ) A trusted third party entity , Very likely to be the next Mt. Gox( A special website for exchanging bitcoin ), There is no such bureaucracy , It will not be a trusted financial intermediary .

Computers and networks are cheap , Expanding computing resources requires cheap additional resources . Expand traditional human organizations ( In a reliable and safe way ) More and more accountants are needed 、 The lawyer 、 Regulators and police , And the bureaucracy brought about by these systems 、 Increased risk and stress . Lawyers are expensive , Control is like landing on the moon . Computer science is better than accountants 、 Police and lawyers are better able to keep money safe .

In computer science , There is a basic trade-off between security and performance (tradeoff). Bitcoin's automated integrity costs a lot in terms of performance and resource usage . No one has found an effective way to significantly improve the computational scalability of bitcoin blockchain —— For example, transaction throughput —— And it is proved that this improvement will not affect the security of bitcoin .

For bitcoin blockchain , Improvements that both significantly improve performance and maintain integrity may not be available , This may be an inevitable trade-off (tradeoff) One of . With existing financial IT comparison , Nakamoto has made a fundamental trade-off between safety and performance (tradeoff). The seemingly wasteful mining process is the most obvious of these tradeoffs , But bitcoin has other trade-offs (tradeoff), One of them is highly redundant messaging . Mathematically provable integrity requires a full broadcast between all nodes . Bitcoin can't do that , But to achieve near perfection , Very high redundancy is required . therefore , One 1 MB The resource consumption of the block is higher than 1 MB web There are many more pages , Because the block must be transmitted 、 Processing and storage , And provide high redundancy for bitcoin , To achieve its automated integrity .

These necessary trade-offs (tradeoff), In order to achieve the necessary security ( independence 、 Seamless globalization and automated integrity ) At the expense of performance , It means that the bitcoin blockchain itself cannot be close to Visa Number of transactions per second , And maintain automatic integrity ( So as to create unique advantages compared with the traditional financial system ). contrary , Need one “ Minimize the cost of trust ” Weak peripheral payment network ( It could be the lightning network ) To undertake a large number of low value bitcoin transactions , Then use bitcoin blockchain to conduct batch settlement of high-value transactions with peripheral trading networks on a regular basis .

Bitcoin trades faster than Visa or PayPal A lower , But because of its more powerful Automation Security , Bitcoin trading may be a more important transaction . Anyone with a decent Internet connection and smartphone can pay 0.20 USD to 2 Transaction costs in dollars —— Much lower than the current remittance fee —— You can access bitcoin anywhere in the world . Those lower value transactions ( At the same time, the handling fee is also low ) It can be implemented on the peripheral bitcoin network .

When discussing small b(bitcoin) The currency ( That is, the function of money ) when , It's not impossible to pay with bitcoin in retail ( Just like the usage of coins ). for example , Bitcoin credit cards and Debt Cards —— All refunds and transactions per second . And there are some ingenious ways to make peripheral bitcoin retail payment , Among them, micro payment occurs outside the chain , And then in Capital-B Regular batch settlement on bitcoin blockchain . With the growth of bitcoin usage , Blockchain will gradually evolve into a high-value settlement layer , We will see peripheral networks used for small bitcoin retail transactions .

When I design bit gold when , I already know that consensus mechanism cannot safely expand transaction throughput , So I designed a two-tier architecture :(1)bit gold In itself , Settlement layer ,(2)Chaumian Digital cash , Peripheral payment network provides higher transaction volume per second and privacy for retail payment ( adopt Chaumian Blindness ), But hopefully Visa Become a trusted third party , Accountants, etc “ Human blockchain ” To ensure integrity . Peripheral payment networks can only involve small transactions , So less manpower is needed to avoid Mt. GOX Destiny .

Ralph Merkle: Pioneer of public key cryptography and hierarchical hash tree structure (Merkle Trees ) The inventor of the .

The design of money itself needs social expansibility , Just through security performance . for example , It should be difficult for any participant or intermediary organization to forge currency ( Dilution supply curve , Cause excessive or unexpected inflation ). Gold has value anywhere in the world , And not affected by hyperinflation , Because the value of gold does not depend on the central institution (central authority). Bitcoin stands out in both areas , And can run online . Bitcoin enables Albanians to use bitcoin to pay Zimbabweans at the lowest cost of trust , Bitcoin can avoid paying quasi monopoly profits to intermediaries , And it can minimize the vulnerability to third parties .

“ Blockchain ” There are various definitions , Almost all definitions are vaguely waving among the peaks of marketing hype . I suggest a clear definition here , Can communicate with laymen . If there is a block , Another chain , That is a blockchain .“ chain ” Should be Merkle A tree or other having similar characteristics “ Completely unforgeable integrity ” Password structure with integrity function . Besides , Transactions and any other data ( Integrity is protected by blockchain ) The worst-case scenario should be tolerated as objectively as possible ( Malicious problems and behavior ) Copy in a way ( Generally speaking , The behavior of the system is completely different from that of the previous system : Previously, only 1/3 To 1/2 A malicious server trying to destroy the system ).

Social scalability and security of bitcoin , Based on computer science, not police and lawyers , Allow customers in Africa to make seamless cross-border payments to suppliers in China . Private blockchains are difficult to achieve this feat , Because it requires identification schemes to be shared between these different jurisdictions , Certification and authorization PKI.( source )

Due to some malicious nodes , And because ( Hope is very rare ) Need software updates , Invalidate previous blocks —— A more dangerous situation is hard bifurcation —— Blockchain also needs a human governance layer against bifurcation attacks . The most successful blockchain —— The currency —— Through decentralized decision-making by technical experts , And powerful invariance constraints , It maintains its immutable integrity . On this basis , Only the most important and rare bug fixes and design improvements ( There is no other way to achieve ), Is a legitimate hard bifurcation . In this kind of governance, audit or legal decision-making ( For example, change the account balance or cancel the transaction ) Under the principle of , If hard bifurcation cannot be justified , It should be outside the system ( Or on top of the system ) Traditional governance to complete . for example , Forcing bitcoin users to launch a new transaction through the court , This transaction effectively cancels the old transaction , Or confiscate a specific key , So as to modify the specific holding of a specific user .

We say that data cannot be forged or changed , It means that after the data is submitted to the blockchain , Cannot be changed imperceptibly . Contrary to some hype , Before the data is submitted to the blockchain , There is no guarantee that any source information of the data , Including true and false data . This requires additional agreements , Usually includes expensive traditional controls . Blockchain does not guarantee authenticity , Just keep the truth or lie in the latest revision , Allow safe analysis afterwards , So as to have more confidence in exposing lies . Traditional computers are computationally etched sketches , Blockchain is computational . Important data should be submitted to the blockchain as early as possible , Preferably, the device that generates the data signs it with a password , Ensure the integrity of data to the greatest extent ( This is also the benefit of blockchain ).

Four deals Merkle Trees (tx0 To tx3). Combined with appropriate replication and transaction blockchain protected by workload proof ,Merkle The tree can make the transaction data unforgeable through consensus . In bitcoin ,Merkle The root hash is safely aggregated and used to verify the unchanged status of all transactions in the block .

myself 1998 Year of “ Secure property rights ” The architecture has Merkle Tree and copy data , Can tolerate any software error or malicious behavior of the objective part , But not a block . This framework shows my theory , That is, it can protect the integrity of globally shared data and transactions , And use this ability to design a cryptocurrency (bit gold). It is not as efficient as bitcoin 、 Computable block and ledger system . Just like today's private blockchain , Secure property rights assume and require the system to have secure distinguishable and countable nodes .

Suppose the goal is 51% Of hashrate attack , This sets the public blockchain ( Like bitcoin and Ethereum ) Some important security objectives . To answer this question : Someone can persuade and coordinate 51% Of people ? We are actually concerned about the identification of the most powerful miners .

Blockchain security is objectively restricted , Blockchain governance is potentially affected 51% The impact of the attack . Of course , An attack does not have to be called by an attacker “ attack ”; contrary , They might call it “ Enlightened governance ” or “ Democratic Action ”. actually , Repair bug Or some software updates that improve the protocol require a soft fork . Some other types of software updates require hard forks , In bitcoin , This poses a greater safety and sustainability risk than soft bifurcation . Although blockchain reduces the cost of trust than any other network protocol , But still far from reliable . Miners are partially trusted trustees , And those who are not expert developers or computer scientists , They spent a lot of time learning the design principles and code base of blockchain . They must have great confidence in the expert developer community , Just like those non professionals who want to understand the professional scientific achievements of relevant scientists .

therefore , The public blockchain has not completely avoided “ Identification is difficult ” The bullet , And at a higher “wet”/“social” Focus on other problems in the identification of miners with the strongest computing power . Compared with trying to put this inherent “wet”( Brain based ) Concepts are securely mapped to protocols , This may be more appropriate , because PKI( Public key infrastructure ) It's quite clumsy to do this .

So I think some “ Private blockchain ” Qualified to become a real blockchain ; Other blockchains should be in “ Distributed ledger ” or “ Shared database ” Or similar broader headings .“ Private blockchain ” Unlike public blockchains and licensed blockchains like bitcoin and Ethereum , And it's not as socially scalable as they are .

The following are very similar to asking for a safe ( Distinguishable and countable ) Server cluster , Instead of any anonymous miner member in the public blockchain . let me put it another way , They need something else , Usually not socially scalable ,Sybil(sockpuppet) The solution to the attack :

• Private blockchain

• Side chain “ League chain ” Pattern ( alas , Despite previous hopes or claims , But no one knows how to deal with the side chain with any low degree of necessary trust ). The side chain can also be a private chain , And it fits very well , Because of their architecture and external dependencies ( For example, in PKI On ) Is similar to that of .

• Multisig-based programme , Even if the blockchain based smart contract is completed

• Threshold based “oracle” framework , Move out of chain data into blockchain

When identifying a set of servers , Use a trusted certificate authority (CAs) Of PKI Is a major 、 But there is usually no socially scalable approach . In order to avoid the problem that only trusted third parties are security vulnerabilities , reliable CA Itself must be expensive 、 Labor intensive bureaucracy , They often do a lot of background checks , Or rely on others to do these things (e.g. Dun and Bradstreet for businesses).( I once led a team to design and build such a CA The team ).CA Also act as a gatekeeper , Protect these licensed systems .CAs It can be a single point of political control and failure .“ The public blockchain is automated 、 Safe 、 Global , But identity is labor-intensive 、 unsafe 、 The local .”

be based on PKI Private blockchain is a good thing for banks and other large enterprises , Because they already have mature internal PKI, Cover employees who need to approve important transactions , Partners and private servers . Bank PKI Relatively reliable . We are also for Web The server provides semi reliable CA, But for the web This is not usually the case for clients , Although since web Since the invention of , People have been dealing with the problem of client certificates : for example , Advertisers want a safer alternative to phone numbers and cookie To track user identity . But it hasn't happened yet .

PKI It can work well for some important things and people , But for smaller entities , It's not that good or easy . Its social expansibility is influenced by the traditional wet The limitations of identity bureaucracy .

Some major misappropriations in the pan bitcoin ecosystem . Given that the bitcoin blockchain itself may be the safest existing financial network ( And it must actually be more secure than traditional payment networks , To maintain its low governance costs and seamless cross-border capabilities ), The peripheral services based on the old centralized network server are very insecure .( source : author )

We need more social scalability methods to safely count the number of nodes , Or use another way to count the number of nodes as much as possible , Evaluate the contribution made to ensure the integrity of the blockchain . This is the purpose of workload proof and reproduction broadcasting : In order to improve social expansibility , Greatly sacrificing computational scalability . This is Nakamoto's wonderful Balance (tradeoff). It's wonderful , Because humans are much more expensive than computers , And the gap is widening every year . It's wonderful , Because it allows people to cross the boundaries of human trust ( For example, borders ) Work seamlessly and safely , by comparison , image PayPal and Visa In this way “ call 110(call-the-cop)” Architecture always depends on expensive 、 Fallible 、 Sometimes corrupt bureaucracies , And run with some integrity .

5 Conclusion (Conclusion)

With the rise of the Internet , The emergence of various network organizations ( Including social networks ,“ Long tail ” Retailer ( Amazon, for example )), And a variety of services began to develop (eBay, Uber ,AirBnB etc. ), Let small and scattered buyers and sellers find and do business with each other . These are just the first attempts to take advantage of our new capabilities . Due to the great progress of information technology in recent decades , The number and types of people who can successfully participate in network organizations , Compared with the limitations of thought and system , It is much less subject to the objective restrictions of computers and networks , Because of the limitation of thought and system, it has not been fully redesigned or further developed , To take advantage of these technological advances .

These initial Internet efforts have been very focused . Blockchain technology realizes data integrity through computer science , Not through “ call 110(call the cops)” To achieve data integrity . up to now , Blockchain has made some potentially trusted currencies —— Cryptocurrency —— Make it possible , And will enable us to make progress in finance and other fields .

That's not to say , It will be easy for our organization to adapt to our new capabilities , In some special cases , It's not without difficulty or easy . Utopia project is very popular in blockchain community , But they are not viable options . Reverse engineer our highly developed traditional organization , Even restore some old organizations in a new form , It's usually better than designing from scratch , Not grand plans and game theory . Nakamoto has proved an important strategy for doing so —— Sacrifice computational efficiency and scalability —— Consume more and cheaper computing resources —— In order to reduce and make better use of huge human resources expenditure ( The need to maintain relationships involving strangers in modern organizations ), For example, the market , Big companies and governments .

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