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Jiang Guofei of ant financial: let "blockchain" walk down the altar

Time : 28/01/2022 Author : 1go5wx Click : + -
        Cloud hunting note: what social and industrial changes will blockchain bring? Jiang Guofei, vice president of ant financial and head of Technology Laboratory, believes that blockchain is not a high-tech technology, but a brand-new information flow, logistics and capital flow. He mentioned that the number of registered patents on ant financial's blockchain is currently the first in the world, and none of them is related to ICO. However, ant financial will also pay attention to bitcoin, but from the technical level, we can see what experience and shortcomings this technology will have in the later stage of development, so that we can try to avoid when building blockchain related applications. Article adapted from: ft Chinese website. In the newly released 2017 global blockchain enterprise patent ranking, the growth rate of China's blockchain patents is far higher than that of the United States. Among them, Alibaba ranks first in the total number of 49 patents, and these patents are all from ant financial technology laboratory.
 
        How to view the current "blockchain" boom? How can blockchain transcend digital currency and truly integrate with the real economy? What social and industrial changes will blockchain bring? I had an interview with Jiang Guofei, vice president of ant financial and head of technical laboratory, focusing on these issues. Before joining ant financial, Jiang Guofei served as the vice president of NEC group, leading NEC's American Research Institute and global R & D in the research and development of IOT, big data analysis, AI, cloud platform, computer security, and software definable network. At ant financial, Jiang Guofei is at the helm of the technical laboratory and is fully responsible for innovation and research. In Jiang Guofei's view, blockchain is not a sophisticated technology, but a brand-new information flow, logistics and capital flow.
 
        It has changed almost all industries today from these three aspects. Jiang Guofei: before answering this question, I want to make two points clear. First, blockchain technology is not equal to bitcoin, nor is it equal to ICO. Although these are two different things, they are often mixed up now. ICO does use the blockchain technology to realize the incentive mechanism of issuing coins, but decentralized financing actually removes the responsibility constraints on the financing subject. Financing without constraints does not bring technological innovation, but amplifies the greed in human nature. The second is ant financial. The number of registered patents on ant financial's blockchain is currently the first in the world, and none of them is related to ICO.
 
        Our research focuses on the underlying technologies of blockchain, such as consensus mechanism, platform architecture, privacy protection and smart contracts. We have first applied these technical capabilities to public welfare, food safety and other fields that are more valuable to mankind. However, we will still pay attention to bitcoin, but from the technical level, we can see what experience and shortcomings this technology will have in the later stage of development, so that we can try to avoid when building blockchain related applications. For example, the transaction volume of bitcoin has been very large since its operation today, so the power consumption is very large and the transaction time is also very long. For example, if you buy a $5 cup of coffee, you need to consume $20 of electricity, and then the payment can be made one hour later. Can you accept this transaction method? Today, we are used to taking out our mobile phones to pay bills. Bitcoin obviously cannot meet the needs of today's business scenarios. These problems will bring us new thinking.
 
        Jiang Guofei: putting aside the right and wrong of bitcoin, the inventor of bitcoin is really a very powerful person from the technical level. He designed a logical self consistent system operation mode and considered many problems. This is not only possible for a person with advanced computer technology, cryptography knowledge, etc. He also needs to understand Sociology knowledge and design a set of incentive mechanisms, He even set a total amount for bitcoin. He should also have mastered the knowledge of Finance and integrated his thinking on many major issues of human society. It is precisely such a rigorous system that enables so many people around the world to actively participate in, or even participate madly in, designing such a system, which is really admirable.
 
        Jiang Guofei: I think this question is very good. There are many inspirations, one of which I think is more important is the setting of the incentive mechanism. There are generally two kinds of incentive mechanisms: one is direct interest driven. For example, I have designed a mechanism so that all parties involved can obtain direct benefits. This is of course the key to encouraging the system to continue. For example, bitcoin is such a mechanism; The other incentive mechanism is indirect incentive. Although the participants may not be able to get the incentive directly, it will generate a stronger internal driving force, such as food safety and charity. How to mobilize the strong internal driving force of the participants can become an incentive.
 
        Let me give an example of food safety. We started to lay out blockchain technology in food two years ago. For example, the milk powder in New Zealand and Australia is traceable from the processing farm. After that, it has gone through many processes such as production, overseas quality inspection, transportation and logistics, domestic quality inspection, product launch, customer order and door-to-door delivery. Each process is distributed and recorded. It is time stamped and can be tampered with. This greatly ensures the quality of the product. Therefore, we hope that through technical means, we can truly "let the baby drink every mouthful of milk powder is authentic". First, in the financial field, blockchain has great potential.
 
        Some people say that blockchain will subvert banks. I think this view is exaggerated. The financial logic of many banks can not be solved by pure blockchain technology. For example, the risk control of banks can not be solved by our blockchain technology. Many technologies have been accumulated for many years. The more important mission of the blockchain is to improve the operation efficiency. Businesses such as settlement and clearing are excellent platforms for blockchain technology. The second part is about people's livelihood, such as charitable donations and poverty alleviation. We are very concerned about the flow of these money. How to regulate is a big problem, but blockchain technology can effectively solve this pain point.
 
        It also helps hospitals and other social institutions to build digital platforms and realize information sharing, which not only saves the cost of patients, but also makes doctors' diagnosis more efficient and accurate, and is more beneficial to society. Jiang Guofei: I think the essence of blockchain is a brand-new information flow, logistics and capital flow. It will change almost all industries today from these three aspects. The first is information flow. A great role of the blockchain is to share information. Just as we often have meetings, companies often have meetings. What are they doing? Share data in turn to reach a consensus on decision-making. All parties bring in data and information, share data and information, and then make decisions and implement them.
 
        The sharing of information flow will bring great economic benefits. What we do is to pay attention to information sharing, ensure its transparency, credibility and implementation. The second is logistics. After the information flow, it is still something at the information level. Logistics is related to information. How can logistics ensure its liquidity and credibility and infrastructure. The third is the flow of funds, such as tamper proofing of transaction data and distributed bookkeeping, which will greatly change today's financial structure. FT Chinese network: as a user, I still worry about various security problems. For example, in a scenario where the blockchain is relatively mature, will there be security problems?.
 
        Jiang Guofei: theoretically speaking, all computer systems have security concerns. However, for a company of such level and size as ant financial, we have a lot of experience in security. At the same time, we will constantly improve our risk control and system security capabilities. While constantly improving efficiency, strengthening the protection of user privacy is also one of our most important goals. Then, new technologies such as blockchain can effectively help us integrate the goals of user privacy protection and financial efficiency improvement. Blockchain technology is not a single technological progress, but an integrated system. For any new technology, we will experience from various verifications to industrial grade producible systems and financial grade safe and efficient systems.
 
        Therefore, the user is using a complete solution. Jiang Guofei: at present, blockchain technology is mostly in the exploration and experimental stage of business scenario application, so I am not worried about technical problems. If I have to say something, I'm a little worried that the concept of blockchain is overheated, triggering a foam, attracting many aspiring young people to other places, doing a lot of things that can see benefits in the short term, but not participating in long-term things that are more valuable to society. Just as any industry will encounter a shortage of talents in the period of rapid development, so will the blockchain. There are not many really excellent top talents. We still hope that more excellent people can participate in the improvement of blockchain technology itself and the promotion of social progress.
 
        From the perspective of technology, technology is neutral. We need to have good judgment and do something with long-term significance. FT Chinese website: the latest "2017 global blockchain enterprise patent ranking" shows that Alibaba has the largest number of patents in the world, which is a very proud thing. But on the other hand, we can also see that traditional American high-tech companies such as Google and Facebook do not seem to have a very eye-catching performance on the blockchain. Why?. Jiang Guofei: in fact, they have started to make efforts, including they have also invested in many companies. There is no doubt about this.
 
        On the other hand, the blockchain technology also has some particularity, because one of its best application scenarios is finance, because it involves many clearing and payment related businesses. Therefore, you can see that many financial institutions in the United States are making great efforts on the blockchain. Therefore, for giants such as Google and Facebook, if you want to make innovations, of course you should focus on the scenario of their main business. Finance is not their business of course; Ant financial's business not only includes technology, but also finance is very important. Therefore, we have a strong demand to make breakthroughs in new technologies such as blockchain. FT Chinese website: compared with traditional technology-based enterprises such as Google and Facebook, how much do you think ant financial's current technology is ahead of them? With their technical reserves, if they follow up quickly, will they catch up with us soon?.
 
        Jiang Guofei: it's hard to say who is ahead in the technical field. More importantly, a hundred flowers bloom, because the degree of concentration is different. So we are also very clear that ant financial has made some achievements in the blockchain field, but it is only today's achievements, and we need to work harder. In addition, this does not mean that ant financial is better than Google and Facebook in all its technologies, which is wrong. Their advantages lie in their strong talent reserves and first-class system capabilities, which require years of accumulation. They will cut into the blockchain from what they are good at, and we will do it from what we are good at. Jiang Guofei: we are also very concerned about the Internet of things technology.
 
        Because in essence, the future must be interconnected. After the interconnection, there will be two prospects: first, through the Internet of things technology, the perception of the real physical world will be extended to the virtual world through data; Second, of course, the virtual world can enter the real world through the Internet of things, which means that I can do more things and have greater insight in the virtual market. Jiang Guofei: the two need not be tied together. In some scenarios, they can play a greater value together, but some scenarios are not suitable. For example, they are all world champions. One is playing table tennis and the other is playing volleyball. Can these two world champions definitely win the world championship together? not always.
 
        Different types of work do different things, but the integration of some fields is very effective. Jiang Guofei: in essence, the blockchain may have a lot to do with intelligent devices, because the Internet of things basically involves an intelligent device, and intelligent devices are basically related to the perception of the physical world. Then some data sharing decisions are made through the blockchain, and then implemented into the physical world through intelligent devices. There are such opportunities. I believe that there are some small organizations that will gradually introduce the data sharing mechanism, and then make decisions with the help of data, and then return to the IOT devices for specific implementation. This is promising.
 
        The other part is big data, which is also our focus. Many of the IOT data obtained through sensors need to have the ability to analyze big data before they can be converted into new insights and then fed back to the physical world. So these parts are related. FT Chinese website: Recently, the most popular is Elon & bull acquired by successful launch; Musk. What do you think of the similarities and differences in innovation paths between China and the United States?. Jiang Guofei: Elon & bull; Musk is a case where innovation and business model are well integrated. It is very successful and worthy of respect. But few people have the resources and ability to do things. Innovation itself is a very rare thing.
 
        Even Elon & bull; After the successful launch of the rocket, Musk's stock price still fell, and the market still has doubts and uncertainties about him. Therefore, in my opinion, I personally respect all those who are committed to innovation, no matter what aspect of innovation they are engaged in, as long as the goal and direction are good. Innovation is a very sexy thing, but it is very challenging to do. This is because it has great uncertainty. No one can see its future clearly. This is a challenge that innovators must face. I joked that farmers would have some fruits if they planted some seeds on the land. Innovation is not necessarily necessary. Most of the time, there is no harvest. At this time, many scientific and technological personnel need a great psychological capacity.
 
        This pressure is not from the boss, but from myself. Back to your question, that is, the difference between China and the United States. Generally speaking, it has something to do with the overall social environment. We pay more attention to short-term innovation, and the United States may pay more attention to long-term innovation.
 
        
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