与人工智能、物联网、5G等其他第四次工业革命(4IR)技术不同，尽管加密市场价值去年增长了850%，超过1.5万亿美元，但12年后区块链仍未成为主流。亚马逊、Alexa、谷歌和苹果人工智能Siri控制着我们的家——音乐、暖气、门等等。在我残疾女儿的家里，物联网驱动的机器人为她送货，她的物联网门让他们在COVID-19大流行期间保持她的安全和健康。我的5G手机同时从我的房产中播放11个高清闭路电视视频，确保我的资产安全。我们的生活越来越依赖于4IR，但如果区块链明天就消失了呢?没有,绝对没有。世界不会注意到，也没有用户依赖——它没有在我们的生活中获得牵引。只有毒品和性贩子、勒索软件商人以及那些逃避政府公众监督(税收和资本外逃)的人会哀悼它的死亡。公民、企业和治理中心(Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance)首席执行官芭芭拉·梅利什(Barbara Mellish)曾任英格兰银行(Bank of England)支付委员会支付诚信和安全主管，负责英国3850亿英镑的日常交易。她说:“区块链尚未结出任何果实，对我们的日常生活产生影响。我听到你说“比特币”，但事实上，比特币只是全球金融世界的一个舍入误差。旧的企业遗留系统充分地为我们提供了固有的严格性和稳定性。区块链技术的利大于弊吗?
开始时有很多希望。像唐·泰普斯科特(Don Tapscott)、克里斯·拉尔森(Chris Larsen)等科技巨头谈到区块链技术改变了社会结构，但到目前为止，这四种区块链发烧友中唯一的赢家是投机者，另外三种(区块链是宗教，4IR未来主义者，以及“更快、更便宜、更高效”的旅)只能寄希望于此。区块链的运动是一个数字资产从a到B,但实实在在的钱等金融资产,黄金、土地和钻石并不是唯一的资产——大流行后的已确认对我们许多人来说,软无形的非金融资产,如爱、幸福、希望和善良,的确我们的健康,有更大的价值。现在影响我们的事情，气候变化，黑人生命重要，影响我们跨境贸易的政治，LGBTQ+，健康——我们无话可说。为此，我们最近在伦敦、迪拜和新加坡新成立的“代码意识形态研究所:总价值之家”(Institute of Ideology in Code: Home of Total Value)招募了25名大学实习生。我们相信，区块链凭借其在金融和非金融价值之间进行仲裁的能力，是我们实现联合国2030年可持续发展议程的关键，该议程代表了17种意识形态，我们可以通过使用区块链技术来编纂和交易。更重要的是，我们正致力于利用区块链，为世界经济论坛(World Economic Forum)撰写2021年达斯古普塔评论，英国央行(Bank of England)前行长马克•卡尼(Mark Carney)对人类价值与金融价值的看法，以及方济各教皇(Pope Francis) 2019年对弗朗西斯科(Francesco)的经济——所有3人都认为，GDP不再是我们衡量财富和交易财富的方式。
媒体的高度关注突出了单一接触点的缺乏，以代表一种令人困惑的技术。这个行业是否需要一个“伟大而善良”的声音来回应批评、监管机构、询问等等?我们为该行业整理了一份新的尚未发布的期刊，名为《Token:加密货币、价值和价值》(the Token: Cryptocurrency, Value and Values)，以代表我们作为一个整体，而不是一个特定的行业。自2008年以来，我们为世界制定了区块链愿景(中英文版本)，包括公共、私人、公民社会和社区等各个领域，并希望有一天区块链将成为改善我们生活的世界的核心驱动力
[This debate articulated here was originally presented by webinar at The North American Bitcoin Conference by Professor Olinga Taeed on 29 January 2021. It was later published by invitation as a guest editorial on 24 March 2021 by Team Blockchain in their weekly newsletter Digital Bytes]
Unlike other 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) Technologies such as AI, IoT, 5G – after 12 years DLT has not yet mainstreamed despite 850% crypto market value growth over the last year to more than US$ 1.5 trillion. Amazon Alexa, Google and Apple Siri AI control our homes – music, heating, doors, etc. At my disabled daughter’s home IoT driven robots deliver her shopping and her IoT door lets them keeping her safe and healthy during the Covid19 pandemic. My 5G phone simultaneously streams 11 live HD video CCTV feeds from my properties keeping my assets secure. Our lives are now increasingly dependent on 4IR but what if blockchain disappears tomorrow? Nothing, absolutely nothing. The world would not notice and there is no user dependency – it has failed to gain traction in our lives. Only drug and sex traffickers, ransomware merchants, and those avoiding public scrutiny from governments (tax and capital flight) would mourne its death. Blockchain has yet to bear any fruit and have impact on our daily lives. I hear you say “bitcoin” but even a decade ago before joining our Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance as CEO, she was Director of Payments Integrity and Security for Bank of England’s Payment Council and responsible for UK£ 385 billion of daily transactions, so BTC is just a rounding error in the global financial world. So why put up with the 95% crypto scam markets, 20% of funds hacked, when the old enterprise legacy systems adequately service us with inherent rigour and stability. Do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages?
But like any loving parent, and as the world’s first blockchain professor, I am frustrated at the growth of our blockchain child and we have been examining the barriers to traction and maturation that hampers us and the actions we need to alter the current trajectory. Here is our top 7 for your consideration – let us know if you don’t agree!
Decentralized by nature and herein lies a problem to organise ourselves. There are over 1000 exchanges currently with unregulated Binance typically trading nearly US$ 30 billion alone … and yet, we don’t even have a trade body that represents the industry. No one to advocate, no one to respond to government and regulators, or journalists. There is no self-regulation so this exposes us to external over-regulation. Other, much smaller industries, have a trade association why not us? Giants like Chandler Guo and Eric Gu sit on our Advisory Board and it is to these whales we look to bring the crypto industry together to enhance credibility.
2. Social Relevancy
At the start there was a great deal of promise. Industry giants like Don Tapscott, Chris Larsen, and others talked about the technology changing the fabric of society but so far the only winners of the 4 kinds of blockchain enthusiasts have been the speculators, the other 3 (blockchain the religion, the 4IR futurists and the ‘quicker, cheaper, more efficient’ brigade) resigned to just hoping. Blockchain is the movement of a digital asset from A to B, but hard tangible financial assets like money, gold, land and diamonds are not the only kind of assets – post pandemic has confirmed for many of us that soft intangible non-financial assets such as love, happiness, hope and kindness, indeed our health, have greater value. The things that effect us right now, Climate Change, Black Lives Matter, Politics affecting our Cross-Border Trade, LGBTQ+, Health – we have nothing to say. To focus on this, we have recently recruited 25 university interns to our new ‘Institute of Ideology in Code: Home of Total Value’ to be established in London, Dubai, Singapore. We believe blockchain, with its ability to arbitrate between financial and non-financial value(s) is a key us achieving the UN SDG 2030 agenda which represents 17 ideologies which we can codify and transact through DLT. Even more germane, we are focusing on using DLT to enable the 2021 Dasgupta Review for World Economic Forum, former 2020 Bank of England’s Governor Mark Carney’s view on human values versus financial values, and Pope Francis’s 2019 Economy of Francesco – all 3 believe GDP is no longer the way we should measure wealth and transact it.
3. Standards for Interoperability
There is no TCP/IP for blockchain, again due to decentralization of blockchain there is no common standards and interoperability between blockchains. There has been some noble attempts at this with Hyperledger, our 14 open source whitepapers, etc but at present we are looking at divergence and not convergence. The landscape has become more complex and less coherent with increasing varieties of existing blockchains including fractious forks and splits and bewildering new instruments like ICO, IEO, STO, DeFi, NFT, etc which have meteoric rise and falls as the industry continuously searches for something that sticks. The fact is that we have no Google, Facebook, Amazon of blockchain – we have no raison d’etre for the technology, no Damascus experience that irrefutably demonstrate to the (wo)man in the street why we need it just as did the internet. TCP/IP was invented by my friend Vint Cerf mid 1970’s and Google was created some 15 years later in 1998. We think only time is needed here and that by 2030 we will get there if not sooner although given Satoshi Nakatomo’s 2008 paper we are scheduled to get there mid 2020’s.
4. Scaled Applications
We need to be able to point to a scaled mainstream sector application, not only to showcase to the world what we can do, but also to act as a very large high profile sandpit to pilot our blockchain ecosystems not just individual product solutions. In striving towards this we are busy creating a UK£ 210 million DLT Bank announced in December 2020 in Dubai, a 2700 consortium in supply chains and procurement organisation in Nairobi, a 5G Electric Vehicle community charging solution, and recently announced our engagement in the petroleum oil and gas industry with potentially a blockchain platform build for a company fully listed on the London Stock Market company. Please, no more small stuff, it’s not getting us anywhere but of course even these projects hardly indent their sectors in terms of commercial significance but illustrate the capability of blockchain.
5. Academic Research
Of course academics, like myself, are pedestrian in our approach, and hard to keep up with the burgeoning world of blockchain. Nevertheless, all serious sectors borrow rigour from intense academic research which are non-partisan, no agenda, and neutral with output through peer reviewed journals such as our JV Frontiers in Blockchain with 490 editors. For retail readership we will be relaunching Social Values & Intangibles Review this year which sets out to explain in simple language the benefits of blockchain in non-trivial situations. If it wasn’t for academic research the world would not be able to have responded to Covid19.
6. Institutional Partnership
Governments and major corporates are not, as often perceived, the enemies of blockchain and indeed they will be the main agent for adoption. Facebook Libra was not just a sad failure for the high profile consortium, but a failure for the industry that we did not support the first major corporate to promote the technology; it is not perfect but we all lost in that one. Not disheartened, we applaud the Chinese government digital Yuan CBDC project piloted in 2020-21 and indeed we advise the Chinese Ministry of Commerce through the ‘China E-Commerce Blockchain Committee’. As a sector we must embrace such projects if we are to drive adoption. There is a dearth of consultancies that can operate at the institutional level, our Rothbadi based in Zurich and Team Blockchain in London are rare examples but we need more serious players in the industry.
7. Global Voice
The high intensity of media attention has highlighted the absence of a single point of contact to represent a confusing technology. Does the industry needs a voice of the ‘great and the good’ to respond to criticism, regulators, enquiries, etc? We have put together a new and as yet unlaunched journal for the industry, by the industry, called The Token: Cryptocurrency, Value and Values to represent us as a whole and not a particular sector. Since 2018 we have developed a blockchain vision (in English, in Chinese) for the world which embraces all sectors – public, private, civil society and community and thus hope one day DLT will be a central driver to improve the world we live in.