The Second Nirvana of the Open Source Spirit: The Rise of Distributed Commerce and Blockchain Technology
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With the birth of the Internet, cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, blockchain and other cutting-edge technologies, open source software has flourished around the world, and the open source community has brought about significant global and sustained changes in the global information technology sector and played an increasingly important role in building social infrastructure. important role in building social infrastructure.
Open source communities are generally formed by people who share common interests and publish software source code according to the corresponding open source software license agreements. Since open source code is mainly developed by programmers scattered around the world, open source communities become a necessary way for them to communicate. Taking the Github community as an example, a large number of peripheral extension services have been established, constituting a highly dynamic ecosystem where development technicians can not only participate in open source projects on Github, but also build social circles, leading to an open and distributed collaboration model.
The most important characteristics of open source communities are: teamwork, individual equality, and active contribution, which is also the main connotation of the open source spirit. The open source community has a strong altruism (Altruism) spirit, involved in open source software development and open source code for everyone to share the open source community members, generally known as contributors (Contributor). By participating in the development of the open source community, contributors on the one hand get the opportunity to exercise growth, but also help to solve their own work encountered in the technical problems, on the other hand, open source projects also have the opportunity to generate greater commercial value, and the commercialization process will need these contributors to serve as consultants to promote the technology on the ground.
The essence of open source is to share technology, and “technology” is a component of the means of production (scientists and engineers with technology can be seen as the carrier of technology), so the social significance of open source is actually to achieve the sharing of the means of production. The commercial significance of open source is that it creates a multi-stakeholder community by sharing technology and promoting technical standards. The number of stakeholders is crucial to the formation of the commercial ecosystem, and the more detailed the division of labor within the system, the more subjects of interest there are in the system, and the greater the market share of the ecosystem, the more powerful it is when competing with other closed-source technologies. .
From a security perspective, open source technologies are not inferior to closed source technologies in any way, if not more so. The code of open source software can be read by anyone, and may be followed by hackers to analyze possible vulnerabilities and exploit them, but the lessons learned in the software industry are that open source software has far fewer vulnerabilities than closed source software, as the code of open source software can be audited industry-wide, revised and security hardened by different developers, and the risk in security is greatly reduced. For example, the closed-source Windows system is recognized as superior to the open-source Linux system, precisely because the Linux system’s source code is open and a steady stream of developers join in its optimization, so that its vulnerabilities are discovered early and prevented from being attacked. In addition, open source software itself generally does not include business logic and does not affect issues such as business compliance, financial security and user data privacy.
The second nirvana of the open source spirit: the rise of distributed business and blockchain technology
If the shared open source of technology can be called the birth of the open source spirit, then the shared open source of business models can be considered the second nirvana of the open source spirit.
In recent years, the “distributed business” model with the main features of multi-participation, shared resources, intelligent collaboration, value integration and transparency of the model has begun to rise, and the typical application scenarios are: distributed energy, distributed electricity, shared cars, etc., with industrial institutions as the main partners; financial institutions as the main partners. The typical application scenarios are: distributed energy, distributed e-commerce, shared cars, etc., with industrial institutions as the main partners; bank-bank, bank-certificate, bank-bond, bond-bond, bond-bond cooperation business, etc.; shared rental housing, shared rental cars, task crowdsourcing, etc., with individuals as the main partners.
distributed business advocates “professional division of labor” and “value connection”, through pre-set transparent value exchange or cooperation rules, which makes the division of labor and the new business model after clustering powerful, compared with the traditional single centralized The new business model of division of labor and clustering has significant advantages compared with the traditional monocentric business model. Correspondingly, in order to realize the sharing and transparent rules of distributed business, the distributed technology with open source as the main feature can also play the biggest advantage, and the business model of peer-to-peer cooperation and common development of multiple participants calls for a polycentric and de-intermediated mindset and technical architecture.
In this context, blockchain technology, distributed ledger technology and its related distributed consistency algorithms have become the core representatives of cutting-edge technologies. Blockchain and distributed ledger technology is a technology that enables and manages the generation, access and use of trusted data by constructing block-chain data structures that are unforgeable, tamper-evident and traceable through transparent and trusted rules in a peer-to-peer network environment. Unlike the traditional trust mechanism based on a single credit-backed entity, the trust mechanism of blockchain is a common trust of multiple participants in transparent and trustworthy rules, and trust in objective information technology. In order to increase trust and full transparency, and to reduce or even completely eliminate human intervention, most blockchain technology platforms exist as open source communities.
According to the different business scenarios supported, blockchain governance models are divided into three types: public, private and alliance chains. Take the financial industry, which is the first to discover the value of blockchain technology, as an example, because financial institutions focus on multi-level peer-to-peer cooperation, and the business often involves a large amount of money flow, there are special industry requirements of strong regulation, strict compliance and high security, whether it is a private chain controlled by a single entity or a public chain that can be accessed by any node, it is difficult to meet the requirements, so the financial industry often combines the common distributed technology with identity authentication, authority management, privacy protection, anti-money laundering and anti-fraud support, theThe combination of modules such as regulatory audit support and the exploration of the technical route of the coalition chain through the formation of a consortium.
In the two years of 2016-2017, all kinds of blockchain alliances have been formed and established, and all kinds of blockchain technology open source communities have emerged as fast as spring.
Overview of typical blockchain open source communities at home and abroad
Due to the characteristics of blockchain technology, from the very beginning, blockchain technology has surfaced in the form of open source communities. The earliest blockchain open source community was Bitcoin. The core technology framework of the Bitcoin blockchain is developed using the C++ language, and the consensus algorithm uses the POW algorithm to obtain bookkeeping rights through proof of workload (mining), with a fault tolerance rate of 50% to achieve network-wide bookkeeping. Its drawbacks are also more obvious, including lower public network performance, costly arithmetic, and difficulty in building applications on top of this.
Bitcoin’s successor is the ethereum community. Ether is a Turing-complete platform that allows for the implementation of protocols in multiple programming languages, and smart contracts on top of the Ether platform are the key to making Ether stand out. Smart contracts facilitate users to build a variety of ever-changing DApp applications, making the barrier for blockchain developers much lower, and the Ether ecosystem is growing at a rapid pace.
Domestically, the China Electronics Technology Standardization Institute under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology took the lead in establishing the China Blockchain Technology and Industry Development Forum, and following the release of the “China Blockchain Technology and Application Development White Paper” and the “Blockchain Reference Architecture” standard, its open source community has also gone online in a low profile. Currently there are more than 40 blockchain open source projects in the community.
believes that in the foreseeable future, the spirit of open source will touch more sparks with blockchain technology and distributed business models, setting off a wave of technological and commercial change.