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TED | 区块链将如何彻底改变我们的经济

2019-12-13    作者:小编

原标题:TED | 区块链将如何彻底改变我们的经济


让我们向“分散式经济”问好-区块链将要改变一切。 Warburg清晰描述了”区块链“这个复杂的技术,她告诉我们随着”区块链“技术的出现,我们将不再需要通过银行和政府这样的集中机构来促成交易,并将旧时代商业和金融模式演变成一个全新的模式:一个分散、透明、自主的交易系统。

演讲者:Bettina Warburg


Economists have been exploring people'sbehavior for hundreds of years: how we make decisions, how we act individuallyand in groups, how we exchange value. They've studied the institutions thatfacilitate our trade, like legal systems, corporations, marketplaces. But thereis a new, technological institution that will fundamentally change how weexchange value, and it's called the blockchain.


Now, that's a pretty bold statement, but ifyou take nothing else away from this talk, I actually want you to remember thatwhile blockchain technology is relatively new, it's also a continuation of avery human story, and the story is this. As humans, we find ways to loweruncertainty about one another so that we can exchange value.


Now, one of the first people to reallyexplore the idea of institutions as a tool in economics to lower ouruncertainties about one another and be able to do trade was the Nobel economistDouglass North. He passed away at the end of 2015, but North pioneered what'scalled "new institutional economics." And what he meant byinstitutions were really just formal rules like a constitution, and informalconstraints, like bribery. These institutions are really the grease that allowour economic wheels to function, and we can see this play out over the courseof human history.


If we think back to when we werehunter-gatherer economies, we really just traded within our village structure.We had some informal constraints in 新闻发布网 place, but we enforced all of our tradewith violence or social repercussions. As our societies grew more complex andour trade routes grew more distant, we built up more formal institutions,institutions like banks for currency, governments, corporations. Theseinstitutions helped us manage our trade as the uncertainty and the complexitygrew, and our personal control was much lower. Eventually with the internet, weput these same institutions online. We built platform marketplaces like Amazon,eBay, Alibaba, just faster institutions that act as middlemen to facilitatehuman economic activity.


As Douglass North saw it, institutions area tool to lower uncertainty so that we can connect and exchange all kinds ofvalue in society. And I believe we are now entering a further and radicalevolution of how we interact and trade, because for the first time, we canlower uncertainty not just with political and economic institutions, like ourbanks, our corporations, our governments, but we can do it with technologyalone.


So what is the blockchain? Blockchaintechnology is a decentralized database that stores a registry of assets andtransactions across a peer-to-peer network. It's basically a public registry ofwho owns what and who transacts what. The transactions are secured throughcryptography, and over time, that transaction history gets locked in blocks ofdata that are then cryptographically linked together and secured. This createsan immutable, unforgeable record of all of the transactions across thisnetwork. This record is replicated on every computer that uses the network.


It's not an app. It's not a company. Ithink it's closest in deion to something like Wikipedia. We can seeeverything on Wikipedia. It's a composite view that's constantly changing andbeing updated. We can also track those changes over time on Wikipedia, and wecan create our own wikis, because at their core, they're just a datainfrastructure. On Wikipedia, it's an open platform that stores words andimages and the changes to that data over time. On the blockchain, you can thinkof it as an open infrastructure that stores many kinds of assets. It stores thehistory of custodianship, ownership and location for assets like the digitalcurrency Bitcoin, other digital assets like a title of ownership of IP. Itcould be a certificate, a contract, real world objects, even personalidentifiable information. There are of course other technical details to theblockchain, but at its core, that's how it works. It's this public registrythat stores transactions in a network and is replicated so that it's verysecure and hard to tamper with.

这不是一个应用程序,也不是一个公司。我觉得最接近的描述应该像是维基百科。我们在维基百科上能看到每样东西,它是不断变化和更新的复合面貌。我们也可以在维基百科上实时跟踪这些变化,我们也可以创建我们自己的维基。因为他们的核心,只是数据的基础架构。维基百科是一个开放的平台,储存着文字和图片,以及随时间更新的数据。“区块链”,你也可以把它当成一个开放的基础设施架构,上面储存着各种各样的资产。它存储了 软文平台资产的履历,包含资产的管理者、拥有者和地点等变动信息。这些资产包括像比特币那样的资产,以及其他数字资产,比如一个网络IP的所有权。它可以是一个证书、一个合同,现实世界的物件,甚至是个人的身份信息。当然“区块链”还有其他的技术细节,但它的核心是这样运作的。它是公开的记录系统,存储着该网络的所有交易记录,而且它可以复制到网络中的每台电脑,因此它非常安全,很难被篡改。

Which brings me to my point of howblockchains lower uncertainty and how they therefore promise to transform oureconomic systems in radical ways. So uncertainty is kind of a big term ineconomics, but I want to go through three forms of it that we face in almostall of our everyday transactions, where blockchains can play a role. We faceuncertainties like not knowing who we're dealing with, not having visibilityinto a transaction and not having recourse if things go wrong.


So let's take the first example, notknowing who we're dealing with. Say I want to buy a used smartphone on eBay.The first thing I'm 新闻发布平台 going to do is look up who I'm buying from. Are they apower user? Do they have great reviews and ratings, or do they have no profilea 媒体发布平台t all? Reviews, ratings, checkmarks: these are the attestations about ouridentities that we cobble together today and use to lower uncertainty about whowe're dealing with. But the problem is they're very fragmented. Think about howmany profiles you have. Blockchains allow for us to create an open, globalplatform on which to store any attestation about any individual from anysource. This allows us to create a user-controlled portable identity. More thana profile, it means you can selectively reveal the different attributes aboutyou that help facilitate trade or interaction, for instance that a governmentissued you an ID, or that you're over 21, by revealing the cryptographic proofthat these details exist and are signed off on. Having this kind of portableidentity around the physical world and the digital world means we can do allkinds of human trade in a totally new way.


So I've talked about how blockchains couldlower uncertainty in who we're dealing with. The second uncertainty that weoften face is just not having transparency into our interactions. Say you'regoing to send me that smartphone by mail. I want some degree of transparency. Iwant to know that the product I bought is the same one that arrives in the mailand that there's some record for how it got to me. This is true not just forelectronics like smartphones, but for many kinds of goods and data, things likemedicine, luxury goods, any kind of data or product that we don't want tamperedwith.


The problem in many companies, especiallythose that produce something complicated like a smartphone, is they're managingall of these different vendors across a horizontal supply chain. All of thesepeople that go into making a product, they don't have the same database. Theydon't use the same infrastructure, and so it becomes really hard to seetransparently a product evolve over time.


Using the blockchain, we can create a sharedreality across nontrusting entities. By this I mean all of these nodes in thenetwork do not need to know each other or trust each other, because they eachhave the ability to monitor and validate the chain for themselves. Think backto Wikipedia. It's a shared database, and even though it has multiple readersand multiple writers at the same time, it has one single truth. So we cancreate that using blockchains. We can create a decentralized database that hasthe same efficiency of a monopoly without actually creating that centralauthority. So all of these vendors, all sorts of companies, can interact usingthe same database without trusting one another. It means for consumers, we canhave a lot more transparency. As a real-world object travels along, we can seeits digital certificate or token move on the blockchain, adding value as itgoes. This is媒体发稿平台 a whole new world in terms of our visibility.


So I've talked about how blockchains canlower our uncertainties about identity and how they change what we mean abouttransparency in long distances and complex trades, like in a supply chain. Thelast uncertainty that we often face is one of the most open-ended, and it'sreneging. What if you don't send me the smartphone? Can I get my money back?Blockchains allow us to write code, binding contracts, between individuals andthen guarantee that those contracts will bear out without a third partyenforcer. So if we look at the smartphone example, you could think aboutescrow. You are financing that phone, but you don't need to release the fundsuntil you can verify that all the conditions have been met. You got the phone.


I think this is one of the most excitingways that blockchains lower our uncertainties, because it means to some degreewe can collapse institutions and their enforcement. It means a lot of humaneconomic activity can get collateralized and automated, and push a lot 软文推广of humanintervention to the edges, the places where information moves from the realworld to the blockchain.


I think what would probably floor DouglassNorth about this use of technology is the fact that the very thing that makesit work, the very thing that keeps the blockchain secure and verified, is ourmutual distrust. So rather than all of our uncertainties slowing us down andrequiring institutions like banks, our governments, our corporations, we canactually harness all of that collective uncertainty and use it to collaborateand exchange more and faster and more open.


Now, I don't want you to get the impressionthat the blockchain is the solution to everything, even though the media hassaid that it's going to end world poverty, it's also going to solve thecounterfeit drug problem and potentially save the rainforest. The truth is,this technology is in its infancy, and we're going to need to see a lot ofexperiments take place and probably fail before we truly understand all of theuse cases for our economy. But there are tons of people working on this, fromfinancial institutions to technology companies, start-ups and universities. Andone of the reasons is that it's not just an economic evolution. It's also aninnovation in computer science.


Blockchains give us the technologicalcapability of creating a record of human exchange, of exchange of currency, ofall kinds of digital and physical assets, even of our own personal attributes,in a totally new way. So in some ways, they become a technological institutionthat has a lot of the benefits of the traditional institutions we're used tousing in society, but it does this in a decentralized way. It does this byconverting a lot of our uncertainties into certainties.


So I think we need to start preparingourselves, because w 发布新闻平台e are about to face a world where distributed, autonomousinstitutions have quite a significant role.


Bruno Giussani: Thank you, Bettina. I thinkI understood that it's coming, it offers a lot of potential, and it's complex.What is your estimate for the rate of adoption?


Bettina Warburg: I think that's a reallygood question. My lab is pretty much focused on going the enterprise andgovernment route first, because in reality, blockchain is a complex technology.How many of you actually understand how the internet works? But you use itevery day, so I think we're sort of facing the same John Sculley idea oftechnology should either be invisible or beautiful, and blockcha 网站发稿in is kind ofneither of those things right now, so it's better suited for either reallyearly adopters who kind of get it and can tinker around or for finding thosebest use cases like identity or asset tracking or smart contracts that can beused at that level of an enterprise or government.


BG: Thank you. Thanks for coming to TED.


BW: Thanks.(Applause)




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