Vitalik BUTERIN (so-called V God in China), founder of Ethereum and Chief Scientist of Wanxiang Blockchain Labs, gave a speech at Shenzhen University on September 23. The conference paid special attention to the recent hot topic, Consortium Blockchain. Unfortunately, V God is relatively bearish on the Consortium Blockchain while the representative of Tencent is still full of confidence.
Vitalik pointed out in his speech that the earliest blockchain was a single-function blockchain network such as Bitcoin. Later, as the functional requirements increased, a multi-functional blockchain network (such as Mastercoin, XCP, etc.) appeared, but still unable to meet the growing demand for functionality. At that time, the Ethereum platform emerged.
V God’s Mandarin brings more fans
Vitalik is only 25 years old and has become a global blockchain leader. He used English in his speech, and showed the fluent mandarin on the round table discussion. He already has many fans in China and more after the event. It was a full house of the event and some later comers needed to sit on the floor.
Limits of PoW
Vitalik also talked about PoW (Proof of Workload) and PoS (Proof of Stake).
Vitalik said that Bitcoin and current Ethereum-based blockchain networks are using PoW mechanisms, this consensus mechanism worked in the early stages of development. However, as the value of Bitcoin grew, the rewards available for miners to create new blocks incentivized more people to join the network. The profit available in dealing with exchanges and mining the network caused more people to invest ever larger amounts in mining capacity. This kind of mining of crypto currency based on a PoW mechanism caused the network to become more centralized, handing the advantage to large groups using dedicated mining machines.
In contrast to the PoW mechanism, the PoS mechanism uses a completely different “mining” approach. PoS means that the participant will be required to pledge a certain number of tokens and then an algorithm randomly selects who will create the block and received the reward. This system aims to address some of the drawbacks associated with the current PoW mechanism such as mining centering, high energy consumption and other issues.
Vitalik introduced the application layer of Ethereum. He said that Ethereum has good applications in token distribution and digital currency payments, smart contract creation, domain name services based on Ethereum, and certificate revocation.
Another important area of development for Ethereum is the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO).
Vitalik said that the DAO organization’s earliest exploration of smart contracts consisted of controlling digital token assets on the blockchain, helping a group of people make decisions on how to spend their own public resources. The current DAO organization based on Ethereum mainly includes Makerdao, Molochdao, Aragon among others.
Round table on Consortium Blockchain
The theme of the roundtable discussion is the Consortium Blockchain. Participants include Professor XIANG Yuhua, Dean of the School of Big Data and Internet of Shenzhen University of Technology, Professor CAI Wei, Director of the Edge Computing and Blockchain System Laboratory of the Institute of Technology, Chinese University of Hong Kong (Shenzhen), and Director HE of the Blockchain Business of Tencent Computer Systems Ltd. Professor ZHANG Shengli, Associate Dean of the School of Electronics and Information Engineering of Shenzhen University and Executive Deputy Director of the Blockchain Research Center.
V God said the three points on Consortium Blockchain：
1.Solve the expansion problem. It is impossible solve all the problems on the public chain.
2.There is no special difference between the Consortium Blockchain and the public chain. The public can see the your information on the public chain while your major competitor can see it on the Consortium Blockchain.
3.Centralization and decentralization are the biggest problems while there will be different applications after 5 years.
Director HE of Tencent’s blockchain business is more optimistic. He said Tencent has some products according to Consortium Blockchain, e.g. the code for metro and bus services and blockchain receipts. He said there will be several similar products coming and the industries need to comfort the regulators for these kinds of new technologies.
He said：“The mainland government does not mind whether you call it Consortium Blockchain or Public Chain. Their major concerns are whether the products or services are under control. ”
He said the TPS (Transaction Per Second) of public chain is relatively low, and they may find a suitable scenario for product application during the use of the Consortium Blockchain. “We need to increase efforts to popularize the application of the blockchain, too.” He said.
Professor ZHANG Shengli from Shenzhen University agreed the Consortium Blockchain can solve some of the current problems. When a large number of problems arise, maybe people will shift back to public chain.
Tencent provides the blockchain receipts on taxi and metro.