怎么理解区块链

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为什么要写这个博客?

Imagine for a moment that you were transported back in time to the early 1990’s. Back then, the internet was still in its infancy and Average Joe and Jane had little to no understanding of how it worked.

想象一下,上世纪90年代早期。那时,互联网还处于萌芽阶段,乔和简几乎不了解互联网是怎么运作的。

In 1993, the total number of worldwide internet users was around 14 million and the internet consisted of roughly 130 web pages (ourworldindata.org). Most people had heard of the internet, but it’s potential was still difficult to grasp for the vast majority of people. Imagine trying to explain the infinite possibilities and numerous use cases of the internet to 1993 Average Joe and Jane.

 1993年,全球互联网用户总数约为1400万,互联网由大约130个网站(ourworldindata.org)组成。大多数人都听说过互联网,但它的潜力仍然难以掌握绝大多数人。想象一下,乔和简以及对于绝大多数人来说,还很难看到它的前景。

Around 1995, the internet moved from obscurity to mainstream as venture capitalists started to realize the enormous potential of the world wide web. Millions of dollars were poured into start-up companies, often consisting of little more than a small team of programmers and an idea involving the internet. Still, the internet had its skeptics, and mass adoption seemed far from certain.

1995 年左右,风险投资开始意识到万维网的巨大潜力,互联网从默默无闻变为主流。数百万美元投入到初创公司中,通常只包括一小部分程序员和一个涉及互联网的想法。尽管如此,人们对互联网还是持怀疑态度,大规模采用似乎还远未确定。

“I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.”

我预测互联网将很快成为超新星,并在 1996 年灾难性地崩溃。

— Robert Metcalfe, the inventor of Ethernet, in InfoWorld, 1995
—以太网发明者 Robert Metcalfe,InfoWorld,1995 年

On 27 February 1995, Newsweek, an American magazine wrote:

“The truth is no online database will replace your daily newspaper, no CD-ROM can take the place of a competent teacher and no computer network will change the way government works.”

“事实上,在线数据库不会取代你的日报,光盘不会可以取代一个称职的老师,计算机网络也不会改变政府的工作方式。”

— Newsweek, 1995
-- 新闻周刊,1995年

A year later the internet had 75 millions users. By 1999 it had grown to 280 million users worldwide.

一年后,互联网拥有了 7500 万用户。到 1999 年,它已在全球范围内增长到 2.8 亿用户。

Robert Metcalfe famously had to “eat his words” two years later at the World Wide Web Conference when he blended a copy of his column with some water and proceeded to consume the mixture in front of his audience (Wired). Newsweek ceased print publication to become exclusively available online in 2012…

So what did Robert Metcalfe and Newsweek get wrong about the internet? In our opinion, they grossly underestimated the internet’s capacity to reduce inefficiency, thereby increasing humanity’s ability to generate value. If the internet consisted of only cat videos and Reddit forums, There is no doubt it would still exist in some form, but the real reason why the internet now permeates every aspect of our lives is that it makes so many tasks infinitely more efficient for both private individuals and businesses.

Today, humanity is standing at the crossroads of another potential leap in efficiency due to a technological innovation called blockchain. It is difficult to know exactly how many blockchain users there are today but our best estimates are somewhere around the 10 million mark (Coin Journal). In the last six months, venture capitalists have started to realize the enormous potential of blockchain and are pouring millions of dollars into start-up companies often consisting of little more than a small team of programmers and an idea involving blockchain (weusecoins.com). Meanwhile, 2017 Average Joe and Jane has little to no understanding of how blockchain works.

两年后,罗伯特·梅特卡夫(Robert Metcalfe)在万维网大会(World Wide Web.)上不得不“食言”,他将自己的专栏的一份拷贝和一些水混合,然后在他的听众面前(Wired)食用。《新闻周刊》停止印刷出版物,将于2012独家上线。
那么,罗伯特·梅特卡夫和《新闻周刊》对互联网有什么误解呢?我们认为,他们严重低估了互联网降低效率的能力,从而提高了人类创造价值的能力。如果互联网只由猫的视频和Reddit论坛组成,毫无疑问,它仍然以某种形式存在,但是互联网现在渗透到我们生活的各个方面的真正原因是它使许多任务对个人和企业都无限更有效。
今天,人类正站在另一个潜在的效率飞跃的十字路口,因为技术创新被称为产业链。现在很难确切地知道有多少连锁店用户,但是我们最好的估计是在1000万马克左右(硬币杂志)。在过去的六个月里,风险资本家已经开始意识到积木链的巨大潜力,并且正在向初创公司倾注数百万美元,这些公司通常由一小群程序员和一个涉及积木链的想法组成(weuse.s.com)。同时,2017的平均乔和简对BoScBand的工作原理几乎一无所知。

This blog attempts to introduce 2017 Average Joe and Jane to blockchain, give them an understanding of the technology and teach them how to become early adopters. Over the course of this blog, we will take a deep dive into some of the technological aspects of blockchain, explore its use cases, analyze different blockchains, provide a step by step guide for beginners, discuss investment strategies and talk about long term predictions for blockchain technology.

这个博客试图将2017年的平均Joe和Jane介绍给block.,让他们了解这项技术,并教他们如何成为早期的采用者。在本博客的整个过程中,我们将深入探讨模块链的一些技术方面,探索它的用例,分析不同的模块链,为初学者提供一步一步的指导,讨论投资策略,并讨论模块链技术的长期预测。

Blockchain as an accounting revolution

区块链将是一场会计革命

While blockchain is often thought of as an advancement in computer technology, it can more easily be understood as an advancement in accounting. In its essence, accounting is the task of keeping track of transactions and ownership of value. Ownership, is kind of a vague concept if you think about it. Ownership is not an intrinsic attribute of an object. Rather, ownership is determined purely by consensus. You can write your name on an object or plant your flag on a property but unless you can convince other people in your society that an asset truly belongs to you, it can be taken away from you just as easily. So, if ownership is not an intrinsic attribute, how do we determine ownership at any given time? How can we set up a system to ensure that ownership information is safe and can’t be altered by people with malicious intentions?

This is not a simple question and it is one that humanity has invented increasingly clever ways of answering as our societies have grown more complex. The exact ways in which we determine and record ownership in the modern world vary between asset types but can commonly be boiled down to something like the following.

虽然区块链通常被认为是计算机技术的进步,但它更容易被理解为会计的进步。本质上讲,会计的任务是追踪交易和价值所有权。仔细思考的话,你会发现所有权是一种模糊的概念。所有权不是物品的固有属性。相反,所有权完全由共识决定。你可以在一个物体上写下你的名字或在房产上插上你自己的旗帜,但你必须能说服你社会中的其他人同意这是真正属于你的资产。既然所有权不是内在属性,我们如何在任何时间确定所有权?我们如何建立一个系统来确保所有权信息是安全的,并且不会被恶意用户改变?

这不是一个简单的问题,随着我们的社会变得越来越复杂,人类发明了越来越聪明的解决方式。在现代社会,确定和记录所有权的方式因资产类型而异,但通常可归结为以下内容。

Our current system of tracking ownership
当前的所有权跟踪系统
The ownership of an object, asset or idea is determined by our legal systems and commonly involve a written or digital record of ownership (land titles, receipts, copyright documents, patents etc.). When transfer of ownership occur between two non-trusting parties, we rely on intermediaries like banks or government organizations for trust, authenticity and certainty. This is especially true for digital or non-physical assets like money, shares, intellectual property or digital media which can easily be copied and reproduced. If two people both claim ownership of the same asset, or if the legitimacy of a record is disputed, a court or tribunal is established to resolve the dispute and determine ownership in accordance with our legal systems.
当前,物品、资产或创意的所有权由我们的法律系统决定,通常涉及书面或数字的所有权记录(例如,土地所有权、收据、版权文件、专利等)。当两个非信任方之间发生所有权转让时,我们依靠银行或政府组织等中介机构来获取信任、真实性和确定性。对于数字或非实物资产(如货币、股票、知识产权或数字媒体)尤其如此。如果两个人都声称对同一资产拥有所有权,或者记录的合法性存在争议,则通过法院或法庭来解决争议,确定所有权。

Our current system of tracking ownership is complex, inefficient, not particularly reliable and often not very transparent. This includes involving intermediaries and making documentation safe from outside interference (hacking-proof) and difficult to forge/reproduce. This is why many countries require you to pay stamp duty or other taxes to make documents such as marriage certificates and land titles legally binding and enforceable. This is also the reason why it takes 3 days to send money to relatives abroad. Intermediaries are required to ensure that the money enters and leaves the correct accounts and that the appropriate records are intact and correct. The same is true for all information ledgers where accuracy is critical; payment and currency systems, asset management, regulatory compliance and auditing, real estate, record management, identity management, voting, taxation and more.

我们目前的所有权跟踪系统复杂、效率低、不是特别可靠,而且往往不是很透明。这包括让中间人参与并使文档难以伪造/复制。这就是为什么许多国家要求您支付印花税或其他税款,以使结婚证书和土地所有权等文件具有法律约束力和可执行性。这也是为什么需要 3 天才能汇款给国外的亲戚。中间人必须确保资金进入和离开正确的账户,并确保适当的记录完整无缺。所有信息记账的情况都是如此,它们的准确性至关重要,例如支付和货币系统、资产管理、监管合规和审计、房地产、记录管理、身份管理、投票、税收等。
这就是区块链技术的用武之地。

This is where blockchain technology comes in. A blockchain is essentially an accounting tool that greatly simplifies this process and provides a system of record keeping that does not rely on intermediaries, yet is:

区块链本质上是一种会计工具,它大大简化了这一过程,并提供了一个不依赖中介的记录保存系统,而且它具有以下特点:

  • Fast and efficient
  • Safe from forging/hacking
  • Reliable
  • Immutable (once information is locked in, it cannot be changed)
  • Transparent
  • Does not require trust between parties
  • 快速高效
  • 不受伪造/黑客攻击
  • 可靠
  • 不可更改(一旦信息被锁定,就无法更改)
  • 透明
  • 不需要双方之间的信任

The inner workings of a blockchain

区块链的内部运作

Simply put, a blockchain is a database containing an ever growing number of chained blocks of cryptographically secured information that is replicated and distributed across a network of independent, decentralized nodes.

简而言之,区块链是一个数据库,它包含不断增长的安全加密信息链接块,这些信息块通过独立的分散节点网络进行复制和分发。

Don’t worry, we were pretty confused at this stage too. Let's start somewhere a little bit simpler.

别担心,我们在这个阶段也很困惑。让我们从更简单的地方开始。

In blockchain terminology, a block is simply a collection of information that is considered to happen at the same time. The easiest way to think about it, is to imagine a single block as a spreadsheet

在块链术语中,"块"仅仅是被认为同时发生的信息的集合。最简单的方法是想象单个块作为电子表格。

Each row in the spreadsheet contains a single line of information such as a transaction, e.g. “Vega sends $4 to Meg”. Eventually, the spreadsheet block is “complete” and gets linked to the previous block in the chain.

电子表格中的每一行都包含一条信息,例如交易信息,例如“Vega 向 Meg 发送 4 美元”。最终,电子表格块“完成”并链接到链中的前一个块。

怎么理解区块链

The newly added block then gets broadcast to every node in the network. A node is simply a computer that someone has dedicated to the blockchain.

然后,新添加的块被广播到网络中的每个节点。一个节点只是一个有人专用于BooStand的计算机。

The result is a long chain of spreadsheets containing millions of rows of information, replicated and stored on thousands of different nodes. Since anyone can set up their computer to act as a node, you end up with a huge network of publicly owned computers around the globe, all contributing to the health and safety of the blockchain as a whole.

结果是一个包含数百万行信息的长链电子表格,被复制并存储在数千个不同的节点上。因为任何人都可以将计算机设置为节点,所以您最终会在全球拥有一个由公有计算机组成的庞大网络,所有这些都对整个供应链的健康和安全做出了贡献。

Let’s look at a specific example to understand exactly how information is transmitted through the blockchain. Say 2017 Average Joe wants to send $5 to 2017 Average Jane using the world’s most commonly known blockchain, the Bitcoin blockchain. To do this, all 2017 Average Joe has to do is write out the code for this transaction on his computer and broadcast it out to the Bitcoin blockchain network.

让我们看一个具体的例子来了解信息是如何通过块链传输的。比方说,2017年,平均乔想用世界上最知名的块链,比特币块链,寄5美元到2017年平均简。要做到这一点,2017年平均Joe要做的就是在他的计算机上写出这个事务的代码,并将它广播到比特币块链网络。

As computers on the blockchain network receive this message it goes to a special place called the unconfirmed transaction cloud.

当BooScink网络上的计算机接收到该消息时,它会转到一个称为未确认事务云的特殊位置。

Every computer on the blockchain network is continuously playing with the unconfirmed transaction cloud, trying to order the messages in such a way that it is solves a special puzzle (more on the special puzzle in Post 4) .

块链网络上的每台计算机都在不断地玩弄未确认的事务云,试图以这样的方式订购消息,以便解决一个特殊的难题(更多关于Post 4中的特殊难题)。

When a computer manages to find a way to solve the special puzzle they broadcast it out to the rest of the blockchain network and receive a prize for being the first computer to solve the puzzle.

当一台计算机设法找到解决这个特殊难题的方法时,他们把它广播到主链网络的其余部分,并且因为是第一台解决这个难题的计算机而获奖。

The messages in the unconfirmed transaction cloud then turns into a neat block (spreadsheet) and each computer appends this block to the blockchain after verifying that the solution does indeed solve the special puzzle.

在未确认的事务云中的消息然后变成一个整洁的块(电子表格),并且每个计算机在验证该解决方案确实解决了特殊的谜题之后,将这个块附加到块链上。

怎么理解区块链

Each computer node has the entire blockchain stored on their hard drive and can verify incoming messages and blocks independently of the other nodes on the blockchain network. This makes the entire system decentralized with no single point of failure.

每个计算机节点都将整个区块链存储在其硬盘驱动器上,并且可以独立于区块链网络上的其他节点来验证传入的消息和块。整个系统去中心化,没有单点故障。

And that is essentially how the Bitcoin blockchain works:

这基本上就是比特币区块链的工作原理:

  1. Users broadcast transactions to the blockchain network
  2. Computers nodes compete to package up the transactions in a way that solves a special puzzle
  3. When a node manages to package up the transactions correctly they broadcast the solution out to all the other nodes on the network
  4. Each node independently verifies the solution
  5. If the solution works and the block only contains authentic transactions, each node independently appends the new block to the blockchain
  1. 用户将交易广播到区块链网络
  2. 计算机节点以解决特殊谜题的方式竞争,获得打包事务权
  3. 当节点可以正确打包事务时,它们会将解决方案广播到网络上的所有其他节点
  4. 每个节点独立地验证解决方案
  5. 如果解决方案有效并且块中仅包含可信事务,每个节点就独立地将新块附加到区块链

The advantages of a blockchain compared to traditional accounting systems are:

与传统会计系统相比,区块链的优点是:

  • There is no single point of failure: If one computer is suddenly switched off or hacked it doesn’t disturb or harm the rest of the network. The rest of the computers will happily continue to add spreadsheet blocks to the blockchain.
  • The entire system is decentralized: A record of ownership based on blockchain technology is not controlled by one single entity or organization. Hence there is no central authority which can freeze or take control of your assets should they want to.
  • The system is super efficient: No human labor is involved in authenticating incoming messages. No intermediaries or middle-men are required to establish trust. Everything is done through computer code and integrity is achieved through networks of independent, publicly owned computers.
  • The system has complete transparency: Every single row on every single spreadsheet is stored on every single node on the network. Hence all the information in a blockchain is publicly available and can be examined and scrutinized by anyone if wrongdoing is suspected.
  • Participants can remain pseudo-anonymous: No names or personal information is stored in the blockchain. Transactions and account balances are public; however, accounts are not linked to any identifiable information.
  • 没有单点故障:如果一台计算机突然关闭或被黑客入侵,不会打扰或损害网络的其余部分。其余的计算机将继续向区块链添加电子表格块。
  • 去中心化系统:基于区块链技术的所有权记录不受某个实体或组织的控制。
  • 超级高效:在验证传入消息时不涉及人工。建立信任不需要中间人或中间人。一切都是通过计算机代码完成的,通过独立的公有计算机网络实现完整性。
  • 完全透明性:每个电子表格上的每一行都存储在网络上的每个节点上。因此,区块链中的所有信息都是公开的,如果怀疑存在不法行为,任何人都可以对其进行检查和审查。
  • 非实名pseudo-anonymous:区块链中不存储任何姓名或个人信息。交易和账户余额是公开的;换句话说,非实名是指每个人在区块链上有一个和真实身份无关的虚拟身份,但是这个虚拟身份做的所有事情都是透明

Blockchain safety

区块链安全

At this point you probably have a lot of questions. The idea of a worldwide network of computers keeping track of ownership rather than a single entity probably sounds enticing and offers some clear advantages, but you might be asking yourself some big questions.

在这一点上,你可能有很多问题。建立一个全球范围的计算机网络来跟踪所有权,而不是一个单独的实体,这个想法听起来很有吸引力,并且提供了一些明显的优点,但是您可能会问自己一些大问题。

The answer to both of these questions can be found in the cryptographic protection built into the blockchain. To appreciate how difficult it would be to actually hack a blockchain you have to understand some of the underlying technology. Most blockchains use a combination of two separate cryptographic techniques; cryptographic hash functions and digital signatures, to achieve two separate objectives:

这两个问题的答案可以在嵌在区块链中的密码保护中找到。要认识到实际上破解一个块链会有多困难,你必须了解一些底层技术。大多数区块链使用两个分开的加密技术的组合;加密散列函数和数字签名,以实现两个分开的目标:

  1. Ensure that blocks are immutable. That is, to ensure that each block has a specific spot in the blockchain and that changing the order or altering the content of a block is impossible.
  2. Enable the entire blockchain network to verify that a broadcasted transaction actually came from the holder of the Private Key of an account.
  • 确保块是不可变的。也就是说,确保每个块在区块链中的特定位置,并且改变顺序或改变块的内容是不可能的。
  • 由整个区块链网络验证广播的交易确实来自帐户的私钥持有者。

The inner workings of these protection mechanisms are extremely interesting and will be covered in a lot more detail in Post 4.

这些保护机制的内部工作是非常有趣的,将在4后更详细地加以说明

Many people think that cyber security is inherently insecure and that given enough time and incentive, super clever, malicious hackers will always find a way to steal your information.

很多人认为网络安全本质上是不安全的,只要有足够的时间和激励,超级聪明的恶意黑客总会找到窃取你信息的方法。

This is not true. The type of cryptography used in most blockchains has never been successfully cracked when implemented properly. There is widespread agreement among experts that current best practice encryption methods are impenetrable to normal computers (though we may have to update our technology when quantum computing becomes widely available). If someone did find a reliable way to hack through these systems, blockchain applications would be the least of our worries as the entirety of our financial system is currently protected by the exact same cryptographic techniques.

但事实并非如此。绝大多数区块链中使用的加密系统从未被破解。专家们普遍认为,目前的最佳加密方法对于普通计算机是不可击穿的。如果有人真的找到了方法来破解这些系统,区块链程序也无需太担心,因为我们的整个金融系统目前使用完全相同的加密技术。

Perhaps the best testament to the resilience of blockchain cryptography is its track record. Bitcoin, the worlds first and currently largest blockchain cryptocurrency, went live in January 2009. Since then its market cap has grown to more than USD$40 billion and roughly 300,000 Bitcoin transactions happen every single day. Despite this, there has not been a single breach in the fundamental Bitcoin algorithm. Unfortunately for the industry, there have been plenty of cases were websites acting as market places for the sale and purchase of Bitcoin have been hacked. Bitcoin itself however has never been hacked and continues to maintain a 100% track record of performing exactly as intended by its creator(s).

以比特币为例来看区块链技术的安全性。比特币是世界上第一个也是目前最大的区块链加密货币,于 2009 年 1 月投入使用。从那时起,它的市值已经增长到 400 多亿美元(编者注:到2018年9月,市值已达一千多亿美元),每天大约有 300,000 个比特币交易。尽管如此,基本的比特币算法并没有出现过一次破坏。不过,对于这个行业来说,发生过多次比特币交易网站被黑客入侵。然而,比特币本身从未被黑客入侵,并且继续保持 100% 的跟踪记录,其表现完全符合其创建者的预期。

This is not to say that the handling of Bitcoin is without risk. To properly handle any cryptocurrency, you need to take a few precautions to ensure that those super clever malicious hackers don't gain access to your account. Blockchain security will be one of the key topics of this blog as we strongly believe that empowering people to work safely and confidently with blockchain technology is essential to bring about mass adoption of the technology.

这并不是说比特币的处理没有风险。要正确处理任何加密货币,您需要采取一些预防措施,以确保那些超级聪明的恶意黑客无法访问您的帐户。区块链安全性将成为本系列的关键主题之一,因为我们坚信,赋予人们安全和自信地使用区块链技术的能力对于实现该技术的大规模采用至关重要。

We hope you join us over the coming months and years as blockchain technology matures and our society starts to realize the advantages of blockchain over traditional accounting methods. We truly believe that this technology has the power to change the world in a significant way and we are excited to be part of this journey at such an early stage.

随着区块链技术的成熟,我们希望您将来加入我们。我们确信这项技术将改变世界,也很高兴能够在这个早期阶段参与这一旅程。

So, whether you’ve never heard of blockchain before, you’re an enthusiast looking to learn more about the technology or you’re an investor looking for new opportunities, you have come to the right place. We will endeavor to update our blog regularly and provide a nuanced, unbiased view of the various aspects of blockchain technology.

所以,无论你以前从未听说过区块链,你是一个想要了解更多技术的爱好者,或者你是寻找新机会的投资者,你来对了地方。我们将努力定期更新我们的系列文章,并提供关于区块链技术各方面的细致,公正的观点。

 

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