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“Why on earth are you there, when you’re everywhere, come and get your share.”
This week Elastos released an updated logo, we announced the winners of our Video Contest, we had an 86 page report come out detailing our entire project, and we released our Testnet so that developers can begin to work and make their lives easier.
We want to make a lot of lives easier too, because that’s where the world and technology are headed.
We all shine on.
Elastos continued its forward momentum this week Let’s recap.
1. Improved DittoBox application and deployed Dittobox server on the Raspberry Pi
2. Implemented the Component Assembly Runtime(CAR) Java object manager to support the support of Elastos Runtime(RT) system components for Java programming
3. Implemented DID (Decentralized ID) interface encapsulation and completed DID third-party login sdk
4. Opened the Message interface for Elastos Carrier that lets it directly communicate based on the Message at the Elastos.RT layer
5. Improved CAR Remote Procedure Call(RPC) and added examples and documentation for implementing CAR using Java
6. Modified the Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) CPP compilation mode to support different architectures, more specifically android arm64-v8a, mips, mips64, x86, x86_64
7. Fixed some bugs on the arbitrators and sidechains and solved the issue of nodes being out of sync
8. Determined the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) migration plan, determined the DPoS consensus mechanism, and discussed cross-chain implementation
9. Debugged the ID content with Mobile Wallet
10. Performed stress tests for sidechains for transfer of assets
11. Completion of technical docking with multiple exchanges such as KuCoin
There was a lot of development work and milestones that were achieved during the last couple of weeks. The Dittobox server can now be deployed on a raspberry Pi and also improved the Dittobox application that access the server. DID login SDK was completed which means that developers are now able to use DID to login to an Elastos application. SPV can now be compiled to support different architectures such an android arm64-v8a, mips, mips64, x86, x86_64, etc. Detailed plans regarding the porting of Ethereum Virtual Machine was determined along with how DPoS consensus mechanism will be utilized and also discussed about implementing cross-chain communication between different chains.
The Elastos testnet is officially open for public use. If you are a developer, you can now view our repositories on GitHub. More information can be found here: http://elanews.net/2018/07/26/elastos-developer-news-testnet-launch/
Please check out our Github links:
Elastos is celebrating its One Year Anniversary, August 24-27 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. As part of the festivities, we are assembling video messages and wishes from our community members to be screened during the event. More details can be found here: http://elanews.net/2018/07/24/wish-elastos-a-happy-anniversary/
Elastos Video Contest Winners have been announced. We would like to congratulate all of the winners and thank everyone in the community who participated. The Winners have been announced here: https://elanews.net/2018/07/25/elastos-video-contest-winners/
Elastos Logo Update: The Elastos Logo now includes a new, refreshed feel. A complete Brand Style Guide including logotype, color family, and typography will be released with the new website in the coming weeks. Look for the new assets here: https://github.com/elastos/Elastos.Community/tree/master/ElastosLogoAssets
Visionz Capital published an 86 page report on Elastos: https://visionz.capital/research/elastos_research.pdf
This week btctrade.im added support for Elastos
Elastos is hosting an Infographic Contest that runs through August 15th. Info can be found here: https://medium.com/
Elastos is welcoming Community Writers: https://medium.com/
Feng Han met with iExec Union in Lyon, France. Both parties agreed that there are a lot of problems when an application runs on Blockchain nodes. In order to build large scale decentralized applications, we need a decentralized OS where the applications can run directly on the device.
Rong Chen became one of the first renowned lecturers at Mars Training Camp (a top blockchain training camp hosted by http://www.huoxing24.com/mtc). He explained the basics of blockchain technology and analyzed current industry trends to trainees at the camp.
The 2018 Block Club Venture Capital Summit & Block Technology Round B Financing Press Conference was held at the Zhongguancun Software Park International Conference Service Center. Elastos Ecosystem Committee Director, Dr. Dinghe Hu, was invited to attend as a VIP speaker. He gave a speech called “Blockchain is leading the digital era of IoTs,” and explained blockchain’s applications & future prospects. He also talked about the progress between Elastos and Hashworld, ioeX and more.
At the Elastos Shanghai office, Rong Chen met with Insigma Technology CEO Minfu Zhong and Japanese guests from Open Innovation Strategy division, IX Knowledge Inc. IX Knowledge Inc. was very interested in Elastos and came from Japan to Shanghai to visit Rong and learn more about Blockchain and Elastos. Rong introduced the Elastos values, philosophy, and development history. The team was very impressed and showed a great admiration for the project. Rong showed them around the Shanghai office and gave a demo on the latest Elastos App.
The Elastos Indian Community hosted a meetup in Andhra Pradesh at VVIT (Vasireddy Vanketadri Institute of Technology). The meetup was very successful and they will now focus on preparing teams for dAPP development.
Elastos CMO, Fay Li, met with and explored collaboration opportunities with Kexue Wei, the Solutions Architect of Alibaba who also has experience working with Microsoft, Oracle, HP, Huawei and SoftBank.
Events and Meetups
August 3-6 ChinaJoy
China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference (ChinaJoy for short) is one of the global top three digital entertainment Expos and is the most influential event in the global digital entertainment industry. ChinaJoy is held annually in late July in Shanghai, China. ChinaJoy Expo showcases online games, console games, web games, and hardware products related to digital entertainment, among other technologies. This year’s theme is “New Technology, New Entertainment , New Values.” Tens of thousands of game enthusiasts and fans will be attending.
Elastos will be attending as a VIP exhibitor located at the BTOB-W4 area M102 during the expo. Elastos will focus on combining blockchain and gaming, and demonstrate how Elastos can power up the game industry with blockchain driven asset authentication, trustable transparency, decentralized distribution, self-publishing and more to bring new prospects and opportunities for the industry.
The Elastos booth will be neighbored by popular booths such as Facebook, 360game, Huawei Cloud, Google, and Intel.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Elastos is hosting its One Year Anniversary Event, August 24-27th.
Thoughts and Conclusions
What do ants, bees, Adam Smith, Einstein, Darwin, Buddhism, the universe, vending machines, chefs, quantum physics, computational thinking, and Elastos all have in common? The answer is more than merely topics Feng Han has discussed in his lectures and book. The answer lies in our past and in our future and most importantly, right now, in the invisible forces all around us that guide this strange world we all play a part in.
The entire universe moves forward according to a quantum computer mechanism.
Does it? Or does it just appear that way?
This week Elastos published two lectures by Feng Han about computational thinking, quantum wealth, and Elastos. They are worth discussing for any blockchain project, but most especially, Elastos.
We begin with Jeanette Wing and computational thinking. Jeanette Wing is the Avanessians Director of the Data Sciences Institute at Columbia University, she was the President’s Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, she worked at the National Science Foundation where she was in charge of funding research in computer science across the United States, and served as Corporate Vice President at Microsoft Research Connections. Most importantly for this discussion, she is a pioneer in the field of computational thinking.
Computational thinking is the thought processes that one uses to formulate a problem and express its solutions in such a way that a computer, human or machine, can effectively carry out.
So what is computational thinking really about? It is about approaching a complex problem by decomposing it into a series of smaller problems, then solving the smaller problems individually and finally combining all of the smaller solutions to form the solution to the larger complex problem. This is the decomposition composition.
Computational thinking is a way to solve problems where the solution is executed by a computer. However, as we will see, this need not be a literal computer or machine, and this is what makes a seemingly inaccessible sounding subject rather groovy to the average person. Tell someone they are a supercomputer than can create algorithms and execute complex tasks by breaking them down into parts and solving each one individually and then assemble them all back together. Sounds quite impressive. The truth is, we do this all the time. Animals do this all the time. Atoms in our universe do this all the time. Our economic markets do this all the time. In fact, this article is being written with computational thinking, yet our current internet…does this, but at nowhere near the potential it has to do this and in a way that is wholly inorganic to the way that it should.
Feng says of Jeanette Wing in his lecture, “It was the first time anyone had ever proposed that computational thinking could be applied outside of computer science. She asserted that computational thinking could not only be used in computer programming, but it could be used to explain phenomena in an extraordinary number of fields.”
One of those fields, was cooking.
In this example, you have a finite number of burners, pots, pans, and ingredients, and the goal is to finish all of the dishes simultaneously so that your dinner is ready and hot all at once. As the chef, you must begin to think ahead at how each step, and when each step, will begin and end, so that the final problem you are solving, cooking a delicious meal that is ready all at once, can be executed.
So how does this relate to computer science? When one studies an operating system, this analogy to cooking comes back into play. You are faced with a finite number of resources, you have a series of tasks you need to complete in a fine amount of time, and in the end you have a large problem you want solved. For a chef, this problem solving is learned and intuitive, for an operating system, and much of the universe, it is rather automatic. Complex problems are solved in nature, in the universe, in ecosystems, in financial markets, all rather automatically by solving smaller problems and adding them together. This is the computational thinking universe, at least on the surface.
In this case, the chef creates an algorithm to complete the meal. The algorithm is executed in pieces and then put back together and the result is a perfect meal delivered on time.
To use some Elastos analogies in reference to cooking a meal, in a network operating system, each smaller piece or task, in this case, would be a virtual machine and all of them together form one large supercomputer that solves the large problem or completes the meal. Each node, including IoT nodes, all complete smaller tasks and when put together form a giant decentralized smart network. Or, in the case of Cyber Republic, each member of the Elastos community solves an individual series of problems or tasks, and then, when added up, solve the largest problem Cyber Republic is solving, the upgrading and decentralizing of the internet through development tasks and community organizing.
How do we change the internet, grow Elastos, and succeed? Each one of us in Cyber Republic takes on a smaller problem and solves it. We then add up all of our work and the volume of our global symphony increases. This is computational thinking.
In these examples, the thought process precedes the writing of code in the case of a developer, or the cutting of vegetables or boiling of water for the chef. This is an important point: the thought precedes the effect. But what is a thought for a computer, or an ant, instead of a chef? And if this thought is so instinctual and automatic, what kind of thought is this? How are these thoughts “programmed’ into the endless places we find computational thinking?
When it comes right down to it, computational thinking is a way of changing how we think, and this shift, from one way of thinking to another better way of thinking, is perhaps the greatest shift available in the world we live in. This is not to say computational thinking is the better way to think, one must find that out for themselves, but it is to say that changing thought patterns is the solution to actual change in the world. We will see that humans have shifted many times before and we are now seeing a shift from centralization to decentralization at the foundation of thinking and more specifically group thinking or connected thinking.
We must also understand the we as humans can execute algorithms and do so all of the time because we are brilliant and infinite computers ourselves. As we become more connected mentally and even physically, we will see that our brilliant powers will actually grow exponentially. The network operating system is the manifestation of this idea for the internet, a place that is already teeming with pleas for this type of update.
The question is, how does the natural world “see the forest through the trees” so easily and automatically? This question brings up a quite spiritual, scientific, and even religious overtone, and does not need to be addressed here at length. What can be addressed here is that this phenomenon is everywhere and our internet and internet economy is lagging behind it—and this needs to change.
“So why is the influence of computational thinking steadily increasing? At its root, this simple concept challenges traditional human thinking. In fact, we conclude that it is decentralized thinking that has challenged centralized thinking.”
At its core, computational thinking is decentralized thinking. Instead of tapping into the single point of mind created self, and centralizing each thought with that identity, decentralized thinking has no center, but emerges from many places all at once. If all things in the universe are inherently interconnected, then all things are inherently decentralized, for every point is the center and yet without center. These ideas and the spookiness of quantum mechanics that describes how to be in more than one place at once, will be discussed.
We start with the example of how ants think. Each ant is not highly intelligent, yet as a whole, ants perform quite remarkable tasks. In the ant world, there is no king or queen, or centralized power. When ants search for food, they find the shortest distance to that food, using mathematical algorithms that are highly advanced. But how could an ant perform high level thinking like this? Are there really ant algorithms?
There are. In fact, these equations are built into the ant to allow an automatic deployment of decentralized thinking. Ants begin to search for food, in this case an apple. Each ant gives off pheromones in their wake. Because the shortest path will produce the fastest time to the apple, thus allowing those first ants to begin their return trip to the nest sooner, the pheromones will increase on that path and continually attract more and more ants to that shortest path. The ants find the food with the shortest path automatically using computational thinking. This shortest path, something that is high level mathematics, is easily performed by a large group of ants working in a decentralized way. The sum of all of their thinking is added up to equal a much greater level of intelligence than if they merely relied on one very smart ant to control them.
So, is the entire universe a quantum computer running a program as author Seth Lloyd imagines and Feng Han has pondered? That claim will not be made here, because any literal claim would be a distraction from the much richer symbolic claim that allows these discoveries to be generalized and pondered by each individual. Computational thinking, or decentralized thinking, appearing everywhere in the universe, does not mean that an actual computer is running an actual program, but it could mean that the idea of a computer and by extension the idea of a network operating system which makes the entire internet into one giant supercomputer, is a very apt symbol of a much deeper reflection into how the universe actually works, wherever the universe may or may not have arisen from, and circumventing the mystery of who or what wrote the whitepaper for the universe itself.
It is the invention of the computer, the invention of the internet, and now the invention of this new internet operating system that is so remarkable and follows such a natural evolution in the history of the thinking universe and this is what is worth contextualizing about this topic. If we follow the symbols of the universe and connect them, and then connect them some more, we can learn why what Elastos is trying to do to the internet actually makes sense. In this analogy, Rong and Feng are like two ants that have found the shortest path, or in our case, the safest and most efficient and beneficial internet, and we are now following that path to the apple. No one is in charge in a traditional sense, yet we all share in the end goal. If the IQ of a single ant is extremely low, and yet the combined IQ of all of the ants in a colony is closer to a single human being, what is the combined IQ of all human beings, and how do we harness that super-mind of human consciousness? More importantly, who is even trying to do it? Who is combining the network OS for the internet with the human network OS of a Cyber Republic?
Bees also use computational thinking. A queen bee does not make decisions but allows the bee colony to work in unison to efficiently make marvelous infrastructures like a hive, which are warm in winter and cool in summer, all while using minimal materials. Bees are down right impressive and the hive itself is a pinnacle of decentralized thinking resulting in perfection. Computer science has actually been influenced by bees and named an efficiency equation the “bee colony algorithm,” literally merging the computational thinking of nature with computer sciences. The connections are there. In fact, many species use it. “So called evolution is nothing more than this hybrid protocol: hybrid variations and survival of the fittest.” This point refers to the entire theory of evolution being part of the computational thinking paradigm. Again, this is not to address any ideas outside of this topic such as how the universe itself was created, but merely to examine what goes on, or more accurately, what appears to go on in the universe. In evolution, Darwin proved that there was no centralized point. Nature dealt with itself and did not give preferential treatment to any one animal. There was no priority at work, but a melody of equations in the forms of species dancing with one another while simultaneously killing and surviving in the process.
But what of humans? Ah, yes, here is where things become rather controversial. Surely humans do not work in beautiful unison in decentralized ways all for the good of the community to build structures of perfection? Well, yes, and more accurately, no, but that discussion is far too complicated to address here. What can be addressed is where we do see computational thinking but may not realize it.
Adam Smith, father of modern economics, brings further insight into the way computational thinking permeates the world. There is not room for a full discussion on Smith’s ideas, but Feng Han believes that the economic market operates without a central point, and this is aligned with computational thinking. Does the baker bake their bread to do their part to feed the whole and money is a byproduct of this, or is the baker merely selfishly baking bread to make money and the feeding of society happens to create a mutual benefit? To use the ant analogy, imagine there are a dozen bakers. Now, people begin to find the shortest distance to the bread, in this case, the best bread at the best price, or some combination of what makes one bread the best. As people begin to leave their homes to buy bread and decide what they prefer, they leave a trail that others may follow and eventually one or maybe a few breads win out and the others go out of business. Is there a central authority at work picking the winning bread? Not in a free market society. Computational thinking breaks up each bread into its own equation and then puts them all back together as a collective whole and picks the winner. Society works much like ants in a free market. Here we can see that the “invisible hand” that Smith famously described is at work picking the winning bread and revealing that humans, like animals, use instinctual algorithms to create efficiency and operate in the world in a decentralized way. What wins out in the free market? Throw an apple out and see what path the ants take to get there. This is the same with products, although in a much more complex and varied-factor way. Yet again, a basic protocol, or decentralized thinking, is at work. In this way, do we thank the inventor in the free market, or the colony of people who make them the winner?
But what of centralized markets? Surely they work well too. Not according to Feng Han. When describing the “so-called planned economy,” of China over 30 years ago, where winners were picked and controlled by central authorities, the result was poverty. “How poor was the planned economy? Go ahead an buy a ticket to North Korea and have a look around.” Yikes. In this case, until China allowed their socialist society to have a more decentralized economy, they were unable to develop.
““Allow the market to carry out its decisive role in resource allocation.” I remember this phrase almost word for word, because its direction was correct. Regardless of anything else, you must persist in carrying out this basic point. If you violate this basic protocol, then your market will not be able to improve. As long as you persist in implementing the protocol, then it is guaranteed that more wealth, more prosperity, and more value will be brought to society. This was where Adam Smith’s greatness lies. He is considered to be the father of modern economics because he decentralized the process.”
This is now the time to establish that even with all of these commonalities among nature and even the economic markets and human behavior, there is still no underlying protocol or unified basis to explain any of this, unless we step out of the framework of this discussion and bring in religious, spiritual, or more mystical topics. Those discussions are encouraged, but will not be discussed in great depth here. There must be an underlying protocol, even if it is merely symbolic, that unites these ideas and can be examined to some degree by science.
It also happens to be the field Feng Han has a Phd. in, quantum mechanics.
Feng Han believes that by tapping into this unified basis of the universe, great inventions are enabled to emerge. Adam Smith and Darwin and Einstein did not invent or create in a vacuum, they all had a unified basis of understanding that the universe is a place of decentralized interconnection and this propelled them to be able to create universal breakthroughs that continue to be profound centuries later. He says that their discoveries were, “no stroke of luck,” and it was not merely because they were highly intelligent, but also because they tapped into the collective intelligence that exponentially reveals greater truths of the universe.
What quantum mechanics establishes is a basic set of rules for the universe and these rules influence everything. We can think of classical Newtonian physics, the sort of very basic cause and effect, as centralized thinking. Then, we can think of the shift to the radical and confounding and brilliant world of quantum physics, as the shift to decentralized thinking.
When talking about quantum physics, a topic that has been mentioned here before, we must remember that it is so radical and hard to accept, that Feng Han actually walked away from studying it to start a business only to return many years later and finish his education. Quantum mechanics turns the world upside down and allows what we believe are static objects to be in two places at once. Just as a decentralized ledger can appear in many places at once, this science has a famous theory that a cat could be both dead and alive at the same time. In this field, we enter into the very dream-like science of abstract thinking, decentralized physicality, and border on the sublime and spiritual interpretations of the universe we mostly take for granted as our perceived home. But in discussing all of this, and our path to Elastos, which is starting to seem not to be the shortest one, we must understand that all of these ideas and phenomenon are connected quite literally. When we end on an operating system that can decentralize the entire internet and allow our data to be in many places at once instead of stored in one place, we see that this idea is part of the flow of the cosmos and not some far fetched idea. This is a good time to remember that Adam Smith, Darwin, and Einstein, were all met with resistance and disbelief at their ideas which we can see all share some common themes. The vision of Elastos is a successor to these ideas and Feng Han is one of our vocal links to point this out. Where we are headed on the global internet and the global economy must be looked at with an educated viewpoint of how we got to where we are and what radical and new discoveries we will make, many of which will involve computers, whether they be a literal computer or the human computer, whether they be the collective network os or the collective network human mind.
So what is quantum mechanics in a sentence? Feng Han says it was best described to him by a woman who was not a scientist, but had been exposed to the field since she was a child. She defined it by saying, “Behind the visible world, there is another invisible world.”
This sentence gave him chills.
Then, he began to break out in a cold sweat.
Here it was. A definition so simple and yet so infinite. The invisible hand. The invisible intuition of the ants and the bees. The invisible work of evolution. The invisible and astounding unbelievability of the sub-atomic world. Behind the visible world…there is another invisible world. When saying that sentence out loud…what door begins to open in our mind?
This idea that there are invisible processes at work in the universe, when combined with the scientific concept of non-locality, the idea that things can be at more than one place at a time, sets the framework that the universe is interconnected and decentralized and that the mechanisms in our world that go with this concept begin to adhere to an automatic and autonomous efficiency.
With a framework this profound, Feng began to contextualize some of the more spiritual ideas he had heard of as a scientist but dismissed earlier in life. From the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu,
“The nameless is the origin of heaven and earth. While naming is the origin of the myriad of things.”
“All things in the cosmos arise from being. Being arises from non-being.”
“The great sound is hard to hear. The great form has no shape.”
Or even from the Bible, “What is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Feng said, “Before I felt like these sayings didn’t have any logic to them. Nothing should just be nothing. How could “something,” you, give rise to “nothing?” On the surface, this is a paradoxical proposition. But from the perspective of non-locality, if we look at the phrase “presence and absence produce each other,” it naturally makes sense. Nothing, isn’t the absence of stuff, but rather, the absence of visible stuff.”
Feng also met Buddhists that told him his lectures were aligned with their beliefs. He was puzzled at first. “I got a clear sense that Siddhartha Guatama’s perception of the world was certainly non-local…He believed that the world that you see is fake. And what is real? Buddhism believes that “emptiness” is real and is the essence of the world.”
The yin and yang, the visible and the invisible, Newtonian and quantum physics, the visible internet and the underlying data and code that makes it up, the Newtonian internet of today and the new quantum internet that is coming, all of these are really one and not two. This balance is what Feng realized permeates everything. This is the invisible decentralization that is the protocol of the universe. Those who know this tap into it and change the world by changing the way they think about the world.
“Many people are starting to become aware that 95% of the universe is made up of dark matter and dark energy and only about 5% of the universe is made up of stuff we can actually see…Buddhism calls it emptiness, and Lao Tzu calls it nothingness. According to Lao Tzu, the state of nothingness is in fact the most fundamental state of the universe—a state of non-local quantum superposition.”
So how does computational thinking, quantum mechanics, and the decentralized universe relate to the smart economy and blockchain and thus Elastos?
The question, is blockchain just “tulip mania,” has been asked not only to Feng Han but to many who believe in the future of blockchain. To answer this question thoroughly, we must consider all of what has been discussed in this section up until now, and truthfully, even more.
Feng Han came up with a definition of the smart economy with Dr. Zhou Ziheng, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Finance and Banking and a consultant for Ali Research at Alibaba. Ziheng has studied the phenomenon of the internet economy in relation to Alipay and Wechat Pay.
We begin by looking at the Big Bang of Production as first expressed at the onset of the first Industrial Revolution, and travel up until recently with the Big Bang of Transactions as first expressed in the e-commerce sector of our online economy.
Prior to the Industrial Revolution, scarcity ruled. However, once production could go one at all hours of the day, and society could begin to connect production with transportation, there was a Big Bang and the economy flourished. With this came the assembly line, a concept attributed to Henry Ford. Today, that manifestation can be seen in recent reports that Amazon workers are severely underpaid and given far too small breaks from their factory jobs resulting in an efficiency of production by means of inhumane working conditions. This has been the case throughout history and continues in the age of e-commerce.
Ziheng’s research uncovered that production did not always equal good economic conditions. While more and more goods were produced, the goods were not distributed well across areas and resulted in poverty and overproduction of things like food that then went to waste. Production increased, but this did not always have an efficient way of being distributed. In the case of milk, production increased, but logistics were not put in place and milk was frequently dumped out by the bucket in the first half of the 20th century including during the economic disharmony of The Great Depression. Logistics are needed to accompany production. All sound economic systems need the right infrastructure to work well. It is infrastructure that works with production. Elastos is clearly building the infrastructure of the future internet, and concepts like supply chain management systems come to mind with the onset of blockchain to help enable these logistics.
What is happening today and what has never happened before, is the Big Bang of Transactions. Ziheng’s research showed that the real bottleneck in production throughout history was sales. “The computational speed at this station was very slow, causing computational congestion, and sales were oftentimes unable to keep up with the pace of the production sector. Something emerged from the sudden arrival of the internet and from Jack Ma and his crew. They finally found a way to create the Big Bang of Transactions. It became possible to transact 24 hours a day, regardless of time or location. The Big Bang of Transactions allowed the computational speed of the entire market’s systems transactions sector to suddenly speed up.”
“The introduction of computers and after that, robots, thoroughly automated the manufacturing process, replacing processes that had originally relied on manual labor. For Zhou Ziheng’s second point, he later clarified for me that the essence of the Big Bang of Transactions lies in computational thought. The entrance of large-scale computing power, internet and AI into this area is analogous to the first generation handicraft workshop production developing into the era of mass production, both firsts in human history. The application of the internet and computing power to transactions marked the beginning of the Big Bang of Transactions. Next, the third point is the entrance of computing power, internet and AI into payments. Traditional payments were also a manual process. You had to fish the money out, the seller would have to count the bills, and the bills needed to go back to the bank, an almost entirely manual process. If you wanted to conduct transactions, then you would frequently need to go to the bank. Now, it is basically just a program, and once the program is done scanning a QR code, your payment is complete.”
“Popular restaurants in China all have QR codes. This means that the payment sub-segment of transactions has also begun to be automated, because the market will automatically have this feature. Once the cost of the market’s transaction segment sharply decreases, its efficiency will experience a major increase. Like wild grass, its growth will be unstoppable. In summary, these things all connect to create a picture of China moving forward to the global forefront. Large-scale cloud computing, internet, AI, and automated programs are entering the areas of traditional manual transactions and financial payments right now. Don’t take this lightly. In China, we don’t really have a sense. As long as you have your cell phone, you can scan to pay anywhere.”
All of these new technologies, cloud computing, AI, and automated payments, when combined with the new blockchain based network OS internet, are creating a new industrial revolution and are pushing our world towards an automated decentralized internet smart economy.
“All human transaction activities, including financial activities, can all be traced back to a kind of executable computer program. This is happening in the new internet economy right now. Now, naturally one of our frequent topics of discussion, we ask if blockchain could make it possible for the economy to become fully-automated, without a central point and fully decentralized. In reality, our analysis tells us that blockchain could make it possible. At first, the automatic economy needs a cryptocurrency system to issue, to clear, to ledger, to audit automatically by a computational thinking method. Bitcoin is the first one try to solve such a problem.”
We proposed a definition for the smart economy, which we defined as a fully automated economy, or a computation system that uses the internet, cloud computing, big data, blockchain and AI to automatically execute Adam Smith’s basic protocol of a free market economy. Within this economic system, the peak of so-called computing power and programming will be the large-scale introduction of artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies into the market’s transaction sector.
“The existence of blockchain and AI will, in theory, allow us to enter the era of a true smart economy, which is fully-automated and thoroughly based on computational thinking. Fundamentally, the fact that it will no longer require centralization will solve several major problems. First of all, it will solve these problems by using decentralized IDs, registering your identity, using cryptography and full-network ledgers. The same goes for decentralized storage, and following this, decentralized property will also naturally exist too, at which time the questions of to whom a set of data belongs to will become clear. Data and code will become a person’s property, becoming a tool for each person to realize their future wealth. Any valuation for innovations in this space will be quick and effective (because the data and code can be authenticated and exchanged).”
But what is the glue that ties together the automatic and decentralized computational nature of the universe with the vision of how the internet is going to exceedingly thrust our entire global society and economy into a self-running system?
The answer: the smart contract.
“Decentralized smart contracts are contracts which are automatically executed. To complete a contract today, we must rely upon offline agencies, such as a court or arbitration, but in the future, contracts will probably be automatically executed by computational programming, constituting a fully-automated economy.”
Think of a smart contract like a giant vending machine. When a certain requirement is met, the contract executes automatically. This is the revolution of smart contracts plus blockchain, and when combined with the network operating system and the entirely new and modern decentralized internet, some interesting questions emerge.
Is the entire universe itself a smart contract executed on a temporally near-infinite ledger?
This, of course, is a symbolic and metaphorical question, and not literal, but it raises the question…is technology finally beginning to reflect the autonomous computational nature of our universe, our ecosystems, and much of global society like the invisible hand of the economic markets? Is the invisible becoming visible like a thought from the unconscious emerging like bubbles from a dream into the subconscious and then to the surface of consciousness itself? Feng Han is describing an automatic agency of finance and programability in our systems that already exist in our ecosystems. These questions are not a leap but merely observation and a connecting of the dots of research that includes Einstein, Adam Smith, and the ecological organizations of insects and animals and physics. If they all have so much in common, then why would our internet not share the same qualities if we are the ones who are building it?
This is where Elastos is the heir to the decentralized universe. The internet is already the physical symbol of connection and computational thought. Yet as we have said before, it currently is plagued with centralized data servers, hacking, and corporate control. It is anything but a beehive or a free market or a quantum light wave. But that is changing.
“Actually, a regular person is usually pretty ignorant, thinking that concepts like wealth, time and space are already defined and are not things that need to be reexamined.”
If wealth, space, and time need to be reexamined, then certainly the internet does too. This reexamining is what Elastos is all about.
What happens when the entire world becomes a cosmic vending machine of sorts? When we can all simply transact with a smart contract and execute exponential exchanges of data and value creating a booming global economy without borders and without time and space to slow us down. This is a world economic boom. This is what is coming. This is why we need a new internet infrastructure. This is why we need the best developers in the world to build with us and the best projects in the world to join us.
This idea that our entire universe is one infinite smart contract, a program executed contract with protocols at work that enable the universe, the sub-atomic world, nature, our economy, and now our internet to run automatically, is worth sitting down and thinking about before you merely accept or dismiss blockchain and the new internet. But we must keep in mind that our current internet is not nearly smart enough and does not work nearly well enough for the whole to expand and grow at the rapid rate our technology is. The internet needs to be decentralized and automated and smart for it to fulfill its potential and transform our global society. This is the industrial revolution that has already begun, powered by IoT, powered by digital payments, powered by blockchain, powered by a decentralized peer to peer network and an ability to own and store your own decentralized data…and it can be powered by Elastos and the people who make up its community.
“I was chatting with the Vice President of CISCO (China) at the Qinghua East Gate Cafe when suddenly I had a thought. What will globalization be like in the future, I asked him. Globalization will mean governing the entire world through programs. I believe that in their dealings with each other, many countries will rely on programs to execute automatically, but at the start, everyone will have agreed to it, and then the program will be executed. The Vice President of CISCO (China) completely agreed, because now, you know, international disputes are common and solving them is massively difficult. First of all, every country has different laws, there are problems with religion, culture and race and in reality, executing a contract on a global scale is not very effective. If you are counting on a lawsuit in court to enforce the contract, you have almost no chance. But in the future, if humanity is inclined to move towards programmatic execution, how much do you think the efficiency of the global economy would need to increase? The future would truly be wonderful. Everyone would save so much time, fewer disputes would occur and anyways, programs would be executed at the right time, so it wouldn’t be up to you. I don’t care what your religion is, I don’t care what your culture is, I don’t care what your hobbies are — none of it matters. This is why decentralized smart contracts will truly be a major trend of the future and later on, if we really do have a world government, I can’t think of a better method of governance than this. World government would be impossible with the current method of human government because its efficiency wouldn’t be able to serve billions of people.”
Blockchain and smart contracts will change our human being’s organizing method. In the future, our global society will be more like ants and bees, and not like some kind of dynasty. It’s computational thinking.
All of this led Feng Han to embrace Rong Chen’s idea of the new internet.
“Windows, the Microsoft operating system, something we still use today, is fundamentally a piece of standalone software, designed for use by one PC. But then in 1998, the rise of the internet was certain, yet unpredictable. If your machine or operating system couldn’t get online, then it would no longer be useful. How could you solve this problem? They treated the internet as a computer application that was part of the operating system. The browser was able to go online, solving the problem of how to get on the internet. But although this solution was able to temporarily handle the problem, there was one last fatal problem: safety. All applications running on operating systems have the potential to be a virus in disguise, exposed under other potential viral attacks also, so websites are easily attacked by dDOS. Once you have been attacked, it’s almost impossible to defend against it. In the future, especially now that we have entered the era of the Internet of Things, every probe and every sensor on IoT technologies are Turing complete and in theory could be used to launch attacks. In the future, dDOS attacks will be even more unstoppable. Last year, half of the entire US National Grid was paralyzed by an attack. Hackers can launch attacks with extremely low costs, so this is no way to do things in the age of the internet. The internet was originally designed to be decentralized, but due to the shortcomings of operating systems, it now had no choice but to become centralized, because only certain “safe” information centers and IP addresses could be trusted.”
“In 1998, Rong Chen had the foresight to propose a simple solution in which the internet was not an application on the operating system, but rather the opposite, where the internet was the foundation. Future operating systems would be based on the internet and would not be standalone machines. This was very advanced thinking for 1998, but today, it seems very normal, because everywhere we look, we see cloud computing. Do you think your phone is a standalone machine? Your computations most likely take place on a different computer.”
“Rong Chen started coming to see me to talk about blockchain. He suddenly realized that without blockchain, his logic wouldn’t be able to work. With safety as the core concept, applications would not be allowed to connect to the internet, which seems safe on the surface, and in practice, when users naturally go online, it would use dial-up to create a P2P connection with the internet. But a fundamental question is how can you trust that the node you are connecting to is safe? What if its ID isn’t safe? What if it is malicious? Suddenly, it was clear. These problems could only be solved with blockchain, which uses decentralized computational thinking and relies on big data to confirm whether a node is safe.”
“Blockchain certainly solves many of the questions we have raised here and in sum, we ultimately have it organized such that the operating system will support the future smart economy. Because they all must provide support on an operating system. It must be safe. If it isn’t safe, would you allow the economy to automatically operate on it?”
“Safety is definitely most important. This includes the financial sector. By saying that it is fully-automated, it sounds nice, but if money is lost, who takes the hit? What could you do if you got hacked? So safety is definitely the first priority. Full automation must be safe. So in the future, Elastos will be able to allow all smart devices to connect to the internet on the Smartweb Powered by Blockchain. A supporting operating system will be needed in the future and to this end, we hope that Elastos will be successful. First of all, China finally has an operating system, fundamentally providing the ultimate solution for transitioning China’s economy from semi-automated to truly fully-automated. Not only will this greatly improve future social governance, but it could also have an impact on the thinking for global governance, including “One Belt One Road.” Of course, the fundamental thing is what it means for each one of us. I believe a very, very important aspect of this is that it will change the state of each person’s finances. Through big transactions, we generate big data and through blockchain, our data and code will become our property safely.”
There is much to digest in this discussion. But if anything is to be taken away, it is the idea that Elastos is part of the future of a decentralized and automated world that will increase efficiency and create wealth globally. From our network operating system to Cyber Republic, our design is in line with all of the areas discussed.
We can think of Cyber Republic as a giant supercomputer. The goal is to grow Elastos and make its community self-running. This enables each one of us to solve problems in unison and build one massive global community that can create a truly gorgeous hive of technology and innovation.
Or, think of our new internet.
To do this, think of one person’s mind as a standalone device OS. It is the centralized control of each person. Isolated, separate, a single little self. But now imagine a network mind OS, like a telepathic ocean of minds all connected where you could interact with other minds and exchange peer to peer thoughts or data and every mind operated in unison to form one vast beautiful mind.
What would you rather have access to, one person’s mind, or millions of minds working as one? This is the network mind OS. Human consciousness as one interconnected decentralized network. This is the smart web of the human mind verses the isolated single device mind. One can be effective, but all of them as one is infinitely more brilliant.
We are entering a fascinating time. We have the onset of several technologies all converging into a very global economy. This is the computational world. Our largest task, create a more efficient, safer, and smarter world. Our individual task…that is up to each one of us who decides to get involved. First, we need to complete the infrastructure, then we can watch the world build on top of solid ground. But as we know from quantum mechanics…what is really solid after all?
Onwards! Upwards! Elastos!
Elastos is hiring full-time and part-time community members for technical and non-technical positions: