Qtum is Invited to be Interviewed by CCN: Technology Fearless Winter
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(Google Translate, original article at https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/_9H6vi29kEIjzA-3e1cExQ)
The founder of Qtum was interviewed by China's famous blockchain media CCN (China Crypto News) in November. Recently, Zhong Wenbin, technical director of Qtum China, accepted a technical interview with CCNQ. There are more exciting topics to discuss about Qtum technology's current progress and future technology direction.
Q. Please simply talk to us about the main technological innovations achieved by the Qtum this year. What will be the focus of next year's work? What are the core challenges?
A. In the past year, Qtum has achieved a lot of technological innovations: Qtum x86 virtual machine prototyping and Qtum Enterprise Edition testing can be counted as milestones. Qtum x86 will be complemented by development tools such as various code bases and standard libraries in the future, significantly reducing the difficulty of developing smart contracts and decentralized applications. In order to meet the needs of more and more traditional enterprises for the use of blockchain technology, the team developed Qtum Enterprise QtumX to create higher performance while ensuring scalability. These two directions are also the top priority for next year's development work. We will integrate the x86 architecture into the main network and officially release Qtum Enterprise Edition in 2019. In addition to the Qtum x86 virtual machine and QtumX, we have added many other technologies or tools to the Qtum ecosystem, such as Qtum Lightning Network, Qtum Payment Channel, Qtum Plasma, Qtum-IPFS, etc., which are currently open source on our GitHub.
Industry challenges come from two sources. For the technology itself, such as the development of Qtum x86 virtual machines, there are still many difficult problems to solve, such as how to easily adopt more programming languages, or to enable developers to enhance the capabilities of the most commonly used tools (such as GDB – GNU Project debugger). Although these technical details are more complicated, I think Qtum will eventually solve it because we have enough technical reserves and experienced developers in the blockchain field. Another bigger challenge is not just for Qtum, but for the entire blockchain industry. This is why blockchain technology lacks practical use cases. Whether it's Lightning Network, Plasma, or other innovative technologies, such as the new consensus mechanism, it's mature at the technical level, but it's hard to find real use cases now. Anyway, I think the whole society may need time to find the true value of the blockchain. As a public chain project, Qtum will continue to focus on building a better blockchain infrastructure.
Q. What do you think of the current DApp application market? In the last interview, you mentioned the emphasis on the application of blockchain technology in the field of Internet of Things. In your opinion, what are the barriers to this block? The white paper also mentions the DApp development platform in the construction of finance, Internet of Things, supply chain, social games and other industries. Which areas do you expect to be the first to be applied?
A. The biggest problem with DApp is the lack of real and tangible application scenarios, because blockchain technology is difficult to find the right fit in many areas. For example, the biggest bottleneck in the IoT+ blockchain may still be in the IoT segment. This requires more IoT experts to improve their understanding of the blockchain and find a real pain point because the Internet of Things itself is a very large industries require IT expertise. Blockchain, like Bitcoin, is a self-consistent system. Everything inside the system has been running well and has strong currency attributes from the start. Therefore, it was first used in some financial industries. However, when it is in line with the world under the chain, especially the real world, there are many challenges besides the blockchain itself. In my opinion, DApps may first land in the gaming and IP industries, because these industries have Internet genes and a large number of users, and the combination with the blockchain can really make game developers, players, content publishers and their audiences win-win. However, the next killer DApp may take more time.
Q. In the interview one year ago, you mentioned: "We have a mobile first strategy", please talk about the development of the Go mobile strategy of the Qtum blockchain?
A. Mobile Internet users will undoubtedly bring a lot of traffic to the blockchain ecosystem. Based on this, we have developed a Qtum C-side wallet that supports Android and iOS, not only has basic wallet capabilities, but also supports smart contract deployment on mobile devices. It should be pointed out that both the basic wallet function and the contractual interaction are implemented in a completely decentralized manner. This is mainly due to Qtum's support for the SPV protocol. The x86 virtual machine being developed by Qtum will also implement SPV verification of contract status, enabling mobile devices to truly become the entry point of the blockchain world.
Q. Congratulations on the success of the Qtum Hackathon, with 1,000 participants from 75 countries. What do you think about the value of this event?
A. Thank you! You are right, more than 1,000 developers have participated in the hackathon, and there are indeed many impressive projects built and grown on the Qtum ecosystem. Qtum has a global developer community, and the hackathon aims to provide a platform for these developers to encourage more blockchain enthusiasts to join. We took this opportunity to expand the reach of Qtum and also spawned many excellent developers and projects. Developers have leveraged their talents on the mascot marathon, creating many new application scenarios for Qtum and optimizing Qtum's infrastructure. After the hackathon, we will continue to work with excellent project developers to help them complete the project and eventually land, and even provide the necessary technical support for them to optimize new ideas for the entire ecosystem.
Q. From the roadmap we can see several important pieces of information: the new marketing plan, QtumX, x86 Testnet, can you introduce us? What is the meaning of the "x86 Virtual Machine" online?
A. We will focus on the global market and help build new systems for people to use global collaboration. We will even help more AWS-like enterprise access blockchain technology services, expanding the developer community and developer platforms. Qtum x86 virtual machine has already mentioned that it can support mainstream development languages such as C/C++/Rust, provide standard libraries, system calls and other features, and is expected to truly push smart contract development to the mainstream; Qtum Enterprise Edition will be more efficient. The PoA consensus mechanism serves more decentralized scenarios to meet the real needs of more enterprise users. In addition, we hope that the Qtum x86 virtual machine will become a challenger to the rules of the smart contract development industry and ultimately empower the developers. Qtum x86 virtual machines can also be used for other project development, and we are happy to see other projects using Qtum x86 virtual machines as smart contract solutions in the future.
Q. Qtum and Amazon AWS China Cloud Services have recently reached a cooperation, can we specifically introduce the role of Qtum in cooperation? Which types of partners are you currently looking for?
A. This collaboration will help AWS users develop and publish smart contracts quickly, efficiently, and economically using Amazon Machine Image (AMI). After Qtum and AWS officially announce a partnership, Qtum and AWS will work together to get users from customers. With market feedback and better guidance for customers who don't have much software development resources themselves. Qtum will provide AWS with a powerful blockchain infrastructure with good test performance, and AWS will bring more enterprise users and their needs to the Qtum ecosystem to achieve a win-win situation. In addition to AWS, we are also looking for more partners focused on blockchain technology innovation to create more practical use cases for blockchain technology.
Q. What kind of Chinese market strategy and overseas market strategy does Qtum adhere to? Which countries and regions are you focusing on? What international organizations have you joined?
A. Qtum focuses on the global market. At present, due to the difference between overseas developers and the market environment, we also have local market plans tailored to the local conditions. The focus is on the United States, China, Korea, Europe, etc., which have a large number of communities. Qtum's current technology alliances include Tallinn University of Technology in Estonia, Columbia University and the University of California at Berkeley, and Xi'an Jiaotong University in China. In addition, Qtum is a member of the Trusted IOT Alliance.
Q. How do you see the impact of the EU's formal implementation of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) on blockchain? Can Qtum currently support DApp development in compliance with GDPR regulations?
A. Given that the blockchain and the General Data Protection Regulations are currently incompatible, meaning that one of them may have to make changes, blockchain developers can use new technologies to anonymize personal data, thereby freeing the blockchain. The scope of the General Data Protection Regulations, but Qtum will find a balance between diligent technology development and market regulation.
Q. Can you talk about the differences between China and Europe in the blockchain field, and what is the status of China's blockchain application technology in the international market?
A. I think the blockchain technology itself will be borderless in the future because most of them are open source, and anyone can easily access project code on the Internet. However, the blockchain industry is different in China and Europe. There are many reasons for this. One of the important reasons is that the government's attitudes and policies on the blockchain are different. At present, the blockchain project in China is more likely to focus on the practical application of the technology, precisely because this is encouraged by the Chinese government. China's blockchain application technology has many advantages and is relatively leading in the international market. I believe that more and more blockchain applications will land in China in the future.
Q. The work paper recently published by the central bank, "What can the blockchain do, can't do," says that there are many governance shortcomings in the blockchain, such as the impact of Token's price fluctuations on its incentives, and smart contracts. Not smart is not a contract, Token's rapid liquidation mechanism affects the interests of the project investment and financing, etc., can you talk about your views?
A. This working paper points out some limitations of the blockchain, which is somewhat meaningful. As I mentioned earlier, blockchain is a self-consistent system, which means that we may need extra work to apply it to the underlying application scenario. Specific to this working paper, for the governance part, the price fluctuation of the token may temporarily break the balance of the incentive system, but in the end it will reach a new balance. I think this is not a problem. The smart contract is just the name of the project's deployment and runtime on the blockchain. The statement that "smart contracts are not smart and not contracts" is correct in some sense, but smart contracts are essentially a program. It can prove its authenticity without authorization. I think this is a major innovation in human history. As for the liquidation mechanism, it is more of a financial or regulatory issue than a blockchain itself. In the long run, people finally find that the perfect application of the blockchain is only a matter of time.
Q. What do you think about the recent news of the Beijing Financial Work Bureau Director Huo Xuewen warning the STO (i.e., securitization Token issue) risk warning?
A. Qtum is currently able to support any Token at the technical level, but only at the technical level, and especially for Token securitization, we can't provide too much extra support. I think this is a regulatory issue, not a technical one. We will consider this aspect of development unless the regulations and policies are clear.
Q. How do you see the private chain?
A. Private chains and alliance chains have some special use cases for enterprises, but in my opinion, most of the current use cases have no very important practical significance, because most of them do not even need to use blockchain technology. In a panel discussion at Devcon, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin once said that IBM's corporate blockchain did not actually address industry pain points, and I agree with him.
Q. What do you think of the "ternary paradox" of the blockchain? What technical methods does the Qtum blockchain use to combine decentralization with improved TPS? Can you explain the concept of Global TPS you proposed?
A. There are many versions of the so-called "impossible triangle" in the blockchain field, and there is no theoretical basis yet. In our view, the degree of decentralization and efficiency is a contradiction. The Qtum project itself is more focused on decentralization, and then considers expansion under the premise of ensuring decentralization. Because the efficiency and fairness of distributed networks are both ends of the sky. Give the distributed network a concept of GTPS, Global Transaction Per Second, GTPS = Amount of Peer Nodes * TPS, GTPS indicator reflects two characteristics of the network, 1) degree of decentralization of the network, 2) single node processing speed. In the case of different network topologies, it is simply a comparison of TPS, which makes it impossible to judge the merits of a blockchain network.
Q. Do you think that decentralization in the blockchain industry should consider sacrifice? Because for many people, decentralization still seems to violate the original values, and even to some extent hinder their investment in this industry. Will this concept change in the future?
A. Yes, we need to find a balance between centralization and decentralization to advance the faster and broader implementation of blockchain technology. Our QtumX Enterprise Edition is also a solution to this problem, enabling companies to enter both the real world and the virtual world. At present, although many decentralized systems have been able to be more trustworthy than manual intervention, there are still many people who are skeptical, but I believe that this concept may change in the near future.
Q. An interesting question, because it is also related to the name of the Qtum, what do you think about the challenges of blockchain technology in the development of quantum technology?
A. The development of quantum computers is the first to challenge the economies of cryptocurrencies, but all existing communication protocols and all the lowest-level protocols of computers. If there is a quantum computer, then many of our encryption algorithms will be invalidated. But before it happens, I think we will definitely create a lot of anti-quantum computer encryption and encryption algorithms to keep up with this change and adapt to it. So I think this is not a problem worth worrying about now.
Q. We know that the Qtum Foundation has invested in a number of high-quality projects in the industry. What are your core investment considerations?
As a non-profit organization, the Qtum Foundation supports the project mainly to promote technology and ecological development. For the time being, we are more concerned with the breakthrough of the underlying technology and the exploration of the application of blockchain technology.