Angie Lau: 2019 — the 12 months blockchain expertise bought the inexperienced mild from China’s prime boss, Xi Jinping, that set into movement a juggernaut with far-reaching influence. It was now not simply concerning the Chinese language crypto exchanges or crypto miners. It kick-started conversations a few Chinese language central bank-backed digital forex, powering Chinese language cities into the metaverse and a lot extra.
Effectively, none of this could be attainable with out the digital structure this ecosystem wants. And we’re going to speak to somebody who’s very intently concerned in constructing simply this in China. Welcome to Phrase on the Block, the collection that takes a deeper dive into blockchain and all of the rising applied sciences that form our world on the intersection of enterprise, politics and economic system. It’s what we cowl proper right here on Forkast. I’m Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau.
And as we speak we’re in dialog with Yifan He. He’s founder and CEO of Crimson Date Expertise, that’s backing BSN — the Blockchain-based Service Community — in China. Yifan, thanks for becoming a member of us. It’s nice to have you ever on the present.
Yifan He: Thanks, Angie. Thanks for having me.
Lau: Let’s begin from the very starting. For the viewers not too acquainted, what are you and your agency serving to construct BSN? What’s BSN? Let’s begin with the fundamentals. What’s the Blockchain Companies Community that you just’re constructing out? And what’s Crimson Date Expertise, your agency’s position in its improvement?
He: BSN mainly is a mission that we began in China with some native companions from the state-owned enterprise and a few authorities companies. The aim of BSN mainly is as a result of we imagine blockchain expertise is so highly effective. It shoots far past the one use circumstances of cryptocurrency, so it ought to profit all of the IT programs on this planet.
However again in 2018, the whole lot about blockchain was cryptocurrency, in order that’s why we wish to construct a brand new infrastructure. If we combine all types of expertise, together with public chains, however one way or the other simply eliminating cryptocurrency to make that into an interesting IT infrastructure, then all the companies on this planet, all of the households, people, highschool college students can use this infrastructure to simply construct a decentralized software, and it advantages their very own issues. Irrespective of if it’s a enterprise matter, a enterprise course of, or only a highschool pupil mission, in order that’s mainly what we’re attempting to do.
However this can be a large mission as a result of we wish to allow all of the cloud companies to simply undertake BSN infrastructure. So we have to combine all of the APIs (software programming interfaces) from main cloud companies like AWS, Google, Microsoft, Ali Cloud in China, Huawei Cloud.
And in addition, on the similar time, identical to I mentioned, we don’t wish to simply construct one chain, like public chains or material, which all people can (construct). We wish to combine as many blockchain applied sciences as attainable. That’s why we combine virtually all of the permissioned frameworks on this planet. So long as you understand a reputation, we’ve already built-in. Additionally, we combine all the most important public chains into the infrastructure.
So, as a result of what we actually suppose is that it doesn’t matter what you need — it’s simply infrastructure. You’ll be able to construct no matter you need. However as a public chain, we really put it into two classes: one sort of public chain we name ‘crypto-based,’ which is the common Ethereum, common Algorand, common Tezos, so it’s nonetheless for the crypto business, so folks can simply entry nodes of these public chains; the second class we construct we name ‘non-cryptocurrency public chains.’ They’re nonetheless public chains primarily based on in style frameworks like Ethereum, like Polygon, like Cosmos. However for these forms of public chains, we really take out the cryptocurrency from layer-1. So when folks entry these public chains, they pay gasoline with fiat cash at a set charge, which implies it’s nonetheless public infrastructure, however folks can spend, like, a US$0.02 fastened charge to mint NFTs (non-fungible tokens) for his or her conventional enterprise. So what we’re attempting to do is, mainly, in case you want permission, you’ll have it. Should you want the common public chains, you will have it. And in case you want some public chain, however with out crypto, we even have it. So, simply world infrastructure for everyone to make use of at a low price.
Lau: That’s really fascinating, as a result of as we all know proper now, cryptocurrency is absolutely what incentivizes a variety of these blockchain layer-1s. And that’s the ecosystem. However what you’re saying is you can really nonetheless use the general public blockchains by eradicating the cryptocurrency after which simply including a fiat label to it? Isn’t that type of like a stablecoin? How does that really perform? Have you ever created some form of fee layer that permits you to be the middleman between the particular person paying fiat, and you then delivering the crypto funds to an Ethereum, or to a Cosmos, or to different layer-1s? How does that work?
He: Yeah, it’s an excellent query. It’s really how we constructed the entire system. First, the non-cryptocurrency model of the general public chain. It’s mainly a brand new chain. We constructed three new chains primarily based on the prevailing framework, not simply a part of Ethereum. We mainly hard-forked it into three new chains, however really what we did is just taking out the cryptocurrency.
So, when folks use these three non-cryptocurrency public chains, they really use fiat cash. We will settle for bank cards and we are able to additionally settle for USDC anonymously. So we would like folks to make use of these applied sciences anonymously. We don’t even acquire something. So then folks really use USDC to buy a brand new token. On our BSN Spartan Community, it’s referred to as NTT. It stands for non-tradable token, which implies if you buy an NTT at US$1, one NTT equals US$1. However an NTT stays in your pockets — it can’t be transferred.
We have now three public chains proper now, I believe in a single 12 months it’ll go to, like, 20 public chains on the community. Then you’ll be able to really select to transform the NTT into what we name a ‘pockets.’ Contained in the pockets, it’s now not a cryptocurrency, it’s referred to as gasoline credit score, so you’ll be able to really use the NTT solely to transform them into gasoline credit, as a result of for exchanges, the models are totally different. It may very well be 20,000 gasoline credit score on this chain, a 200 gasoline credit score on one other chain. It doesn’t matter — it at all times is $1. You then eat these gasoline credit to execute transactions, deploy your sensible contract, name any sensible contract on the chain, it consumes the gasoline credit score. And in addition, the gasoline credit should not transferable.
So, you then mainly use fiat cash to buy NTT to buy gasoline credit and eat them. After consumption, these gasoline credit really get distributed, so it mainly is the best way common folks use USDT or bank cards.
Lau: As a result of what you’re really doing is essentially lowering it again to the utility of the layer-1, of the particular blockchain protocol, quite than what we’re seeing proper now within the house, the place it’s very speculative. There’s a variety of forwards and backwards. We’re watching worth actions go up and down. What you’re saying is that there’s really a utility layer right here. And everyone knows China’s stance on crypto, so it’s very in step with inner home coverage, however on the similar time recognizing and never ignoring the utility of that blockchain protocol. That’s fascinating.
He: Sure. As a result of we’re attempting to construct BSN into world infrastructure, really the BSN Spartan Community, with the three non-cryptocurrency public chains, they’re outdoors China, as a result of they’re nonetheless public chains. Public chains with out cryptocurrency are nonetheless towards rules inside China, as a result of there’s no KYC (know your buyer), there’s no content material management. There are a lot of issues.
If we run the Spartan Community inside China, it’s nonetheless unlawful, in order that’s why we don’t permit anybody from China to arrange knowledge facilities on the Spartan Community. It’s just for the worldwide market. In order that’s why two days in the past we launched it in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is the house base of the Spartan Community.
And in addition, it’s outdoors China and the goal buyer is conventional IT industries — it’s not the crypto business. We work with virtually 2,000 very well-known Hong Kong firms. The primary time we talked to their IT departments, they understood what we’re attempting to do instantly. It’s at all times arduous to speak with my crypto buddies, (who say,) ‘Why would you even do that?’ However for conventional IT departments, they really instantly perceive this, as a result of the best way we positioned it’s that first, the BSN Spartan Community is mainly a decentralized cloud companies community, so it’s not even about blockchain. We take into account blockchains because the working system inside this decentralized cloud.
Then it turns into a brand new selection for these conventional IT industries. It’s the most important banks in Hong Kong, the most important land builders, the most important lodge chains. They are saying, ‘Okay, now I can really put some knowledge not solely in my back-end system, however in a public surroundings.’ So, for instance, my clients can have a lot, significantly better privateness there. They’ll management a few of their knowledge — not put the whole lot in my back-end system … So, then, for IT departments, there are two selections: one is a back-end system, one is a public system. They’ll select how they construct a part of their IT infrastructure.
Lau: However why wouldn’t they select simply the unique layer-1 protocol, Ethereum, pay with crypto, do all of these functionalities? Why wouldn’t these corporations do exactly that?
He: First, many many corporations — for instance, the banks — one in every of them is constructing use circumstances on Spartan proper now. The financial institution really is HSBC. By their inner regulation and coverage, they can’t contact cryptocurrency. Even when they are saying, ‘Okay, we simply want a bit little bit of cryptocurrency to pay for the gasoline,’ they will’t. And in addition these massive, conventional IT firms — they don’t wish to contact cryptocurrency, both, as a result of what they do is, like, once they use AWS, they only pay the fastened (price). It’s fastened — they know what the associated fee is, so subsequent 12 months it’s very simple for his or her IT departments to place a funds plan collectively. I imply, with cryptocurrency, they do not know how a lot cash they may pay subsequent 12 months.
For 99% of the IT programs on this planet, they only wish to pay for what they use. They don’t wish to become involved in a speculative buying and selling type of enterprise, holding these property. It’s too dangerous for them, and so they don’t care. You’ll say, ‘Okay, holding them, you’ll most likely make some cash.’ They don’t care. That’s not their enterprise.
Lau: And also you’ve forked away to permit this to occur. You’re nonetheless utilizing the fundamental protocol, however the fork is that you just’re not utilizing crypto.
He: Sure, precisely. So, if you actually perceive how the pockets will get the gasoline credit score, after which if you connect with non-cryptocurrency chains, it’s precisely the identical as if you’re utilizing these public chains like Ethereum, Polygon, Cosmos. Name the APIs, how you can deploy sensible contracts, how you can name them and how you can execute transactions. They’re precisely the identical. So in case you undergo our person handbook if you attain ‘how you can use these chains,’ it goes again to the Ethereum person menu.
Lau: How does the Ethereum neighborhood take into consideration this? I imply, all of your crypto buddies are most likely taking a look at you, Yifan, and saying, ‘Are you saying that that is the loss of life of crypto?’
He: No. First, what we’re attempting to do really is to carry blockchain expertise to different industries — not solely keep inside the crypto business. As a result of proper now the cryptocurrency is on layer-1, that makes it really very arduous for blockchain expertise to penetrate conventional IT industries. So, proper now, after we take out the cryptocurrency, it’s very simple for them to just accept. Personally, I nonetheless consider cryptocurrency as only one sort of software constructed with blockchain expertise. There ought to be many, many, many purposes on the market. And in addition, on the Spartan Community, we’re not even towards folks constructing a layer-2 cryptocurrency on the Spartan Community.
Personally, I don’t like cryptocurrency, all people is aware of that. Nevertheless it’s like AWS. All these main firms, they don’t like playing web sites, but when there are methods to legally run a playing web site, they’re superb clients — they welcome them with open arms. We additionally welcome the crypto business to construct a layer-2 crypto on the Spartan Community. To allow them to do no matter. Simply think about if that occurs — on the Spartan Community, the crypto software and the normal purposes, they really co-exist. This may very well be an excellent alternative even for the cryptocurrency business to really hyperlink to the normal IT business. This may very well be one of many methods to take cryptocurrencies to large adoption, what they at all times speak about.
Lau: We’ve talked earlier than, and within the early days of BSN we had a prolonged dialogue, and I keep in mind that one of many issues that was crucial for you and constructing out BSN was, actually, how do you permit enterprise to speed up utilizing this expertise, to seek out the efficiencies internally and interact that means. It was very a lot constructed from an enterprise perspective.
And I notice that as we speak, in 2022, you reached a major milestone on the finish of July this 12 months. Transactions on the BSN Distributed Digital Certificates Community (BSN-DDC) surpassed the worldwide transaction quantity on the Ethereum community. That’s a fairly large deal. You’ve bought companions now like Hyperledger Consensus, Polkadot, Tezos. And BSN is absolutely rising into that world scale that within the early days you had been speaking about. The place are you within the lifecycle of the BSN ecosystem? We’re beginning to see traction. Are we going to proceed to see you broaden partnerships with different protocols and chains?
He: Yeah, in fact. First, you simply talked about the BSN-DDC Community. It’s really the equal of BSN Spartan inside China. So we don’t really promote the BSN-DDC outdoors China as a result of there’s no public chain on that. There are six what we name open permissioned blockchains, so we really convert the general public chains into forks of the general public chain inside China, but it surely’s totally in compliance with Chinese language rules. There’s KYC. If somebody does one thing dangerous, their wallets might be disabled. We have now to do this as a way to run that enterprise. So, solely in China, now we have, like, 1,300 enterprise platforms connecting to the DDC community and there’s 20 million. We have now like 20 million wallets proper now on the DDC community, and the day by day transaction (quantity) each single day is past 1 million transactions.
So, it gave us a variety of confidence within the BSN Spartan Community outdoors China, as a result of all people inside China isn’t associated to the cryptocurrency business. All conventional companies, — 60% of them — are NFT associated, 40% simply utilizing the DDC Community as a decentralized database expertise. We’re going to broaden the DDC Community and the Spartan Community on a regular basis. There are six open, permissioned blockchains on DDC, and 7 new chains are beneath improvement proper now. These embrace Casper and Everscale. And for the Spartan community, we may even improve from three chains to most likely 20 by the tip of subsequent 12 months, as a result of we actually wish to combine all main public chain frameworks into the Spartan Community. So for builders, they’ve a variety of selections.
And in addition between all these chains, they’re really competing with one another. As a result of on the Spartan Community, every chain has its personal operators. Not solely we function the whole lot — we even have a bunch of companions working with us on these chains, so they really can set totally different costs for the NTT to transform to the gasoline credit score, which signifies that with any such competitors, the worth will proceed to drop. Proper now the benchmark is like mining an ordinary (ERC)-721 prices you US$0.03, it’s fastened, however we anticipate by the tip of subsequent 12 months it’ll drop to US$0.01. Finally it’ll be US$0.01 to do a 721 transaction, so then the NFT expertise and public-chain expertise turn into obtainable to all people. A highschool pupil can run an NFT enterprise with, like, US$10 spending every month.
Lau: It’s reasonably priced, but it surely’s the expertise that permits for it. However what’s so notable right here is that inside China, you’re doing extra transaction volumes than the remainder of the world mixed on the Ethereum community. That’s fairly unbelievable. And it exhibits the acceleration within the adoption of the 1,300 corporations which can be presently beneath this community proper now — that’s 1,300, this can be a nation of 1.4 billion — the 1,300 corporations that you just’re working with, that’s simply actually pebbles within the ocean of alternative right here. That’s unbelievable to me. It exhibits, actually, the potential of blockchain expertise. And what does this really imply on a world stage, when these corporations are competing with different enterprise corporations around the globe, at effectivity ranges that will undoubtedly be greater than in case you weren’t engaged on a blockchain community — not essentially yours, however working with blockchain?
He: Sure, that’s really how we are saying this. China actually may very well be a number one drive within the enterprise blockchain business, as a result of many of the corporations outdoors China nonetheless concentrate on DeFi, GameFi, cryptocurrency-related situations, which really are easy situations. The 1 million transactions on the DDC community are literally extra difficult than the 1 million transaction on Ethereum, as a result of on Ethereum virtually all of the transactions are transfers between wallets. As a technical particular person, I take into account that type of execution of information operation quite simple, so simple as attainable.
However there are a variety of transactions on the DDC community. It turns into so difficult. We see sensible contracts with, like, 100 strategies. It’s very advanced. It really brought about a variety of bother on the DDC Community. It breaks down the chain typically. We have to work with chain operators 24 hours, and group collectively to repair them. That’s why the Cosmos framework on the DDC Community has turn into so improved, as a result of they by no means see that type of quantity with these sorts of difficult transactions. So, we’re really serving to these frameworks to enhance much more than public chains, as a result of operators from the Cosmos neighborhood, the CEO who’s sitting on the Cosmos help administrators, she mainly mentioned, ‘Okay, we by no means see this type of visitors and this difficult transaction.’ Then they really spent like two months to repair that. Then it made the complete Cosmos framework turn into a lot, a lot highly effective. We see this type of factor occur in China as a result of there’s no crypto.
Lau: You’re really stress-testing a variety of these protocols in actual life on an enterprise stage, even earlier than they’re technically prepared.
Lau: Yifan, there’s a lot to unpack right here. And I wish to deal with the elephant within the room about China’s cryptocurrency coverage and anonymity, all of that after we come again after this quick break, when Phrase on the Block returns.
However people, you’re simply going to have to attend only a tiny bit longer. This dialog with Crimson Date Expertise founder and CEO Yifan He, who’s constructing out BSN, went just a bit bit longer than our ordinary half-hour. The truth is, it stretched on for near an hour, so we’ve determined to show this right into a particular half one. This was simply half one. You’ve bought to attend for half two, as a result of what we speak about is how non-crypto blockchains work. What’s the long run for non-crypto blockchains? And why it’s essential to spice up the usage of non-crypto public chains from his perspective. What’s really occurring in China? And a lot extra. You’re going to have to attend for half two of this dialog of Phrase on the Block with Yifan He. So, for now, we thanks in your persistence. However I promise you, it’s going to be definitely worth the wait. I’m Angie Lau, Editor-in-Chief of Forkast. Till the following time.