只有你真正需要时才会使用区块链

Don't Use a Blockchain Unless You Really Need One

只有你真正需要时才会使用区块链

Last month I had the plum assignment of interviewing Naval Ravikant for CoinDesk's Most Influential in Blockchain 2017 series. During our conversation, the AngelList co-founder shared an insight that I just couldn't fit into the profile, but it was pretty mind-blowing, so I'm going to lay it on you here.

为了制作CoinDesk 2017年区块链最有影响力系列,上个月我有幸采访了Naval Ravikant。在谈话中,这位AngelList联合创始人分享了一个观点,这个观点我无法放入正式文稿,但非常新奇,所以就写在了这篇文章里。

Stepping back, for the last few years I've watched the cryptocurrency community's efforts to disrupt finance and, in parallel, the self-sovereign identity movement's attempt to decentralize control of personal data.

回过头看,过去几年我看到了加密货币社区具有扰乱金融的效果,同时也看到了“自我主权”身份认证试图对个人数据进行去中心化控制。

By studying the former, I've learned the importance of censorship-resistance – the inability of a third party to veto a transaction between peers. From the latter I've become familiar with the concept of data portability: the notion that consumers should be able to easily and securely transfer their records from one service to another – be it a bank, a doctor's office or a social media platform – the way they can port their mobile number when they get a new phone.

通过对前者的研究,我认识到抗审查的重要性——第三方不能禁止两人之间的交易。通过后者我了解了数据可移植性这个概念:消费者应该能够轻松安全地将他们的记录从一项服务平台转移到另一项服务平台——无论是银行、医生办公室还是社交媒体平台——就和换手机时可以将手机号码放到新手机上一样。

What Ravikant helped me to grok is that these two ideas are tightly related – and so the fact that both digital currency and digital identity projects are employing distributed ledgers is more than coincidence or fashion.

Ravikant让我深刻了解到的是,这两种想法是紧密相关的,因此数字货币和数字身份项目都采用分布式账本不仅仅是巧合或是时尚。

Because you don't use a blockchain unless you really need it.

因为只有你真正需要时才会使用区块链。

Despite some of the hype, blockchains are "incredibly inefficient," Ravikant said. "It's worth paying the cost when you need the decentralization, but it's not when you don't."

尽管有一些炒作,Ravikant认为区块链“效率非常低”,“当你需要去中心化时,付出一些代价是值得的,当你不需要时就不值得了。”

Walled gardens

围墙里的花园

Most CoinDesk readers are probably familiar with the usefulness of decentralization in a monetary context (and if you're not, take a look at recent articles about cryptocurrency adoption in Iran, Venezuela, Russia and, ahem, the alt-right). The neutrality, censorship-resistance and openness of a permissionless network mean it will attract the odious along with the oppressed, and the software doesn't decide which is which.

大多数CoinDesk的读者可能都熟悉在货币环境中去中心化的有效性(如你不知道,看看最近关于伊朗、委内瑞拉、俄罗斯采用加密货币的文章)。一个中立性、抗审查以及开放的公有网络意味着将吸引那些受压迫的人和作恶之人,而软件并不能决定谁是谁。

But why is decentralization worthwhile in the data use case?

那么为什么在数据使用案例中去中心化是有价值的呢?

"Today, every piece of content and media you have is living somewhere owned by somebody," Ravikant explained. "Your data is inside Facebook, your photos are inside a Google silo or an Apple silo."

Ravikant 解释道:“今天,你拥有的每一份内容和媒体都存放于某个地方,属于某个人。你的数据在Facebook内部,你的照片存在谷歌或苹果的存储器里。”

Then the conversation took a turn that I have to admit made me roll my eyes at first.

然后谈话发生了转变,不得不承认,刚开始我是不以为然的。

"If someone creates a new Pokemon card game or a Magic the Gathering card game" online, he continued (cue my eye-roll), the characters are "living and owned by a certain company in a certain format. You can't just go and reuse those assets."

他继续说,“如果有人在网上创造了新的口袋妖怪纸牌游戏或者魔幻收集卡片游戏。这些人物角色以某种格式存于并归属于某个特定公司。你不能直接重复使用这些资产账户。”

This is why CryptoKitties, the app running atop ethereum that allows users to buy, collect, sell and "breed" unique digital pets, is more than just a goof. Although it's not a fully decentralized app, Ravikant said, it offers a glimmer of hope for such an innovation.

而加密猫这个APP在以太坊上允许用户购买、收集、出售以及“喂养”独特的数字宠物,这些行为不仅仅是消磨时间这么简单。Ravikant认为,虽然加密猫不是完全的去中心化APP,但是它为这种创新提供了一丝希望。

"Those assets are on the blockchain and you own that kitty and anyone can show up and remix that asset," Ravikant said. "They could put your CryptoKitty into a different kind of game," say a fighting game.

他说:“这些资产在于区块链上,你拥有那只猫,而任何人可以出现并重组那个资产。他们可以把你的加密猫放入不同类型的游戏”,比如一个战斗类型的游戏。

Yeah, I still thought, so what? But then Ravikant zoomed out the lens and talked about the broad implications of this seemingly trivial example.

是的,我还在想,那又怎么样?接着Ravikant放大了角度,谈论了这个看上去很普通的例子后面的广泛影响。

"Assets that normally would have been in a silo are, in a sense, censorship-resistant to developers," Ravikant said. "New developers come along and as long as you, the user, agree to share your content, they can reuse your content to give you new applications."

他说:“某种意义上,资产账户通常在储存器上,对于开发者来说是无法审查的。新的开发者和你(用户)一样,你同意共享内容,他们才能使用你的内容,用于新的应用。”

Hence the potential of a distributed database. "Imagine if every mobile app shared the same database underneath, or had access to the same data, what they could do," Ravikant said.

因此,分布式数据库很有潜力。“想象一下,如果每个移动APP共享一个底层数据库,或者接入相同的数据,那么他们可以做什么” ,Ravikant说。

And then he tied it all together.

然后他把这些综合起来。

"All your data today is censored in terms of what boundaries it can cross and what applications it can live in," he said. "These silos are a form of censorship."

他说:“今天你的所有数据都是经过审查的,包括所能够涉及到的领域和存在的应用上。这些存储器就是一种审查形式。”

Whoa.

哇哦。

Better off centralized?

更好的中心化?

To be sure, Ravikant has skin in the game here (or, if you prefer to think of it this way, he's talking his book) – he was an early investor in Blockstack, a startup trying to build a new decentralized internet where users control their data. Blockstack also used CoinList, the platform Ravikant founded and spun out from AngelList, to conduct its token sale last year.

可以肯定的是,Ravikant在这场游戏中投入了很多(或者,你也可以这样想,他站在自己的立场上说了这些)——他是Blockstack的早期投资者,Blockstack是一个试图建立新的去中心化互联网的初创公司,用户可以控制他们自己的数据。Blockstack还使用了CoinList,Ravikant创建了这个平台并从AngelList中分离出来,在去年进行了代币销售。

And unlike digital cash, identity is not yet a clear-cut, proven use case for blockchains. You can read some skeptical takes on the matter from some of the smartest members of the identerati here, here and here.

与数字现金不同的是,身份识别并不是一个明确的、已经被证实的区块链用例。你可以从identerati 的一些最聪明的成员里得到一些怀疑的观点。

Some even question the need for decentralization in this context.

有些人甚至质疑在这种情况下是否需要去中心化。

"Large services that control large portions of a market gain power over individuals, but large businesses tend to stay in business longer and have more resources in case users have problems," noted a report last year from the blockchain and smart contracts discussion group of the Kantara Initiative, an identity trade group.

一个身份交易团队Kantara Initiative,其区块链和智能合约讨论组在去年的一份报告中指出,“大型服务平台控制了市场的大部分份额,一旦用户出现问题大企业往往在业务上会花更长的时间并且也拥有更多的资源。”

"Further, there is a long tradition of innovation in client-side applications and centralized services meant to be employed by individuals for the purpose of their own empowerment," the report continued, citing PGP encryption and ad blockers as examples.

“此外,在客户端应用程序和中心化服务器上存在长期传统的创新,这意味着用户个人授权才能使用。” 报告以PGP加密和广告拦截为例继续说明。

Then again, how many people do you know outside of tech circles who use PGP, or even know what it is? Heck, how many techies you know use it?

再者,在技术圈之外有多少人使用PGP,或者知道它是什么?你知道有多少技术人员在使用?

Perhaps this is revealed preference, and most people just don't care about autonomy – but wouldn't they, if they took a second to think it through?

也许这是揭示偏好,大多数人只是不关心自治权——但如果他们花一秒钟思考这个问题,他们会不会这样做呢?

Clearly, the cause of empowering individuals in a digital world has a long way to go, and now is hardly the time for complacency. Which is why Ravikant's vision is so captivating.

显然,在数字世界中个人授权还有很长的路要走,现在还不是自满的时候。这就是Ravikant的愿景如此迷人的原因。

"We're going to see a giant remixing of the internet as all the data becomes unshackled from the silo that it's in," he told me. In the future, he concluded, "any data you own ... will be under your control and you'll be able to pass it into any app."

他告诉我:“我们将看到互联网大混合,就如所有数据从存储器中解放出来。你拥有的任何数据……在你的控制下,都能把它们传到任何APP里。”

I sure hope so.

我确实希望如此。

  • 发表于:
  • 原文链接:http://kuaibao.qq.com/s/20180115G0X0A700?refer=cp_1026

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