Looking back on 2021, what a magical year. The epidemic does not look like it will stop. The number of confirmed diagnoses in the United States has exceeded 1 million in a single day, and there are more outbreaks in the country. It seems that the virus will continue to mutate without end. On the other hand, domestic policies are changing. The hot property market at the beginning of the year was hit to the floor by a series of policies. Mortgage interest rates soared, but in the second half of the year, the policies were loosened again, but the polarization of the property market became more and more obvious. In addition, the Internet industry has also experienced a series of shocks. Anti-monopoly investigations and anti-tax evasion sledgehammers are hanging overhead, and the education and training industry has experienced a bloody storm. The concept of the Metaverse suddenly caught fire in the virtual currency at home and abroad. From a personal point of view, the times seem to be calm, but undercurrents are surging under the calm, and a little more thought makes one shudder. We are in the torrent of the times, people have to think more.
Just imagine the current background: the epidemic continues, China and the United States continue to confront each other, and the US dollar is printing money frantically. Behind this is actually two super players on this planet wrestling. In addition to the suppression of technologies such as Huawei that we can clearly see, the confrontation in the financial sector that we cannot see will not be calmer than in other areas. The key point of this is the blockchain and virtual currency. The total market value of mainstream virtual digital currencies such as Bitcoin is now in the trillions of dollars, not to mention many air coins that are completely cutting leeks. Currency is the crux of the financial battleground, but the U.S. and China have almost entirely different policies. I’ve been thinking about the logic behind this lately, but before that I’ll talk about blockchain, the Metaverse, and Web3. Compared with the seemingly virtual currency war, these are actually not so virtual.
I am also a blockchain practitioner. In addition to my essential work being closely related to the blockchain, I usually come into contact with some news from the “currency circle”. Is it a revolution or a bubble? I do have some thoughts of my own, and these thoughts are gradually becoming clearer. I hope this article can give those friends who are not very familiar with blockchain a preliminary understanding of blockchain, and also hope that friends who are already familiar with blockchain can see an interesting and interesting perspective. Today, let’s chat from my point of view and communicate with you.
This article will illustrate my point of view from four points:
- Are virtual currencies such as Bitcoin a bubble? Is there any value?
- Idealism in Web3 built with blockchain.
- The currency war behind the digital yuan, the confrontation between countries may be more violent than we think.
- Can we live in a Metaverse? Personal choice under the tide of the times.
1. Is Bitcoin a bubble? Is there any value?
Are virtual currencies like Bitcoin a bubble? I don’t think it’s possible to say whether it is or not, only whether it is. Then you say that it is impossible without it, there must be, and it is huge. Especially many air coins and altcoins other than Bitcoin are huge bubbles. Not to mention the pile of token names in the square dance aunt’s phone downstairs that you have never heard of before, but if you talk to auntie, you will find that she understands the blockchain better than you. The author has a friend in the currency mixing circle who also bought some virtual coins, and bought tens of millions of them for a few hundred yuan, and the price discount is normal.
Most of those who shout about the blockchain revolution and web3 revolution are cutting leeks. When you buy virtual currency, you will know it. You don’t care about the blockchain revolution, but only when it suddenly skyrockets and doubles a hundred times a thousand times. You say it’s not a lie, yes. But you say it can make money, yes! But for most leeks, it’s a loss of money.
NFT, GameFi, hot spots have been fired up by the big guys behind them one after another, and have you ever played directly through the exchange? Most of those who followed were buried dead. Of course, there are also some idealists, and they are indeed not trying to cheat money. I will continue to talk about this part in the next section on the idealism of Web3.
Although virtual currency sprints a lot of Ponzi schemes and bubbles, it is certainly not all bubbles. And the bubble is not completely worthless. The influx of capital has spawned technological innovation and progress. Just as there would be no Alibaba and Amazon without the dot-com bubble of 2000.
Jack Ma once said: “Bitcoin may be a bubble, but blockchain is definitely not” . Although the currency circle in the United States is hot, and the Chinese government is cracking down on virtual currency speculation such as mining, the domestic government is also vigorously promoting the development of blockchain.
Therefore, some people are clamoring that the government curbs innovation and will miss the opportunity of blockchain. It is not entirely right. It is true that the policy restricts the development of domestic blockchain from a certain point of view, but it is not that the government does not think about it, but thinks too much. Some people describe the Chinese government as the “big master”, which I think is very appropriate. I read the blue book of “China Blockchain Development Report 2020” last year. In fact, high-level decision makers have researched enough in this area, and the public chain consortium chain has been researched. The blockchain has been in October 2019. The development plan was proposed from the highest level of government. In the new infrastructure, the information infrastructure also clearly puts forward the blockchain: “including communication network infrastructure represented by 5G, Internet of Things, industrial Internet, satellite Internet, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, blockchain , etc. New technology infrastructure, computing power infrastructure represented by data centers and intelligent computing centers, etc.” So the government has recognized the value of blockchain.
So my point of view is that virtual currency is of course full of a lot of bubbles, and it is bound to burst again and return to rationality in the future. But the blockchain is obviously not a bubble, no matter whether it is invested in a lot of scientific research at home and abroad.
Back to the value of virtual currencies like Bitcoin. To say whether something has value, you must first define what value is, but it is difficult to reach an agreement on this point, and Marx and Musk must have different ideas. In order to make this question simple, let’s briefly define that what is called something valuable means whether it is useful, and at least useful in a general sense. It can’t be said that you alone think this thing has value, at least everyone or a certain group thinks it has value to say it has value. Back to this point, let’s see if Bitcoin has value, I think it does. It has at least one use, which is that it can be used to launder money and protect the hidden wealth of capitalists. Marx will certainly not admit its value, but Musk will, and not Musk alone, that Bitcoin has reached a consensus on a broad scale, and it has value from this perspective, of course, the value looks so It doesn’t seem like a positive value. I also wrote another article before that said that Bitcoin is actually a kind of super capitalism. Other altcoins obviously don’t have much value, at least their value is not stable, except for the use of a few people to deceive a large group of leeks, they don’t seem to have much use.
Compared with Ethereum, the value is larger. You can publish smart contracts on Ethereum. Smart contracts are open and transparent programs that run on the blockchain. For example, you can write a lottery program to run on Ethereum. This avoids the black box operation of the dealer. By extension, it can also solve the problem of mistrust in cross-border trade, the problem of government funding supervision, and the problem of copyright certification. Of course, these are still under construction and exploration. In the end, it is difficult to say whether Ethereum will win. And the domestic consortium chain can actually solve this kind of problem, and even solve it better. The performance of the consortium chain is better than that of Ethereum, but the ecology of Ethereum is leading. The comparison between the alliance chain and the public chain will not be carried out first, and there will be opportunities to talk about it later, which involves various aspects such as technical ecology, government supervision and so on.
But at least one thing is certain, the blockchain can solve at least partially the trust problem of the information Internet and build a credible Internet, which is what we call the Internet of Value. The value is definitely high, and looking back in the next ten years is as valuable as looking at the mobile Internet today.
Although we are optimistic about the value of the blockchain in the future, aside from the concept of skyrocketing virtual currency and the fiery NFT Metaverse, the real implementation of the blockchain is still limited, and the current impact on us is also limited.
When the bubble bursts is when the technology really starts to take off. When the virtual currency bubble bursts, a lot of coins will disappear (in fact, this has happened once), but there will be coins that survive, and of course there may not be.But the blockchain will definitely continue to exist, and the technology of the blockchain will slowly land from the bubble to solving practical problems. The road is still long, but when we look back in a few years, it will be short. The development of blockchain has just begun, and it will experience a low period next, but it will eventually change our lives, but we will not think of this if we don’t deliberately recall it. Just like when the mobile Internet was just emerging, many people didn’t take it seriously, but now the mobile Internet has changed our lives.
2. The idealism of Web3
The last paragraph said that Bitcoin may be a bubble, but blockchain is certainly not. Not only virtual partners like Bitcoin are built on the blockchain, but also Web3 and the Metaverse I will mention at the end, this part will talk about Web3.
Web3 has many different definitions, some say it is data autonomy, some say it is DAO (distributed autonomous organization), some say it is Metaverse and virtual reality.
Specifically, the term Web 3.0 was first coined in 2006 by the creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, as a vision for the next phase of the web beyond Web 2.0 , he thinks the “semantic web” will be at the heart of this evolution, but that’s clearly not what we think of Web3 now. The concept of “Web3” we are referring to today was proposed by Gavin Wood, one of the co-founders of Ethereum, in 2014. His definition of Web3 is very simple: “Less trust, more truth.” (The less trust, the more truth. more truth.)
However, this is not the loudest voice of Web3, which is still rational. I think the loudest voice is still around DAO (decentralized organization), those idealists who yearn for absolute freedom and even have anti-government tendencies.They hope to build a world of absolute freedom, a utopia in which everyone participates in social governance, without exploitation and oppression.
I admire that part of the true idealists as I admire the early explorers of the communist cause. But the reality is cruel, the road to communist utopia is tortuous, there are many real problems, and Web3 is even less likely to be a silver bullet to solve these problems. Such idealism has existed since the beginning of the Internet. The Internet was initially decentralized, but it was gradually mastered by some Internet giants. Web3 may bring about a short-lived distributed new Internet, but it may also be gradually centralized one day. Of course, this does not mean that it is meaningless. It seems that although the Internet is now controlled by some giants, it still changes our lives and makes the world a better place. Although the ideal seems so bleak, we still have to fight for the ideal, right? Society evolves in the midst of constant changes in contradictions, and we don’t need to feel resentment that ideals are difficult to achieve. After all, the construction of utopia does not happen overnight, and there is no silver bullet in social governance. What’s more, the utopia in people’s eyes is changing. Is it not a utopia now that it is more than a thousand years ago?
The idealism of Web3 is respectable, but the road to idealism is bumpy. There are friends around who are participating in the DAO experiment, and finally found that the DAO governance has become an active small group to maintain. When you actually join a DAO, you will find that there is no ideal DAO at all.
Communities need to operate, and then there are committees, councils, and the like. Think about your community owners committee, most people are just cooperating, and it is often the active people who are leading, so if you are not in the community owners committee, it is recommended not to join the DAO. Complete decentralization is unrealistic in real society, because individuals are irrational and full of desires, and idealism requires dedication. Liu Cixin once said in Wandering Earth: “It is indeed an extravagant desire to keep human beings sane forever.” That’s why there is a government, a parliament, a representative, and a parliamentarian.
However, this does not mean that DAO is meaningless. In many scenarios, DAO still has high value. For example, some non-profit organizations, some foundations, associations, open source organizations, etc., and even future company operations can also be based on DAO.
Blockchain solves the multi-party trust problem and can better promote the operation of this type of open organization. It’s just too idealistic to want to run a country in a completely decentralized way.
A fully decentralized society may seem beautiful, but it does not necessarily lead to good results. Human irrationality may bring about social turmoil and division. Under the current social conditions, a truly free society for everyone is actually a society in which the strong prey on the weak, a turbulent and chaotic society. Thinking about the turmoil in Hong Kong before, idealism can easily be instigated and exploited. Today, with individualism rampant, idealism is just an excuse in the face of interests. Some people still use the banner of independent thinking. It is good to think independently, but the fear is that they think they are thinking independently. Most people are individualistic and egoistic in the guise of liberalism. Of course, collectivism without independent thinking is also the past tense of civilization, but at the current stage, it is still in the initial stage of individualism, and people themselves cannot control freedom. To give a very simple example, if there is no supervision, pornography, gambling and drugs will be rampant everywhere. Absolute freedom will only make society out of control. People should never overestimate themselves.
Although Web3 may not realize the ideal of utopia, it may bring about another revolution in production. With the influx of capital under the concepts of Web3, blockchain, and Metaverse, there is a lot of capital for innovative experiments, and both technology and society can benefit from it, so bubbles are not necessarily a bad thing.
Of course, what I’m talking about here is more about Web3 from the perspective of a fanatical decentralized idealist. In fact, there are many different expressions of Web3. The real future will actually be implemented, and Web3, which will generate huge social value, I think is a trusted digital network with blockchain technology as the core. It can solve personal digital rights, privacy protection and other issues, and can build a more open, The Internet of Value, where the value can be freely circulated. The future of Web3 is exciting. If we want to talk about this in depth, there are still many things to talk about. We can open a separate article to talk about it in detail later, and we will not extend it today.
Pulling back to the perspective of regulation, the logic of government regulation does make sense from the perspective of combating Ponzi schemes and maintaining social stability, but has regulation curbed innovation brought about by capital influx to some extent? There is a question mark here. In particular, the policies of top-level decision makers may deviate from the actual implementation process, which may overcorrect. In the next part, I will talk about the thinking behind this from the perspective of the government, as well as talk about the digital renminbi, and talk about the game of great powers.
3. The currency war behind the digital yuan
From the point of view of supervision, although the domestic supervision of virtual currency is very strict, the supervision is not only in the country. There are many countries that completely prohibit or partially restrict, such as China, Russia. Some countries are relatively free, such as Japan and the United States. There is also the existence of a direct replacement of Bitcoin with fiat currency like El Salvador. There is no simple Ponzi scheme behind this, reasons like avoiding bubbles.
As we all know, the US dollar is now the universal currency in the world. On the one hand, it is supported by the strong economic, military and technological strength of the United States. On the other hand, the US dollar has established a strong ecosystem in the past few decades, which has penetrated into all aspects of international trade. , such as oil transactions, most of the cross-border remittances are in US dollars. It is already a strong consensus that the U.S. dollar is the universal currency in circulation in the world. This leads to the frantic printing of money by the U.S. to solve domestic problems when there is an economic crisis. The U.S. dollar in the hands of other countries in the world will depreciate, which is equivalent to the amount of water that Americans put in the world. Help me, are you angry? But for the United States it is important, so dollar hegemony is the lifeblood of the United States.
The RMB is also very important to China. So it’s not that the United States does not ban virtual currency, but the current virtual currency does not pose a threat to the US dollar. The current virtual currency is actually limited by its transaction performance and will not directly replace the US dollar. Instead, virtual stablecoins like USDT that are anchored to the US dollar are popular. In fact, from the perspective of the circulation of the US dollar, the status of the US dollar has been strengthened in the short term. . Buterin also mentioned the popularity of stablecoins in countries like Argentina in this year’s review. Let’s look at the Libra project that Facebook wanted to issue before, trying to build an efficient transaction system, creating a super-sovereign currency, and anchoring sovereign currencies such as the US dollar and the euro, which may threaten the US dollar. It was also stopped by the US Congress. . Once it is approved, it is likely to rapidly develop into a global super-sovereign digital currency, and it is possible to reconstruct the global monetary system and financial system.However, Diem, which has been streamlined by Libra, is positioned as a digital currency anchored to a single US dollar. In fact, it is a bit like the digital RMB. If it succeeds, it will strengthen the hegemony of the US dollar.
Let’s think about why stablecoins are prosperous. It is not difficult to understand. The first is stability. If the money in your hand actually fluctuates by more than ten points every day, it must not be a transaction currency. You have ten yuan for a bowl of noodles in the morning, and suddenly it costs twelve yuan in the afternoon. Therefore, stability is the premise for transactions. With this premise, the convenience of transactions brought by the digital currency itself makes it easy to flow. You can realize cross-border remittance without a bank, and transactions can be trusted through the blockchain. Executed, the process is very efficient. People won’t use bitcoin to buy groceries, but they may use USDT, and of course Diem or digital renminbi.
Speaking of which, I don’t know that everyone should have discovered that digital RMB is very similar to stable coins such as USDT. It’s just that the USDT is anchored to the US dollar and is issued by Tether, and the digital renminbi is the renminbi, issued by the People’s Bank of China. If you think about it like this, if you really want to say stability, it feels that the digital renminbi is more stable. On the one hand, the US dollar has started unlimited money printing, and on the other hand, it is difficult to say the reliability of the company Tether. So I personally am very optimistic about the digital renminbi. Just imagine that if you are in Argentina, you can easily trade in digital renminbi, and you can also easily buy goods made in China across borders. You don’t need to go through the cumbersome bank transfer mechanism behind it, which is similar to USDT. It is achieved by means of cryptography. Even if the central bank provides an interface, the digital yuan can be used to trade virtual currencies like bitcoin. One of the reasons why the U.S. dollar has a great advantage now is that most international settlements are now SWIFT, and the SWIFT system can basically be said to be controlled by the United States, so now China is promoting currency swaps with other countries, trying to reduce the exchange rate. Dependence on the U.S. dollar, and the digital yuan will undoubtedly accelerate this process. It’s like you live in a village, and you have to go through an intersection when you want to trade with other villages. The intersection is occupied by bullies. Everyone needs to go to him to exchange one of his tokens, and finally the bully’s token is slowly exchanged. It has become a common currency for everyone, and you still have to use it. Suddenly one day someone invented a hot air balloon, through which you can take the air road to bypass the bully, isn’t it pretty good? And now, I think the digital renminbi is just such a path.
Let’s think about it again, why don’t everyone use virtual currency, and don’t use the dollar at all? This involves another question. Currency is an important financial tool for a country. Just imagine what would happen if everyone traded virtual currency without legal currency? Due to the anonymity of virtual currency, the government cannot grasp personal property information, which seems to be a good thing, and personal wealth is technically guaranteed. But after all, you have to have wealth and your wealth will be protected. Most people actually have no assets, and in the end they will become a small number of capitalists who hold a lot of wealth, and they are still invisible, unable to collect taxes and control. You thought bitcoin would protect your property, but do you have bitcoin? Bitcoin protects the property of the rich.Then you want to join the rich, but will the poor allow it? These virtual currencies seem to be used by the people against the capitalists, but the future will be a hotbed for the capitalists, which will foster a kind of hypercapitalism. So virtual currency is really a good thing for capitalists. As for a small country like El Salvador, the master of the regime is the capitalist, so through virtual currency, you can better consolidate your power status. After all, if such a small country is in turmoil, the country’s legal currency may become worthless. Give up fiat.
In addition, legal currency, like virtual currency, has people’s consensus behind its value. The basis of consensus is trust. Virtual currency relies on technology to establish trust. This trust is reliable and unreliable. Fiat currency relies on the strength of the country to establish trust, and this trust is also reliable and unreliable. Now there are many institutions and individuals or groups issuing virtual currency, some may eventually return to zero, and some may end up rising strongly.Similarly, many countries will issue their own central bank digital currencies in the future, but it is not certain who can become the universal digital currency in the world. When the technical and ecological barriers of the dollar are no longer in effect, the country’s strength will be reflected in its currency.
Therefore, the centralized digital currency issued by the government such as digital renminbi not only meets the financial supervision needs of the government, but also has the characteristics of easy circulation of data currency, so the country has also invested a lot in digital renminbi. Imagine if countries The central bank’s digital currency can flow efficiently through pure technology, without relying on complex systems such as SWIFT. When people can buy what they want from China with digital renminbi, do we still need dollars? Of course, the economic strength of the United States is still very strong, and the United States still exports many irreplaceable commodities, so the final form may be that everyone uses digital RMB to buy Maotai from China, and Diem to buy potatoes from the United States. Who really wins depends on who can export chips and export cars. But the digital yuan can at least disintegrate the hegemony of the dollar from a financial point of view.
The significance of the digital renminbi is far from this. The operation and stability of a country are closely related to its finances. On the one hand, the digital renminbi can control money laundering, and on the other hand, it can establish a better tax system and control tax evasion and bureaucratic corruption to a certain extent.
The main reason for the downfall of Chinese dynasties is because of the corruption of the bureaucracy, it is difficult for the central government to control the good operation of the financial system. Therefore, digital renminbi is a good management tool. Don’t think that “being managed” is an infringement of personal freedom. Just imagine that the operation of society today is not managed by large and small institutions and people? This is the same at home and abroad. What matters is the difference between managers and management mechanisms. Excellent managers are more responsible and more like leaders, while corrupt managers are the moths of society. It is as if the CEO and chairman of the company may be trying their best to manage the company, but the middle and senior management of the company may be full of corruption, and the voices and feelings of the bottom are often not conveyed to the top. Speaking of this, we can also mention the role of blockchain in social governance. For example, the funds of national projects can be managed through the blockchain, so that the flow and use of funds are open and transparent, and cannot be tampered with and traceable. Both contractors and suppliers can only earn money honestly, and both the people and the government can better review the flow of funds. The digital renminbi can also have a similar effect, so I am very optimistic about the digital renminbi. Here I can make an assertion that the digital renminbi will definitely affect the pattern of social governance and international finance.
Of course, although I am optimistic about the central bank’s digital currency such as the digital RMB, it does not mean that Bitcoin has no future. The digital renminbi infinitely satisfies the Chinese government’s imagination as a tool for national governance, and Bitcoin also satisfies the tool imagination of American capitalists for wealth control. The world itself is also diverse, and it is this diversity that drives the continuous progress of the world. Although the world has many dark sides, we cannot ask the world to be better, but we want the world to be better. We should not underestimate ourselves and belittle ourselves. Although Musk is speculating on coins, he is also exploring Mars. We also launched the space station, although we were seriously in-rolled.
We live in a society that will do anything for profit, but there are still many people looking up at the stars.
4. Can we live in a Metaverse? Personal choice under the tide of the times.
We talked about the imagination of the future and the situation of the world. I suddenly remembered a paragraph:
Monthly salary of 100,000 discussing where to go in the next market every day
Monthly salary of 50,000 to discuss team tasks
Monthly salary of 10,000 to discuss monthly work plan
Monthly salary of 3,000 to discuss the international situation
How the international situation develops seems to be irrelevant to most people, they should eat and drink. But think about it again, it is not only related, but also closely related to everyone, but people are more of a drift in the torrent of the times. Think about how many people’s lives have been affected by reform and opening up, how many people’s lives have been affected by the development of real estate and the process of urbanization, and the Internet to mobile Internet is also changing our daily lives. It’s just that these changes in the peaceful era were not achieved overnight. Some took one or two years, and some took seven or eight years. However, most of the changes can only be found after ten years.
What you will be like ten years from now often depends on your current choices, but for most people, it is more driven by the times. The lucky ones are chosen by the times, and the unlucky ones are abandoned by the times, but Most people should be in the middle, pushed forward by the tide of the times. As long as the era is still a good era and the national fortune is still prosperous, then everyone should have a good life. However, if you want to make more splashes under the tide of the times, and leave some traces that you can reminisce when you are old, you still need to get out of your own way and make some choices.
When it comes to choices, there are many choices in life, but there are only two or three important ones. Who to marry?Where can I buy a house to live and work? I read an article before. The blogger said that the correct or incorrect choices in his past life were all related to buying a house. So today I will briefly talk about buying a house, from the perspective of the Metaverse.
If humans want to live in the Metaverse in the future, they may work remotely in the future, and housing prices in big cities will be worthless, so shouldn’t they buy a house? Put aside this reasoning first, let’s first look at the historical scale, the development of both the Web3 and the Metaverse is extremely fast, but it is not so fast for individual human beings.Even if we can enter the Metaverse in ten years, what about before? A person can have several decades in his life. So don’t plan your life now with visions of decades to come. And the elevator effect can make our arrangements for the future eventually deviate from expectations.
The Metaverse is imaginative, but it’s too early to replace the real world. AR and VR are not yet perfect, they are obviously of great value and will be realized eventually, but maybe not so fast, and the brain-computer interface is still early. Butmankind’s pursuit of the virtual world will never stop, a world that can go beyond the limitations of God and be controlled by human beings themselves.
I feel like I have said a lot of nonsense. You really want me to predict the future and say whether we can live in the Metaverse in the future? Should I stop buying a house now? Should I buy a house in the Metaverse? I really can’t predict this. And how each person should choose depends on the specific situation. The advice I can give is that the choice is more active choice, rather than passive waiting.
You can’t wait until the Metaverse is ready to buy a house in the Metaverse, but you should look at your reality and make a choice that matches you. You can choose to find a remote office job and go back to your hometown, or you can choose to grit your teeth and struggle to buy a house in a big city, you can go to some second-tier cities to live and work in peace and contentment, or you can choose to be uninhibited and love freedom. If you don’t know how to choose, then aim to figure out how to choose. The wheel of history is rolling forward, and everyone looks small but is indeed a mark in history.
Hopefully after 2022 we can see a better world and a better self.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/10000-character-long-text-chat-blockchain-metaverse-web3-and-the-era-of-digital-currency-bubbles-are-slowly-rising/
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