Note (opinion)

What does the history of headphones say about the future of the Internet and the Blockchain?


It is not difficult to predict the future of the Blockchain, but it is difficult to know when these predictions will come true. John Wolpert, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Business Officer at ConsenSys Group and Chairman of the Baseline Protocol Technical Steering Committee, at Article An interesting post recently published on Quinn Desk’s website examines how the Blockchain capabilities affect the Internet. He compares the gradual transformation of the Internet into a global network of Blockchain features with a theory of improving the quality of headset devices, which took about half a century from inception to implementation.

45 years to a headset

In 1933, Paul Lueg, in a patent application, described the removal of noise (noise pollution). But it was not until 1978, when Amar Bose began working on the concept, that the practical path to a new commercial product was not paved. It took another two decades for the processing power per milliwatt to cut off the battery-powered sound of headphones cost-effectively.

What does the history of headphones say about the future of the Internet?

Imagine if in 1933 someone asked Logg what the world would be like in the next 10 years and whether he thought there would be computers in the world in the next 10 years that could pick up sound waves from the air and destroy them. Log probably asks: What is a computer?

In 1933, a device like the Bose headset could be thought of, but there was no logical way to get a real product from it. But after Gordon Moore rightly stated that the silicon lithography process doubles the number of transistors that can be placed in the same amount of space every two years, companies like Bose were able to predict when chips could be made by performing mathematical evaluations. Provide the speed and efficiency needed to detect a sound wave so that the speaker can eliminate extra sounds in a fraction of a second.

Scale issue

What will the Internet look like in 2030? More precisely, in 2030, will China’s blockchain technology have a significant impact on the way people interact with the Internet in their daily lives and do various things through this global network? Our answer to this question depends on whether at that time, the Blockchain will reach the stage of continuous improvement or will it still wait for the trend and pattern to change?

The most important thing about any new Internet-related technology is scale. The Internet is scalable (it gets bigger and faster than it needs to be) because it is essentially largely stateless. The job of Internet routers is to receive a set of data and then transfer it to the next router. They do not need to remind you of that data set, and they do not store any set or check it with other routers before sending it to the next router.

Internet mode

Decentralized technology, and in particular public blockchains such as Ethereum, can potentially add value by adding “state” to this “stateless” system. Wolpert calls this the “stateful internet.”

Example of mode: The aircraft was at an altitude of 30,000 feet at a speed of 500 miles per hour, and now its altitude is 30,100 feet at a speed of 501 miles per hour.

Without common ground, there is no common ground, so there is no way to agree that the plane is moving at an altitude of 30,100 feet above the ground. Even if we do not all believe, there is no way to find out which of us is wrong. We are living everywhere today with the negative consequences of not achieving common truth; Both philosophically and technically.

However, it is difficult to record problems in memory and to coordinate between different devices that may have different memories of the same problems. The importance of reaching an agreement has made it difficult to manage the situation on a large scale.

Until we can arrive at a principle such as Moore’s Law regarding scalable and international status devices (such as blockchains), we cannot predict when blockchains will have a significant impact on Internet performance. As mentioned earlier, Moore’s Law states that every two years, the number of transistors in a small chip doubles, and the speed and efficiency of computers increases every two years, but the cost of computers is halved and productivity is increased.

Division and privacy

The second key point in examining the impact that decentralized state-determining devices have on our experience of the Internet is the need to strike a balance between transparency and segmentation.

Neither the current Internet nor blockchains are good at splitting and shredding data. Any encryption or IT security expert thinks that data encryption is good, but without the ability to access proper partitioning into bit units (mixed or unmixed), encryption only increases the time required to access the information.

This is important in a state-of-the-art system such as blockchain. At least on the Internet, you need to get packets of data and then specify which packets need to be put back together to create a coherent and meaningful message. However, in the blockchain, the data is stored and at rest. If you have a copy of Blockchain General Office, you will have access to all the information stored in it, and you can decrypt the data using commercial reverse engineering logic and metadata analysis.

The question is not how we can achieve unlimited levels of scalability and privacy. The question is, to what extent do we need scalability and privacy to do the job well and safely, as well as the performance required by the industry? If we expect the Internet to support all applications, from keeping specific business records to playing on the Twitch platform, the scalability required for the Internet may push the boundaries of the laws of physics.

What does the history of headphones say about the future of the Internet?
The scalability required for the Internet may break the boundaries of the laws of physics

Even a large, sharded, and distributed database that is not based on any Blockchain-style consensus algorithm can manage data read and write for even a small percentage of existing applications, even if we build a Blockchain that can then With the necessary operational power, we probably do not want our personal data and information, even in encrypted form, to be stored in shared memory and readable and palatable to others.

If not all applications, most should use decentralized systems, such as public or even private blockchains, to read and write data continuously.

Priority in improving the user experience is proper performance. In a system that performs reasonably well, the data is as close to the computation as possible, and other applications do not interfere with system responsiveness. Blockchain, due to its decentralized nature, will never perform as well as a similar centralized system.

Actual use

What good is a web site if it simply “blends in” with everything else out there? One of the practical applications of the Internet of Things is encrypted document management, which allows you to be aware of the integrity of the workflow between several different parties, in addition to ensuring that the records in your system and other systems in the network match. This general and limited application makes the issue of segmentation less important and the need for read / write functionality remains at an achievable and achievable level.

For example, we need to make sure that all members have the same information about purchase orders. With this feature, there will be no more problems such as incorrect purchase invoice or delay in delivery time. To do this, we need a common reference and criterion that we can call a “baseline.” A public network can act as a shared reference that allows our systems to retain the original source, so that neither of us can deny receiving information or claim to have pressed a wrong button while typing. These types of verifications do not usually need to be done immediately. Acceptable time periods can be a minute, an hour or even a day and can often be categorized into different groups.

What is the minimum level of performance required for a stable Internet to be compatible with business-to-business (B2B) events, such as payments and inventory control? The number of non-cash payments between companies is estimated at $ 1.6 billion per day. Assuming that $ 6.4 billion in non-payment events such as purchase orders, RFPs, and back-order notices also require the recording of shared records, the total of these events is about $ 10 billion. .

The real limitation here is the speed of synchronous continuous write to memory on all the machines that maintain the system. The key to scalability of the Internet to provide this “baseline” service to the world of industry is two points; Divide and conquer Also known as sharding, in addition to Continuous improvement The number of components and shards that can be added before the rate of erosion and reduced productivity of system performance exceeds the marginal gain.

Just as silicon chips are used in other fields besides noise cancellation, general blockchains such as Ethereum can have other uses as well. But what is interesting about the role of the blockchain as the basis and “baseline” is the special features and requirements that the blockchain sets to increase the general acceptance of applications.

Moore’s Law for Divided Blocks

Perhaps we are on the verge of achieving the “Moore’s Law” for the Blockchain, which may be:

Every 18 months, the number of in-chain documents that can enter a portion of the network by exchanging information with other main network shreds doubles.

What does the history of headphones say about the future of the Internet?
Sharding; Increase speed and efficiency by creating parallel chains

This definition may not be correct. But over the next 18 months, it looks like a lot will be revealed, such as the launch and development of Ethereum 2.0, which could boost confidence in additional sharding capabilities.

If we get to this point, and if Ethereum 2.0 works and shows us the way forward, then we can expect to have a state-of-the-art Internet over the next ten years, one that can at least be useful for keeping business data in sync. To be. If Ethereum 2.0 does not live up to its promise, or if there are unexpected problems with the charging and splitting path, we will probably be looking to change the pattern.

Whether we can predict the 10-year timeline or not, we are probably now on the path to creating a state-of-the-art Internet, and this change, both in ways we can imagine today and in ways we do not even imagine, will fundamentally change our lives. It will change.

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