第三次货币进化浪潮 你的财富自由起点

亲爱的朋友,你可以看英文版,因为区块链天生就是无国界的;你也可以看中文版 ,请往下翻。 两者不一样的体验。

前言:虽然比特币已经从几块、几十块涨到四万多,与我们无关了,但这是故事终点吗,当然不是,大海星辰,还有我们遨游的一片天地。

(下面是中文版,欢迎用中文再看一遍)

第三次货币进化浪潮,你的财富自由起点

数字货币经历了几轮的发展,朋友都财富自由了,我们还不懂这是什么东西,是不是有点可惜?

(比特币从去年的1000美金,最高涨到接近2万美金,现在还有7000美金)

货币的变迁

为了洞悉货币的本质,很有必要回顾下货币过去的发展路径:

社会不断变迁中的货币发展可分为3部分:以物易物的经济阶段及商品货币阶段、法定货币阶段、数字货币阶段。货币在每个阶段的建立都有独特的历史背景,代表着那个特定时期的发展阶段。随着货币的变更,它的属性其实也发生了变化。

第一阶段以物易物的经济阶段和商品货币阶段。在物物交换的经济中,商品本身充当货币,任何商品都可以充当“货币”。但没有统一的货币,给交易带来诸多不便。为了交易的方便,出现一般等价物是必然趋势,人们选择物理性质相对稳定的作为一般等价物,比如贝壳、铁制品等。随着唯一的一般等价物确定下来,逐渐形成了货币,比如铜、银和黄金,人类进入了商品货币的阶段。这是个必然的过程,可以理解为“物竞天择”人类选择的自然过程。

这个阶段,货币本身也是商品,是有价值的,价格来自其价值。

第二阶段是法定货币阶段。与上述货币相比,法定货币的性质发生了很大变化,而法定货币本身没有价值。它只是纸,由国家的强制力量保证。但它不是一国贸易的唯一货币,有些人会争辩说“政府认可的法定货币是一国贸易的唯一合法货币”。实际上,只要对方愿意接受,黄金和法郎都可以来购买商品。因此,这并不意味着法定货币是居民交易的唯一方式。

更糟的是,高通货膨胀将导致法定货币的崩溃,人们会放弃使用它。历史上很多例子可以说明这一点。一般来说,政府发行新货币时,关键是要保持币值稳定。居民需要时间适应新货币,如果不适应居民可以不采用。

第三阶段是数字货币阶段。当数字货币被一定数量的人接受和交易时,数字货币就成为法定货币的补充货币。这意味着货币发行不再被政府垄断。货币的本质在此阶段已经改变了很多。

数字货币的出现

到底什么是数字货币?支付宝也是数字货币吗?

支付宝也是数字货币吗?ouch,no。以后不要问这样的问题好吗,求你了。那么,让我解释下:支付宝可以理解为银行账户体系上又搭建了一个账户体系,本质是纸币的电子化,换了个存储状态;其实钱还是存在银行账户里,只是换成支付宝备付金存在银行账户里面;所以它也不能直接取现,还要你转到你个人的银行账户才可以。

数字货币到底是什么?它本质是程序,不是你银行账户里一串数字,客户持有的是区块链项目中货币的私钥,在区块链程序运营中(如发起一笔交易验证)所必需的支付手段。[1]

数字货币的属性有哪些

它有什么性质,解决了什么问题?好问题。

货币的本质上面已经提到,它衍生出的属性在此阶段已经改变了很多。首先,数字货币不像黄金那样,本身是没有商品价值。其次,数字货币也不像法定纸币那样是央行发行的借款凭证(只是一张纸),它本身是具有使用价值,在区块链项目帮助机器交互或区块链社区运营的商业价值,价值的高低取决于对区块链项目和社区的使用功能,不仅仅是一串简单的数字代码。另外,数字货币天生就是全球化货币,逐渐形成全球性共识,可作为全球结算货币,不是某一个政府管辖内的特定货币。

然而,目前数字货币的价格不稳定,当一种货币价格高度波动时,它就不能作为购买商品的有效工具。某些数字货币上,持有它还有收益的话,可以理解为含有证券属性。因此,数字货币本身具有基于区块链项目和社区运营使用的商业价值的属性,有些可充当全球贸易的结算货币(只是大部分目前不具备完整的条件),也有些还具有证券的属性。

数字货币是对公权力的挑战?

数字货币违法吗?会被政府承认吗?

数字货币由非政府部门发行,这打断政府作为发行货币的唯一机构,政府不会承认数字货币的合法性,比如中国只承认它是一种商品。当然目前是这样的,即一些国家承认一些国家不承认合法。

与中央银行作为唯一发行机构的法定货币不同的是,数字货币是去中心化组织原生的。它的最初目的是给矿工以激励,具体来讲是帮助区块链上的功能实现交互的一种奖励。[2]

我们不能说数字货币就一定能解决法定货币无法解决的问题,如洗钱和交易记录可追踪。数字货币所基于的区块链技术可以帮助央行建立反洗钱链。但公司也可以利用该技术建立匿名链来隐藏所有的交易记录和身份,促进洗钱。所以这是一个铜板的两面。

出现数字货币的必然逻辑

为什么会出现数字货币?

每次货币性质的变化,长期来看都会提高交易效率,间接提高社会生产力。短期很难说,乱象丛生,就像当初出现贝壳充当一般等价物、慢慢变成货币一样,需要一个过程,因为你想想如果“我”是个内陆人,从来没见过贝壳,你居然要跟我换一头牛,你还说“大家以后都会用,以后还可以换五头牛”,我想“这是什么鬼,万一一头牛被骗,心疼死我呀,容我再想想”,肯定一时半会接受不了。

数字货币出现的必然逻辑,是基于基于区块链技术的,区块链技术将有助有目前中心化组织为主导的诚信体系建设,从长远来看,它帮助完善整个社会的信任体系。它解决不了人的诚信问题(也不需要解决),但能解决数据真实性的问题,就是巨大的进步。

为什么这么说?像淘宝这样评价体系已经很牛,一定程度能区分货好不好。但毕竟只有淘宝有整套的交易记录,它想给你看哪些记录,或者修改哪些你的交易记录,都是它决定的。你想多看点、或者怀疑它的真实性,都是没门的。但区块链技术保证数据难以可篡改、可追溯的,起码保证数据本身的真实性。[3]

另外,所有客户在淘宝的评价都是等价的,没有区块链时间戳概念,比如我是这家店铺的老客户,那我的评价值应该是历史购物值乘以时间,总不致于“我”作为店铺五年的老客户的评价和第一天注册来购买的新客户的评价是等价的吧。

当每个人和公司的信任被连接到区块链上,我们可以跟踪所有交易和合同的记录。因此,所有的经济问题和罪行都会被记录下来。由于数字货币作为激励,将不同的资产引入到公链中,并也有助于不同的链之间的相互作用,它将吸引更多的资产进入区块链,促进交易。在这种情况下,数字货币将是法定货币的有效补充。因此,数字货币可以在未来发展更多的空间,从而间接地提高社会生产力。伴随区块链技术产生,数字货币才刚刚开始,我们可以期待未来会发生怎么的变革。

还不是数字货币的全部故事

但这还不是数字货币的全部故事。现在各种币乱象丛生,很想知道如何分辨“真的数字货币”和“空气币”?如何更加深入理解区块链的底层技术? 它应用又有哪些? 请听下回、下下回分解。

参考文献:

[1][3] Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer ElectronicCash System, https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

[2] Vitalik Buterin. Ethereum: A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform, http://www.the-blockchain.com/docs/Ethereum_white_paper-a_next_generation_smart_contract_and_decentralized_application_platform-vitalik-buterin.pdf

(English version)

The third wave of currency evolution

——your financial independence starting point

Digital currency has experienced several rounds of development and some friends have become tycoons in this area, but we still don't know what it is, is it a pity?

(bitcoin has soared from $1,000 last year to the peak of nearly $20,000 and now is standing at $7,000.)

The currency’s evolution

For insights into the nature of money, it is necessary to review the development of the currency in history.

The development of currency with the changing society models can be divided into 3 phases: the barter economy and commodity currency phase, the fiat currency phase and the digital currency phase. The establishment of currency in each phase has its particular historical background and represents the developing stage of that particular period. With the currency changing, its attributes also changed.

The first phase is the barter economy and commodity currency phase. In the barter economy, the good itself was the currency. There was no unified currency which caused lots of inconvenience in trading. For the convenience of trading, people chose those with relatively stable physical properties as general equivalents, such as shells and iron products. As the general equivalent was determined, currency was gradually selected, such as copper, silver and gold, which means man entered the stage of commodity money. This is an inevitable process, which can be understood as the natural process of"natural selection".

In this phase, people could only accept the currency which had value, and the price was from its value.

The second phase is fiat currency phase. Compared to the above currencies, the nature of fiat currency changed a lot, and the fiat currency itself had no value. It is just paper, which is guaranteed by the coercive force of the state. Some people would argue that fiat currency is regarded by the government as only legal way to trade during one country. But actually, residents could use other currency to buy goods, such as gold and French franc, if the counterparts are willing to accept it. So, it doesn’t mean the fiat currency is the only way for inhabitants to trade.

What’s worse, the high inflation could result in the crash of the fiat currency, and people would give up using it. And many examples in history could illustrate it. Generally speaking, when issuing the new currency, the key thing for the government is to keep the value stable. It takes time for the residents to accept the new currency, and they also do not adopt it if they cannot adapt it.

The third phase is digital currency phase. When digital currency was accepted and traded by certain amounts of people, the digital money became a complementary currency for fiat currency. It means that the issuance of currency is not monopolized by government any more. The nature of currency in this stage has been modified a lot.

The emergence of digital currency

What is digital currency? Is Alipay also a kind of digital currency?

Is Alipay a kind of digital currency? Ouch, no. Don't ask this kind of question again.

Let me explain it. Alipay can be understood as accounts system built on the bank account system. In fact, the money is still deposited in the bank with the Alipay’s name. So its nature has not been transformed, compared to paper money. But it cannot withdraw cash directly, and you have to transfer it to your personal bank account.

What digital currency? Its essence is coding program, not a string of numbers in your bank account. It is the private key as the necessary means of payment to help operation in the chain block (e.g., finished a deal validation).[1]

The attribute of digital currency

What property does the digital currency has, what problems do it solve? Good question.

The nature of digital currency has already been mentioned above, and its derivative properties have changed a lot. First,digital currency, unlike gold, has no commodity value. Second, digital currency also is not like legal paper which is loan certificate issued by the central bank, and itself has the commercial value. In the blockchain project, it helps machine interaction and the operation of community. The value depends on its functions in the block chain project and community, which is not just a bunch of simple numeric code. In addition, digital currency was born with a global currency, which gradually forms a global consensus and can be used as a global settlement currency, not a specific currency within the jurisdiction of a particular government.

However, when the price of the digital currency is not stable, but highly fluctuated, it couldn’t be used as an effective tool for buying products. In some extent, it could be regarded as a security if there are some benefits to own it. So, the digital currency itself not only has the attribute of commodity currency, but also has the attribute of security. Therefore, digital currency itself has the business value in the block chain project and community operation, which can act as global trade settlement currency in some extents.

Is digital money a challenge to state power?

Is it legal? Will it be admitted by government?

Some people are worrying that digital currency issuance is from the private sectors, which disrupt the government as the only institution of issuing the currency, will not be admitted by the government. At present, some countries accept it and some refuse it.

Unlike the fiat currency issued from a centralized institution, the digital currency originates from decentralized autonomous system. Its initial purpose is to give stimulation to the miner, thus helping machine’s interaction.[2]

We cannot say that it helps solve the fiat money which can’t solve, such as money laundering and trading records tracing. The block chain technology which the digital currency is based on could help Central Bank to build the anti-money laundering chain to prevent money laundering.On the contrary, company could also utilize the technology to build anonymous chain to hide all trading records and identities to help money laundering. So these are two sides of one coin.

Logic of appearance in digital currency

Why digital currency occurs?

Every time the currency’s nature change, it will largely improve the trading efficiency directly and social productivity indirectly in the long run. But it needs a long process for people to accept it. In the short term, it may cause people puzzled. For example, The shell initially acted as a universal equivalent, then slowly was accepted as a currency. I as inland inhabitant had never seen shells before, but incredibly you wanted to exchange shells for a cow with me, and said "everyone will use shells in the future, and it could be worth more". I must be hesitated about what you said, and could not accept it easily.

The logic of appearance of digital currency is based on blockchain technology, which will be conducive to the current central organization's integrity system construction, and improve the whole system of social trust. It cannot solve the problem of human integrity (nor does it need), but it does solve the problem of data authenticity, which is a great progress. So in the long run, it helps to improve the trust system of society as a whole.

Why do I think it is a great progress? Taobao’s evaluation system has been pretty good, and can distinguish good goods from bad to a certain extent. But, only Taobao has a complete set of transaction records, and decides which data you can see. There's no way you want to see more of it, and you cannot doubt its authenticity even if it modifies the data. But data by block chain technology is extremely to tamper and could be traceable, at least to ensure the authenticity of the data. [3]

In addition, all customers are equivalent in Taobao's evaluation, which means that there is no timestamp concept. For example, if I am a five-year-experience customer in one Taobao's shop, my timestamp evaluation value should be historical shopping value multiplied by time, which cannot be compared to a new customer. But in fact, they get the same evaluation value in the Taobao's and any other on-line shopping system.

When all people and company’ trust was connected into the block chain, we could trace all trading and contracts’ records. Thus, their the economic issues and crimes would be recorded. As the digital money is the stimulation of putting different assets into the public chain, and helping bridge the different chains interaction, it will attract more assets into the block chain and improve the trading. In this situation, the digital currency will be complementary for the fiat currency. Therefore, digital currency could develop more power in the future, thus improving the social productivity indirectly.

But it was not the whole story of digital currency.

The digital currency is the just beginning, not the end of the block chain technology phase, and we are looking forward to future development.

Now the various currencies are in a mess, and wandering how to distinguish "real digital currency" from "air currency" and hoping to understand the underlying logic of blockchain technology.  Looking forward to the next article.

Reference:

[1][3] Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer ElectronicCash System, https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

[2] Vitalik Buterin. Ethereum: A Next-Generation Smart Contract and Decentralized Application Platform, http://www.the-blockchain.com/docs/Ethereum_white_paper-a_next_generation_smart_contract_and_decentralized_application_platform-vitalik-buterin.pdf

文章最早发布于2018-06-12 于 “beyondblockchain”公众号上

原文地址:https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/jB05zOSC3C0UZnJGP2jwqg

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