Zheng Yi, chief engineer of quantum chain China, was invited to participate in the theme AMA of 2020 public chain independent innovation breakthrough held by tokenight on behalf of qtum quantum chain, and shared with representatives of many well-known public chain projects and media at home and abroad on the development of alliance chain and public chain, the research and development progress of quantum chain on privacy assets, defi and other topics. The following is the full text:

Q: In terms of blockchain services for traditional enterprises, qtum has released enterprise version cross chain transaction solution canal and enterprise blockchain service UNITA. Can you talk about these two sectors and introduce qtum’s existing landing projects and future prospects in blockchain enabled real economy?

A: In fact, UNITA and qtum are products created by two independent teams. UNITA’s team adopts some technologies of qtum platform to develop the enterprise version, so it is regarded as a part of qtum ecology.

Qtum also had the idea of developing an enterprise version as early as when it was launched on the main network, and wanted to apply qtum’s technology to the actual business scenario. There are two main reasons.

1. As a public chain, qtum is a permissionless model, which can be used by anyone. In the business environment, more permissions need to be considered.

2. Qtum is a completely decentralized mode, and the identities of all nodes are equal, which will limit the performance of the blockchain by the performance of a single node.

Based on the above two ideas generated by qtum in the process of public chain development, UNITA team announced the design of enterprise version in March 2018 and began development. After a year, the enterprise blockchain solution, UNITA, was finally released in April 2019. Also released are the cross chain transaction solution canal and the data storage solution DDAO.

The UNITA solution is also an answer to the qtum ecological community, so it adopts a partially open source model. That is, the underlying technology of the blockchain is completely open source, and the surrounding tools (wallet, browser, etc.) are free to use, but not open source. Therefore, many domestic and foreign enterprises with certain R & D capabilities have directly used relevant tools or technologies in their application scenarios. For peripheral tools, you only need to register to use them, so you can see the website in UNITA( https://chain.unita.network Click to open or copy the original text to the browser.

Some users have secondary development needs and will find the United team to discuss solutions together. At present, there are three projects we know and are implementing, namely food safety, logistics and supply chain finance and automobile. As far as I know, UNITA supports these users in two aspects. On the one hand, it provides solution guidance to the other party and helps to overcome some key technical problems, such as encryption, privacy, etc. On the other hand, it helped to contact some technologically reliable enterprise oriented blockchain development teams to undertake specific development tasks. Relevant case documents may be released later when the time is ripe.

With China’s strategic support for blockchain technology at the national level, we have received more and more demands from all walks of life. Through these cases, we have also accumulated some important information. We found that in the process of integrating blockchain and real economy, we are often stuck by some technical problems, the most common of which is privacy. When blockchain is used to store business data, the demand for privacy protection of business data is very high, and the management logic of data privacy is more complex. Therefore, we regard the privacy protection of blockchain as an important research topic. It is hoped that by overcoming some privacy protection problems, we can break through the bottleneck of blockchain commerce.

Q: Can you talk about your views on the current privacy protection technology and the progress of qtum in privacy protection?

A: First of all, many people would think that the privacy and regulation of blockchain are contrary to each other, which is not the case. We have always emphasized the concept of “privacy and auditability”, that is, your data is invisible to the public, but can be selectively disclosed to some third parties for supervision and audit, which is the ultimate goal of blockchain privacy. For the auditability feature, we had some communication with a team from Peking University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. ( https://eprint.iacr.org/2019/319 Copy to browser (open)

For our own research team, we have been studying privacy protection solutions on the blockchain. We have studied many privacy related projects, such as ring signature, ZK Snark, mimblewimble, as well as the latest zether, Aztec, nightfall, etc. we have also explored the use of precompiled contracts in privacy. We can share some articles on our official account and introduce our thinking about these technologies.

How does the Borromean ring signature realize anonymous transfer?

On mimblewimble scriptless scripts

How to implement privacy protocols through precompiled smart contracts to protect the privacy of assets on the chain?

At this stage, the blockchain privacy protection technology is still immature, which can only protect the most basic ledger data, while the broad application data cannot be protected. However, we can also see that there are more and more researches in this field, including bitcoin, Ethereum team, some blockchain teams with privacy characteristics, and some university scholars. We have always maintained close contact with them and sponsored some academic activities, such as grincon( https://grincon.org Copy to browser (open).

Recently, when I read the paper “confidential assets”, I was attracted by this solution. So I studied the source code of elements. Some researches are exploring how to apply confidential assets to mimblewimble. We think this is a very good attempt, so we also designed a solution based on our own understanding, wrote a paper and published it: “confidential assets on mimblewimble”( https://eprint.iacr.org/2019/1435 Copy to browser (open)

This paper first introduces the basic principle of mimblewimble, and then describes the implementation of confidential assets in detail. It can be seen as an improvement proposal for mimble wimble. We also hope that readers can better understand the concepts of mimblewimble and confidential assets through it, so we have explained the principles as clearly as possible.

We discussed the proposed scheme with Mr. Vladislav Gelfer from beam foundation. He gave many useful suggestions and shared their ideas on implementing confidential assets on mimblewimble. Through discussion, it is found that the scheme still has room for further optimization. Maybe there will be opportunities to work together to propose better designs in the future.

At the same time, we also have a basic scheme for supporting privacy features on qtum, and are in the process of experiment and optimization. It will be announced when we finish the test. There will be preliminary results around the Spring Festival.

Q: 10.24 the state has raised blockchain technology to the national strategic level, and alliance chain has become an inevitable topic. At this stage, the relationship between public chain and alliance chain is also a hot topic of discussion. Do you think public chain and alliance chain are competitive or cooperative? If it is a cooperative relationship, how will it be carried out? What technological improvements can promote the cooperation between public chain and alliance chain? Is there any relevant layout?

A: There is a more accurate expression of the concepts of public chain and alliance chain in the world, namely permissioned and permissionless. The so-called public chain actually refers to the permissionless blockchain, that is, a network that can be accessed and used by anyone and supported by token incentive. Permissioned is a blockchain network with roles and permissions between nodes. From a technical point of view, I don’t think these two are opposing technologies, or even two forms that can be converted to each other. We can see from Libra’s white paper that Libra was initially permitted, but it will eventually become permissionless. Therefore, I think that when the blockchain is launched, the type of technology adopted should depend on the specific application scenario. A technology is a good technology as long as it can well serve the commercial application of the real economy.

Q: Defi is a hot topic this year and an important part of open finance in the future, but the volume is still small at this stage. What conditions do defi need if it wants to prosper, such as the introduction of compliance and decentralized insurance? How will defi transform the traditional financial system in the future? Have you tried this?

A: At present, we have not tried this. The only thing we are focusing on is algorithmic stable currency technology, such as makerdao. The principle is very interesting and has some defects. We are doing some research and will start from two aspects. One is whether the stable currency can be given the function of privacy, so that it can be effectively applied to business scenarios. The second is whether there is a better algorithm to achieve algorithm stability. Of course, we always pay attention to the underlying technology of DCEP in China and are full of interest in their technology implementation.

Responsible editor: CT

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