How the trust issues surrounding China’s planned integration of six public chains into its Blockchain Service Network (BSN), as part of efforts to make China the only infrastructure provider for blockchain firms around the world, will be addressed is not clear.
From August 10, BSN will be opened to decentralized applications (dApps) developers on a global scale including those working on Tezos, NEO, Nervos, EOS, IRISnet and Ethereum. However, while it could trigger a global blockchain competition thus catalyzing mass adoption amid mistrust for the platform, the likely implications for developers from the six blockchains who will have to build dApps and run nodes using data storage and bandwidth from BSN's overseas data centers have to be identified. Its likely impact on the overall blockchain space should also be envisaged.
China has been relentless in its strive to be a global leader especially with emerging technologies like blockchain, 5G, Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things. The Asian giant has progressed in its expenditure and the development of critical infrastructures of late to signal its seriousness about achieving this objective despite several confrontations on its human rights record.
Yet, the tingle of mistrust that has been developed for China-originated initiatives a while back, particularly in the West, continues to impact the response such initiatives get in the wider world. It even led to suspicion at some point as seen in the case of Huawei, whose battle at fanning away the allegation of providing data to the Chinese government, was lost in the UK this month.
With blockchain technology still in its infancy, and the Chinese government among the first major economies to embrace its implementation for the potentials it promises, and even working to lead the space, the key test in the struggle for the recognition for the technology’s global leader may be about to unveil with the planned opening up of the BSN.
While a Chinese user may not be able to use a blockchain that also has a token offering, Nervos’ Kevin Wang says BSN can be seen as a way to internationalize Chinese tech. Jason Wu, CEO of DeFiner, likened the BSN to be a traditional IT platform that “can't solve the trust issue as there is still a centralized organization to manage the network.” He maintains that the reason strips it as neither a blockchain breakthrough nor a development that will bring fundamental change to the society.
"The Ethereum 2.0 beacon chain will launch in November unless we find severe bugs in clients or protocol"
— Evan Van Ness (@evan_van_ness) July 20, 2020
Addressing BSN’s perception as a centralized platform as well as its attendant trust issues is crucial, particularly for Ethereum, which has some of the top and the highest number of dApps (almost 2000). Ethereum now has a new October/November date being peddled for the launch of its Ethereum 2.0 beacon chain which could see the network change how it is secured by switching from a proof of work to a proof of stake mechanism.
Ethereum 2.0 will add sharding to break the network down into little chains that interlink with the main chain (being tested now) to make transactions faster such that the upgrade is expected to increase the number of transactions per second. The outlook is for the transaction speed increase to improve Ethereum’s proposition as the most widely used blockchain for more enterprise applications.