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ChainDD Exclusive | A Dialogue with JD's Blockchain Team Leader: Revealing the open source strategy of JD Chain for the first time.

Abstract : That “open source means reliability” is a widely recognized belief in tech circles. With the official opening up of JD Chain, the bottom engine of JD blockchain as open source, BATJ's battle in the blockchain area has formally commenced.

ChainDD
ChainDD

May 09

For those big players in the internet industry, the blockchain technology has gained strong support from the government and no one wants to be following behind others.

Importance of open sources

The technological development and adoption of consortium chains have been apparent to all. For example, internet courts in cities such as Beijing and Guangzhou are using consortium chains for legal evidence preservation, a solution that's been recognized by the Supreme People's Court as well.

ABS, namely, asset backed securitization, is another example. Separation of corporate credit and debt credit becomes possible using blockchain. Mid last year, JD's Baitiao ABS supported by JD's consortium chain technology was listed on the Shengzhen Stock Exchange.

Although there is no worry of speculation with consortium chains, there has always been concern about them and the “black box” is one such concern. The so-called black box refers to such slogan that “blockchain creates trust” without opening up the source codes, which is clearly untrustworthy.

Fan Ruibin, Team Leader of the Financial Blockchain Consortium told the ChainDD reporter that blockchain is used in equal cooperation among multiple parties, achieving a virtuous industry operation supported by the blockchain technology. Only through “open sources”, bottom-tier technologies will gain consensus and recognition.

Therefore, GitHub (GitHub is a hosting platform for open source and private software projects) has become an important platform for testing quality of consortium chains.

Tech developers make their source codes open to the whole world on GitHub and users can order tailored codes according to their needs. Most importantly, thousands of users in the community are checking the codes to discover loopholes or defects and thus loopholes can be patched up rapidly to avoid attacks.

Open sources have made people more willing to use the codes, in turn encouraging the progress of the technologies involved.

As a strategically important area of blockchain technology fought for by many internet power players, the blockchain bottom-tier framework system used for building consortium chains is rapidly becoming open source.

Recently, JD Digital's blockchain bottom-tier engine JD Chain became open source officially and joined open source communities at the same time.

The ChainDD author for this article has been informed that following JD Chain, Baidu's “Super Chain” will become open source mid year this year.

Direction of JD Blockchain

The technological framework of JD blockchain includes JD Chain and JD BaaS.

JD Chain, as a core engine, focuses on solving key bottom-tier technological problems and owns Chinese independent intellectual property rights. JD BaaS is a enterprise-level service platform and provides flexible, easy to use and expandable blockchain system management capabilities. It provides support for rapid development of enterprise users in public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud environments.

The team leader of JD Blockchain Open Platform revealed to the reporter that JD's blockchain platform will specifically provide enterprise-level services. However, it will not be limited to consortium chains with a small number of nodes and hopefully there will be consumer-end high-concurrency scenarios in the future.

It's worth noticing that JD Chain is a bottom-tier framework system developed independently in China and owns independent intellectual property rights. The blockchain technology is the forth major core technology of JD Digital, after its data technology, AI and IoT. Currently, JD Blockchain technology has been implemented in five major scenarios including quality traceability, digital evidence preservation, credit network, Fintech and value innovation.

In the future, JD blockchain will focus on two major areas, namely, supply chain digitization and Fintech.

JD Chain's transferability consideration

In March 2018, JD published its first edition of the blockchain technology practice white paper. However, the process is not easy. First of all, as an integral combination of a series of technologies including distributed storage, consensus mechanism and smart contracts, the blockchain technology has a certain technological threshold. Second, limited by current development of consortium chain networks, scalability of the application and innovation of the blockchain technology is hard to achieve. Some enterprises are still at the stage of building up their digitization capability.

Hai Quan, Chief Architect of JD Digital's JD Chain told the ChainDD author that the team will carry out corresponding adjustments in terms of the overall architecture and function design after seeing blunders committed by others.

He explained that JD Chain adopts a transferable architecture design, applicable for extensive use scenarios. This idea is different to the technological philosophy of design adhered by some others, which is based on scenarios. Hypothetical architecture design based on specific scenarios is significantly different to hypothetical architecture design based on transferable scenarios, difference not only manifested in technological implementation but more so in value. The latter though faces greater technological challenge, is nonetheless able to adapt to more scenarios and more complex ones for continuous expansion. It is also better suited to build a unified bottom-tier technological system to be used for different application ecosystems. In the long term, it is better for the application innovation of the whole industry.

Furthermore, JD Chain provides more localized technological improvement for many scenarios, especially financial scenarios, in compliance with special domestic supervision requirements. JD Chain has a highly expansible architecture in terms of data and is able to provide seamless system expansibility in the process of data growth from small to huge on chains to avoid deterioration of system performance. Thus, many technological limits could be avoided for multitudes of applications.

Faced with the thorny problem of “lack of applicability”, JD Chain places great emphasis on the transferability of the overall technological architecture. At the same time, it provides a pluggable expansibility design due to enterprise scenario differences. In different scenarios, JD Chain is able to make pluggable adjustments to components, laying a foundation for cross-ecosystem integration.

Among the overall JD blockchain technological structure, the middle tier is JD BaaS, which is able to help enterprises rapidly integrate and manage blockchain's networks of nodes and lower operational and maintenance thresholds of the blockchain technology.

Larry is full of confidence for JD Chain, “JD has many B end strategic partners. The natural step is to move B end services to C end. We will use our technologies to connect B end and C end and integrate B end and C end.”

Strategic position of blockchain

The four major technologies of A (AI), B (blockchain), C (cloud computing) and D (big data) have become the integrated solution for head internet enterprises. For them, A, B, C and D do not exist alone.

Hai Quan's view regarding this is that AI supplies decision making and data processing capabilities. Blockchain helps realize the link between data and business. Cloud computing solves the problems of infrastructure management and expansibility. Big data supplies data organization and sorting, and mining capabilities. They are all connected.

With the considerable improvement of speed of 5G technologies, the information collection and transmission capacities of IoT equipment will be further released. Since the blockchain technology is ultimately used for data's traceability, trustworthiness, connectivity and synergy, the data collected by these physical equipment will become the important basis to support large scale implementation of blockchain networks. 

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