加密经济的意义何在? (上)


#1

因篇幅限制,本文分上下两部分上传。此为上半部分

Making Sense of “Cryptoeconomics”
加密经济的意义何在?

A few months ago Parker Thompson, a well known Silicon Valley VC, tweeted that “the concept of crypto-economics is stupid. It’s economics. Inventing your own word is just an excuse to ignore well-understood concepts.”
几个月前, 一个硅谷非常有名的VC——帕克·汤普森 发推特说 “加密经济的概念很愚蠢。拜托,这可是经济学,任何把自己发明的词加在经济学前面都是故弄玄虚。”

The term “cryptoeconomics” causes a lot of confusion. People are often unclear on what it is supposed to mean. The word itself can be misleading, as it suggests that there is a parallel “crypto” version of the whole of economics. This is wrong, and Parker is right to mock such a generalization.
加密经济这个词的确很容易混淆。 人们往往搞不清楚它到底是什么意思。这个词本身就有误导的意思,因为它听着像是整个经济学的平行“加密”版本。这是不准确的,所以帕克的嘲讽不无道理。

In simple terms, cryptoeconomics is the use of incentives and cryptography to design new kinds of systems, applications, and networks. Cryptoeconomics is specifically about building things, and has most in common with mechanism design — an area of mathematics and economic theory.
简单来说,加密经济是结合经济激励和密码学去设计新的系统、应用程序和网络。 加密经济具体来说是指构建事物,而且与机制设计(一个关于数学和经济理论的领域)有很多相似之处。

Cryptoeconomics is not a subfield of economics, but rather an area of applied cryptography that takes economic incentives and economic theory into account. Bitcoin, ethereum, zcash and all other public blockchains are products of cryptoeconomics.
加密经济不是经济学的一个分支,而是一个将经济激励和经济理论考虑在内的应用密码学领域。比特币、以太坊、zcash和其他所有的公有链都是加密经济的产物。

Cryptoeconomics is what makes blockchains interesting, what makes them different from other technologies. As a result of Satoshi’s white paper,we have learned that through the clever combination of cryptography, networking theory, computer science and economic incentives we can buildnew kinds of technologies. These new cryptoeconomic systems can accomplish things that these disciplines could not achieve on their own. Blockchains are just one product of this new practical science.
因为加密经济,区块链才妙趣横生、与众不同。中本聪的白皮书让我们认识到,巧妙结合密码学、网络理论、计算机科学和经济激励,我们可以创造出多种新技术。很多事情,凭这些学科单打独斗是无法实现的,但新的加密经济体系可以。区块链正是这种新的应用科学的产物之一。

This article aims to explain cryptoeconomics in clear, simple terms. First, we examine bitcoin as an example of cryptoeconomic design. Second, we consider how cryptoeconomics relates to economic theory in general. Third, we look at three different areas of cryptoeconomic design and research that are active today.
本文旨在以清晰、简单的概念解释加密经济。 首先,我们从比特币切入,研究加密经济的设计。 第二,我们探究加密经济学如何与经济理论相关联。 第三,我们看看如今比较活跃的三个不同方向的加密经济设计和研究。

1. What is cryptoeconomics? Bitcoin as a case study 什么是加密经济? 以比特币为例

Bitcoin is a product of cryptoeconomics.
比特币是加密经济的产物。

Bitcoin’s innovation is that it allows many entities who do not know one another to reliably reach consensus about the state of the bitcoin blockchain.This is achieved using a combination of economic incentives and basic cryptographic tools.
比特币的创新之处在于,它允许互不相识的个体就比特币区块链的状态达成可靠共识。这是通过经济激励和基本加密工具的结合实现的。

Bitcoin’s design relies on economic incentives and penalties. Economic rewards are used to enlist miners to support the network. Miners contribute their hardware and electricity because if they produce new blocks, they are rewarded with amounts of bitcoin.
比特币的设计主要是经济激励和经济处罚。首先,用经济激励吸引矿工来参与到网络中。因为矿工贡献了他们的硬件设施和电力资源,一旦生成的新的区块,矿工们就会得到大量的比特币奖励。

Second, economic costs or penalties are part of bitcoin’s security model. The most obvious way to attack the bitcoin blockchain would be to gain control of a majority of the network’s hashing power — a so-called 51 percent attack — which would let an attacker reliably censor transactions and even change the past state of the blockchain.
其次,经济成本或经济处罚是比特币安全模型的一部分。攻击比特币区块链最典型的方法是控制大部分网络的哈希算力— 即所谓的51%攻击 — 这允许攻击者稳稳地审查交易(比如拒绝处理某个用户的所有交易),甚至改变链上过去的所有状态。

But gaining control of hashing power costs money, in the form of hardware and electricity. Bitcoin’s protocol intentionally makes mining difficult, meaning that gaining control of a majority of the network is extremely expensive — enough that it would be hard to profit from the attack. As of November 16, 2017, the cost of a 51 percent attack on bitcoin would be around $3.14 billion in hardware and $5.6 million in electricity every day.
但是,想要获得哈希算力的控制权,需要耗费大量的硬件和电力资源。比特币的协议故意把挖矿设计得很难,这就意味着,想要获得这个网络的控制权极其昂贵——这个代价甚至远远高于攻击这个网络可能获得的利润。截至2017年11月16日,想要实现比特币51%攻击的耗费,其硬件成本约为31.4亿美元,每天用电量为560万美元。


A Bitmain mining facility in Inner Mongolia (Photo: Stefan Chow)
内蒙古的比特大陆矿场 (Photo: Stefan Chow)

Without these carefully calibrated economic incentives, bitcoin wouldn’t work. If mining did not come with a high cost, it would be easy to launch a 51 percent attack. If there were no mining reward, there would be no industry of people who buy hardware and pay for electricity to contribute to the network.
如果没有这些精心设计的经济激励措施,比特币将无法运作。如果挖矿成本不够高,那么51%攻击很容易发生。当然,如果没有挖矿激励,那么就没有人愿意购买硬件并支付高额的电费来为比特币网络做贡献。

Bitcoin also relies on cryptographic protocols. Public-private key cryptography is used to give individuals safe, exclusive control of their bitcoin. Hash functions are used to “link” each block in the bitcoin blockchain, proving an order of events and the integrity of past data.
比特币也依赖于加密协议。 公钥私钥密码可以让用户安全地独家拥有的比特币控制权。哈希函数用于“链接”比特币区块链中的每个块,证明事件发生的顺序和过去数据的完整性。

Cryptographic protocols like these give us the basic tools necessary to build reliable, secure systems like Bitcoin. Without something like public-private key infrastructure, we could not guarantee to a user that they have exclusive control over their bitcoin. Without something like hashing functions, nodes would not be able to guarantee the integrity of the history of bitcoin transactions contained in Bitcoin’s blockchain.
像这样的加密协议为我们提供了基本的工具,用于构建像比特币这样安全、可靠的系统。如果没有公钥-私钥这样的基本设施,我们无法向用户保证他们可以独立地控制比特币。如果没有哈希函数,节点将无法保证比特币交易历史的完整性。

Without the hardness of cryptographic protocols like hashing functions or public-private key cryptography, we would have no secure unit of account with which to reward miners — no confidence that our record of past accounts was authentic and exclusively controlled by a rightful owner. Without a carefully calibrated set of incentives to reward an industry of miners, that unit of account could have no market value because there would be no confidence that the system could persist into the future.
如果没有像哈希函数或公钥私钥密码这样的加密协议的强制性,我们就没有可用于奖励矿工的安全记账单位,就不能保证账户的历史记录是真实的且完全由正当所有者控制。如果没有恰当的经济激励来奖励矿工,那么这个账户就没有市场价值,因为没有人能保证这个系统可以持续运作。

In this way, bitcoin’s design requires an understanding of both cryptography and how incentives affect the security properties and functionality of systems built with cryptography. Cryptoeconomics is strange and counterintuitive. Most of us are not used to thinking of money as a design or engineering problem, nor are we used to economic incentive design being an essential component of a new technology. Cryptoeconomics requires us to think about information security problems in economic terms.
从这个角度来讲,设计比特币不仅需要理解密码学,还需要理解经济激励如何影响加密系统的安全属性和功能。加密经济是很奇怪且违背常理的。我们大多数人不会习惯将钱视为设计或工程问题,也不习惯经济激励设计作为新技术的重要组成部分。实际上,加密经济会要求我们考虑经济方面的信息安全问题

One of the most common mistakes in this industry is made by those who view blockchains only through a lens of computer science or applied cryptography.We have a strong tendency to prioritize the things we are most comfortable with, and see things outside of our domain of expertise as less important.
区块链行业最常见的错误之一,就是仅通过计算机科学或应用密码学视角来看区块链。人们总是倾向于优先考虑自己最熟悉的事物,而对于认知之外的专业知识没那么重视。

In blockchain technology, this leads many people to assume or abstract away the crucial role of economic incentives. This is one reason we see meaningless phrases like “blockchains are trustless”, “bitcoin is backed only by math” or “blockchains are immutable.” These are all wrong in their own way, but all have the effect of obfuscating the essential role of a large network of people whose necessary participation in the network is maintained through economic incentives.
在区块链技术中,这导致许多人臆测或抽象经济激励的关键作用。这也是一个我们经常会看到某些毫无意义的短语的原因,如“区块链是去信任化的”,“比特币就是基于数学的技术”或“区块链是不可变的。”这些自以为是的理解都是错误的,但所有这些概念会让人们混淆,误解了用经济激励来维持必要参与者的大型网络的重要地位。

Cryptoeconomic systems like bitcoin feel like magic to someone who views them only as a product of computer science, because bitcoin can do things that computer-science alone could never accomplish. Cryptoeconomics isn’t magic — it’s just interdisciplinary.
对于那些只是把比特币视为计算机科学产物的人来说,加密经济系统感觉就像魔术一样,因为比特币可以做一些单靠计算机科学无法实现的事情。其实加密经济并不神奇——它就是一些跨学科的结合。

2. How does it relate to economics more generally?加密经济学如何与经济理论相关联?

The term cryptoeconomics can be misleading because it suggests a comparison to economics as a whole. This is part of what leads people like Parker to dismiss the term. Economics is the study of choice: how people and groups of people respond to incentives. The invention of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology does not require a new theory of human choice — the humans haven’t changed. Cryptoeconomics is not the application of macroeconomic and microeconomic theory to cryptocurrency or token markets.
加密经济这个名词可能会产生误导,因为它暗示了与经济学整体的比较。这也是像帕克这些人对这个词不屑一顾的一部分原因。经济学是关于选择的研究:人和人类组织如何应对激励。加密货币和区块链技术的发明不需要研究关于人类选择的新理论——因为改变的不是人类。加密经济不是宏观经济学和微观经济学理论在加密货币或代币市场上的应用。

Cryptoeconomics has most in common with mechanism design, a field related to game theory. In game theory, we look at a given strategic interaction (a “game”) and then try to understand the best strategies for each player, and the likely outcome if both players follow those strategies. For instance, we might use game theory to look at a negotiation between two firms, relations between countries or even evolutionary biology.
加密经济与机制设计最为相似,机制设计是与博弈论相关的领域。在博弈论中,我们先看一个规定好的战略互动(“游戏”)然后去理解每个玩家的最佳策略,以及如果两个玩家都遵循这些策略的可能结果。例如,我们可以使用博弈论来研究两家公司之间的谈判,国家之间的关系甚至是进化生物学。

Mechanism design is often referred to as reverse game theory because we start with a desired outcome and then work backwards to design a game that, if players pursue their own self interest, will produce the outcome we want. For instance, imagine we are responsible for designing the rules of an auction. We have an objective that we want bidders to actually bid the real value they place on an item. To achieve this, we apply economic theory to design the auction as a game where the dominant strategy for any player is to always bid their true value. One solution to this problem is called a Vickrey auction, where bids are secret and the winner of the auction (defined as the player with the highest bid) only pays the second highest amount that was bid.
机制设计通常被称为反向博弈论,因为我们会从期望的结果开始,然后反推设计出一个游戏,那么如果玩家追求自己的自身利益,就会做出我们预期的行为、产生我们想要的结果。例如,假设我们负责设计拍卖规则。我们的目标是希望投标人真正地为商品的实际价值出价。为了实现这一目标,我们运用经济理论将拍卖设计为一种游戏其中任何玩家的主导策略是始终为其真实价值出价。这个问题的解决方案叫做维克里拍卖,其中每个人出价是保密的,而拍卖的获胜者(也就是出价最高者)只需支付出价第二高的金额。

Cryptoeconomics, like mechanism design, focuses on designing and creating systems. Like in our auction example, we use economic theory to design “rules” or mechanisms that produce a certain equilibrium outcome. But in cryptoeconomics, the mechanisms used to create economic incentives are built using cryptography and software and the systems we are designing are almost always distributed or decentralized.
与机制设计一样,加密经济专注于设计和创建系统。与我们的拍卖示例一样,我们使用经济理论来设计产生某种均衡结果的“规则”或机制。 但在加密经济中,用于创建经济激励的机制是用密码学和软件构建的而且我们设计的系统几乎都是分布式或去中心化的

Bitcoin is a product of this approach. Satoshi wanted bitcoin to have certain properties — for instance, that it be able to reach consensus about its internal state and that it be censorship-resistant. Then, Satoshi set out to design a system that would achieve those properties, assuming people responded in rational ways to economic incentives.
比特币就是这种设计的产物。中本聪希望比特币具有某些特性——例如,它能够就其内部状态达成共识,并且具备防止审查的能力。接着,中本聪开始设计一个能实现这些特性的系统,并假设人们在这个系统里会以理性的方式回应经济激励。

Most often, cryptoeconomics is used to provide a security guaranteeabout a distributed system. For instance, we have a cryptoeconomic security guarantee that the bitcoin blockchain is secure against a 51 percent attack unless someone is willing to spend a few billion dollars. Or, in a state channel — a topic we discuss later — we can have a cryptoeconomic security guarantee that an off-chain process is nearly as secure and final as an on-chain transaction.
通常,加密经济用于提供分布式系统的安全保证。例如,比特币的加密经济安全保证可以抵御51%的攻击除非某人愿意花费几十亿美元发起51%攻击。或者,我们可以在状态通道上(这个主题我们稍后会讨论)获得加密经济安全保证,即链下的过程几乎与链上交易一样安全和不可更改。

It is worth noting that mechanism design is not a panacea. There is a limit to how much we can rely on incentives to predictably shape future behaviour. As Nick Szabo rightly points out, ultimately we are speculating about people’s future mental states and making assumptions about how they react to certain incentives. A cryptoeconomic system’s security guarantee depends in part on the strength of its assumptions about how people react to economic incentives.
值得注意的是,机制设计并非万能仙丹。我们可以通过经济激励来引导人们的行为,但我们不能完全依赖这样的经济激励。正如Nick Szabo指出的那样,最终我们在猜测的是人们未来的心理状态,并对他们如何应对某些激励措施做出假设。加密经济系统的安全保障在一定程度上取决于这种假设的强度,即人们到底会对经济激励作出怎样的反应。


#3

前面那部分的内容重复了,写了两遍,希望可以调整,笔芯


#4

done. thx!