Experts Weigh In on the Future Use of Blockchain at Xunlei Global Challenge

It started with more than 2000 participants from prestigious universities and companies around the world. After three months of fierce competition, one team has emerged the winner of Xunlei 2018 Blockchain Applications Global Challenge.

Xunlei proposed the challenge to seek the best talents and projects in the realm of blockchain covering but not limited to sectors such as public welfare, healthcare, education, gaming, social network, transportation, product identification and copyright. The finalists proved the competition effective in purging real use cases from various pie-in-the-sky theories in blockchain.

All 10 teams have been hand-picked to participate in the highly competitive final. They presented their work in front of industry experts and blockchain professionals, including Professor Neil H. Wasserman from George Washington University, Alexander Ye, risk advisory director at Deloitte, We Zhifeng, Research Fellow of Institute for International Monetary study at Renmin University of China, Chunxiao Xing, Vice Secretary of Cyberledger and Vice Dean of RIIT, Zhao Xianming, Senior Investment Manager at Shenzhen Capital Group, Tian Hongfei, Founding Partner at iVision and Xunlei and Onething Technologies CEO Chen Lei.

After many deliberations, the internet giant pored over the judges’ notes and narrowed the list down to one winner: Team Designer from Zhejiang University. Aimed at facilitating the mainstream adoption of blockchain tech, the team has developed a graphic tool that can verify risks associated with smart contracts in advance.

At the ceremony last Friday in Shenzhen, the crowd was brimming with excitement for the tech. In fact, the competition has renewed the confidence around the blockchain-related developments in China among panelists.

(Gao Bin, Executive Secretary of the Blockchain Professional Committee of China Communication Industry Association)

Gao Bin, Executive Secretary of the Blockchain Professional Committee of China Communication Industry Association (CCIA), which is the advising institution of the Challenge, has openly acknowledged Xunlei as a pioneer in enterprise-class blockchain solutions. Deploying its Blockchain infrastructure in various industries, Xunlei is working with a number of partners like One Foundation to bring back trust in the charitable sector besides collaborating with IP Trade on protecting patents, trademarks and licenses.

Perhaps more impressively, the legacy of ThunderChain is too acknowledged by another panelist: Neil H. Wasserman, an adjunct professor at George Washington University, who is a blockchain pioneer and a name to turn to for answers on healthcare applications of blockchain.

Speaking during the ceremony, Wasserman painted a picture of blockchain structure that in many ways mirrors the second law of thermodynamics in physics. He then used quantum mechanics to prove that a distributed system is the most efficient type of low entropy system. Entropy is a scientific concept that measures disorder: the higher the entropy, the higher the disorder. And disorder is precisely what will characterize the future of TCP/IP. This leads us to the real innovation of blockchain, the incorporation of a native digital store of value, a token which can be used as an incentive to reach consensus as quickly as possible in a competition. This order from chaos (or increasing complexity) can effectively be seen as a reduction in entropy of the system. This can also be considered as fundamental to the “structural integrity” of a blockchain, explains Wasserman.

Xunlei’s endorsement of blockchain is in line with Chinese government’s policy and initiatives to nurture the technology in the country. In 2017, China has seen an exponential rise in the number of blockchain startups, with at least 100 new startups emerging in merely a year’s time.

(Xunlei CEO and Onething Technologies Chen Lei)

Xunlei and Onething Technologies CEO Chen Lei noted that we are seeing lots of entrepreneurs focusing on the application of blockchain and related technology that can change the world and benefit the society. Mr. Chen further said, “Those are the people whom Xunlei should not let down. For Xunlei, we are focusing on the technology itself to make breakthroughs in the performance.”

During the final competition, Xunlei also announced the launch of the ThunderChain File System (TCFS), as well as three ThunderChain Request for Comments (TRC) standards. The new file system, in particular, is designed to combine features of platforms like IPFS and filecoin, while adding new security and flexibility functions.