The Mission behind BSN-DDC Network
Introducing BSN’s unique NFT-enabling infrastructure
The excitement generated by so-called NFTs (non-fungible tokens) has served as yet another reminder to businesses and consumers alike that blockchain technology is so much more than just cryptocurrencies. Alongside AI and 4D printing, NFTs represent a new wave of dynamic technologies that disrupt and improve processes and outcomes in numerous sectors.
As a pioneering global blockchain infrastructure, here at BSN, we are delighted by the rapid progress made in educating and enlightening businesses about how they can benefit from NFT technology. This article explains the motivation behind the launch of BSN’s unique NFT-enabling infrastructure and why we think our approach allows for the maximum benefits to be extracted from this innovative new technology.
What is a Distributed Digital Certificate?
A Distributed Digital Certificate (DDC) is effectively an NFT but with a few minor technical adaptations. These adaptations are necessary to make NFT technology compliant with regulations in China; please see our previous article for more information on this topic.
The key issue is that public chains are illegal in China. Thus, NFTs on underlying public chains are impossible to access for potential users within China. Importantly, it is not the NFTs themselves that are prohibited, simply the network through which they are transmitted. An analogy to make this clearer would be a hypothetical situation whereby email and websites were legal, but accessing them through the internet was impossible due to regulations.
Accordingly, BSN-DDCs have been designed to operate through the BSN’s Open Permissioned Blockchains. In this way, NFTs can be accessed by users in China and any other territory where government regulations currently impede their adoption.
What is the BSN-DDC network?
The BSN Distributed Digital Certificate Network is best thought of as an NFT-enabling infrastructure. It allows NFT usage in China while remaining fully compliant with government regulations.
At present, the BSN-DDC Network consists of 26 founding members, although the network is expected to expand and add new members. Currently, there are eight platform operators, the diversity of whom stands as a testament to the importance of the BSN-DDC project. Platform operators now include global business leaders such as EY Blockchain; Chinese tech provider, Sumavison; SaaS cloud provider, Baiwang; and Digital Art Fair Asia.
The network is built on ten Open Permissioned Blockchains (OPB), most of which are converted from well-known and globally recognized public chains, including Ethereum. More OPBs are expected to be added, and current or prospective users are encouraged to keep checking our portals for updates regularly.
What is the mission behind the BSN-DDC?
CURRENTLY, the BSN-DDC represents the only legal way to access and distribute NFTs within China. This ability to enable the usage of NFT technology within China was one of the main motivations behind developing the network.
In addition to making NFTs compliant with Chinese government regulations, a similar motivation for launching the BSN-DDC network is that we see much more potential in NFTs than simply another asset to be traded and speculated upon.
Here at BSN, we have always been committed to the concept that blockchain technology has far greater potential than the development of cryptocurrencies alone. Our reasons for this can be read in more detail in a previous article. There are certain similarities in how we view the eventual role that NFT technology will play in the economy and society of the following decades.
As with any new technology early on in its development, much of the current media focus on NFTs has been centered on speculative trading activity. Various famous NFTs are changing hands for extraordinary sums of fiat or cryptocurrencies.
By renaming NFTs as DDCs for the Chinese market, we emphasize that they should be conceptualized as universal, timeless, and unforgeable digital certificates that can be used for an enormous variety of verification processes.
What potential uses are there for the BSN DDC?
DDCs, like NFTs, are unique encrypted digital files. This means that information within them cannot be falsified, hacked, or edited without the correct authorizations being given. Accordingly, NFTs/DDCs can be considered more reliable and trustworthy versions of the paper certificates that many economic transactions rely on.
The role of trust is often underestimated as a factor influencing levels of economic prosperity.
American social scientist Francis Fukuyama in his seminar work, Trust: Social Virtues and Creation of Prosperity, described trust as ‘the ability of various peoples to organize effectively for commercial purposes without relying on blood ties or government intervention.’ Without trust, it’s astonishing how many economic transactions either take longer, cost more, or won’t happen.
Examples of DDC use-cases
1. Should you hire this new applicant?
A particular part of that decision rests on whether you trust their qualifications and whether or not their CV seems reliable and honest.
Today, employers have to trust in the physical copies of qualifications they are presented with, even though creating false but believable versions of these is possible. The degree certificates in the future will most likely be digital certificates minted by universities and stored on the blockchain.
2. Should I pay this individual for a plot of land they claim to own?
Yes, if I want the land and trust that they do genuinely own it and therefore have the right to sell it; no, if I feel they could be deceiving me about the actual status of the land.
Once again, property rights in everything from land to shares in a company to fine art, will soon be held in the form of digital certificates, simultaneously raising trust in the validity of such certificates as well as making them much easier to transport, and store, and display when required.
3. Am I happy to pay more for a specific brand of coffee because they claim they source directly from small-scale farmers and pay them a higher price than other brands?
Again, the answer might be yes, but only if I trust the brand and its claims.
DDCs, because they are generated and stored on an immutable decentralized ledger immune from hacking or tampering, can help provide this trust. In so doing, they can play a vital role in improving communication between businesses and their customers and can therefore contribute to the creation and maintenance of an environment suitable for shared economic prosperity.
Although the topic of this section is DDC use cases, the relationship between those use cases and the DDC is not made clear in the specific description.