For a long time, e-mail has been widely used in information network thanks to its efficiency, security and cross-platform ability, and has become one of the fundamental network services. Meanwhile, the emerging of value network represented by bitcoin and other digital currencies has made it possible to remit currencies across platforms within the whole network. Although e-mail and digital currency share natural similarities, such as anonymity, low latency, barrier-free cross-platform transmission and, irretrievability after sending, there are still no services that integrate them. This product, through the combination of e-mail and digital currency, enables simultaneous cross-platform transmission capability of both information and value for the first time, which facilitates the integration and development of today’s information network and emerging value network.
From a historical perspective, postal and remittances have a natural connection point, and the main difference between them is whether they are transmitting information or value. In early days, people used postal remittances as the main means of remittance. With the development of banking industry, remittances gradually turns into telegraph, whose typical application is SWIFT, which is still widely used for cross-border remittances. Later on, post industry gradually integrated with banking industry, which resulted in postal bank and other institutions.
With further development of communication methods, the remittance carrier gradually turned into telecommunications and Internet, whose typical representatives are telephone banking and online banking. Due to the limitation of traditional paper account, the “Internatelization” of bank is not thorough. People still need to use complex account numbers, payees and clearing numbers when making remittance, while the main improvement is that the handwritten form is converted into electronic form. The emergence of bank cards makes the payment process simple and fast, however as it is still based on bank account, such approach is still an intermediate form between paper and network, not totally for Internet.
As information network appeared first, the development of related industries is still dominated by information, which results in the separation of information and value transmission. As a means of information transmission entirely carried by Internet, e-mail can be transmitted in the entire network completely independent from the physical entity, while third-party payment method, which is popular today and the closest form to Internet, still needs to rely on bank system, i.e. bank card based on traditional paper account. In other words, third-party payment only expresses the value in form of information, rather than storing and transmit value in network, which results in the disconnection of information and value transmission capabilities.
To industries, on the information network, after e-mail, there have been e-commerce, online payment, instant messaging and cloud computing, etc.. These business models have been developed rapidly and, virtualized and digitalized most of social resources, thereafter the Big Data becomes the backbone of business. However, in value network, industries still rely on banking system to perform inefficient regional support and, it is difficult to obtain time efficiency and radiation capability within the whole network just like information network. In another word, although “internet thinking” has been realized on information network, there is still “physical thinking” on value network. As a matter of different dimensions, the efficiency and vitality of network are much greater than the latter, just like the difference between an airplane and a car: the long-distance transmission capability of flight realized by “height” in the three-dimensional world is much higher than that of a car, which is only on the ground, or say in a two-dimensional world.
If we say information network is equivalent to human nervous system, then big data and cloud computing are similar to human brain and, their importance is beyond doubt. At the same time, the blood circulation system at the network level is still “stored” in bank in physical form, making it difficult to balance the development of the network ecosystem as a whole. In other words, to a highly developed nervous system which relies on a weak blood system to provide nutrients, it is hard to imagine that such a system can function properly.
The emergence of digital currencies such as Bitcoin has made the network-based “blood circulation system” possible. As the cornerstone of value network, digital currency and e-mail share similar characteristics and, the main difference is whether value or information is transmitted. In this sense, digital currency and e-mail are equivalent to the online version of postal remittances, and the former one is completely independent of the latter one. Digital currency promotes the bank’s paper system to network system and, promotes a third-party payment system which contains a single channel or a small number of channels to a system that contains a large number of mutually reciprocal remittance channels, just like upgrading a straight line into a plane. A similar digital currency development path can be expected with reference to the development of e-mail.
As the bottom layer of digital currency, although the characteristics of blockchain technology such as non-tampering are applicable to many fields, for example legal confirmation and source traceability, its core value still lies in digital currency. The use of legal confirmation and other purposes belong to information network fundamentally. Therefore the blockchain technology for such purpose is just a branch of database technology. In other words, even without blockchain, a similar result can still be achieved by other means, that is, the blockchain technology does not have much technical or cost advantage. However, in the field of digital currency, the use of blockchain belongs to the construction of a new value network, which has the effect that other technologies cannot achieve, and its significance far exceeds database technology. On this basis, the total amount of digital currency is not limited by certain economic policies, but only to make it rare to get value.
Therefore, we try to take the first small step into the integration of information network and value network, namely the FINMAIL Outlook Add-in. It is believed that with the development of technology and the maturity of supervision, related applications will bring increasing value to society and business and, become the cornerstone of more fields.
The technology involved in this application has applied for relevant patents.