Co-Founder of Bytom Duan Xinxing:Code is not only a tool to manage assets but also a current asset itself

7 min readSep 19, 2017


“Code is not only a tool to manage assets but also a current asset itself.” — -Duan Xinxing from Bytom

Bytom, new public blockchain project issued by 8BTC team, is an interactive protocol of multiple byte assets. Heterogeneous byte-assets that operate in different forms on the Bytom Blockchain and atomic assets can be registered, exchanged, gambled and engaged in other more complicated and contract-based interoperations via Bytom. Since Bytom White Paper released, it has gotten huge attention from the community. In the evening of July 4th, Duan Xinxing, Executive President of 8BTC and Co-Founder of Bytom, was invited by YangYang interview and shared the original intention of Bytom, project schedule and future direction.

The following is the real recording of Duan’s interview:

The content we share today is not about price tendency for the market is not predictable and nobody can predict precisely on the short-term price fluctuation. Rather than struggle with something that changes, better to focus on things that don’t change. On the basics of understanding, we form our own judges and make them our own investment guide. Today, I will focus on the fundamental idea of Bytom.

Bytom is a project that 8BTC team has been planning for so long. And actually we have already completed the first version and in one of the blockchain contest this year, we have made a demo of P2P bike sharing system based on that version. Since we have better changes and adjustments towards it, we start our secondary development.

We are all very clear about the background of this project which is the risen of digital assets. In March, Bloomberg News reported that PBOC might study and develop central bank digital currency system, which has been verified. On the other hand, our neighbor — -Japan has already considered Bitcoin as a legal payment. Moreover, in July 1st, Australia starts considering the application of digital currency and digital assets. We can see that all of the digital assets on CoinMarketCap have been increased dramatically since 2013, of which the total value has reached 110 billion dollars. Some may say this is just bubble. But we can tell by how many people are using it and how frequently they are using it and has it ushered in our real world? The answer is clear.

According to the statistics of and, the onchain daily volume of business just for BTC is between 250 thousand to 350 thousand, which means despite of , the public blockchain does have applications. With the increasing value of applications, a lot of dollars and RMB have been put into digital currency field.

If there is token, there is blockchain. But what’s the relation between them? At last meeting, I mentioned that if Bitcoin was a car, the blockchain was a broad road. This idea was quickly corrected by a partner from Deloitte, who believed those two were more like the analogy between railway and track, which is more precise and right in place.

The developments of BTC, blockchain, Bytom and other digital assets are all related with one person — — Satoshi Nakamoto. He began to explore blockchain since 2008 and 2009.Actually from his latter letter, he had thought about it long before. In 2008, the white paper was released and the code was completed in 2009 and then blockchain was born.

What are the creative achievements about this paper? There are BTC, blockchain, POW, decentralized system, SPV,etc.


What we need to think about is that why we still tend to create all kinds of blockchian like Bytom since we already have Bitcoin Blockchian.

In Satoshi’s Bitcoin White Paper, it describes P2P cash system, focusing on cash and bitcoin. While in Bytom’s design, it’s more about interactive protocol of multiple byte assets, of which the key is assets.

From the first aspect to understand blockchian: the idea of ledger. Many people think this is unnecessary or unimportant but actually it is! Imagine a life scene, you get paid 100 yuan through work and if your child tears it up by accident while playing game. What do you really lose during this procedure? From this aspect, we can figure something out.

After tearing this piece of money, what is really changing? If the paper currency is what you get from trading tokens, will the corresponding tokens decrease after the paper is gone? It seems not, it will still exist in exchange platform and will be bought by other buyers. Suppose the paper currency is what you get from work, the codes you write and the efforts you put into will be still there. An interesting thing happened: since the money is the carrier of value, why will the value still exist while the carrier is gone? So what do you really lose from that? Furthermore, what does paper currency really mean and what’s the meaning of assets?

Actually, both will be related to proof of stake. When you get the paper, you can show to the others that you own the property like the deeds for house and land. So from this aspect, blockchian does have the function of a ledger, granting the records and realization of your rights. For assets, this is also necessary.

Then it is easy to understand that the bitcoin blockchian lists the records of every minute and every second. The whole ledger and your rights and interests are there which you can use to confirm, exchange and accept.

Therefore what’s the original idea of Satoshi? He mentioned the concept of cash. You download a full node and a wallet which corresponds a sequence of UTXO. All of the information can be checked through network, circulate in great order and cannot be tampered, which perfectly forms trust. But there is a limitation in bitcoin public chain: its ledger was designed just for bitcoin and at the first beginning, they didn’t see how complicated it can develop.

However, there are all kinds of tokens and assets now. if we want to circulate the assets, the first thing we need to do is to get them registered. That’s why we explore UTXO in Bytom’s White Paper. If we want the compatibility for various assets, we need firstly expand the data structure so that we can realize pay by 5 BTC or 50 ETH or 200 Zcash in one transaction. Therefore, we must change the data structure of underlying assets in order to realize efficiency and compatibility. Therefore in Bytom, we expand UTXO to BUTXO to support various assets which actually is like the expansion of ledger.

The second aspect to understand blockchain is value transmission network. As long as there is various assets, there will be various assets network. If there are network, there will be interaction of network between which cross-chain operation plays a great role. That’s why we put X replay into use which derives from the BTCRelay from ConsenSys company.

The third aspect is that blockchain is a protocol which in an easy term, can be considered as programmable and expandable. The smart contract and programmable idea are not new innovations. We develop public chain on bottom layer and application on upper layer, which will avoid security problem and network congestion as DAO and ICO encountered.

Taking all these three aspects into consideration, Bytom’s main stream is clear: record of various assets — -ledger, cross-chain of various assets and the development of extension assets.

Other innovations are all related to above three aspects like smart signature that is convenient for assets trading and SegWit that’s convenient for consensus. But this SegWit is not the same as the one in Bitcoin. The latter is to solve block size limit problem by removing signature data from Bitcoin transactions. When certain parts of a transaction are removed, this frees up space or capacity to add more transactions to the chain. But the SegWit I mentioned is not to solve this problem but to contain more pluggable modules like the smooth updating mechanism of consensus when creating a new blockchain.

Let’s take another example: general assets address format. We adopt ODIN to optimize the searching system and BIP32, BIP33, BIP44 to better usability. Moreover, we put SM2 and SM3 algorithm into use to meet the demand of market. The most severe criticism about mining is costing too much energy. Taking that into consideration, our design is POW and ASIC which is AI-friendly. After the mining machine dies out, it can serve for AI industry.

The code itself is a kind of assets

When we look back about the transmission and change of the publication or words history, it firstly starts from oracle bone, bamboo slip, paper and then kindle, electrical books spring up. The carrier of words dramatically boosts the revolution of publication industry and culture.

If we take a look of the assets and currency history, it happens and changes the same way. Starting from shells, gold, paper currency and digital currency, it then changes into a format with centralized database and then will develop into a format with distributed network and encryption algorithm for protecting the assets. Here is an interesting phenomenon: what can code itself form? It can actually builds Wechat, Excel and other convenient software to help us work and produce more assets. In this way, code is a tool. However, since the BTC and later the ETH and other digital assets spring up, there is obvious tendency that the code itself is a new form of assets with functionality, scarcity, expandability and the faith of the mass.

That’s how we came up the idea of Bytom: Byte is bit world or digital world; Atom is atom physical world. We hope to work on this part to build a bridge to connect digital assets and physical assets.

Bytom is an interactive protocol of multiple byte assets. Heterogeneous byte-assets (indigenous digital currency, digital assets) that operate in different forms on the Bytom Blockchain and atomic assets (warrants, securities, dividends, bonds, intelligence information, forecasting information and other information that exist in the physical world) can be registered, exchanged, gambled and engaged in other more complicated and contract-based interoperations via Bytom.

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