Aleksandar Svetski

@AleksandarSvetski

There’s nothing special about “The Blockchain”

January 29th 2018

Not much innovation…but plenty of stupidity..

Blockchains…and basically 95% of crypto’s..

If you’ve been reading some of my material laterly, this may come as a bit of a shock — but it’s 100% true.

I’m working on releasing some articles which will help people understand the differences between the general types of blockchain shortly, and in the process of reading those you’ll get a deeper sense as to why I’ve made this call.

This purpose of this article is to lay out in simple terms why I think there is actually nothing really special about blockchains — which in my mind is very important to understand as you begin to move through this landscape.

“The Blockchain”

It’s such a nebulous term. These days any monkey who pops that on the end of their company name seems to go out & make or raise an extra $100m:

Stupidity…Image courtesy of CNBC…

If that’s not the dumbest thing you’ve ever seen, well….then you must’ve seen some really dumb S#*%…

Anyway..aside from things like this, what I’m getting at is the fact that people are trying to grasp / categorise / label /pigeonhole a technology in a bid to imitate what Bitcoin has done since it’s inception — all so they can take advantage of a trend.

The problem though is Bitcoin’s innovation is NOT the blockchain!! This is exactly what happens when new technology & money come together. All the morons come out of the woodwork, become overnight experts and begin to dribble shit out of their mouths as if they understand what’s going on.

Blockchains are NOT inherently innovative.

A blockchain is just a new, more secure way of databasing information. Who really gives a shit! We’ve had a multiple ways of bulding new databases emerge over the last 20yrs and nobody outside of back end tech geeks ever really gave a crap.

People only really care now because money is at stake. The dumb asses who’ve been saying it’s useless since the beginning are now all bitter because they missed out on 1,000,000% returns. So what would any human with a cognitive-dissonance reflex do in this situation? Simple: try to find ways to rationalise & justify their stupidity by schilling the “next” blockchain that will “take over Bitcoin” and “become the new kinf of crypto”.

So here we are, in 2018 — after Bitcoin has gone from 1c to $20k — we’ve got every talking head & overnight expert with ZERO understanding of what’s going on, saying “blockchain is the innovation”.

But here’s the News Flash: No..it’s not..

And no, your new bit of “blockchain” tech will not do this:

Chart is a little outdated…sorry..

The true innovation is the creation of decentralised consensus protocols & networks that are able to operate without a central authority that people would traditionally need to “trust” in order to allow for exchange, communication, transactions & more.

The true innovation is the creation of decentralised consensus protocols

What Bitcoin pioneered was the first amalgamation of a number of different technologies, disciplines & theories to create a new form of governance.

“The Blockchain” is just one piece of the puzzle. It allows the ledger & the transactions within that ledger to be immutable — and that’s great — but it’s the game theory and mechanisms that were designed where no central party is required to vet, monitor, verify or validate “states”, exchanges, transfers, etc that’s special about “decentralised consensus protocols”.

The real innovation in this space is Bitcoin. I’d say Ethereum is also up there, especially with their development of Casper (PoS).

But aside from that, there is nothing else at this stage that has truly been able to carve it’s own space & develop a revolutionary new form of governance^^.

Everything else is riding the Bitcoin wave, claiming to be the next big thing, claiming to have a faster, or more private “blockchain” and all the while missing the entire point:

It’s not about “the blockchain”

Since the inception of decentralised consunsus protocols^, we as a society have been able to glimpse the future. A future where all of this wasted infrastructure and the continual time, effort & resources we use to maintain it will become less & less relevant.

Governments, courts, voting systems, laws, institutions, organizations, etc,

All of these entities have been created to help direct and govern society whilst allowing the public some form of (albeit limited) involvement in the process.

The thing is, the majority of these entities, processes, procedures, rules, etc can be codified, AND, the public can have a much greater involvement in the entire process, from selection, through to implementation.

We’ve proven that with Bitcoin, Ethereum & the other cryptocurrencies + blockchains that operate via a decentralised consensus mechanism.

Right now, we’re ‘only’ able to transact value in the form of money (which in itself I feel is an amazing achievement), but as the best minds flock toward these open source protocols, as more & more people hear about them and use them, we’ll see them evolve the same way the internet did.

15yrs ago I guarantee you would NOT have paid for something on the internet with your credit card. Now? It’s 100% normal.

The same thing will happen here.

Running around talking about how “revolutionary” blockchains are really only comes from people who don’t get it.

It’s the IBM’s of the world (no offence to IBM — it’s more of a metaphor).

This is what revolutions are made of..

On the surface, IBM & Apple both built a “computer”, but in reality they were each building two completely different things. One was building a machine, the other was creating a revolution & empowering the people.

It’s “1984” all over again, and guess what; blockchains & decentralised consensus protocols / networks (DCP/N’s) are doing two very different things.

Conclusion

The greatest revolutions & innovations occur when the humanities & sciences intersect & combine.

Focusing solely on one brings about incremental improvements — which is fine, we need that too — but the step changes only happen when they’ve come together.

Using the Apple example again, Jobs combined art & science to create the iMac, the iPhone, the iPad and more. That completely changed personal computing. Computers were transformed from an enterprise “tool” into something almost as ubiquitous as a shirt, and thus leveled the information playing field.^^^

Likewise with blockchains & DCP/N’s.

One is focused on building a tool, which will most probably be employed by enterprises & make them more efficient. Well done. Congrats.

The other takes human psychology and self interest via the study of game theory & mechanism design, combines it with technologies such as cryptography, blockchain & computer science and uses it to actualize and liverate a set of the most fundamental human & societal needs: exchange, transactions, agreements, communication, etc.

So yeah…Power to the people! lol..

That’s not “Apple” Apple btw ;)

Notes

This was not my most coherent piece, and I apologise for that. There was soooo much more I wanted to write, but will have to end here for now & save for a future article when I have a little more time to elaborate on each of the ideas.

There was also some comments & statements I made during the text that I feel needed a little more explanation:

^ I was been harping on about Bitcoin here because it was the first of it’s kind. It’s not the best blockchain technology, but it was the first place where we saw a system that was capable of allowing people who do NOT know each other to transact, securely, online, using a digital token, where NO central authority had to monitor, verify or validate the transaction. That’s the revolution. Everything that has come after has been an adaptation — some good, some useless — of that idea.

^^ If you’ve followed my writings, you’ll know I’m a big supporter of the entire space. So my little jab at “all the others” is not to discredit the Monero’s, Dash’s, etc of the world. There are some AMAZING projects out there with decentralises consenus protocols that are probably better / smarter than what Bitcoin has — and so they should be; they can stand on the shoulders of a giant — so don’t take my comments the wrong way, I was just making a point that before there was Bitcoin, there was really a bunch of disparate technologies. After Bitcoin, we have a >$500bn crypto market & broader “blockchain” market around it.

^^^ My point here doesn’t take into account what you think about the ubiquity of smart phones, computers, connectivity, etc. Some of you may say they’re great, some may say they’ve eroded society. That’s your opinion, but it’s not my point. And if that’s a sticking point for you, I’d take a moment to read this:

It’s one of my earlier articles, so pardon the excessive profanity..lol.

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If you enjoyed this post, please show it some love, give it a clap (or a few) and pass it around to anyone you think should have a read.

Some of my stuff is a little rough around the edges, but it’s done that way to hopefully jolt people into think clearer / deeper into what they’re doing.

Hope you got some value & feedback is always welcome!

Aleks

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