Centralizing the de-centralized blockchain.
If Coin and Crypto’s article, Facebook and Crypto: what you need to know for 2018, is a portal into the future of the Blockchain, then every crypto-anarchist’s nightmare is on the horizon.
Like most monolithic corporations, Facebook’s history of absorbing smaller relevant social media startups is well documented, and it appears that their sights are now set on blockchain startups. From identity blockchains to monetizing content blockchains and transparency blockchains, the sky is the limit to what Facebook will absorb to maintain and expand its centralized control over social media and beyond.
We will see the same pattern in many other industries where quasi-monopolies, from Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Goldman Sachs, to Walmart, etc., will leverage their weight to unidirectionally absorb blockchain technology to increase their market shares and profits.
Most people don’t care about the underlying values of the blockchain
This inevitable process will bring to light the paradox and worst nightmares of every crypto-anarchist: monolithic centralized power structures exploiting the benefits of the blockchain without assimilating the values underpinning this new technology.
By inevitable I mean that most people have no idea what freedoms and control they are signing over when they press “agree” to access their apps. And even if they know, most people really don’t care because their immediate need is to “exist” online and be seen, heard, responded and reacted to. Ease of access to “exist” on the digital plane is their primary goal. Whereas concerns about privacy, control over content, the commodification of users, changes in governance structures, transparency, and corporate accountability etc, pale in comparison to the pseudo-existential imperative to “exist” in this brave new world.
The power of myth
Even though this is old news, the myth of blockchain technology perseveres because myths are what bind the collective narrative in times of despair and powerlessness. Myths bring hope in the form of possible endings to an unfinished story that reassures our anxieties and re-awakens our desires.
And every myth is timestamped to a specific period in history and is created to abate the powerlessness, loss, and disillusionment when old myths are rendered impotent. Which is why Bitcoin, the technology and the myth, emerged out of the ashes of the 2008 global financial crisis. Its potential is both real and imagined, and its psychological appeal among millennials is palpable as explained in this article.
As a result of these factors, Bitcoin has become the main deity for the new myth of Blockchain technology. And like Hinduism’s 330 million deities are understood as emanations of the same Ultimate Reality called Brahman, all current (1384 plus or minus) and future altcoins can be viewed as manifestations of the universal and unlimited potential of Blockchain technology. And the faithful are lining up in droves at cryptocurrency exchanges around the world making offerings to their favorite deities.
Regulating the Myth
New gods threaten old gods, which explains all the rumbling on mount Olympus (read Davos, IMF, SEC, G-20, etc.) concerning this new kid on the block. It appears that the old boys club is threatened by the Medusa like powers of the Blockchain and are planning a beheading. And the mortals with skin in the game are trembling down below, anxiously scrolling their screens like a prayer bead, thumbs floating between the buy and sell buttons, torn between old and new gods. While the faithful continue to risk their hard earned cash to write with altcoin offerings the new narrative of the modern myth: the 9 headed Hydra crypto-monster, whose severed heads grow back two fold, and whose main head is immortal.
Which gods, myths and monsters will prevail is anyone’s guess because we are human all too human. And if there is one thing humans have been consistently good at throughout history is creating both gods and monsters in their own image, and making a few bucks along the way.
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And if you want to help a fellow human being, feel free to make an offering to your favorite deity below. All offerings will be donated to this non-profit, community based organisation helping single and blended families. Charitable tax receipts will be provided upon request.
Bitcoin deity: 16RYrAv9KMPK5e8yQERNmDMQxcVSeqczV2
Ethereum deity: 0xe02B14A0f8D70cfB5902bcEdFF6D0ED90d79826F
BitcoinCash deity: 16RYrAv9KMPK5e8yQERNmDMQxcVSeqczV2