The reason why I am hopeful for the blockchain is not to do what we are already doing better but to do it fundamentally different. I point to the LIBOR and FOREX scandals and all the little scandals that are happening everyday because centralized control centralizes power and incentivizes corruption. The center is rotten and innovation happens at the edges of the network. The last thing I want is a system that reduces friction in our centralized financial management systems. That increased efficiency will just increase extraction.

What the Bitcoin experiment has shown us is that it is entirely possible to invent a currency that that has financial value. The failure of Bitcoin is that it devolved in to gambling and crime.

I am an Oaklander. I want my city to have its own currency so that we can learn to value velocity over hoarding.

I’m a high school teacher. I want a decentralized, peer awarded “currency” to balance the centralized currency of credit and grades.

I am a netizen, I want to own my identity and provide permission for its use.

Designing and programming these could be done with lots of different databases and likely something very ordinary would be the easiest. It may be that a decentralized DB like the Blockchain is unwieldy and impractical. Fine. Then we need to invent something else that eliminates the ability to control and manipulate the flow of data across the center.

I hear the Holochain is really interesting.

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The protocols of neighborliness are in contestation with the protocols of purity and the most important question we can ask ourselves is “Who is my neighbor?”

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