A Statement on Altcoins, Bitcoin, “Smart-Contracts” and Anonymous Transactions

We can all “decentralise” ourselves to death. The bottom-line: anarchy is not the natural order. Cryptocurrencies will eventually tend toward the equilibrium state of ‘order’ based on old-schools of command, control and the need for safety.

I first made this statement as a comment here:

For software-applications, ‘smart contracts’ will definitely have ‘some’ use…

Btw, since crypto (i.e. Bitcoin) is really (ultimately!) an attempt to ‘decentralise’ banking… it seems to me that unless and until we can develop a system of Human-‘Oracles’ that is also decentralised, the Bitcoin/crypto project is likely to fail.

The transfer of ‘assets’ unfortunately is a complex problem that seems to be receiving little of no attention in the crypto-space. For example, something as small a buying a computer mouse has massive ‘legal’ side-effects if it is not somehow enforceable from both the merchant and the customer sides. The customer can ‘claim’ an item has not yet been received (even after receipt); and the merchant can also ‘claim’ that he has not received payment ‘confirmation’ (even after being payed). One way around this is to have a way to ‘blacklist’ merchants and customers who lie (but who’s to say someone lied?); another way is to ‘whitelist’ merchants and customers who fit a certain criteria. I find the third-way of ‘white-listing’ merchants and ‘black-listing’ misbehaving customers to probably be the most sustainable for the long run, i.e. the voted ‘merchant’ shall veto the customer (with anonymity only applying to the customer).

Via negativa style: the easiest way around this is to have a severe ‘punishing’ criteria for someone who lied, so as to dis-incentivize lieing. But customer IDs are a strict requirement for this (even if ‘anonymous’), and ‘public’ merchant names (e.g. there’s a reason why ‘branding’ is a thing in traditional business) are also a requirement for this to work.