Cryptonomics is a UofC Blog dedicated to the economics of the distributed ledger: the Blockchain. Cryptocurrency is now daily news; the issues are: ICO’s (Initial Coin Offerings); the prices of the cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litcoin, and Ripple being the top four; and the future of the technology.
The President of Russia recently commented that AI will rule the world and Elon Musk went on Twitter to warn against the rise of AI and the potential it has to create World War III. According to the National Post’s article “(The) Leader in developing artificial intelligence will be ‘ruler of the world” (Sept 1, 2017 8:09AM MDT), “future wars will be fought by drones and, “when one party’s drones are destroyed by drones of another, it will have no other choice but to surrender.””
The distributed ledger is a form of artificial intelligence because it takes the place of the trusted third party. The problem of the trusted third party is known as the Byzantine General’s problem; it says that in order for a general to get information to the front lines he needs someone he can trust to deliver the message. The Knights Templar are known for becoming one of the first forms of banking, they were the trusted third party for many who travelled to the Holy Land around the time of The Crusades. You could trust that they would pay you the money you entrusted them with once you arrived in Jerusalem. The trusted third party, it could be said, is the foundation of our system since, for many, only the accuracy of their work matters. Now the distributed ledger known as, the Blockchain, takes the place of this trusted third party and like a memory you can recall any of the transactions: the hashes, that have occurred on it.
It is not that the distributed ledger will be alive in drones, although that is a definite possibility. The dystopia would be that drones driven by image recognition software would recognize a target and destroy it, programmed to kill anybody acting outside of our normative behaviours. No more long caravan drives down country roads at 3AM or maybe worse, home by sunset or you get it. The promise of distributed ledger, however, is freedom. Airbnb and Uber are two Apps that allow a person to make a living without the need to fear the drones, if an analogy can be made between the monster and the creator of the monster. The monster can easily be described as The State in this instance, so lets take a moment to describe The State.
The State is the body of the nation; it’s institutions and the people who make up those institutions. It could be said the State is you and me. The authority sanctioned influence that emanates from The State affects us everyday. It is that little voice inside of us that drives our success. If The State does it you can be sure you will think if you do it you will be successful: raise an Army and you’ll have a force that will make you successful; create temporary email accounts to spam with and you will put ideas in others that will benefit your interests. We are ruled by the Rule-of-law and The State acts upon us everyday. The reason for Government is to govern. The nations budget is larger than any corporations within it, and what The State does everyday is ensure order. This is where the line blurs between intention and practice: What we think will make us successful is not always the Rule-of-law.
This is a failure of The State and can be easily remedied with the Blockchain. First, let me explore the failure in more detail. We, as a people, have a standard and it is outlined in the law. We also have a Constitution and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Also, we have signed on to international organizations that represent our interests, such as the United Nations and the UN Declaration of Human Rights. We have our rights: Association, Movement, Speech, Press, Thought, Conscience, and Religion to name a few. To remove our rights takes due process of law: face your accuser, given representation, fair trial, and then your rights may be suspended according to the ruling of the court who themselves may be challenged on their ruling. It takes a unanimous decision by a jury, in the most extreme examples, for your Rights to be suspended. In practice however, since we all desire to be successful, you may give up your Rights in order to make a living wage. Blockchain may now take away the ability for others to rob you of your freedoms, for their own financial gain, by removing that trusted third party from the equation.
The evolution of Artificial Intelligence has led us to this very moment in time (as have all evolutions that have continued this long).
We may now, using our computers, engage in commerce in a way that has never before been possible. This will not make those who have come to believe their hypocrisy has made them successful happy, especially since it is the exercise of their power that gives them such joy. All good things must come to an end however and let’s be honest they were getting way too personal for their own good. It’s nobodies business how you spend your time, and we receive our rewards (financial renumeration, wages, salary) for the work we do. When that work lands on someones desk the thought process should simply be, whatever this person does is of no consequence since this is why we hired them (and since we hired them: this is some of the best work in the world!) We leave the policing up to the police, we don’t support thought police: especially at a time when those who have littered the landscape with their judgments now must build walls to protect themselves from those very thoughts, thoughts that are infringements upon our Right and Freedoms. You believe what we believe: the Charter, then we promote you since we promote it. It’s very simple.
Now wake up and go to work earning a living in a world alive with Artificial Intelligence governed by the Blockchain. If you understand this then you now understand why Bitcoin and Etherium, and it’s many ICO’s, are worth so much money. We can’t put technology back in the box, and this is a good things since those who had formerly controlled our economy are now just short of destroying the very world we depend on for life. These networks will allow for the accounting of intellectual property through them, a world where your drawing of an apple is worth the same as an apple picked from a tree, yet it can be delivered to thousands via the network and you may be nourished by this work instead of having to pick those apples to accomplish the same result.