It’s time to kick the centralization habit

Mind AI Co-Founder Joshua Hong shares insights from the Futurama Blockchain Innovators Summit in Ibiza, Spain

Joshua Hong introduces a panel at the Futurama Blockchain Innovators Summit in Ibiza, Spain
By Joshua Hong, Co-Founder of Mind AI

Last week, I moderated seven panels at the Futurama Blockchain Innovators Summit in Ibiza, Spain, which Mind AI sponsored at the platinum level. We discussed a major challenge that our industry faces: While we talk all day about our belief in the power of decentralization, we still heavily rely on centralized crypto-exchanges.

We spend a lot of time analyzing the economics of tokens and the blockchains they are built on, but we turn around and trade and store these tokens in centralized exchanges because we are so used to relying on centralized service providers. Decades of experience have trained us to trade our personal data for free services such as emails and online videos and to turn to corporations to make our lives easier.

It’s hard to break free. The result is that we accept far more risk than is acceptable from central points of failure in the management of tokens that claim to be decentralized.

This is a problem.

Decentralization is not just a nice idea. It is absolutely necessary for the next stage of human evolution.

We need decentralized governance and financing mechanisms because no single entity can keep up with the pace of innovation in the world. Regulators can’t create rules as fast as corporations can create new products. Corporations can’t build secure systems as fast as hackers can undo them.

Through decentralization, we are evolving beyond corporations. While corporations were a necessary step to foster most of the innovations we now rely on in our daily lives, they are not adequate for the future world that blockchain has made possible. The corporation is simply a flawed, if not a work-in-progress, concept. It amasses wealth among a small group of people, instead of enriching entire communities. It makes decisions that benefit shareholders at the expense of people and the environment. It hoards information and resources and shuts down competition instead of seeking out collaborators and sharing information.

Blockchain innovators discussed the dangers of centralization among crypto-exchanges.

But thanks to the rise of information symmetry — where information is equally available to all — corporations are becoming less relevant and ultimately obsolete. We are seeing a blurring of the lines between the traditional definitions of a consumer, producer, management, shareholders, regulator, market makers, supplier, etc. These roles are becoming fluid, with individuals assuming a variety of roles depending on the situation.

We see this play out in popular online gaming communities around the world. Gamers are customers, but they also create their own clans and events or characters (i.e. producer), and make the game experience more compelling for their friends by setting their own rules for their community (i.e. regulator), while they can buy and sell or barter their loots with other players (i.e. market maker).

Blockchain is one of the key tools that is allowing us to navigate these changing roles without relying on third parties to keep the peace. It gives us a technical tool to self-govern, which is allowing us to reorganize our activities based on our true interests (i.e. what we really want because we have the power to choose), not based on national identities, language or culture (i.e. what we inherited largely outside of our wishes or what we were born into).

We are entering the age of the community, and the sooner we can declare independence from the centralized corporation, the better.

In that effort, Mind AI has a leading role to play in making the transition smooth by creating a powerful reasoning engine that is available for all to use. AI reduces human errors, adds more capabilities, and accelerates the adoption of the brave new world.

We cannot let centralized exchanges hold us back. They have played an important role in driving the growth of this industry, but they come with too much risk. It’s time to kick the habit.

For more insights like this, and to stay up-to-date on the progress of Mind AI, sign up for our email list or follow us here on Medium.