A BLOCKCHAIN SOCIETY
Will the blockchain help to decentralize our world?
Late 2015. Now there is no kind of doubt: the blockchain (the immutable, decentralized and unhackable ledger supporting the Bitcoin network) has a huge potential for supporting a more decentralized society. In fact it has not only the potential, but it has already started to do so in many ways.
The first (and maybe most relevant) step towards that goal was currency. It has been proved in the last years that blockchain-based cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin are not only viable and sustainable but also more trustworthy than fiat money, like it was demonstrated after the 2013 Cyprus bailout.
All around the world, institutions are in decline and so is the reliance their citizens place on them.
I am talking about estates, governments, parliaments, courts, big corporations, banks, insurance companies, lobbies, etc.
We “the millenials”, do not even recognize the legitimacy of many of those institutions. Some people will argue we have no respect for figures of power because we are just stubborn young people and thus we can not understand them.
But that is not the case: as victims of those institutions we perfectly know how they work (or do not work at all) and that is precisely why we simply can not trust them. We are unsure about the meaning of authority, but we have crystal clear that we will not bend against imposed and corrupted figures of power escaping from our control.
Nonetheless, we love the blockchain because trust is put on cooperation and maths. We are eager to trust such new forms of certainty and authority we can examine, learn from and improve.
So the next big endeavor for blockchain-based technologies is to address other aspects of our society by defying other centralized authority systems, namely registrars, notaries or even parliaments and governments.
I dream of a world where people self-manage the Commons wisely without the intervention of institutions. All in all, a decentralized authority is a kind of power that doesn’t need the use of force or coercion because orders and rules are followed just because people do believe is the right thing to do and they trust each other.
But to what extent will the blockchain help to decentralize society?
Blockchain-based technologies will help decentralizing society exactly in the same degree that people will be ready to change their mental framework and embrace that new P2P way of living. Because, let us not deceive ourselves, anarchy probably works better for knowledge than for politics, but the process of figuring out surely worth the price.
EDIT: I have published a second article on the blockchain and the commons: