On 23-02-2018 13:11, Patrice Riemens wrote:
It's ironic, amusing more likely, that the conclusion of the book
"Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain" is that the "Blockchain revolution"
will likely not amount to much of anything. The main reason is this: Who
needs a global, public and distributed ledger? What's it good for?
Blockchain could reshape our world – and the far right is one step ahead
Crypto technology is coming to a crossroads. Those who want to use it
to radically redistribute wealth must take urgent action
Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain reads the title of a 2017 book. From
currency speculation through to verifying the provenance of food,
blockchain technology is eking out space in a vast range of fields.
As a matter of fact, all proposed use cases I've seen founder on the
problem of reliability: Yes, if your crate of organic bananas has a bar
code, and that bar code was entered on the block chain along with a
statement that the crate was shipped from a fair trade/fair pay organic
cooperative in Costa Rica, nobody can know if that means that the
physical crate was actually there only that someone says that it was.
You might improve on that situation with tamperproof, sealed
cryptographic tokens, but you still don't know if the bananas were in
the crate at the time. An ordinary inspections regime would probably
work better. I.e., all use cases for blockchains which require
real-world interaction requires some sort of verification that the data
entered is correct, which the blockchain itself can't certify - anything
beyond the simple fact that the information was entered. And that sort
of tracking could ordinarily best be achieved by that high-end bleeding
edge innovation called a "database"; along with an external verification
process, the advantages of using a blockchain over a database are
Now, if the data had to do with the blockchain itself and were entirely
digital ... then it's another matter. That's why blockchains make sense
for cryptocurrencies. But cryptocurrencies are not really useful, and in
their current incarnation are riddled by scams to an extent where the
best advice anyone could give is to stay the f... away.
Distributed ledger systems do exist, though - one is called "Git". And
it's very useful for tracking source code changes. And as opposed to
blockchain, transactions can be reversed and history can be rewritten,
which is actually a necessary feature (e.g., with the GDPR coming up
here in the EU).
So, fortunately or unfortunately, it's not likely that Blockchain is
going to reshape anything, except for possibly the wallets of some quick
movers and scam artists.
# distributed via <nettime>: no commercial use without permission
# <nettime> is a moderated mailing list for net criticism,
# collaborative text filtering and cultural politics of the nets
# more info: http://mx.kein.org/mailman/listinfo/nettime-l
# archive: http://www.nettime.org contact: nett...@kein.org
# @nettime_bot tweets mail w/ sender unless #ANON is in Subject: