Blockchain, but for real

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  1. Blockchain, but for real
  2. 6. An inevitable upcoming impact

6. An inevitable upcoming impact

These mechanisms, among others, render many aspects of the internet at best inefficient, at worst obsolete. In a given system, when blockchain can be integrated — if it makes sense — the benefits are just overwhelming.

Digital transformation

Eventually, blockchain will replace a significant part of digital systems as we know them nowadays. In reality, it’s already happening; banks are increasingly positioning themselves into this field (13), the most powerful asset management companies on the planet are facilitating investments (14). And more, many states (but also Europe) are defining attractive regulation to draw companies in (15). This shift can be compared to the disruption during the early 2000s, when the internet gradually replaced most “physical” services. To some extent, obviously, given the technological, historical, and all sorts of differences between these two situations.

Two likely scenarios

Now, as mentioned earlier in this article, the concern is that this change can take two different paths with fundamentally opposite outcomes:

  • Governments and leading economic powers proceed to seize it, and restrain its use to mechanisms they have agreed upon; in this case, the consequences will not necessarily be catastrophic — perhaps it will be a little better, or a little worse. It will still be possible to find systems prioritizing protection of freedom and privacy, but it will stay a niche use case, the exception.

  • The alternatives continue to be built and improved — mostly on the grounds of open-source, which, as blockchain, promotes global and unconditional access to knowledge. A large part of the public finds interest in this aspect, supports public goods initiatives (16), and gradually replaces its common activities with solutions on these distributed networks. In this case, these institutions will have limited options, as they will be forced to compromise — if a solution already exists and is already widely adopted, it becomes challenging for them to make their proposition attractive. Thus, they will no longer have much choice but to join and adapt, instead of pioneering and therefore establishing their own terms; their ability to control will necessarily be limited to their capacity to alter it. Yet, on the blockchain, one cannot alter without consent from the majority.

Design shamelessly forked and modified from 5/9