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Decentralization is just a fantasy utopia

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The Road to Wealth and Freedom

The appeal of a public blockchain ecosystem is its promise of decentralization and disintermediation - a kind of utopia in which we can interact digitally without the involvement of corporations or government agencies.

This vision has driven significant investment in this space, including cryptocurrencies, initial token offerings (ICOs) and decentralized computing platforms like Ether.

The idea behind Bitcoin is to create an electronic payment system by using a cryptographic proof mechanism to establish trust. In other words, it was designed as a new autonomous digital structure, the Bitcoin blockchain, to replace third parties such as financial institutions in order to facilitate specific social interactions and enable value exchange.

However, social interaction is more complex than value exchange. They are far from being replaced by algorithms. It doesn't matter how much technology we use to enable unattended or automated digital connectivity, or how far we push the boundaries of decentralization.

Despite all the hype about decentralization, public blockchains will not eliminate centralization. Humans are selfish and need to control and regulate complex social interactions to meet their basic needs for survival. They always want and need to be involved in control, or have a sense of control over the power delegated to third parties. Public blockchains cannot perform this function.

If we compare the public blockchain with another autonomous digital structure, the Internet will certainly revolutionize communication and data exchange and bring the idea of "disintermediation". The reality is that new centralized institutions have emerged, accumulating more control.

My view contradicts the conventional view that centralized business models are under threat of extinction due to public blockchains. I think it's an illusion that the business model will at best face a shift in power to the next generation of digital-centric power - from a single centralized power to a more decentralized atomic centralized power.

This is considered Gartner's "maverick" study. This means that this is not an official peer-reviewed study, but an idea that we think CIOs should consider because they have been caught up in the blockchain hype.

The vulnerability of autonomous digital structures.

Public blockchains have a complex mechanism that empowers different participants (including developers, interviewers, validators, and users) by isolating and interconnecting their respective responsibilities. These actors are the new central authorities, with their own selfish interests, working together for a common purpose.

When we use a public blockchain, we enter into a relationship that is not controlled by trust. Once we start a transaction, we rely on the autonomous digital structure (the public blockchain) and run it the way it should. We are relinquishing control over the operations performed by the public blockchain.

A public blockchain, in other words, is replacing a regulated organization with a trustless, autonomous structure. Regulated institutions, such as banks, are regulated by public law, and "value exchange" is enforced by the central government. The trustless structure is implemented through a mathematical and decentralized governance model that can send values from point a to point B without manual control.

The governance model for public blockchains is far from fully decentralized. Complex social interactions to reach consensus are a long way from being replaced by algorithms. There are very novel ideas for managing these complex social interactions in autonomous structures, such as the EOS blockchain, Tezos or DFINITY.

In the near future, we may be able to trade value and commission many activities in the autonomous digital sphere. But no matter how we use the public blockchain, we will always need laws to regulate it to hold people accountable for having a sense of control.

This article is for information dissemination purposes only and does not represent any opinion and does not constitute any investment advice.

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