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The Blockchain: Change Everything Forever

The Blockchain: Change Everything Forever


THE BLOCKCHAIN Change everything forever The blockchain is… The blockchain is a new way of
building our information technology. In a way that’s truly never been done before. The blockchain is my darkest nightmare. The blockchain is a way of coordinating computers
all over the world in a way that they have always the same information. The internet was
about the exchange of information. Blockchain is about
exchange of assets and exchange of value. Because of the Blockchain in the future
there’s going to be less reliance on central points of authority, to handle data
and to handle transactions and the rules around
how that data’s used. Blockchain is that final sort of crest on that
tsunami of digital technologies that will really challenge fundamentally
the way that we structure society. It really is a generic technology like the web you could build almost any kind of workable system on top of it,
it can enhance almost any political model. So what we’re going to get
depends on what we choose. A new kind of society With this technology especially, you are working on,
you are chiselling away on a new kind of society. In terms of relating to each other,
the number one thing as human beings we use is trust. Blockchain allows us to
replace trust with proof. In developing countries for example,
first of all it’s in payments. There is no infrastructure in certain countries,
and over the world peer-to-peer systems powered by Blockchain can bring
new opportunities for those people. If you can take a penny a day
off a billion people to do R&D you can begin to have
collective management of quite large funds. You can have charities run
by the poor for the poor rather than have charities
run by the rich for the poor. And you can’t do that today because
transactional costs eat all of the micropayments that you need to pull together
to get something like that done. I believe that Blockchain will offer
new opportunities within the supply chain so knowing the heritage of the goods,
knowing what we are buying, knowing what we are wearing
and knowing who we are talking to. Inherently a supply chain
something moves across and generally they don’t actually
share data with one another. But with a distributed
ledger they’re forced to. Change everything forever Once a transaction is entered into the Blockchain
it becomes very quickly a immutable truth. Imagine you have a record
that you can’t erase. Like everything else on a Blockchain
once it’s posted it can never be removed, or in Blockchain lingo it is immutable. When we talk about Blockchain
having some distrubuted ledger you still have to worry about
what it will be in 5, 10, 20 years time. A smart contract is a piece of code now on the Blockchain which performs the function of a legal contract without the interference of a possible
corruptible human agency. In a way, code is law. We don’t control it, we can’t alter it once
it’s been implemented and it will do what it’s been built to do. When you’re looking at money you’re looking at governance,
you’re looking at law. You know that’s not trivial stuff. That’s not just something you can
reinvent within a few lines of code. The redefinition of society
will happen in smart contracts and these kind of places
unless the law courts are actively insuring that people aren’t
getting disenfranchised. Information systems
they are fundamentally social, and when we think about
a bank or certain organisation we have to understand that it’s not only
technologies we have to be able to be aware of but also this
social interaction of people and we have to understand
how we can map that into the system. Who builds this new reality? At the moment we’re building a new reality
that’s based on how a very homogeneous group of people
sees the world. Developers are implementing systems
and they make millions of small decisions all the time and the tapestry of these decisions
then makes a system, then that system decides
whether you get a mortgage or not, or that system decides
what you see of your friends. Do we want a bunch of very young, bright,
but solely trained in computer science, basically men,
deciding what our society looks like? We have to make sure that we find
a way of extracting our intentions in a way that’s understable by
both the machines and the humans. We need a Hippocratic oath
for developers mainly because
decentralised computer infrastructure does not necessarily
mean decentralised power. I think it’s so important to differentiate
between Blockchains and the Blockchain because a lot of the vision
you get in corporations or startups is that there is the one
Blockchain and it will be theirs. Who builds this new reality? It’s something that everyone needs to participate in, the discussion about society and economy
and also governance, how we rule ourselves. These are topics we’ve been
discussing for thousands of years. The blockchain represents a similar function
as constitutions or even manifestos for groups, so it’s this idea that you write down
a set of ethics and then you act by them. Particularly artists and kind of fringe groups
have always been, like, very innovative in terms of governance models and the way
which they organise and cooperate with one another I think that the Blockchain creates an
opportunity for those forms of governance to become legible and
usable by other communities. We don’t know what a blockchain can do yet Because of the Blockchain in the future we will have a new economic system,
we will redefine the way that governance is done, so the role of government and what it means
to be a citizen, participating in that government is going to be challenged and
changed and to have to rethink those definitions of transparency, of trust,
and of what a intermediary is and how those things come together
and form something that we call society. We don’t know what a Blockchain can do yet.

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