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The False Promise of Blockchain Governance (and Fixing It with Education)

The False Promise of Blockchain Governance (and Fixing It with Education) The Protocol Has Transparency, but the Protocol Isn’t Transparent CehhiroBlockedUnblockFollowFollowing

Feb 10

In the past weeks there was a lot of talk about Law and blockchain. Topics such as immutability, trust, scalability, and so on. All of these questions probably do matter, but these people are forgetting that laws exist in a social context. I’m personally an advocate of stripping the name “smart contracts” and replacing it with “automated addresses”.

Limited Perspectives

The problem here is that these people seem to speak from a very specific social context. If you look at the team roster of most leading blockchain projects, they are overwhelmingly white and mostly North American. There is nothing inherently wrong about that, but no matter how smart these thinkers are, they are coming from a relatively closed point-of-view of the world.

Sooner or later, the clash will happen. All these pseudo-institutions aiming to reach out to everyone with Internet access will collide with Internet cultures that they never considered before. At least at the time of writing, many of these side-line cultures see and understand blockchain only as an easily accessible speculative or hedging market. To some extent, these debates are hot air, since barely anyone is significantly involved.

Photo by Robin Noguier The Forgotten People

Blockchain won’t be able to do what others haven’t been able to do in millennia: get all cultures to agree on something. In fact, if the paternalistic view of the current blockchain developer base perdures, it won’t be that much different from the soft oppression blockchain set out to defeat in the first place. For this reason, we should keep our feet on the ground and not delude ourselves with the illusion of simply being right; one man’s rightfulness is another man’s oppression. Satoshi might propose a protocol to reach consensus,...

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