10 thoughts on “Blockchain”

  1. “Like the internet itself, most people are not going to use it until it’s packaged for consumption, easy to use and backed by some large authority. Which brings us back to square one.”

    Square two is for the blockchain crowd to start a set of regulated major banks, without the complex legacy computer systems and negative goodwill the existing banks have. In order to replace them.

  2. Blockchain is not a technology or even software per se. Rather, it’s just a method for creating a series (chain) of distributed database records (blocks) secured with cryptography. Thus, everyone has the same “ledger” and like the internet itself, its not dependent on any one node or database. Cryptocurrencies are just one possible application. Theoretically… blockchains could reduce complexity and enable micro-transactions without the bank. Imagine a rural farmer paying for goods with the hyper-local cryptocurrency, isolated from the machinations of the central bankers and money multipliers.

    That’s the dream. The problem, of course, is trust. Like the internet itself, most people are not going to use it until it’s packaged for consumption, easy to use and backed by some large authority. Which brings us back to square one…

  3. Oh for sure, there are plenty of people who know how to do real stuff. We’re out here in the boonies mostly: growing out and saving seeds, grafting out old apple trees, knitting sox and baby jumpers, running small chainsaw mills, brain tanning deer hides, smoking salmon, drying herbs, brewing beer, making music, writing poetry. The old hippies were our mentors, and young people are arriving and settling in for the long haul.

    All the stuff shown in your photos is meaningless, vaporware and marketing fluff. Unfortunately all that energy is being wasted for no real purpose to human communities. I am sad for the young people who are pouring out their energy and passion in service of an utterly corrupt and predatory system–but the young are by and large resilient, so I have not given up hope.

    Thank you Johnny for these glimpses of clarity.

    1. One of the more optimistic applications of blockchain as currency is not necessarily in the west, but in the developing world where central banks and economic stability are not a given.

      At least that’s the pitch some of the more well meaning, crunchy, burning man techies are selling. A rebalancing of global wealth via a more distributed form of capitalism. Fork the economy, as Douglas Rushkoff phrased it.

      Whether that’s going to happen or not, color me skeptical. I tend to agree with the Johnny’s perspective… rapid, large scale disruption of financial juggernauts (currencies, banks, VC’s, etc.) would be messy as hell.

  4. Not to be overlooked is the huge amount of electricity required to run computers and cooling systems that enable “mining” the cryptocurrency.

    So not only is it an ephemeral abstraction, it requires burning fossil fuels to create.

    What could go wrong, indeed.

  5. Blockchain is serious hype, and it isn’t clear how much any of these products have to do with actual blockchains as opposed to using the buzzword “blockchain” instead of encrypted verification which is a pretty sane idea and one that should have been adopted back in the 1970s instead of waiting for criminal hackers to make the first moves.

    Right now we have a serious glut of capital and flat or falling incomes, so you can make good money slapping the proper buzzwords onto whatever the hell technical service you are selling. It’s like the 1950s again with Atomic Aquariums or the 1920s with Radio Dining Tables. Think of it as a tax on the rich, greedy and gullible.

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