Frank Forberger, Thank you for your reply. I am not sure I understand your point completely, but I will try to reply as best I can.

There is a good reason that people attach monetary value to the blockchain. For an architecture like this to work, to be sure that no information is lost, it is absolutely necessary to provide an incentive to leave some clients online 24/7. People only do it out of idealism (Vitalik, and maybe another 8–9 people who are running a full Ethereum client as opposed to a leech client), or for money (the miners). Without clients like this, which are essentially servers (so much for distributed, server-less, etc) the entire concept does not work: as soon as you take away the incentive, the network becomes unreliable, which makes it entirely worthless for handling anything worth saving (money, contracts, etc).

I will write more about this in the next article of the series, because the situation and the problems are very similar to other distributed projects with which I have been heavily involved in 2001/2002. I have seen the evolution of those, and I think I understand now why certain solutions dominate the market.

As to bitcoin etc. being abused as a financial instrument / speculation tool: I did not go into this in my article on purpose. I only mentioned the three narratives that are pushed actively by the respective communities, and the fact that one of them is simply false, while the other two contradict each other, simply from the algorithmic perspective. It is like in “fast, good, cheap: choose any two”. In this case: “trust-less or scalable, choose one.”

The trouble with discussing the original idea is, as good as it might have ben, that people “in the wild” don’t care about the original idea. They are applying a technology in the way they see fit, and things will “naturally evolve” from there. Compare this with the “garbage application” from GSM — the SMS —being put on the first mobile phones “because why not”, and evolving into a whole ecosystem of chat clients, that are now evolving into “do everything and pay for it through a single app”-apps like WeChat or LINE. The trouble is just, in case of Bitcoin, they are also tearing down the whole world down around them while doing so (and I will probably write an article about that later, even though many people have written about this already).

Lastly, there is, unfortunately, nothing that can be done on blockchain (except “generation of value out of electric power” — that is questionable in itself) that can not also be done by a different technology easier and cheaper — by partially or wholly sacrificing one of the blockchain promises. But since the blockchain’s promises contradict themselves in the first place, there is no reason not to sacrifice one of them. And I think I might end up writing yet another article on that, as well.

Cheers,

J.M.

Written by

Science Fiction, Tech, sarcasm, and philosophical ramblings about the Universe.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store