Lecture 6: Digital Revolution or Digital Disconnect?
Published 2 years ago
Published 2 years ago
- A blockchain is essentially a transaction that occurs between two parties. The transaction is transparent and available within the given database
- Do blockchains offer a revolutionary power to re-shape the global economy?
- What are the strengths / limitations to this technology?
Trusting the Internet?
- Most online transactions still require third-party validation
- Intermediaries (third parties that are involved in the online transactions) collect personal data, invade privacy for profit and /or national security
- This results to the issue of immense power for online criminal activity, such as holding data hostage, hacking, identity theft, and scammers
- Circa 2008: There was a global financial industry crash
- In response, there was the creation of a cryptocurrency called bitcoin developed by group called Nakamoto. Cryptocurrency is not attached to a specific nation such as the US dollar to America or CAD to Canada
- BitCoin allows trusted transactions without third parties’ involvement
- Furthermore, bitcoin was powered by collective self-interests rather than large corporations
- However, Bitcoin is less interesting than the technology behind it. They rely on blockchain (in other words a global spreadsheet that tracks where the money is processed and how transactions take place). Thus, transactions are recorded in blockchain or global ledger / spreadsheet
- After all, there are many alternatives to national currency that have not disrupted or threatened the nation
What is Blockchain?
- Distributed on multiple computers and there is no particular database
- Public accessibility network and there is no specific organization who has control of blockchain
- Encrypted every ten minutes based on transactions, resulting to a blockchain for each
- Furthermore, with blockchain, Bitcoin is limited to a certain amount in the world
- The authors in the reading celebrate the emergence of blockchain / bitcoin technology, however, they fall short of identifying the technology’s limitations
- Is blockchain just another part of neoliberal logic? Potentially because blockchain is a decentralized system.
- Is it politics masquerading as technology?
- Do we really want a permanent record where data cannot be changed or removed?
The fact that blockchain is promoted by investors, venture capitalists and banks should raise some eyebrows