Wow, Jesse Frederik's explanation of how blockchains work was very concise, accurate, and accessable!
"Councillors and managers think that problems – however large and fundamental they are – evaporate instantaneously thanks to technology they’ve heard about in a fancy PowerPoint presentation. How will it work? Who cares! Don’t try to understand it, just reap the benefits!
This is the market for magic, and that market is big. Whether it’s about blockchain, big data, cloud computing, AI or other buzzwords."
I must say, I find the conclusion lines up with my own thinking in an interesting way:
I'm trying to make people care about how rediculous bloated The Web has become, so I frame it in terms of IoT hype. For once that can help security & privacy!
IoT and blockchain have a lot in common besides hype, like the few legitimate applications involve reporting requirements for bureaucracies with (few) competing stakeholders - enterprise, government, sports associations - where automated data collection is possible, transparency needs drastic improvement, tracked assets remain identifiable between transactions, and the entities tracked don't have a right to be forgotten. I'm talking about the 2018 Wal-Mart lettuce blockchain and Nestle's repeated avowal in multiple jurisdictions that it is impossible to keep cocoa grown with child and/or slave labor out of its supply chain. Global commodities, military and intelligence spending (anonymous until disclosed), and esports virtual assets are things that qualify, along with finished goods that currently bear serial numbers
Banking and most manufacturing processes, though, would require radically different processes than what's being promoted. I think we could have nominally conflict-free computers and ethically sourced caffeine at some point in the future. Manufacturers will circumvent requirements where they can, but transnational corporations and liberal democracies are running out of options to shore up their credibility. So CRDTs for transaction data, DHTs for distributed data with single source of authority, whatever model is behind Taler for transaction currencies, explicitly documented trust models for meaningful blockchains, and death to speculators and the idea of random individuals certifying transactions
For people who care about, support, or build Free, Libre, and Open Source Software (FLOSS).