Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This is a pretty thorough debunking of the idea that blockchain technology will disrupt industry. Kai Stinchcombe looks at several putative use cases - payment and banking, anonymous transactions, micropayments, bank-to-bank transfers, smart contracts, distributed ledgers and storage, stock transfers, authentication - and in each case shows that the hard parts are not addressed by blockchain. For example, blockchain is no more efficient than the existing system of payments and banking, but with none of the protections. Meanwhile, it turns out that anonymous banking helps criminals and terrorists a lot more than it helps society in general. And so on and on. "Blockchain enthusiasts often act as if the hard part is getting money from A to B or keeping a record of what happened. In each case, moving money and recording the transaction is actually the cheap, easy, highly-automated part of a much more complex system."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Sept 27, 2023 01:26 a.m.

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