One of the things I find most fascinating about the blockchain, is how it is built upon people’s lack of trust. Something that makes it very appealing to libertarians, and white men, who are the tip of the anti-institution, and can’t trust anyone spear. What people in these modes of reality fail to see from the inside is how their lack of trust makes them more easily manipulated when it comes to politics, markets, and other daily events. When you trust no one, you become more susceptible to stories, myths, and tales, and more resistant to seeing the position your in when someone points it out.
With the blockchain, people will accept a significant amount of technical complexity, over a much more simplified way of doing things, because blockchain equals trust, or so we are told. In a trust vacuum, while being convinced math equals truth, and decentralization equals safety, we are opening up ourselves to any number of magic tricks, and slight of hand. All because we do not trust anyone. We let our insecurities get the best of us, and those who control the message are given a huge amount of control over our lives, emotions, and belief systems. With all of it invisible to us, because of the shadows that are cast by our lack of trust in all institutions.
Don’t trust the media? Put it on the block chain! Don’t trust banks? Put it on the block chain! Don’t trust universities? Put it on the block chain! Don’t trust healthcare? Put it on the blockchain! 90% of the blockchain believers do not understand what the blockchain actually is. The other 10% understand what it is, but are so willing to overlook ideological undercurrents, and current realities, making it all a very manipulative game to participate in. Reflecting existing markets, but lacking many of the checks and balances, regulations, and other mechanisms that keep things somewhat grounded. Establishing whole new set of markets based upon not trusting, which creates mass blind spots the believers are unable to see, and unwilling to acknowledge even once they are pointed out.
I don’t doubt the blockchain, as a technology will have a role to play in some industries. However, much like the Internet’s inability to shake its military origins and use as a surveillance apparatus, I think the blockchain will never be able to shake its roots in a zero trust environment. Which requires a massive amount of faith in mathematics (not humans), and belief in the distributed nature of the web (which isn’t real). Removing any trust in institutions and the physical word, and putting it completely within the real of magic, out of reach of most average users, and into the control of a few wizards. Making it even more dangerous of an environment to operate in than current markets, and the real world of fiat driven markets. Something I don’t think we’ve even begun to see the potential for exploitation, and damage to the stability of our society.