Will blockchain fulfil its democratic promise or will it become a tool of big tech? | John Naughton

1/15/2022 8:42:00 PM

Will blockchain fulfil its democratic promise or will it become a tool of big tech? | John Naughton

Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies

Will blockchain fulfil its democratic promise or will it become a tool of big tech? | John Naughton

Engineers are focused on reducing its carbon footprint, ignoring the governance issues raised by the technology

Illuminated rigs at the Minto cryptocurrency mining centre in Nadvoitsy, Russia.By 11:15, Sat, Jan 15, 2022 | UPDATED: 12:13, Sat, Jan 15, 2022 Link copied Mark Selby and Neil Robertson take on the Crazy Snooker challenge Get the latest news and inside info from the world of golf for FREE SUBSCRIBE Invalid email We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you.Share this article Share 'The mornings are hard.Image caption, Sheffield's John Lewis closed in March 2021 An "eye-catching" wrap covering an empty John Lewis building in danger of becoming an eye-sore will cost £100,000.

Photograph: Andrey Rudakov/Getty Images Illuminated rigs at the Minto cryptocurrency mining centre in Nadvoitsy, Russia. Photograph: Andrey Rudakov/Getty Images Sat 15 Jan 2022 16. You can unsubscribe at any time.00 GMT W bitcoin first made its appearance in 2009, an interesting divergence of opinions about it rapidly emerged. Nighttime is hard,' the 58-year-old actor said in a Tweet on Thursday night. Journalists tended to regard it as some kind of incomprehensible money-laundering scam, while computer scientists, who were largely agnostic about bitcoin’s prospects, nevertheless thought that the distributed-ledger technology (the so-called blockchain ) that underpinned the currency was a Big Idea that could have far-reaching consequences. Robertson knocked out seven-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan on Thursday with a 6-4 win. In this conviction they were joined by legions of techno-libertarians who viewed the technology as a way of enabling economic life without the oppressive oversight of central banks and other regulatory institutions..

Blockchain technology had the potential to change the way we buy and sell, interact with government and verify the authenticity of everything from property titles to organic vegetables. Related articles Ronnie O'Sullivan's furious threat to quit Snooker: 'Done with you' His opponent in this afternoon’s clash is another of snooker’s ‘class of ‘92’ — a select group of snooker players who turned professional that year alongside O’Sullivan. 'God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference' 'I'm not ready to accept that he's gone - I'm not going to say goodbye yet,' John began his caption. It combined, burbled that well-known revolutionary body Goldman Sachs, “the openness of the internet with the security of cryptography to give everyone a faster, safer way to verify key information and establish trust”. Verily, cryptography would set us free. Gracious in defeat, he said: “Neil was the better player today. At its core, a blockchain is just a ledger – a record of time-stamped transactions. John went on in his caption and said: 'He's standing on stage, killing! Another two-hour set in front of a couple hundred of the luckiest people on the planet. These transactions can be any movement of money, goods or secure data – a purchase at a store, for example, the title to a piece of property, the assignment of an NHS number or a vaccination status, you name it. I like Neil, he’s a good guy.

In the offline world, transactions are verified by some central third party – a government agency, a bank or Visa, say. But a blockchain is a distributed (ie, decentralised) ledger where verification (and therefore trustworthiness) comes not from a central authority but from a consensus of many users of the blockchain that a particular transaction is valid. READ MORE:  Neil Roberton stunned John Terry with snooker earnings comment (Image: GETTY) Neil Robertson dumped Ronnie O'Sullivan out of the Masters on Thursday. 'I'm going to imagine him out there, still on the road, doing what he loves with all his heart and humor' 'On his way to the hotel, he calls his beautiful, loving wife, Kelly. Verified transactions are gathered into “blocks”, which are then “chained” together using heavy-duty cryptography so that, in principle, any attempt retrospectively to alter the details of a transaction would be visible. And oppressive, rent-seeking authorities such as Visa and Mastercard (or, for that matter, Stripe) are nowhere in the chain. This figure rises to £500,000 in the prestigious World Championships at the Crucible. Blockchains are designed to be a network of peers, but not for your mobile device or your browser to be one of those Moxie Marlinspike Given all that, it’s easy to see why the blockchain idea evokes utopian hopes: at last, technology is sticking it to the Man. He tells her he loves her with every bit of his heart.

In that sense, the excitement surrounding it reminds me of the early days of the internet, when we really believed that our contemporaries had invented a technology that was democratising and liberating and beyond the reach of established power structures. Then Chelsea FC defender John Terry was in attendance at the Alexandra Palace, and the pair had met before when Robertson was invited to take his UK Championship trophy into the Blues’ dressing room before a Champions League match. And indeed the network had – and still possesses – those desirable affordances. But we’re not using them to achieve their great potential. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of £51million. And he goes to sleep dreaming of when we'll all meet again - and he's smiling. Instead, we’ve got YouTube and Netflix. What we underestimated, in our naivety, were the power of sovereign states, the ruthlessness and capacity of corporations and the passivity of consumers, a combination of which eventually led to corporate capture of the internet and the centralisation of digital power in the hands of a few giant corporations and national governments. (Image: GETTY) Trending Robertson, meanwhile, has pocketed just shy of £4million in his entire career — more than enough to give him a very comfortable lifestyle.

In other words, the same entrapment as happened to the breakthrough communications technologies – telephone, broadcast radio and TV, and movies – in the 20th century, memorably chronicled by Tim Wu in The Master Switch . Maybe tomorrow. Will this happen to blockchain technology? Hopefully not, but the enthusiastic endorsement of it by outfits such as Goldman Sachs is not exactly reassuring. He tweeted in 2017: “At the moment it’s top 20 or you’re better off flipping burgers. The problem with digital technology is that, for engineers, it is both intrinsically fascinating and seductively challenging, which means that they acquire a kind of tunnel vision: they are so focused on finding solutions to the technical problems that they are blinded to the wider context. At the moment, for example, the consensus-establishing processes for verifying blockchain transactions requires intensive computation, with a correspondingly heavy carbon footprint. DON'T MISS:. In a final Instagram post less than 24 hours before he was found dead, Saget told fans he was 'loving every minute' of being back on stage. Reducing that poses intriguing technical challenges, but focusing on them means that the engineering community isn’t thinking about the governance issues raised by the technology.

There may not be any central authority in a blockchain but, as Vili Lehdonvirta years ago, there are rules for what constitutes a consensus and, therefore, a question about who exactly sets those rules. The engineers? The owners of the biggest supercomputers on the chain? Goldman Sachs? These are ultimately political questions, not technical ones. Lots of positivity. Blockchain engineers also don’t seem to be much interested in the needs of the humans who might ultimately be users of the technology. That, at any rate, is the conclusion that cryptographer Moxie Marlinspike came to in a fascinating examination of the technology. “When people talk about blockchains,” he writes, “they talk about distributed trust, leaderless consensus and all the mechanics of how that works, but often gloss over the reality that clients ultimately can’t participate in those mechanics. Thanks again to @comediantimwilkins for opening.

All the network diagrams are of servers, the trust model is between servers, everything is about servers. Blockchains are designed to be a network of peers, but not designed such that it’s really possible for your mobile device or your browser to be one of those peers.” And we’re nowhere near that point yet. I guess I'm finding my new voice and loving every moment of it. What I’ve been reading A novel question How Did She Do It is a terrific Guardian .

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“No powerful people will ever use it” 😭 Will it? I've got news for you: it's already a scam by rich tech people and it's rapidly accelerating climate change. It needs to be banned. Ofc no!

Neil Roberton stunned John Terry with snooker earnings comment: 'Wow'NEIL ROBERTSON stunned Chelsea legend John Terry when he told him how much some snooker players were earning. All that exercise for nothing 😂

John Stamos talks about missing his longtime friend Bob SagetJohn Stamos is opening up about how he's been feeling since his longtime friend Bob Saget died unexpectedly this past weekend. 'The mornings are hard. Middle of day comes in waves.'

Empty Sheffield John Lewis to be wrapped in £100k hoardingThree options for the Sheffield city centre building are revealed in a new public consultation. Luvleh! What an astonishing waste of money in a time of austerity! Why not just get in and carry out some work to make the building reusable? Put the £100K towards that- or better causes, even

Charles & Wills urged Queen to strip Andrew of titles in 'hour-long summit'CHARLES and William urged the Queen to strip Prince Andrew of his royal patronages and military titles during an hour-long summit at Windsor. The disgraced Duke, 61, facing a possible sex-case tria… Your deputy editor has admitted holding a party the night before the funeral of the Queen’s husband. Shameful. No wonder DailyMirror has consistently out-scooped the Sun on this. You’ve been trying to hide it. Just goes to show, no ones too tall to walk the plank. Now it’s Harry & Meghan’s turn.

Arrow star reprising role for new Justice U TV series in ArrowverseArrow's David Ramsey reprising role for new Justice U TV series in Arrowverse:

Tonga issues tsunami warning after undersea volcano erupts in PacificThe Tonga Meteorological Services said the tsunami warning was in effect for all of Tonga. Authorities in nearby Fiji also issued a warning, telling people to avoid the shoreline. The desperate daily mail..... For all those who are new to this working from home Bitcoin trading options Here's a little tip: Get a trusted Bitcoin expert and stick to her Diana_Massangi Invest and play at similar times each day. Because : In times of chaos, your investment is your anchor to success Watch it here

Illuminated rigs at the Minto cryptocurrency mining centre in Nadvoitsy, Russia.By 11:15, Sat, Jan 15, 2022 | UPDATED: 12:13, Sat, Jan 15, 2022 Link copied Mark Selby and Neil Robertson take on the Crazy Snooker challenge Get the latest news and inside info from the world of golf for FREE SUBSCRIBE Invalid email We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you.Share this article Share 'The mornings are hard.Image caption, Sheffield's John Lewis closed in March 2021 An "eye-catching" wrap covering an empty John Lewis building in danger of becoming an eye-sore will cost £100,000.

Photograph: Andrey Rudakov/Getty Images Illuminated rigs at the Minto cryptocurrency mining centre in Nadvoitsy, Russia. Photograph: Andrey Rudakov/Getty Images Sat 15 Jan 2022 16. You can unsubscribe at any time.00 GMT W bitcoin first made its appearance in 2009, an interesting divergence of opinions about it rapidly emerged. Nighttime is hard,' the 58-year-old actor said in a Tweet on Thursday night. Journalists tended to regard it as some kind of incomprehensible money-laundering scam, while computer scientists, who were largely agnostic about bitcoin’s prospects, nevertheless thought that the distributed-ledger technology (the so-called blockchain ) that underpinned the currency was a Big Idea that could have far-reaching consequences. Robertson knocked out seven-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan on Thursday with a 6-4 win. In this conviction they were joined by legions of techno-libertarians who viewed the technology as a way of enabling economic life without the oppressive oversight of central banks and other regulatory institutions..

Blockchain technology had the potential to change the way we buy and sell, interact with government and verify the authenticity of everything from property titles to organic vegetables. Related articles Ronnie O'Sullivan's furious threat to quit Snooker: 'Done with you' His opponent in this afternoon’s clash is another of snooker’s ‘class of ‘92’ — a select group of snooker players who turned professional that year alongside O’Sullivan. 'God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference' 'I'm not ready to accept that he's gone - I'm not going to say goodbye yet,' John began his caption. It combined, burbled that well-known revolutionary body Goldman Sachs, “the openness of the internet with the security of cryptography to give everyone a faster, safer way to verify key information and establish trust”. Verily, cryptography would set us free. Gracious in defeat, he said: “Neil was the better player today. At its core, a blockchain is just a ledger – a record of time-stamped transactions. John went on in his caption and said: 'He's standing on stage, killing! Another two-hour set in front of a couple hundred of the luckiest people on the planet. These transactions can be any movement of money, goods or secure data – a purchase at a store, for example, the title to a piece of property, the assignment of an NHS number or a vaccination status, you name it. I like Neil, he’s a good guy.

In the offline world, transactions are verified by some central third party – a government agency, a bank or Visa, say. But a blockchain is a distributed (ie, decentralised) ledger where verification (and therefore trustworthiness) comes not from a central authority but from a consensus of many users of the blockchain that a particular transaction is valid. READ MORE:  Neil Roberton stunned John Terry with snooker earnings comment (Image: GETTY) Neil Robertson dumped Ronnie O'Sullivan out of the Masters on Thursday. 'I'm going to imagine him out there, still on the road, doing what he loves with all his heart and humor' 'On his way to the hotel, he calls his beautiful, loving wife, Kelly. Verified transactions are gathered into “blocks”, which are then “chained” together using heavy-duty cryptography so that, in principle, any attempt retrospectively to alter the details of a transaction would be visible. And oppressive, rent-seeking authorities such as Visa and Mastercard (or, for that matter, Stripe) are nowhere in the chain. This figure rises to £500,000 in the prestigious World Championships at the Crucible. Blockchains are designed to be a network of peers, but not for your mobile device or your browser to be one of those Moxie Marlinspike Given all that, it’s easy to see why the blockchain idea evokes utopian hopes: at last, technology is sticking it to the Man. He tells her he loves her with every bit of his heart.

In that sense, the excitement surrounding it reminds me of the early days of the internet, when we really believed that our contemporaries had invented a technology that was democratising and liberating and beyond the reach of established power structures. Then Chelsea FC defender John Terry was in attendance at the Alexandra Palace, and the pair had met before when Robertson was invited to take his UK Championship trophy into the Blues’ dressing room before a Champions League match. And indeed the network had – and still possesses – those desirable affordances. But we’re not using them to achieve their great potential. According to Forbes, he has a net worth of £51million. And he goes to sleep dreaming of when we'll all meet again - and he's smiling. Instead, we’ve got YouTube and Netflix. What we underestimated, in our naivety, were the power of sovereign states, the ruthlessness and capacity of corporations and the passivity of consumers, a combination of which eventually led to corporate capture of the internet and the centralisation of digital power in the hands of a few giant corporations and national governments. (Image: GETTY) Trending Robertson, meanwhile, has pocketed just shy of £4million in his entire career — more than enough to give him a very comfortable lifestyle.

In other words, the same entrapment as happened to the breakthrough communications technologies – telephone, broadcast radio and TV, and movies – in the 20th century, memorably chronicled by Tim Wu in The Master Switch . Maybe tomorrow. Will this happen to blockchain technology? Hopefully not, but the enthusiastic endorsement of it by outfits such as Goldman Sachs is not exactly reassuring. He tweeted in 2017: “At the moment it’s top 20 or you’re better off flipping burgers. The problem with digital technology is that, for engineers, it is both intrinsically fascinating and seductively challenging, which means that they acquire a kind of tunnel vision: they are so focused on finding solutions to the technical problems that they are blinded to the wider context. At the moment, for example, the consensus-establishing processes for verifying blockchain transactions requires intensive computation, with a correspondingly heavy carbon footprint. DON'T MISS:. In a final Instagram post less than 24 hours before he was found dead, Saget told fans he was 'loving every minute' of being back on stage. Reducing that poses intriguing technical challenges, but focusing on them means that the engineering community isn’t thinking about the governance issues raised by the technology.

There may not be any central authority in a blockchain but, as Vili Lehdonvirta years ago, there are rules for what constitutes a consensus and, therefore, a question about who exactly sets those rules. The engineers? The owners of the biggest supercomputers on the chain? Goldman Sachs? These are ultimately political questions, not technical ones. Lots of positivity. Blockchain engineers also don’t seem to be much interested in the needs of the humans who might ultimately be users of the technology. That, at any rate, is the conclusion that cryptographer Moxie Marlinspike came to in a fascinating examination of the technology. “When people talk about blockchains,” he writes, “they talk about distributed trust, leaderless consensus and all the mechanics of how that works, but often gloss over the reality that clients ultimately can’t participate in those mechanics. Thanks again to @comediantimwilkins for opening.

All the network diagrams are of servers, the trust model is between servers, everything is about servers. Blockchains are designed to be a network of peers, but not designed such that it’s really possible for your mobile device or your browser to be one of those peers.” And we’re nowhere near that point yet. I guess I'm finding my new voice and loving every moment of it. What I’ve been reading A novel question How Did She Do It is a terrific Guardian .