Nic Carter has launched a war against the term ‘blockchain’. Earlier today, Carter attracted attention from across the crypto community when he described the term “blockchain” as a “semantic wasteland”. Now, Carter has a bold proposal: we should call protocols like bitcoin and Ethereum “public assurance networks” instead of blockchains.
Carter expressed the point on Twitter a few hours after his original post appeared online.
“In light of my piece this morning, I’m going to try and avoid using the word “blockchain” for the next month,” explains Carter on Twitter.
In light of my piece this morning, I'm going to try and avoid using the word "blockchain" for the next month. I will instead refer to Bitcoin & Ethereum (et al) as "public assurance networks". See this post for context on "assurances" https://t.co/VXZKBbNsJo
— nic carter (@nic__carter) October 5, 2018
“I will instead refer to Bitcoin & Ethereum (et al) as “public assurance networks”.”
Carter’s original blog post advocated for an end to use of the term ‘blockchain’. Carter, a partner at Castle Island Ventures and co-founder of Coinmetrics.io, believes the term has become over-used for various reasons. Some people use the term ‘blockchain’ to refer to any distributed database or cryptocurrency, for example. Some people use the term out of ignorance while others use the term for marketing purposes.
Carter envisions a future where there’s a huge difference between permissioned blockchains and public blockchains like bitcoin. He envisions a future where people can distinguish between different types of blockchains, and where the term ‘blockchain’ isn’t used to refer to 100 different things.
You can read the full blog post from Nic Carter here:
Why Public Assurance Networks?
Clearly, Carter has taken his post to heart. Over the next month, Nic Carter has pledged to not use the term ‘blockchain’.
From this point forward, Carter will refer to decentralized networks like bitcoin and Ethereum as “public assurance networks.”
Why public assurance networks? What does that term mean? Essentially, it means that the security and integrity of the network is backed by the public. The public can ‘audit’ the network at any time, and there’s full transparency across the network. Trust in the network comes from the fact that it’s decentralized.
A public assurance network is different from a private assurance network, where trust is centralized – say, by a company’s accounting department that is tasked with overseeing the database.
Obviously, the term ‘public assurance network’ sounds significantly less cool than ‘blockchain’ – which doesn’t sound very cool to begin with. We’ll see if Carter can get it to catch on.