James Bridle Shares his Thoughts on Bitcoin as a Failure to its Own Creed
Cryptography, in spite of the immense amount of press that it's received from the birth and boom of Bitcoin and Blockchain, has had an extensive history, and a longer one than you may think.
To understand cryptography is to understand the origins of secrecy within communication, and that is something that has an almost unlimited history. From communique between soldiers of armies dating back to the antique age of Greeks, Persians and possibly beyond.
It stretched out as well, not just to the words being hidden, but out towards the means of sending and receiving that message. From the roads, the Persians policed, to the American cable that carried the Zimmerman Telegram, and on to the Lorenz which would become famous for breaking the long-elusive Enigma system of encryption.
It's from here that we see the seed, root, and sapling of what would become known as the Cyberpunks. With members of its clique that would go on to be synonymous with the likes of Digital assets, cryptocurrency, blockchain.
If you've ever heard of Hegel, then you'll know about the creation of a set of theories – a Thesis, as a direct counter to, or creator of its opposite – an Antithesis. With the origins of blockchain and cryptography set, the age of blockchain brings with it the greater likelihood that conflict will come about between the decentralized and centralized methods.
It is with this in mind, however, that encourages us to take a more pragmatic look at Bitcoin.
Blockchain As The Flawed Liberator
Blockchain represents one of the single greatest adversaries to the centralized world that we've come to know, use, and mildly suspect. That, of course, consists of a wide range of institutions, governments, and companies, that take and, store your varying quantities of data.
One of the disadvantages that this system presents is the fact that this data is often poorly-stored; resulting in pretty controversial exposés over the past few years about millions of files worth of bank details, passwords, and much more information through mis-selling or having them stolen through hacking.
Any data storage requires a system of mutual understanding and trust. And over the years, the centralized system lost continually more trust. So it only stands to reason that, in the face of the 2008 recession, people would look to a system that didn't rule over them in tyranny.
This is where blockchain technology game to the fore. starting off with Bitcoin's whitepaper by ‘Satoshi Nakamoto.' Its distributed consensus mechanism, the open nature of the public chain, and many other attributes, including the digital asset –Bitcoin – would come to represent the new dialectic between individual rights and Autocracy.
The optimum word that was used to epitomize blockchain technology, and one that serves as a marauder the governmental corridors, and that's: Trustlessness.
Every individual user of blockchain are a node unto themselves, with their own immutable, public, and Un-editable, it promotes the sovereignty of the individual above the government would create an ever-more atomized society, un-readable, untraceable, and therefore; ungovernable.
But while blockchain serves as the greatest challenge to the status quo of what it means to be a citizen in the 21st century. But what it needs is something more than innovation in the face of decentralized challenge, it requires a new generation of political thinking in order to redress the challenges of people you govern in decades to come.
“Blockchain, whatever products it might engender in the short term,”
James Bridle argues.
“[It] poses a necessary problem that we should seek to answer not through technological fixes and traditional political forms but through the participation of the widest and most diverse public possible, and the creation of new forms of political relationships between one another.”