Smart-Contracts Pioneer Nick Szabo: “Secure, Permissionless Blockchains need Armour, not Fins”


Smart-Contracts Pioneer Nick Szabo Says: “Secure, Permissionless Blockchains Need Armour, Not Fins”

During his appearance at this year’s iteration of the Blockchain Live conference that took place in London recently, Nick Szabo, the man responsible for providing the world with smart contract technology, said that “Bitcoin is still the Alpha of the crypto world”.

Responding to a host of different queries regarding newer blockchain platforms providing customers with a better transaction per second (TPS) rate, Szabo said that the real value of Bitcoin lies not with its speed, but with something he referred to as its “social scalability”. He then went on to defend the POW (proof-of-work) consensus algorithm currently employed by Bitcoin by stating:

“We’ve had some people saying we can improve the TPS or we’re going to be inspired by blockchain but not use a true blockchain. If you need trust, and global seamlessness, that’s a very penny wise and foolish approach.”

However, Szabo did concede that there were other cryptocurrencies that have established blockchain ecosystems that are faster, more scalable— but added that they did not factor in an important element of ‘human nature’.

Szabo: “Communism Works Well Only at a Very-Small Scale”

Speaking at the event, Szabo said that,

“Communism when applied from a digital perspective fails because human trust does not scale well.”

What he basically meant by this statement was that in order for a large digital ecosystem to thrive, it should be able to function without relying on individual/collective trust.

In regards to this matter, he noted:

“If you look at the way attacks have happened in bitcoin, trusted strangers are security holes. Bitcoin is decentralized, almost hack proof. The vast majority of hacks have been on centralized exchanges that people use to trade.”

He then went on to say that “Secure, permissionless blockchains need armour not fins,” thus defending the POW algorithm that was devised to help secure the Bitcoin network against human interference and manipulation.

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