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Blockchain: An Unexpected Revolution
Blockchain: An Unexpected Revolution

Blockchain: An Unexpected Revolution

We have a long way to go.

Here is the full article:

Blockchain: An Unexpected Revolution By Haseeb Qureshi Translated by Noel

Imagine that you don’t have to trust any stranger to transact with them; you don’t have to trust a bank to store your savings there; you don’t have to trust the government because you know it has to be fair and honest; you don’t have to trust it. You don’t need to trust the government because you know it has to be fair and just.

What happens then?

“That would change the world.

And that, that’s the vision of the blockchain.

Recently, blockchain-based cryptocurrencies have been all over the media due to their high prices, dramatic volatility and sensational news such as Mt. Gox and The Silk Road.

However, digital currencies are only the tip of the iceberg.

While the mainstream media is still busy speculating about cryptocurrency prices and their black market conspiracy, they have missed the essential truth of it all. That is, cryptographers have quietly invented a whole new set of technical prototypes.” The

blockchain (and the consensus protocol that supports them) was born out of developers’ attempts to solve a bold puzzle: how to create untraceable digital currencies. By combining cryptography, game theory, economics, and computer science, they managed to create a whole new set of tools for building decentralized systems.

But their creation goes far beyond changing the way money is exchanged, it changes much more. Their creation will change the entire world, and no one seems to notice.

The famous physicist Edward Witten once said of string theory that it was part of 21st century physics that happened to enter the 20th century. In other words, the physics community at the time was not ready to accept string theory.

Blockchain is a 22nd century technology that happened to enter the early 21st century.

We have to bemoan the fact that clearly, we are not ready.

What is blockchain?

At its core, a blockchain is an extremely simple, elegant data structure. It is basically a chain of tables, except that these chains have one very important addition – namely, each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block. This approach creates a valid, tamper-evident chain of blocks and their corresponding fingerprint information that extends all the way to the creation block.

If everyone in the system replicated this chain (and verified its legitimacy by repeating the cryptographic hash function), then the system would be implemented as a slow and slightly crude distributed database that is tamper-proof.

That’s blockchain. It’s not that esoteric, is it?

Of course, in order to actually build a functional protocol, you need more work – you need authentication systems (public/private key encryption), consensus mechanisms (Satoshi Nakamoto consensus via proof-of-work or various types of proof-of-stake mechanisms), spatial and temporal optimization ( Merkle trees and Merkle proofs) and a whole bunch of stuff needed for peer-to-peer networks.

focuses on the fact that blockchains are truly a new tool for organizing complex systems. We’re just starting to understand how to integrate them into the real world.

“blockchain vision

If everyone is working on the same blockchain, everyone shares the current state of the blockchain publicly, everyone agrees to rules for new data submissions and tampering with the blockchain is arithmetically unworkable …… then suddenly everything changes.

Suddenly, you can build completely decentralized systems that no longer require participants to trust each other. As long as enough participants in the system follow the rules of the protocol (in the most primitive case, at least 50% of the participants are good), then you can incorporate provable security guarantees into the system. No conspirators or evil-doers can censor or undermine the system.

You can even design the right incentives into the protocol and then have every participant in the system enforce them.

By using blockchain, many large-scale coordination problems disappear. The challenges that plague global financial infrastructure, voting, international remittances, insurance policies, custodial records and even government corruption can be eliminated by simple design.

By building the right system using the right security assurances, you can cut down on bad incentive motivations. You can remove corrupt middlemen and rent-seekers. You can create a whole new society – one that will be better coordinated, more transparent and more efficient than the workable solutions you’ve envisioned in the past.

We’re having a hard time getting most people to grasp the gist of it.

I’ll put it this way: if John Locke1 knew about blockchain, that fact would undoubtedly have forced him to write a third treatise on government. It would have been a revolutionary idea on the proposition of how to coordinate society.


Currently, most of the people I know in Silicon Valley are focused on deep learning and artificial intelligence, and they see both as the most promising technological revolution. And I’m deeply impressed by their enthusiasm! Deep learning will disrupt industries and give us capabilities we once only dared to imagine in super science fiction.

But blockchain will disrupt society as a whole, it will enable systems of governance that exist only in utopias and philosophers’ daydreams.

However, when you look at the cryptocurrency world now, you don’t necessarily recognize this.

The vast majority of what’s happening right now can be grouped into two categories.

The first category is the crypto-anarchists and hackers who are building the underlying protocols. They are scrambling to build decentralized TCP/IP protocol stacks for future builders.

The second category are speculators who are trying to make a quick buck while the market is still unaware and the sentiment is optimistic.

“Unfortunately, the latter attracts the majority of attention.”

blockchain tower

Imagine going back in time to 1995 and someone trudging around the World Wide Web, browsing the elaborate sites for geeks, and suddenly thinking, “Wow, this weird little gadget is going to be significant one day. “

This was the blockchain a few years ago. In other words, blockchain safely crossed the Angelfire2 chasm.

Now that its first useful flashpoint has been proven, the next step is a big one.

You may have heard about the ICO mania, or the recent rally in bitcoin and ethereum. The smart and the crafty have taken notice and recognized the enormous potential of blockchain, and they have gained or lost fortunes speculating on the potential future of cryptocurrencies.

Unfortunately, blockchain is now dominating most people’s attention as a speculative item. The signal (referring to the potential of blockchain) is being drowned out by a lot of noise (referring to speculation).

But that’s to be expected, we’ve seen it all before.

When people first realized the enormous potential of the Internet, a lot of money was blindly poured into it. It was expected that the Internet would be used on a large scale and would create enormous value, and this speculation invited even greater speculation until the frenzy collapsed in 2001.

analogy to what is happening now, the bubble will eventually burst.

But when the dust clears – as it did after the dot-com bubble burst – those dedicated, steadily advancing companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google will move in to do the tedious work of building the future.

We have a long way to go.

I just recently left Airbnb. I had been working on payment fraud for over a year. Airbnb is a great company and despite my departure, we still have a great relationship. The more I learn about cryptography and blockchain, the more I believe this stuff is going to change the world.

That’s why I’m going to work in the blockchain direction (and probably keep updating the blog).

If you’re a developer and want to know how you can get involved and help build this future, check out this link and come along for the ride.

Translator’s note: [1] John Locke was an English philosopher who made important contributions to the theory of the social contract, represented by A Treatise of Human Understanding and A Treatise of Government. [2] Angelfire is an Internet service that offers free or paid URL services. Source: Unitime