Why the blockchain will not save the world

Why the blockchain will not save the world

The blockchain was created by mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Ten years later all of us still discuss it as "technology which will change the world". What it, as not artificially created hype? For comparison, for the first year of existence of PokemonGo a game was downloaded by 750 million users, and even after that we do not say that augmented reality changed the world.

Blockchain and thermonuclear synthesis

Why it is simple to us not to reconcile to a thought that the blockchain (with all its objectively strong and interesting aspects) is just not so important? Expectations on a blockchain are overestimated. In particular, and therefore that still is definitely not clear what pressing problem is solved by this technology. Of course, I assume that it is more convenient and safer to buy drugs in DeepWeb for bitcoins, than by means of the credit card registered on your name. But in general payment cards perfectly work, and an obvious incentive to replace them with something new is not present.

Very few people from evangelists of a blockchain go way: "a problem – how to solve – oh, a blockchain!". As a rule, way back: we have a cool technology what it can be applied to? Through it at me the blockchain is associated not with the Internet or the steam engine, and with the managed thermonuclear synthesis which was intended to solve all power problems of mankind, but in 40 years of the existence did not approach per day the solution of this task (and therefore now investments into renewable power much exceed even transcendental budgets of ITER).

Security of data = reliable blockchain infrastructure

One more caution on a blockchain: it does not give such amazing security as we would like to think. The number of scandals in a blockchain industry significantly exceeds the traditional "unreliable industries" (and tragicomic history with the smart contract The DAO, and hard-fork NXT, and hacker attacks to the cryptoexchanges and purses are forced). It is quite probable that it is growth diseases, and it is necessary to develop the corresponding infrastructure that application of a blockchain was more reliable, convenient and fast.

But need of development the blockchain infrastructure (in the form of the organizations which provide carrying out operations verification of participants, exchange of cryptocurrencies, implementation of contracts and so forth) levels that majestic a promise which the blockchain technology, it seems, makes to the world: that it is possible to construct global transactions without use of traditional institutes (banks, notaries, the exchanges, the state regulators).

If you trust a blockchain infrastructure, then you trust not in a blockchain, and in adequacy of infrastructure. The same as now you trust National bank which regulates payments, also in the world of a blockchain you trust, for example, Etherium consortium which is the environment for implementation only of the same cryptopayments. More than possibly that you have neither time, nor abilities personally to check whether the specific blockchain an algorithm correctly works, or it is the next The Dao which lost money because of an error in the code.

Eventually you just trust the one who wrote a specific algorithm and confirms you authenticity of the user or transaction. That is for the ordinary person the belief in some institutes is just replaced with belief in others — "crypto - institutes". That in what a difference? It is a question of taste, but not "system".

Blockchain bicycle

The blockchain promises us "smart contracts" which will be automatically executed and which will not cause a controversy? But the mankind already constructed the tool for "smart contracts" — actually, human writing which was necessary to make agreements and to write laws. It became precisely best of all, than oral arrangements. But then there were documents for thousands of pages, lawyers, arbitration, courts and the state as the instrument of coercion to implementation of contracts.

Now at us, it seems, will be a blockchain contracts. Here thousands and thousands of code lines, the qualified programmers, the cryptoexchanges and mechanisms of arbitration will also be necessary only for them. Coercion to implementation of the contract – it it is much bigger, than "a blockchain record which cannot be forged". Proved by black notaries and fake loggers in the real world.

As will the blockchain save that, for example, from existence of two transactions for sale of an object? And what then will specifically cardinally change? Actually, why anonymous authors from the Internet which, perhaps, algorithms check can be trusted more, than bank supervision or the government? Of course, it is possible to think up some procedures for check of an algorithm and checking to make sure that among them there are no spies of enemy investigation. But eventually we will just reproduce same existing and now procedures and rules of the game which will become a certain quasi-government on the Internet.

Trust in society = reduction of transactional costs

At last real people differ from homo economicus which should appreciate this theoretically more effective world without bankers and officials. Real people do not read the code. They do not even read contracts which are signed. And still — do not use the PGP encryption with the public key, load the photos and GPS tags into the Internet, write that they eat for breakfast and get into cars to strangers (and call it big achievement of progress — Uber!). All this signs of trust in society which is the important instrument of reduction of transactional costs which allow not to check each contractor.

After all, I am not a skeptic concerning use of technologies, even, on the contrary. Technologies — as the hammer. If it to try to twirl a screw, the result will be unfavourable. But for clogging of nails of the best you will find nothing. Therefore let's use the hammer for designated purpose and we will cease to prove that it is obliged to change the world.

I very much would like that the debate over application of blockchain technology passed from appeals and slogans to search of specific paths of application in those spheres where we can apply and receive it result. Find an open problem or inefficient human behavior – and if the blockchain saves the situation, it is super!

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team