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In reply to a post by https://snarfed.org/ on

Blockchain is heartbreaking. As a computer scientist, I love it. Itโ€™s a fundamental breakthrough: the first open participation distributed consensus algorithm ever. Thatโ€™s a big deal. As an engineer, I canโ€™t responsibly recommend it to anyone for anything. Itโ€™s slow, unreliable, immature, hard to use, and functionality impoverished. Itโ€™s a database that hates you. Truly heartbreaking.

But blockchain is not (just) about open participation. Itโ€™s about trustlessness (โ€œwell actuallyโ€ there are โ€œpermissioned blockchainsโ€ but thatโ€™s just a glorified/terrible variant of Git pretty much). And society is built on trust. As Nicholas Weaver puts it, blockchains (trustlessness) is good for one thing only: censorship resistance, i.e. evading the law. Itโ€™s just the only option for thing like ransomware. For everything else, systems with trust are many many orders of magnitude more efficient.

And Iโ€™d say systems without trustlessness can be โ€œopen participationโ€. Dename was a pretty cool idea.


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