The great cryptocurrency heist (Aeon) →

Aeon consistently delivers interesting content about the intersection of technology and philosophy. Most of their articles address how technology affects what might be called “humanism.” I recommend this article if you’re interested in how this hope of a “technological utopia” is undermined by the same basic problems that have plagued humanity since as long as we’ve been around.

By now, the answer should be obvious: [the problem of trust] ends with other humans. Blockchains don’t offer us a trustless system, but rather a reassignment of trust. Instead of trusting our laws and institutions, we are being asked to trust stakeholders and miners, and programmers, and those who know enough coding to be able to verify the code. We aren’t actually trusting the blockchain technology; we are trusting the people that support the blockchain. The blockchain community is certainly new and different, and it talks a good game of algorithms and hashing power, which at least sounds better than tired slogans such as Prudential is rock solid and You are in good hands with Allstate. But miners aren’t necessarily any more reliable than the corporations they replace.

Linked on February 14, 2017