Bitcoin, Ethereum, and blockchain in particular are often claimed as revolutionary as the Internet itself. They will decentralize the Internet again, change how we make apps, empower end-users, and remove intermediaries. But are they really so revolutionary? Even ignoring the technical limitations of scaling and power consumption, we can hardly imagine such wide influence on our society as we observed for Internet. Internet connected people globally, provided means of immediate communication and access to knowledge and information. It changed many aspects of our lives and how we as a species operate. But blockchain, does it really have this potential?
Together with popularization of blockchain we can notice revived calls for decentralization of national and international governments, their reboots, or even their dissolution. But such calls lack fundamental understanding of how our governments operate, their role in our global society, and what all in fact regulate and control our existence beyond just governments.
I really like how Bitcoin brought up so much new energy into the cryptocurrencies world. It combined great ideas of P2P networks, proof of work, append-only databases, and others together into a working and popular system and spawn new ideas and new innovation. It started a new cycle of decentralization of technologies.
But as a currency itself, it lacks innovation. It is still an one-dimensional numeric-like value used to valuate everything humans do in the same traditional way. Bitcoin is often compared to the Internet, how it brings a new era. But if we are comparing it with the Internet, then it is the Internet at the stage where people would take physical books, scan them as images, and make them available online. No interactivity, no multimedia, no searching or social capabilities, no additional value besides digitizing the content in the most simple way. Bitcoin does the same. It just digitizes existing concept of money. It does this in an interesting and innovative way, but it is still just a digital image of money.
I have a proposal for a double social experiment, merging two disruptive ideas. One is that Bitcoin technology is removing government from the equation of controlling and taxing money flows, which is arguably better because it allows people to freely decide how they want their money to be spend and not be forced by others. The other is universal basic income, a system of social security where everybody regularly receives an unconditional sum of money. Let’s create a way for all Bitcoin users to voluntarily add Bitcoins to a common wallet from which all users would then unconditionally get a regular and equal payment.