“Smart contracts mean a different order of automation: economic transactions are put on auto-pilot. True believers want them to do away entirely with intermediaries, from banks to governments. But they should be careful what they wish for.” – The Economist
For this progressive, middle-aged, intersectional feminist, geek and business leader, someone who has roamed corporate boardrooms and led technology teams all her life, there is something very interesting in observing unguarded, unpolished and very public displays of hubris—the same hubris that lingers in the minds and actions of corporate executives, only this time it is not outwardly articulated.
When issues are discussed out in the open, they can be quickly called out and, sometimes, reasoned with; information flows freely, and education and progress occur faster. In this unmoderated, unsettling and enraging world, you quickly find out where you stand, and whether you want to waltz or to run for your life in the opposite direction.
What will happen now that Blockchain is swiftly moving from being a scrappy outsider to the mainstream darling? Can we prevent varnished politeness from taking over the battlefronts of progress?
“Bitcoin is not smooth jazz; bitcoin is punk rock. Deal with it.”
– Andreas Antonopoulos
The outcome of this roller coaster ride will fall somewhere in between a corporate controlled Blockchain that loses some of its most socially-progressive qualities, and a Skynet-like Blockchain. Humanity loses in the edge cases. The question we should be asking is: in the space between extremities, where do we want to end up?
“We must look to the distributive qualities of digital technologies for their ability to promote economic activity rather than usurp it. The beauty of networks – unlike industrial machines – is that they are biased toward distribution and circulation. Everything is moving. Things don’t travel from the top down or even the bottom up, but to and from everywhere at once.
Likewise, instead of optimizing digital companies for simple extraction, we should be optimizing them for transaction over accumulation – for flow over growth, or what economists would call the velocity of money rather than capital appreciation. This is what digital platforms do best.” - Douglas Rushkoff
The current participants in this internet of value don’t sound much different from a young Sergey, Larry, Steve, Mark or Bill. If we want different results we must work hard to practice inclusivity and to broaden the diversity of the community.