Monday, April 9, 2018

Blockchain Is Not Only Crappy Technology But a Bad Vision for the Future

By Kai Stinchcombe

Blockchain is not only crappy technology but a bad vision for the future. Its failure to achieve adoption to date is because systems built on trust, norms, and institutions inherently function better than the type of no-need-for-trusted-parties systems blockchain envisions. That’s permanent: no matter how much blockchain improves it is still headed in the wrong direction.
This December I wrote a widely-circulatearticle on the inapplicability of blockchain to any actual problem. People objected mostly not to the technology argument, but rather hoped that decentralization could produceintegrity.
Let’s start with this: Venmo is a free service to transfer dollars, and bitcoin transfers are not free. Yet after I wrote an article last December saying bitcoin had no use, someone responded that Venmo and Paypal are raking in consumers’ money and people should switch to bitcoin.
What a surreal contrast between blockchain’s non-usefulness/non-adoption and the conviction of its believers! It’s so entirely evident that this person didn’t become a bitcoin enthusiast because they were looking for a convenient, free way to transfer money from one person to another and discovered bitcoin. In fact, I would assert that there is no single person in existence who had a problem they wanted to solve, discovered that an available blockchain solution was the best way to solve it, and therefore became a blockchain enthusiast.
Read the rest here.


  1. While I’m not the pessismist RW is wrt cryptocurrency, I think he raises some valid concerns around the potential for the state to use it to track and regulate transactions.

    This author, however, is crazy for dismissing the future importance of decentralized peer-to-peer networks.

  2. Blockchain is basically a ledger. There are plenty of applications for it besides crypto-currencies.