Advantages of Crypto
It seems that crypto’s two advantages are
- It’s a public cloud that’s pay-per-use
- The programs and services running on the public cloud programmatically CANNOT
cheat you. So that you basically trust that it works right.
- Still possible to have man-in-the-middle attacks. Your phone, internet provider, or RPC API, maybe a cracked version of your light-client, hacking wallets, and stealing wallet phrases. Black hat pen testers and foreign intelligence will always find a way.
- The public cloud is censorship resistant ONLY ON the cloud itself.
- The ISP can shut off network access. The miner/validator farms that run the compute can be found and shut down.
- Anyone can create an account. An account is a wallet.
Problems that I believe will get solved
- It’s slow
- Expensive to use
- Ecosystem is confusing
- Developer experience is bad
- The user experience is bad.
The problems that MAY BE be solved in 50 years
- The computer blockchain networks can run on smaller devices and be more and more decentralized.
- Maybe a validator node can run in the background of every smartphone.
The problems that WON’T LIKELY be solved in 50 years
- Internet provider-level censorship or attacks to access the network
- The transfer of physical world goods/currency into crypto currency.
- The infinite backward transparency in purchasing the blockchain of a real-world good. (e.g. buy a beer with your crypto wallet in 2060, and if it’s linked to your name, along with the entire history of every transaction you've ever made).
- Governments can plant zero-days, or intelligence operatives inside of Exchanges and create a 1::1 mapping of real-world identity to web3 wallets.
- I don’t understand why the world has to be trustless. It has operated on trust between adversaries and allies for thousands of years.
- We have gotten through nuclear escalations, world wars, and other catastrophes with the trust placed in one another
- Trust is one of the core foundations of human business interactions.
On the Rigidity of Programmatic contracts
- Having a law etched into stone in crypto may not be the ideal
- Today, laws and rules can be bent to account for unknown unknowns. The US judicial system is less flexible than most of the rest of the world but it still incorporates having the judge interpret “the spirit of the law” when making judgments. This keeps the system fair and accounts for uncertainties.
- Business deals also operate in the same manner.
- Having a smart contract that is unbreakable sounds great until enough people
get burned by that rigidity that they refuse to use smart contracts.
- The equivalent of a smart contract exists in today’s work BTW. They are
rigid contracts with 50 pages of clauses.
What do people do when faced with such contracts? Usually, they renegotiate the contract or refuse to sign it.
- The equivalent of a smart contract exists in today’s work BTW. They are rigid contracts with 50 pages of clauses.
- Imagine if your marriage contract was on the blockchain. How would you ever
get a lawyer to enforce a prenup or defend one side's story in an unexpected case of an event happening?
- If enough men get burned by rigid contracts, they will refuse to use them. It’s the smart thing to do.
- And the answer isn’t to design a contract that contains every possibility: because that is impossible. There will always be an unknown.
- And even a council or jury on the blockchain will eventually come back to a
single human maybe a subjective interpretation, and that’s just a reinvention
of the existing system of legal contracts in our world.
- Then the question is...what is the advantage of having that on the blockchain? I don’t know.
I want to see some examples of where an outcome in the world would’ve been better if there were absolute trust guarantees.
If Google’s “Don’t be evil” was programmatically “Can’t be evil” then what happens when “Can’t be evil” drive the company to lose to a competitor who emerges with a “Be a little evil”? I don’t think humans like to be on sinking ships and watching as the ship sinks. The purpose of flexibility in a complex system is to account for unknown feedback loops. The classic three-body problem in physics is an example of a rigid physics-governed model that has ZERO flexibility or improvisation, and that leads to its unpredictable random but absolute orbit pattern.
What I’m looking for
Information that directly and specifically contradicts anything that I have written above.
The key things I may be wrong on
- The impact on human life of having a trustless guaranteed contract system.
- The impact of human society on having blockchain-enforced contracts for governance.
- The transparency of transactions in the history of an account or wallet on a blockchain
- The need for censorship-resistant things - and EXACTLY how a censorship-resistant network would resist censorship in an authoritarian regime.
- Any really interesting use cases that exist today and will be made better if running on a future blockchain tech (imagine Ethereum but 1000x faster). Would video games be better there? Would web hosting be better? Would news sites or Twitter be better? Give me some examples of what the future could have
Examples from Fiction
The best example I have for a better-imagined future of Web3 is the “Net” in The Expanse. Just a giant uncontrolled solar-system computer that handles news and the internet.
Or the “NetSphere” in BLAME [interesting example because it’s a case of a world-computer that is injected with a malicious attack and then programmatically blocks out all users - leading to a catastrophe - and throughout the fiction series, the entire population tries every which way to get the NetSphere to bend its own rules and re-establish a root-user to fix the rigidify of the code that prevents real users from logging in]