Alexei Kudrov, a brilliant and honest Russian, speaking of the potential effects of blockchain technology on governments:
“Soon technology will replace many of the functions of government. The technology of block chains can almost completely replace the state bureaucracy. Society will be able on its own to solve various issues as well as make contracts and agreements.” __ Alexei Kudrin quoted here
Although the whole topic of blockchains seems exceedingly technical and boring to most persons, blockchain technology has earned its place on Wikipedia’s long list of emerging-disruptive technologies.
How Can Something So Boring Be a Threat to the Existence of Government as We Know It?
Blockchains are a type of encrypted public digital database, but they open the doors to changes in the modern world that most people cannot yet imagine or conceptualise. When used to underpin digital currencies, blockchains remove the middlemen — such as Visa or Mastercharge. The potential disruption of that change to the established order should be clear to anyone with the slightest knowledge of modern finance and economics.
Blockchains also have the potential to clean up a very messy modern supply chain for consumer and commercial goods. Consider how relieved you would be, for example, to know that your elderly parent is taking an authentic pharmaceutical, rather than a toxic Chinese counterfeit drug. Millions are put at risk every year through that supply chain scam alone.
But When Applied to Contracts and Bureaucratic Processes, Blockchains Present a Real Threat to Government as We Know It
Consider blockchains applied to “smart contracts:”
A smart contract can store records on who owns what. It can store promises to pay, and promises to deliver without having middleman or exposing people to the risk of fraud. It can automatically move funds in accordance with instructions given long in the past, like a will or a futures contract. For pure digital assets there is no “counterparty risk” because the value to be transferred can be locked into the contract when it is created, and released automatically when the conditions and terms are met: if the contract is clear, then fraud is impossible, because the program actually has real control of the assets involved rather than requiring trustworthy middle men like ATM machines or car rental agents.
And this system runs globally, with tens and eventually hundreds of thousands of computers sharing the workload and, more importantly, backing up the cultural memory of who promised what to whom. Yes, fraud is still possible, at the edge of the digitial, but many kinds of outright banditry are likely to simply die out: you can check the blockchain and find out if the house has been sold twice, for example. Who really owns this bridge in Brooklyn? What happens if this loan defaults? All there, as clear as crystal, in a single shared global blockchain. __ https://medium.com/consensys-media/programmable-blockchains-in-context-ethereum-s-future-cd8451eb421e
Applications of blockchains to the workings of government bureaucracy are only just being imagined and devised:
In January, the [UK] Government’s chief scientific adviser published ‘Distributed Ledger Technology: Beyond Blockchain’, setting out a number of possible applications of the software concept.
In April, Cabinet Office Minister Matthew Hancock, explained that blockchain is being explored as a way to streamline the distribution of government grants and track aid spending to ensure it is spent correctly. The last Government wanted “blockchain brainstorming” to explore further options.
One overlooked application is in replacing administrative work in the civil service. This alone accounted for 170,000 staff at a cost of £3.25bn in 2014-15…
… Governments across the globe have begun experimenting with using the software to record property ownership. This is administratively light as it is automatically documented by the blockchain and it skips the current need for people to use central registers to access information.
The Government could use this approach to more efficiently spend Land Registry’s £13m annual staffing bill. Sweden believes this can be done while cutting the time it takes to complete real estate deals.
The real win, however, comes from streamlining the running of the biggest departments, which are most heavily weighted toward administration. __ http://www.coindesk.com/blockchains-disrupt-bureaucracy/
Imagine the disruption of replacing hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats with a more affordable, smoother working, and more secure encrypted digital database system which is perfectly transparent to the public in all of its transactions! Cozy relationships between government worker-unions and political parties and power blocs would be obliterated, and the international puppetmasters, the elite financiers behind government power, would lose one of their strongest finger-holds on control within national and trans-national governmental agencies.
This technology continues to experience growing pains — such as this recent accidental blockchain splitting. But the people at Ethereum responded to the problem almost immediately, in a transparent and decisive manner.
The blockchain concept has come a long way since Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the concept in 2008, leading to the digital currency bitcoin — which has experienced its own set of growing pains since 2009.
But whenever truly disruptive technologies push their way onto the stage, one can expect a number of missteps, pushbacks, and contretemps of all kinds.
We should observe, however, that blockchain technologies are under particularly close scrutiny, and due to their “open-source” and public nature they invite close scrutiny. When problems inevitably arise, they are more likely to be publicly addressed and swiftly dealt with — in contrast with much of “business as usual,” where coverups of destructive and disastrous mistakes can go on for years or longer.
Downsizing Government Should be a Top Priority Around the World
In most countries, people attempt to go into government — or insert a trusted associate or family member into government — because that is the most reliable way to become wealthy and secure from persecution. This is true in nations from Russia to North Korea to the sub Saharan African dictatorships to the Islamic Republics, to the Latin American kleptocracies. Find any nation where state-owned enterprises and banks make up a large part of the GDP, and you will find corruption out the ears and eyesockets — and probably degrading public infrastructure with decaying quality of life.
The answer to this world of corrupt governments is a whole spectrum of disruptive technologies that make governments (and other megalithic controlling entities) entirely unnecessary. Any intelligent person who is not engaged in the imagining, designing, and implementing of such technologies is probably not someone very interesting, or even trustworthy in the long run.
Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late (or early) to have a Dangerous Childhood.
True disruptive technology is the human brain/body collaboration: The human mind and its tendency to insist upon its own innovative originality.
The video above highlights a business that bypasses US government controls of firearms production and distribution. But in particular it highlights the human mind which pushes the innovative and unconventional mindset of the innovative non-conformist. (h/t Nick Land)