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A wonderful new world. Why Bitcoin could destroy the state and lead to anarchy
Material posted: Publication date: 16-04-2016
The cryptocurrency Bitcoin has long established itself as a reliable tool for payments, but the underlying technology is suitable to manage any kind of processes. Some enthusiasts with it, intend to dismantle the current hierarchical institutions of power and replace them with new decentralized. "" asked how the proponents imagine a future society.

In the beginning there was Bitcoin

In 2009, in the Internet published a document entitled "Bitcoin: a Distributed electronic cash system" signed by a certain Satoshi Nakamoto. In the document setting out the concept of decentralized virtual currency, transactions in which does not require trust. The history of all transactions is stored in a special register — the blockchain. A copy is available to any interested person. The log records can be checked, where did the money sent by one user to another, and the electronic signature ensures that they will not get stranger.

Currency — bitcoins are produced as rewards for review of transactions by the users on their computers. The speed and limit the release of virtual currency is determined simply by the algorithm. Received monetary unit subsequently can be exchanged for goods or services, and usual currency.

The idea proved to be successful bitcoins now in circulation and on the Internet and in the real world. And although the underlying technology has been developed for interaction with virtual money, theoretically, it is suitable for distribution of any information. The blockchain is essentially a giant list where you can enter everything from the inventory to the counting of votes for the electoral candidates.

Technology advantages are obvious: in the blockchain you can't arbitrarily insert a new data block in an arbitrary location, they are added only in the manner prescribed by rules of procedure, and verification operations can be manufactured by anyone. Many enthusiasts believe that the blockchain is able to realize an old dream of the progressive part of humanity — a decentralized democracy, when any person will be able to solve their problems, bringing them up for discussion and voting, not turning to traditional state structures.


The underlying Bitcoin technology can be applied in all spheres of life
Heavenly democracy. Photo: Bogdan Cristel / Reuters.

Why do I need it? One of the reasons is that the state at all desire can not fully meet the needs of every citizen. The state uses the term "highest good", supposedly the most suitable, while a particular individual may have specific problems not covered by existing government development programmes.

This issue aims to address the blockchain. For example, drivers passing on the road, which is undergoing renovation work, can be automatically paid virtual points to cryptocurrency as compensation for the inconvenience. Then these points will turn into real money or services are later transferred to the victim by the insurance company. That is, according to this theory, the state loses its monopoly and is transformed into a set of businesses solve specific problems of the citizens and not related in a vertical power structure.

The modernization of the payments supporters of this concept are not limited — they want to move the entire democratic system of governance in the blockchain. People do not have to rely on some agents or representatives, who perform General ordering of society, they will be replaced by individual smart contracts concluded and verified by the electronic government. This will not only quickly to resolve issues of individual citizens, but also greatly reduce the possibility of narrow elite groups to lobby for their interests. In addition, the rule makes the financial system more efficient and eliminates the bureaucracy, and the savings can be spent on such important projects as, say, a guaranteed income for every citizen.

Other initiatives, such as Liquid Democracy imply a radical change of the current electoral system. In modern democratic States, the interests of the people are elected MPs who promote and vote in Parliament for the useful from their point of view bills.

Within Liquid Democracy user can easily assign to any other person (the delegate) credentials to perform a particular task at any time period and with the same ease withdraws. The delegate may be someone who has expertise in a particular field of knowledge, the potential of each member of Liquid Democracy can turn into policy. The system stability is ensured recruited reputation. From the bad reputation does not wash — it is stored in the blockchain.


Using the blockchain already perpetuate important events in life. Photo: Peter Nicholls / Reuters

You can implement the concept of futarchy is a two — tier voting, when citizens vote for the first result of the initiative (for example, "increase GDP"), and then for this necessary set of actions. The first step is a conventional referendum, but the voter will have to vote ruble (or rather, cryptocurrency). So he invests in a specific way to solve the problem, and it is through these money (and money of other citizens, who consider this method of solution effective) initiative will move forward in life. The blockchain will record the process and implement it in a decentralized manner.

Thus, each person distributed forms the government and chooses the services it will provide. Absolutely any: dispute resolution, voting, distribution of GDP and registering of various legal documents, such as, for example, the certificate of registration of marriage.

Some such initiatives are already being implemented. In October 2014, the U.S. hosted the first bedoyeva wedding. The couple bonded marital Union in the blockchain, writing their status in a transaction denominated in a 0.1 bitcoin. They are not just formally became husband and wife, their marital contract is now available for users of the system worldwide.

The blockchain is able to perform and reliable tool for solving a wide range of disputes. Replacing Bitcoin transactions for legal precedents, you can create a base for consistent judicial decisions. The validity of this or that verdict assesses and confirms the society itself. Important role in this scheme and play with virtual money, which the wranglers encourage public judges.

New level for the society

One of the side effects of this system — the transition of society to a new level of consciousness. After all, mankind did not know precedents when in positions of authority would have to answer directly to the voters, and the process for filing claims is simple and transparent.

Of course, examples of decentralization of public institutions have to take at least the entertainment industry, where film and TV series of major companies have to compete for the viewer's attention with a multitude of channels on YouTube.

Many will say that to abandon the centralization of key processes in Economics and management is much more complex than in culture, and this is true. But there is no reason not to believe in the possibility of society over time to perceive and understand such change.

Reproduction clips

And yet, one important circumstance prevents the decentralization of public administration. The use of force. If in virtual world you can create effective mechanisms that would not permit seizure of power conditional elites, in reality all the good initiatives can be stopped through violence.

Proponents of digital anarchy (essentially libertarian utopia) pondering this problem. The main variations to date are two: either wait that the society will ever renounce violence or to rely on existing state institutions. In the second case, the activists intend to apply to the court if the state or a certain group of villains decides to stop development practices distributed democracy, which, of course, is somewhat naive.


The transition to the running state by using the blockchain is only possible with the weakening of control by the government. Foto: chromorange /

However, the anarchists have an explanation for why the violence by the authorities can be avoided. A distributed system of democracy is based not only on the good will of its participants, but also on the fact that it is economically more advantageous, and to optimize the processes in it can be by computer bots competing with each other for lowering the cost of certain services or resources. This should result in less effective modern management principles, based on the centralization of power and violence as a method of deduction, will become the past.

Here, alas, there is another problem, described in the speculative experiment of the Swedish philosopher nick Bostrom. He proposes to imagine an artificial intelligence machine that needs to produce as many paper clips. Because the effective increase in the number of staples is its main and only goal, in the end, he recycles in all staples, including humans. The same is true for bots, working to improve the efficiency of energy distribution. In this case, the human victims will be only a matter of time.

Mikhail Karpov



Tags: economy , finances

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