Blockchain als Perspektive

Steven B. Johnson stellt in seinem aktuellen Artikel Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble im Magazin der New York Times Blockchain als Zukunftshoffnung für offene Protokolle dar.

Er beschreibt das Internet in zwei Phasen, die erste ist geprägt von offenen Protokollen und Peer-to-Peer-Verbindungen, die zweite charakterisiert er als Phase von Monopolisten, die alle Daten in ihre eigene Plattform einschließen und sie als Waren verstehen.

Blockchain bietet laut Johnson die Möglichkeit eine neue Phase einzuläuten, in der offene Standards und die Möglichkeit direkter Vernetzung wieder die Hoffnung auf gleichwertigeren Austausch beflügeln. Er lädt dazu ein Blockchain über Bitcoin hinaus zu beachten, und somit das inhärente Potential wahrzunehmen und zu nutzen:

Like the original internet itself, the blockchain is an idea with radical — almost communitarian — possibilities that at the same time has attracted some of the most frivolous and regressive appetites of capitalism. We spent our first years online in a world defined by open protocols and intellectual commons; we spent the second phase in a world increasingly dominated by closed architectures and proprietary databases. We have learned enough from this history to support the hypothesis that open works better than closed, at least where base-layer issues are concerned. But we don’t have an easy route back to the open-protocol era. Some messianic next-generation internet protocol is not likely to emerge out of Department of Defense research, the way the first-generation internet did nearly 50 years ago.

Yes, the blockchain may seem like the very worst of speculative capitalism right now, and yes, it is demonically challenging to understand. But the beautiful thing about open protocols is that they can be steered in surprising new directions by the people who discover and champion them in their infancy. Right now, the only real hope for a revival of the open-protocol ethos lies in the blockchain. Whether it eventually lives up to its egalitarian promise will in large part depend on the people who embrace the platform, who take up the baton, as Juan Benet puts it, from those early online pioneers. If you think the internet is not working in its current incarnation, you can’t change the system through think-pieces and F.C.C. regulations alone. You need new code.

Steven B. Johnson, Beyond the Bitcoin Bubble. New York Times, 16.01.2018.

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