Blockchain and Social Technologies

Datarella / Blockchain Munich Meetup

22 Jan 2019

Pablo R. Velasco
University of Aarhus / @xpablov

Langdon Winner:
inherent politics
Do artifacts have politics? 1980

  • Era of insecure comms (70's - 90's)

    • Asymmetric cryptography Diffie and Hellman - 1976 (implemented in 1978 in RSA algorithm)
    • Ralph Merkle hash trees - 1979
    • Phil Zimmerman PGP - 1991

  • Era of manifestos (90's)

      A specter is haunting the modern world, the specter of crypto anarchy
      (Crypto Anarchist Manifesto, 1992)
      We cannot expect governments, corporations, or other large, faceless organizations to grant us privacy out of their beneficence. It is to their advantage to speak of us, and we should expect that they will speak
      (Cypherpunks Manifesto, 1993)
    • Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace (Barlow, 1996)

    [John Gilmore] expected a guarantee -with physics and mathematics, not with laws- that we can give ourselves real privacy of personal communications
    (Levi, 1996)

  • Era of crypto-money (90's ~2010)

    • David Chaum - digicash -1990
    • Adam Back - hashcash PoW - 1997
    • Wei Dai - B-money - 1998
    • Nick Szabo - bit gold 1998-2005 (1990 concept)
    • Hal Finney - RPOW - 1998
    • Satoshi Nakamoto - bitcoin - 2008

Yes, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years. Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own
(Satoshi Nakamoto, to the comment "You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography")

Digital Metallism & Infrastructural Mutuallism

Bitcoin “appeal[ed] to people who wish to devolve power away from banks by introducing more diversity int o the monetary system. Those with a left-wing anarchist bent, who perceive the state and banking sector as representing the same elite interests, may recognise in it the potential for collective direct democratic governance of currency. It has really appealed, though, to conservative libertarians who perceive it as a commodity-like currency, free from the evils of the central bank and regulation”

(Scott 2014)

Digital Metallism

Digital Metallism “Implies an overly marketistic, individualistic, and ultimately anti-social vision of money and, with it, of human nature”
(Swartz and Driscoll 2017)

Tessera Hospitalis

Infrastructural mutualism

Adherents value Bitcoin and other Cryptographic Systems built on a Blockchain for their ability to produce, in an idealized vision, a network of peers engaged in a voluntary effort to maintain a decentralized distributed infrastructure for the benefit of the cooperators
(Swartz and Driscoll 2017)

How can cryptocurrency and blockchain technology play a role in building social and solidarity finance?
(Scott 2016)

Social Blockchains

What is decentralized? the infrastructure? the governance? the authority?
Who is a peer? miners, users, machines, everyone?
What kind of relationship exists between these peers? how DLT changes the relationship (beyond decentralization)? 15-12-2019 to 15-01-2019

2037 projects
With dev activity
413 projects
Scuttlebutt DAT Platform Cooperativism
Thank you
Pablo Velasco / @xpablov