[community] Revisiting the discussion about blockchains...

Jutta Treviranus jutta.trevira at gmail.com
Fri Jun 10 14:45:16 UTC 2016

Thanks John, what better way to use an amazing community of diverse minds than to explore these emerging topics.

To your definition, the first application was in cryptocurrency (bitcoin). I’m not that interested in this aspect. Many people are talking about it as a decentralized trust mechanism for applications that have nothing to do with cryptocurrency. 

Here is a more generic definition:
= "a distributed cryptographic ledger shared amongst all nodes participating in the network, over which every successfully performed transaction is recorded". [1]

See, from Rachel O'Dwyer: How the Blockchain Might Support a Commons



> On Jun 10, 2016, at 10:23 AM, John W (personal) <pickupwillis at gmail.com> wrote:
> ...gee, you like simple questions, Jutta :-)
> For info of any of us who might be shy to say 'what's a blockchain again?'
> -
> Techopedia explains Blockchain
> The block chain ledger helps to provide transparency for transactions.
> Although many bitcoin transactions are in some ways anonymous, the block
> chain ledger can link individuals and companies to bitcoin purchases and
> ownership by allowing individual parties, called miners, to process
> payments and verify transactions. Rather than a central company presiding
> over the use of bitcoin, these block chain originators serve central roles
> in the management and administration of this alternative currency system.
> On Fri, Jun 10, 2016 at 10:10 AM, Jutta Treviranus <jutta.trevira at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> Last year I broached the topic of blockchains to many people on this list,
>> asking what the implications and opportunities were for inclusive design.
>> How could we make use of a fully decentralized immutable technical system
>> without intermediaries (e.g., trusted diversification of academic
>> credentialing without academic institutions as gatekeepers) and what were
>> the risks for an area currently dependent on regulations for intermediaries
>> (e.g., regulating UBER for ridesharing vs. a completely distributed person
>> to person ridesharing system)?
>> Several of you gave very good arguments for dismissing blockchain
>> technologies. I spoke to Tim Berners Lee about the implications of
>> blockchains at the WWW2016 conference and he maintained that the same
>> functionality can be derived from existing Web technologies and standards.
>> He said the same later in his keynote address.
>> Since then Don Tapscott and his son have released a book on the potential
>> of blockchains:
>> http://dontapscott.com/2015/06/blockchain-revolution-the-brilliant-technology-changing-money-business-and-the-world/
>> <
>> http://dontapscott.com/2015/06/blockchain-revolution-the-brilliant-technology-changing-money-business-and-the-world/
>> ….and our friends at the Internet Archive co-hosted a summit on the topic
>> (unfortunately I couldn’t go because of all the things happening here this
>> week) that included Tim, Vint Cerf, Brewster Kahle and others. See:
>> http://www.decentralizedweb.net <http://www.decentralizedweb.net/>
>> I wanted to revisit this discussion…. not necessarily limited to the use
>> of blockchains specifically (for one thing the power consumption of
>> maintaining and growing them seems to be prohibitive) but how to achieve
>> the functions that blockchains promised.
>> What are your thoughts?
>> Jutta
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> -- 
> *John D. Willis | *
> *CMRP, MDes *Inclusive design, strategy and research
> Toronto CANADA
> Web: www.jdwillis.ca
> LinkedIn: https://ca.linkedin.com/in/tojohnw
> Twitter: @TOjohnw
> Skype: johnwillis416
> ________________________________________
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