Blockchain complexity

The ability of companies to negotiate agreements has long since exceeded their ability to actually execute them, our partner, EY, contends. Until now. Smart contracts are a revolution for enterprises because they will allow the scalable execution of differentiated business agreements. Have you ever sat down with a lawyer and negotiated a complex business agreement?

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The Truth About Blockchain

A complexity that includes not only duration but creation, not only being but becoming, not only geometry but ethics. It is not the answer we are after, but only how to ask the question. Le Guin, The Dispossessed 1. The late science fiction author Ursula Le Guin describes a dynamic framework of knowledge that prioritizes reflection and self-organization. The concept of the Singularity imagines human intelligence and knowledge narrowing to, as the term itself suggests, a single point.

The standard model of particle physics while incomplete, it is the most complete model we have for describing the observed physical cosmos suggests that the entire physical cosmos was once a single point, but what came before, we cannot say.

The math breaks down. And what comes next, it stands to reason, may be up to the machines to discover without us. If the Singularity indeed connotes a narrowing, in which human minds and actions begin to seem obsolete or worse, the subjects of new oppressions , then we have ample reason to be cautious, and indeed pessimistic.

But artificial intelligence, as Ito observes, might also augment the human capacity for reason, establishing a symbiosis that enriches the entire ecosystem. And they are still just tools. Alongside their capacity for computation is their role in enhancing coordination , or the ability of humans to communicate, transact, and investigate productively, together. Peer-to-peer digital tools such as blockchain technology offer an opportunity for an opening, a dispersion of power and information, and profound possibilities for collaboration on as-yet-unseen scales.

Peer-to-peer networks are participatory systems that resist control by a single or outside power. The participants establish agreed-on rules that evolve as need or complexity arises. By distributing power and value across global systems, the exchange of information and value can become more efficient, equitable, and open: more collaborative.

Blockchain technology arguably could make the digital universe look more like a complex adaptive system of the kinds found in nature, if it becomes the best version of itself. This is a big if, and it will be many years in the future, if it comes to pass at all. This essay will explore the possibilities for blockchain to facilitate for the first time complex coordination between strangers on a global scale, a human-machine ecosystem that emerges to bring about abundance without excess, multiplicity without superfluity, complexity without chaos.

No single tool or technology ever can be. First, the financial monopolization by Silicon Valley of all the data and value contained in the Web 2. Third, blockchains are not controlled by a central authority, but by the entire network of participants, who establish the rules for participation themselves and can elect to evolve the system according to consensus; this makes them censorship-resistant and inherently more elastic than most other decision-making mechanisms for large groups of people.

More importantly, blockchain-supported technologies can potentially facilitate decentralized coordination and alignment of human incentives on a scale that only top-down, command-and-control structures previously could. Decentralization is the process of dispersing functions and power away from a central location or authority. In a decentralized architecture, it is difficult if not impossible to discern a particular center. The World Wide Web was originally developed as a decentralized platform.

Blockchain technologies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum are examples of decentralized architectures and systems. The challenge of coordinating groups of humans and getting them to behave in productive, peaceable ways has been the central story of civilization.

A common claim about the potential for blockchain technology to facilitate social decentralization is that it could move power from centers—major metropolises, governments, large hierarchical organizations and companies—to the edges. Decentralization is also a social challenge: Everyone alive on Earth today has lived under the paradigm of hierarchy and top-down command and control, so we tend to default to them as organizational modes.

The temptation to return to these familiar modes of coordination is great at times, and the transition to a less centralized social paradigm with natively digital tools will need to be a conscious one, made many times over, by the participants in the network.

They are not working toward a singular vision or goal, an endpoint of optimization—a Singularity—as much as they are searching for productive pathways and ways to transact freely. By this logic, a network of people trying to build software tools to facilitate decentralization ought to be decentralized themselves: diverse, interacting randomly, coalescing around projects, conducting experiments, cultivating or abandoning them in a fluid state of co-relation.

An emergent ecosystem arises from self-organizing group behaviors. The cognitive challenge of accepting the fundamental impossibility of designing or mapping such a system, of allowing feedback loops their space to loop, and certain objectives sometimes to fail, is significant.

Our brains are inclined to simplify or abstract hyper-complex systems for the sake of coherence. They want to detect signals in the noise, even if they are often false signals. But complex adaptive systems are inherently capable of self-regulation and constant evolution. While for half of the world the Internet has undoubtedly expanded awareness and information access and accelerated the pace of much social change, mistrust and a demand for regulation have begun to appear.

But the centers of power in Web 2. The Internet and World Wide Web were conceived as decentralized technologies. Web 1. Web 2. It is much faster, more participatory, and more interconnected; it is interactive, social, and mobile.

It has become the Internet of data behemoths like Google, Facebook, and Amazon. Digital technologies on Web 2. The focus of many vocations has shifted accordingly, and the pace of work has accelerated. Digital villages have emerged around common interests or motivations, irrespective of geographic location. News disseminates rapidly and gets editorialized nearly as rapidly. We can conjure a live video feed, get an answer to any question, pay someone, or otherwise make something happen nearly at the speed of thought.

This surplus of connectivity and two-way, participative information exchange has not brought with it broad expansion of economic opportunity, however. While Web 2. Feedback loops burst forth and propagate so far as to stop intersecting with one another: infinite tunnels of echo chambers. Although the rapid exchange of information on the Internet has enabled the formation of various communities, and some open-source platforms like Linux, Github, and Wikipedia have flourished, the Internet is not democratic.

Most data is siloed, and the people generating it by communicating, browsing, or shopping will never see nor learn from it, much less profit from it themselves. The dominant Web 2. Furthermore, the Web is decades old and still has not reached everyone on Earth. What or whom has the Internet liberated? Common tech-sector buzzwords like disruption and innovation have all but lost their meaning when most of the allegedly disruptive and innovative platforms have upheld oppressive and unfair systems and created wealth disparities on par with the Gilded Age.

Technologies do not have inherent meaning; people imbue them with meaning and purpose by using them. No technology can incite broad societal change unless people gather around it, use it to collaborate, make decisions, and create new systems. As in the human body and the biosphere, selective specialization and adaptation continuously evolve into a more complex system, not into total chaos. Decentralization at scale, across institutions and societies, has never been possible the way it is now.

We have a new way to get things done. If hierarchy has been the optimal way to regulate human behavior to this point, decentralization at scale offers an unprecedented alternative. Ant colonies, slime molds, flocks of birds, and schools of fish exhibit emergent and self-organizing behavior in which interactions between individuals give rise to spontaneous order. If power or information is concentrated in one area, order is less likely to emerge freely from interactions dispersed across a system.

Self-organizing, distributed systems are nimbler and capable of self-repair at points of local failure. Individuals in such a system are freer to pursue whatever they deem productive or promising. Blockchain technology can facilitate the alignment of incentives so that potentially profitable behaviors for individuals can simultaneously benefit the broader network.

More and shorter feedback loops mean faster progress and also some degree of self-regulation to recognize malicious actors, unfavorable consequences, or undue centralization of power. Enter Web 3. Whereas Web 2. Built on a back-end of peer-to-peer, decentralized network of nodes computers , the applications run on decentralized storage systems rather than centralized servers.

The two-way interactions of Web 2. Ethereum is an example of a distributed computing platform and operating system that can run any decentralized application; after Bitcoin, it is the most widely used example of blockchain technology. Political decentralization is the number of individuals or organizations that control the computers that make up a system.

Logical decentralization describes how the interface and data structure behaves: as a monolith, or a swarm whose constituent parts could begin to operate independently if it were cut in half, for example. The decentralized architecture of blockchain platforms is global, and therefore can tolerate localized shutdowns or attacks; it is censorship-resistant, because there is no one from whom permission is required to join the peer-to-peer network, as long as one operates according to the protocol; it is open-source, so its maintenance and integrity are shared across a network of engineers; and it is distributed, so there is no central server nor administrator from whom a large amount of value or information might be stolen.

Blockchains are effectively just databases, or distributed ledgers of recorded blocks of data, representing a consensus of participants. All of the information on-chain is visible to anyone, anywhere in the world, all the time. But it is also tamper-proof: Even the most powerful nation-states cannot rewrite the data stored in the blockchain database. With smart contracts, or programs that enable trusted transactions and carry out automated agreements, the Ethereum blockchain is fully programmable.

Hashing algorithms conceal and encrypt data. Public key cryptography allows private data to move freely and visibly on public networks without revealing the encrypted information. No participant or group of actors can interfere with the data or smart contract, even if up to 50 percent of actors on the network are malicious, so all participants can trust its shared infrastructure as a shared source of truth.

Peer-to-peer networks can facilitate more meaningful, direct human interactions, maintained by its participants according to an open agreement and without the need for costly intermediaries. Natively digital versions of identity and reputation can support the quick and easy exchange of funds or information that blockchain technology makes possible, and trust can be established between strangers much more quickly and seamlessly.

All of these features of blockchain-supported networks of collaborators are not just examples of participant design, but also avoid many now-familiar Silicon Valley pitfalls of oversimplification, reduction, siloed data ownership, and unchecked growth. The ideal outcome is a move away from data monopolies and monoculture, and toward a digital culture of inclusion, active participation, and more productive coordination. Blockchain technology is still nascent. Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin white paper in , and Vitalik Buterin released the Ethereum white paper in A lot has to happen before the full potential of blockchain-facilitated decentralization can be realized.

The blockchain ecosystem today is far from diverse and has yet to achieve anything close to mass adoption. As many people as possible need to have access to the fundamental building blocks so they can construct local solutions according to their particular social contexts. The redistribution of money and power could just as likely give rise to a new but still unjust society, especially if the majority of influence in the ecosystem remains with a small few.

But we have the opportunity to coordinate in entirely new ways, to open up new pathways and connections, and to build a potentially more diverse and resilient kind of system.

Borderless value exchange and self-sovereign digital identity potentially can empower people currently excluded from the global financial system. Some of the core features of blockchains, such as faster and lower-friction payments, provenance tracking, shared asset ownership, and direct peer-to-peer transfer of value can just as easily benefit musicians, authors, artists, and storytellers as they can banks and Fortune companies.

Blockchain technology as a supply chain management option

With the popularity of Bitcoin, there is a growing need to understand the functionality, security, and performance of various mechanisms that comprise it. We formally define the semantics of Script, and study the problem of determining whether a user-defined script is well-formed; that is, whether it can be unlocked, or whether it contains errors that would prevent this from happening. Bitcoin Nakamoto, ; Bonneau et al. As a currency, Bitcoin allows for transactions between users, and can be used for instance as a way of transferring money between individuals in a secure way, and without depending on any bank or centralized institution. But there are several other advantages of using Bitcoin to transfer currency. These contracts are issued using Script , a language specifically designed for this task, and that is integrated into the Bitcoin protocol.

The final service cost is a combination of the complexity and the network mining price. Since concurrent private Ethereum networks exhibit differential levels.

‘Unnecessary complexity’: the crypto industry’s continuing efforts to avoid regulation

Proponents tout it as the technology that will revolutionize the financial services, pointing to its ability to function without a central authority and also store data in a tamper-proof way. But they also believe it will be beneficial to a variety of industries beyond finance and tech, particularly ones beset by a huge trail of paper records and outdated legacy technology — whether that's healthcare, real estate or law. However slow transaction speeds and a lack of standardization for instance threaten to stunt blockchain's growth. According to Deloitte, there are five main hurdles the technology needs to overcome to see widespread adoption. Blockchain is similar to an accounting ledger, only it records transactions across a vast network and is decentralized, meaning it doesn't require any central authority to oversee it. Advocates of the technology say that's a huge advantage when it comes to tracking financial transactions and other data. It adds: "Because of its relatively poor performance, many observers do not consider blockchain technology to be viable for large-scale applications.

Blockchain explained... in under 100 words

blockchain complexity

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Regulatory complexity is blockchain’s biggest barrier: poll

The aim of the paper is to provide a high-level overview of risks and benefits of blockchain and smart contracts in insurance from a supervisory perspective as well as to gather feedback from stakeholders. On one hand, blockchain has the potential to deliver key digital opportunities, reduce duplication of processes, increase process automation and efficiency, enhance customer experiences, and improve data quality. On the other hand, the adoption of blockchain may also trigger new risks to insurers, supervisors, and consumers. As blockchain technology is still evolving, several challenges are emerging, such as the complexity of the technology, energy consumption, data protection and privacy, cyber risk, integration with legacy infrastructures, or interoperability and standardisation between different blockchains. Although the current regulatory and supervisory framework can be considered mostly effective to address emerging risks, specific issues should be considered, based on the evolution of the technology and its uses in business processes.


Blockchain-based loan system can be summed up as: information exchange between various government departments; information exchange between enterprises and various financial institutions; detection of the actual use of loans in the form of encrypted currency. This technology is supposed to reduce a lot of financing costs for SMEs on average. Therefore, this research extends complexity theory to discover the factors that affect the use of Blockchain loan systems by SMEs. Complexity, perceived risk, perceived fairness and reward sensitivity prove to have significant effects on usage intention. Complexity proves to have moderating effects on other relationships. This research may contribute to the system performance improvement and provide opportunities for SMEs to share information with financial institutions or individuals around the world, thereby providing investors with equal opportunities for competition. Abstract Blockchain-based loan system can be summed up as: information exchange between various government departments; information exchange between enterprises and various financial institutions; detection of the actual use of loans in the form of encrypted currency.

Blockchain as an underlying technology with digital cryptocurrency is first proposed by Nakamoto in and is implemented in for Bitcoin [6].

Yu Chengyue, M. The BCT reduces the complexity of cash data storage as well as retrieval system of finance, marketing, supply chain, inventory, and other departments. The objective of the present study is to investigate the factors, which affect the intention of professionals to adapt the BCT in the CISs by using an extension of the technology acceptance model.

A complexity that includes not only duration but creation, not only being but becoming, not only geometry but ethics. It is not the answer we are after, but only how to ask the question. Le Guin, The Dispossessed 1. The late science fiction author Ursula Le Guin describes a dynamic framework of knowledge that prioritizes reflection and self-organization. The concept of the Singularity imagines human intelligence and knowledge narrowing to, as the term itself suggests, a single point.

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We humans and our societies in the 21st century are increasingly seeing technological developments emerge that we find engaging, convenient, or useful, but which we are often essentially unable or unwilling to understand. This lack of understanding of technology is not a new phenomenon. In fact, German philosopher Martin Heidegger[1] noted as early as in that the advent of the radio both broadened and disrupted his everyday reality. Heidegger also wrote that the consequences of the emergence of new technology in the form of radio were completely impossible for him to fathom. Also for us, people of the 21st century, new and networked everyday devices such as cars, television sets, washing machines, MRI scanners, wind turbines and even lampposts are all manifestations of new combinations of hardware, algorithms, software and data that are having an impact on our world that is barely graspable. These new combinations, which are also known as cyber-physical systems, are able to autonomously interconnect themselves in networks, communicate in these networks, and interact with other and similar combinations.

Financial authorities face a balancing act in trying to deter socially destructive actors without stifling innovation. Martin Walker writes that the complexity of the cryptocurrency industry is used to defeat regulators. He says that if the authorities learn to deal with both decentralisation and complexity, they will be ready to deal with bad actors in both crypto and conventional finance.

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  1. Nikomuro

    Bravo, what words..., a remarkable idea

  2. Daoud

    Well done guy. Got out.