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Sarah Jamie Lewis
+ Your AuthorsArchive @SarahJamieLewis Executive Director @OpenPriv. Cryptography and Privacy Researcher. @cwtch_im icyt7rvdsdci42h6si2ibtwucdmjrlcb2ezkecuagtquiiflbkxf2cqd May. 16, 2021 1 min read

The most important understanding I've come to involving cryptocurrency is that there exists are large portion of people who absolutely don't understand the point of decentralization (of power) and consider the expense of decentralization a defect (that they can "fix").

Prior to that, I had some ridiculously frustrating conversations regarding e.g. why some structure wasn't actually "decentralized" because the power was concentrated in some entity.

Then I realized that those teams weren't actually interested in decentralizing power.

Decentralization ultimately became a marketing term used to describe the number of entities involved in a consensus, rather than the mechanisms over which power was transferred to and between those entities.

A shame, but not unexpected.

Decentralization is expensive. That's not an anti-feature, that's the point. Decentralizing power means more entities need to be involved in exercising it.

Even beyond global consensus, that's why I spend time thinking about "Emergent Centralization" 

Circling back, you are not going to be able to reason with such people because they value efficiency and scalability (and ultimately centralized control) over decentralization of power.

As one of my favourite philosophers once remarked - The sad truth is they would rather follow the school into the net, because swimming alone at sea is not the kind of freedom they actually want.

This realization is my gift to you today.

You can follow @SarahJamieLewis.


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