Let a thousand agnostic cryptoledgers blossom?

While it may be controversial to suggest in some circles, but cryptoledgers are agnostic tools.  And due to their open-source availability, they can likely be used internally by an assortment of organizations, companies and institutions — big or small, for-profit and not-for-profit.

London-based Preston Byrne, a securitization attorney that helped me extensively in Chapter 2 of GCON, has an upcoming article discussing the use of distributed and decentralized blockchains — and cryptoledgers in general — in governments and corporations.  This is something he previously discussed in the book and while it could be controversial to some, if history is a guide, just like the internet itself and operating systems before it, there were many early adopters who had differing ideological goals.

Yet how the Bitcoin ledger operates mechanically is for all intents and purposes ideologically agnostic.  There are many productive business and organizational use-cases that could adopt and utilize one, but not necessarily need all of the functionality.  Put another way, it would be like saying that for the theory of database or journaling file system design to survive, each design has to include features that further a specific ideology such as anonymizing transactions.  Perhaps Zerocoin or Darkcoin will fill certain niches for specific groups, but there are many other uses for a cryptoledger that do not necessarily need to have certain anonymizing or decentralization features.  In fact, these particular functions may add a lot of computational and capital overhead and will likely be stripped out by an IT team trying to adopt a cryptoledger at a financial institution trying to automate the backoffice or an HMO trying to adopt a ledger for a medical records database.

Again, some of these ideas are discussed by a few different sources in the book, with scenarios using “pre-mined” proof-of-stake or Ripple-like systems (that require a bare minimum of computational resources to maintain).  Proof-of-work would not likely be as energy efficient, plus the block times of the original Bitcoin protocol could be too slow for internal applications.

Since the source code is released for many of these platforms, time will tell; in the meantime I point you to Byrne’s latest post: Bitcoin and the English legal system, part I

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