Computers And Commitments

“I don’t think we’ve even seen the tip of the iceberg…I think the potential of what the internet is going to do to society, both good and bad, is unimaginable. I think we’re actually on the cusp of something exhilarating and terrifying.”––David Bowie

What the Bitcoin network allowed, was for computers to make strong guarantees that its code will continue to operate as designed. There’s no authority needed to intervene in every user transaction. In other words, blockchains are computers that can make commitments.

Blockchains became tech that let users own internet content and their data in a decentralized way (read the two links to understand that statement). Using the framework that experiments unfold new knowledge––which is how cultures progress––evolutionary guesses can be made on where the internet is headed.

First and foremost, some systems will always be best suited to be centralized. The expectation for blockchains and smart contracts are to provide identity and equity layers upon decentralized internet services (aka web 3). This blog explains that blockchains are fundamentally a solution to an old computer science problem. It’s new knowledge barely a decade old that has yet to evolve.

An example of a blockchain experiment today is Ethereum. It's unfolding into what many refer to as "web 3" or the "metaverse". Decentralized finance (defi) protocols built on Ethereum has brought in $150 billion of deposits as of the start of 2022. NFT purchases totalled over $17 billion in 2021. All of this value, autonomously held by smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain.

To make commitments,
You must trust other people,
Unless it's blockchain.