The Paradox of Privatized Decentralization

Journalist:
P. H. Madore @bitillionaire
November 30, 2014

Decentralization is at the heart of the Bitcoin revolution. One of the odd things about the actual Bitcoin world, though, is that many of the companies that have a lot of the power and clout – CEX.io, Ripple, and so forth – are incredibly centralized.

Also read: Bitcoin Business Ideas to Get You Started

In order to do most anything in Bitcoin, one is often required to give up a bit of privacy by setting up a user account and a certain amount of control by handing over all the responsibility for the network activities to the authority in question.

Looking Forward

The author of Land of Lisp, a reputable text on the programming language Lisp, Conrad Barski, went into futurist mode in an interview with O’Reilly Radar’s Jenn Web and said that automated decentralization is the future for companies and organizations.

I think 10 years from now we’re going to see that these types of semi-decentralized companies are going to be replaced by fully decentralized companies, where the company itself just runs in an automated way on some kind of cryptocurrency. No one knows what cryptocurrency that will be, but there are folks from Ripple, from Counterparty, from Ethereum all trying to build an infrastructure that essentially let’s you run a company that isn’t controlled by any individual person.

More philosophical in tone than technical, his predictions might have some validity. The CEO of Johnson & Johnson – one of the world’s largest companies – believes that decentralization in companies is a good way to run things. “I think the challenges always are around the area of people and making sure that you have enough really outstanding leaders to run the businesses,” he says.

Cryptocurrency has a long way to go as far as becoming the primary unit of exchange in giant organizations, but mostly on a marketing level as opposed to a technical one. Since its inception, it has been ready and able to handle large, complex transactions and to do so without stressing any one part of the network overly.

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Gaining Wider Acceptance and the Possibility of Less Speculation

The trick is in affecting adoption.

For most people, until they actually see how [Bitcoin] works, you really don’t appreciate the elegance.

It is hard to imagine a future without Bitcoin, of course, but perhaps the many public relations debacles have forever tainted the godfather cryptocoin for large businesses. And certainly when we’re talking about multi-national corporations and governments, a great deal of the currency has to be available, and liquidity is very important.

There is much more to Bitcoin than speculation. It might be that less speculation will prove paramount moving forward.The ability to securely send and receive signed messages by can add a great deal of value for companies dealing in sensitive data.

But no one knows what the future will hold, not even the smartest guys in the world. One thing all the smartest people in business and science have in common is that they believe in the power of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies the same way they were early adopters of the World Wide Web in the 90s.

What currency do you forsee as rising up to the level of Bitcoin? Will it be Ripple or Ethereum with their innovation or will it be some dark horse candidate not yet widely seen as a viable alternative? Comment below!

Images from Shutterstock.

Last modified (UTC): November 30, 2014 14:04

P. H. Madore @bitillionaire

P. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014. Please send breaking news tips or requests for investigation to bitillionaire+phm@gmail.com. He lives in Maine, USA. A single father of four young children, he does not discourage financial donations, provided they do not come with strings attached.