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Blockchain by Melanie Swan

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Chapter 5. Advanced Concepts

Terminology and Concepts

The blockchain economy is triggering the invention of many new ideas and the reappropriation of existing concepts and terminology in innovative ways. It prompts investigating the definition of terms that have been taken for granted and passed unquestioned for years, such as money, currency, property, government, sovereignty, and intellectual property. The questioning of underlying definitions and the reappropriation of terms position these concepts more openly and accessibly for application to current situations. Blockchain-related concepts are more actively in people’s minds and ready to apply at the generalized level. For example, consider a library. At the more generalized conceptual level, a library is a system of value exchange; there are product and service offerings, like books and research, being taken up by those with whom the value proposition resonates. New models like blockchain technology force us to consider reality at the more generalized level of the concepts behind a specific instantiation. This leads us to imagine other specific situations that could be realized with those concepts. For example, a blockchain is a technology for decentralization. Bitcoin is the instantiation of decentralization as a digital currency, but decentralization could be instantiated in many ways, such as smart property, delegate democracy governance services, and community-based credit bureaus. In short, we start to see the world ...

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