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The Business Blockchain by Vitalik Buterin, William Mougayar

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7 DECENTRALIZATION AS THE WAY FORWARD

“All things are difficult before they’re easy.”

–THOMAS FULLER

A DECENTRALIZED TECHNOLOGY (the blockchain) will telegraph a decentralized world.

If we thought the blockchain’s destiny was just to infiltrate enterprise systems and replace intermediaries, think again. That was only the beginning. The blockchain’s raison d’être is to enable us to imagine a new world that will be largely decentralized.

Decentralization does not mean anarchy or performing illegal acts. It means that an individual user is more empowered and less restricted. It implies that many contributors, many beneficiaries, and many leaders are working in harmony. It is neither communism nor a version of cyberpunk fiction. Decentralization boosts capitalism by creating new layers of work production and value creation.

It is granted that a blockchain will move value. But go further and start imagining multiple blockchains interacting with one another, all of them trading value with one another, and you will be led to a composite of network effects, potentially more significant than the previous generation of network effects. It will be the equivalent of a huge overlay of decentralized services that are open and accessible to anyone.

Maybe the blockchain will lead us to the not-so utopian view of Nobel Prize winner, economist, and philosopher, Friedrich Hayek. He believed that the path to a functioning economy—or society—was decentralization, and asserted that a decentralized ...

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