The recent issues on the Steem blockchain can be chalked up to growing pains. We are entering a completely new paradigm and it will take us a little while to figure things out.
Of late, the topic of conversation is centering around governance. This is a valid subject since our old models are going out the window. In a world of centralization, governance is fairly straight forward. The centralized entity establishes the rules while also having the power to enforce such rules. This applies to companies as well as governments.
Things take on a bit different turn when we decentralize things. Under this scenario, nobody is in charge. There is not a centralized entity to act as big brother. This is the path to freedom via anarchy.
It is not something we are use to.
Blockchain and cryptoucurrency are revolutionary creations that are going to move the world into a more decentralized format. Cryptocurrency is so explosive because it completely disrupts the present monetary system. At the core of all this is trust. Blockhcain offers a level of trust not seen elsewhere. The reason for this is there is nobody to trust. At the same time, a blockchain cannot break that trust.
Under our present system, there are many entities that exist for the sole purpose of being "agents of trust". Their role is to operate in the best interest of everyone. They are there to verify and maintain order. Of course, we see how easily this can be broken.
The banking system is a prime example of what a facilitator of trust looks like. Most of the financial industry is structure to provide that to people. Transactions taking place between unknown parties are facilitated by them. People also put their money in the banks believing it will be there when they go for it.
This all involved trust. Yet as we see repeatedly, the banks obliterate this trust with their greed. Of course, since the depositor is not affected, in the United States at least, people keep going back.
We are seeing the trust issue arise with data. Breaches are becoming more common with hacks or data leaks occurring with great frequency. This is something that is becoming so common is it not even news anymore. It is akin to it raining in Seattle. So what else is new? Another data hack? What's for lunch?
Lately we are seeing how a private, centralized entity can adversely affect the world of blockchain. The situation with Steemit Inc is pointing out flaws in our system. That entity is operating in it's own best interest which is not necessary aligned with the community.
I think at this point it is safe to say they lost the trust from the majority of the users on here. While many have the wait and see attitude, I do not think a survey would reveal a high score in the trust category.
One of the things that many offer up in the discussion about Steemit is the defense that "it is a private company. Therefore, they can do what they want". That is completely true. It is also the major problem.
Steemit Inc can do what it wants regardless of what the community thinks. They are not accountable to anyone but their shareholders or owners. Their goals do not need to mesh with the ecosystem at large. When it comes to transparency, it is their right to be as "hidden" as they want.
This is true throughout all of business.
Which leads me to the point of this article. It is time to consider getting rid of private companies. The technology exists to do that. Of course, to create an effective system, we do need to solve the governance situation.
Tokenization provides the ability to create companies that are public. I do not mean public as in IPO issued publicly traded companies. What I am referring to is companies that are truly decentralized and public. Nobody owns them. They are autonomous in nature and run by the community.
@dlux-io put out a great video that talks about this exact subject. That is a project that is working toward providing this feature to the Steem blockchain. It is about a 15 minute video put together by @disregardfiat.
Most people will find the idea of a business community where nobody is in charge or the companies not "owned" to much to comprehend. That is why I call it a paradigm shift. We are not looking at a slight alteration of what is presently in place. This is a radical move to an entirely new model.
That said, 25 years ago most people could not fathom shopping while sitting at a computer and never leaving the house. Technology offers us the ability to seriously alter the way people do things.
With decentralization, we can create community "owned" companies. They entities basically run by themselves with the community electing individuals to oversee things. While this sounds like a replica of the present stockholder idea, it differs in a few different ways. To start, the barrier to entry is removed and it is open to everyone. Also, most of the operations and rules are not implemented by people, but coding. This means it requires consensus to change many things. In the world of blockchain, things are constantly fluid. A system need not have a "term in office". When the voting, which is taking place all the time, changes, one might lose his or her standing.
It is time to start thinking of how we can structure out entities to be Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAO). In my view, it is a much better model. While it is still in the early stages, recreating the present system on top of a decentralized foundation is not going to work. It will negate all the benefits that blockchain offers.
Imagine if Steemit Inc was set up this way. Does anyone seriously think we would be having the issues we are? I do not believe that would be the case.
Businesses, both small and large, for far too long, operated with little to no accountability. It is time we start to change that.
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