Raman kumar

Jun 30, 2019

5 min read

Blockchain a democracy

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Note: this image is taken from search results google images, Author doesn’t claim any right’s of it. All the rights belongs to the owner itself.

BLOCKCHAIN!! BLOCKCHAIN!! BLOCKCHAIN!!

If you are here i am pretty sure that you must have heard this ongoing buzz all around “blockchain”. The buzz around this is quite fascinating, even this is what excites me to start reading about this.

My first impression of the blockchain came from the “Bitcoin blockchain”, the mining concept in this to me was like “Hell no, it’s a waste of such precious computing resources”. Coming from performance oriented programming background (was working on a distributed computing system, which processes high amount of data (of size in GB's, half of the time) for every user request), where we are trying to extract the last bit of performance from available hardware, this mining concept was pretty hard to digest and I left blockchain that moment only. However, I was pretty impressed by the core concept of blockchain. Then again I started learning blockchain about couple of months back but this time i didn’t start with a specific chain like bitcoin, ethereum or of any other chain. The mistake that I did earlier and feel many of us did when we start learning about blockchain, i.e. we start with a specific chain, but I would recommend to start with the core concept of it, just like I did and I have found blockchain as revolutionary technology, just like the internet back then.

Right now, I am in a team working on development of a Dapp for internal employee reward program “PaxCoin” and expecting to be going LIVE very soon.

Enough of introduction let’s start with definition, according to wiki, Blockchain is defined as “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”.

In simple words, blockchain is not just like any other technology, it’s a perfect blend of technology with social engineering. It is just like the democratic society or distributed society, where power is distributed among all the members instead of being concentrated at the top level only.

What does distributed structure solves? Well the answer is, it stops the monopoly of members sitting at the top, if we talk about the internet these member will be Facebook, Google, Amazon which actually holds the major power of the internet. If they plan to screw you, well i don’t think you can do anything to stop them. With blockchain, the power comes to you, you are as powerful as any other person. The power here is not concentrated at a single point, you have equal say at any matter as any another person, just like one person one vote in democracy without any discrimination.

With distributed structure, another benefit blockchain provides is integrity or technically saying data integrity. Once anything written on the blockchain it can’t be altered. How blockchain does this? Well answer relies in the definition itself. As it’s a distributed ledger(collection of records), it is practically not possible to do any unethical alteration in the every possible copy ledger out there, as every member has its own copy of ledger. Let’s say someone tries to alter the data unethically, that person makes changes in his ledger. In order to make this change a valid one, the change is needed to be reflected in other ledger as well.To do so, he broadcast’s the change and tries to convince the other community members to make this change in their copy of the ledger as well, there comes the social engineering into the play. Do community gonna support such unethical thing? well the answer is no, the whole community will not support unethical change, which leads to discard of such change. What stops you from doing something wrong is the outcome, “your own loss”. As after all the effort to make an unethical change a valid goes waste. But that doesn’t mean there are no way to do so, the one and only way to make an unethical change a valid one is to get that majority (51%) vote/share of the community. If someone has that much support/power, either he is dreaming or he is “IRON MAN” (even Narender Modi can’t even get that much % of vote even after having a big win), hence hands down “Major Wins!!”

With data integrity comes the trust, if we have a source of data/information which is approved by the majority of the community, it can be trusted. So whatever written on the blockchain is equivalent to the fact!!. Just imagine how can we use this data source to store all those vital information and we don’t have to trust anyone for the safety of this information.

Now let’s divert from this for a moment and think of a society where all the rules written in the constitution is being followed as they are written line by line, no manipulation of it by any lawyer to favor anyone particular and adding more fun to it, once the constitution get written with trust of major of the community can’t be changed without consulting the community and winning their trust of majority. Already looks a fairy tail no?. Can this be achieve? if you ask this to any software engineer, programmer or someone who have written some computer code, it looks like some computer program which is written and deployed to production and after deployment, you lost the access to the server… only way to make any update to it is convince all the person using that particular system. oohh!!! you guys already getting idea where I am heading to, yes it’s like a computer program written on the blockchain :), in technical terms we call them smart contracts. Smart contracts are the constitution/agreement written and running on the blockchain.

To summaries all these we have,

1. Decentralization of power

2. Trusted data source

3. Community driven by constitution

So if we have all these implemented in our society, just imagine how peaceful and trusting our society will be, this is how powerful this technology is or we can say this is how powerful technology can be with merged with social engineering.

Well this doesn’t mean it doesn’t have any limitation, it has. Just like any democratic society, decision making becomes slow and take lots of resources to take any decision. To overcome these limitations, an approach come into existence which i feel is derived a democratic society only, elect the representatives, now it’s there responsibility to take decision. These representatives are elected by the voters, and can be voted out if they are not doing as they suppose to do by society. Unlike our society where election happens after a certain period of time (5 years), over here, voting happens in real time.