Bitcoin Wasn’t Designed to Be “Cheaper or Faster”

The Four Faces of Blockchain Technology

1. “Decentralized / Trustless”

“Decentralized” means that no single central authority is required to keep the system functioning. “Trustless” means that you don’t need to trust a centralized authority.

2. “Immutable / Censorship-Resistant”

“Immutability” means that transactions cannot be reverted and it is a byproduct of the Bitcoin consensus algorithm. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t build mutable systems that are also decentralized. In other words, we could build systems where decisions to revert transactions are also handled in a decentralized fashion.

3. “Transparent”

People sometimes quote transparency as being a virtue of blockchain technology. However, this is not accurate. It is true that transactions can be viewed on the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains. In general, however, centralized systems can be designed to be transparent and decentralized systems can be designed to be opaque e.g., Zcash.

4. “Cheaper / Better / Faster”

Almost all technology innovations until Bitcoin were about “easier”, “cheaper” and “faster”. As mentioned above, Bitcoin introduced a completely new use case for software technology: antifragility. That said, recent innovations in blockchain technology are also revealing use cases that are truly cheaper and faster than traditional software designs.


In short, Lee Reiners is right about the need to address ransomware attacks and other exploits. However, such solutions can and will come from the cryptocurrency development community, not from heavy-handed regulation.



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