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bitcoin is centralized

You may hear people say “bitcoin is centralized because a few addresses hold a large number of coins.” Again, this is true to an extent. Jack Dorsey says most blockchains are centralized (but not Bitcoin) This morning Block (formerly Square) CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted that venture. ; the bitcoin network is peer-to-peer. There is no central depot; the bitcoin ledger is distributed. Just like PayPal, centralized exchanges are driven by corporations that work and earn revenue from transactions on the platform. FOREX MACHINES

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Decentralized Finance From DAOs to synthetic assets, decentralized finance protocols have unlocked a world of new economic activity and opportunity for users across the globe. The comprehensive list below covers the most popular and impactful protocols in the space.

The compound is an open-source protocol for automated lending and borrowing on Ethereum. It enables instant crypto loans by algorithmically connecting borrowers and lenders through smart contracts in a decentralized manner. Maker is a decentralized autonomous organization on Ethereum that backs and stabilizes the value of Dai through a dynamic system of Collateralized Debt Positions CDPs , smart contracts, and community governance.

Synths are digital assets that track the price of real-world assets, such as gold, oil, foreign currencies, and even cryptocurrency indices. Uniswap is a decentralized protocol for automated token swaps on Ethereum. It uses liquidity pools instead of order books to enable trading between any ERC20 tokens. Anyone can provide liquidity to a pool and earn fees in return, and users can trade tokens directly from their wallets without having to go through a centralized exchange.

These are only a few examples for decentralized finance protocols, there are many more available. Decentralized finance has unlocked a world of new economic activity and opportunity for users across the globe, with a wide range of use cases for individuals, developers, and institutions.

Bitcoin Centralization Bitcoin is often lauded for its decentralized nature. However, there are several ways in which the Bitcoin network is centralized. One way Bitcoin is centralized is through its mining process. In order to validate transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain, miners must solve complex mathematical problems. The difficulty of these problems is intentionally set so that they can only be solved by computers with significant processing power.

This gives an advantage to those with more computing power, and creates a centralization of power among miners. Another way Bitcoin is centralized is through exchanges. Exchanges are businesses that allow customers to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They typically charge a fee for their services. This power can be abused, as we saw in the Mt. Gox exchange hack, where , Bitcoin were stolen. One final way Bitcoin is centralized is through its development process.

Bitcoin is open source software, meaning anyone can view and contribute to its code. However, the majority of contributions come from a small group of developers. When asked directly about transactional performance, Nakamoto would redirect and from the beginning chose to focus on bandwidth when discussing performance concerns.

We are asked to believe that a skilled and technically brilliant computer scientist, who was familiar with the transactional requirements of payment networks, and intended to design Bitcoin as a payment system, failed to remember the most fundamental metric used to measure the performance of online transaction processing OLTP systems?

Nakamoto was surely aware of the importance of transactional throughput, measured by transactions per second TPS. Bitcoin, in , is off by three orders of magnitude when compared to a single year-old payment network. I would ask the reader what their first consideration would be if they intended to create a global payment system.

Would it be transactional performance or an ironclad system of asset ownership? Even if we take the double spend problem into account, you cannot have a functional payment network without sane transactional throughput. Of course, when it comes to hard questions Nakamoto is famous for the Satoshi Sidestep. Intention is hard to prove, more so when the subject we are examining took extraordinary measures to remain anonymous and carefully controlled their online persona. The fact that they paid cash for a domain registration would seem to indicate they may have understood the implications of what they were doing.

Perhaps their identity would have had us question their intentions too closely. Nevertheless, let us assume the best of Nakamoto and constrain our inquiry to their actions. The asymmetrical distribution of this artificially scarce resource creates a feudal structure more reminiscent of medieval England than modern networks.

It is a structure that guarantees a vast disparity of wealth within its own network and any other system that is linked to it. Since its inception, the performance profile of the network itself seems to be tailored more towards transfers of real-estate than to micro-payments. The self-interest of the Creator s , Miners, and early adopters is aligned towards the pursuit of value, ensuring that all members will push in the same direction, towards an ever-inflating price for bitcoin.

The goal of Bitcoin is not to enable micro-payments for the huddled and unbanked masses of impoverished El Salvadorian farmers, nor is it to serve as a settlement layer, and although closer to the truth, its purpose is not to serve as a store of value.

Bitcoin is, and will be, whatever it has to be to inflate its value as much as is possible. This goal will be pursued ceaselessly until 1 bitcoin is worth a 21 millionth of the global economy , effectively replacing capital as a proxy for wealth in society. It is intended to be a proxy for all resources in the real economy, and as such, the ultimate goal is to tie everything to Bitcoin by whatever means necessary.

This is not a secret; the proponents of Bitcoin openly wish for its ascendance over all forms of fiat currency. It is an irony that bitcoin itself is a form of fiat, issued and controlled by anonymous and unaccountable parties who control and own a system that represents only their interests. Bitcoin claims to be free of trust, yet there is much that we must take on faith. We are asked to trust the Miners with their veto power. We are asked to trust the opaque exchanges to be free of self-serving corruption.

We must trust the words of Nakamoto, and a system whose nature conflicts with them. Control Wealth built atop these systems is unassailable Central banks in democratic societies, for all their deep structural flaws, must represent the interests of all, even if it is to a minimal extent.

The control structures which operate central banks, known as governments, have an interest in ensuring that the societies they govern are productive and stable. The mechanism of quantitative easing, or printing money, is not just a financial measure to stimulate the economy, it is better understood if its role as a tool of political power is considered. Quantitative easing allows governments to exert pressure on private special interests and force them to be more productive.

It is for the same reason that in the present economic system we observe collusion between financial institutions and powerful corporate special interests, so that when the money supply is expanded, the majority of capital our existing proxy for resource ownership is diverted to stock buy backs and corporate mergers. This practice impoverishes the public by reducing the total percentage of resources they control in the economy.

It is an abuse of power and a deeply corrupt practice. We will gift ourselves a financial system where every remnant of transparency will be extirpated, private interest will rule, and even the faintest memory of a common interest will disappear. Monetary expansion is the control mechanism that Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies, wish to absolve themselves of. Without this check on the power of special interests, they can be less efficient, less competitive, and produce less utility for society.

Therefore, cryptocurrencies place ownership above the production of real utility, as the removal of democratic control over the money supply, coupled with an asymmetric distribution of an artificially scarce resource that determines resource ownership, creates a feudal power structure that protects the wealth of special interests.

The ultimate goal is not to produce useful products or systems, decentralized digital functionality is inefficient for this purpose, it is to guarantee that the wealth built atop these systems is unassailable and cannot be redistributed. Taxation can be difficult, special interests can hide their wealth or lie regarding the resources they have at their disposal, this is to say nothing of tax loopholes which are secured by way of legalized bribery of public officials.

Monetary expansion, when used judiciously and not as a means of enriching special interests at the expense of the populous, can serve as a powerful mechanism to decentralize control of our economic system, as it can force concessions from special interests without requiring their consent to taxation. It is a form of coercion which can be justified if it is used in the common interest.

Other mechanisms can fulfill a similar function, for example, a demurrage fee on large pools of idle capital could help to increase the velocity of money inside our economy and stimulate the productivity of corporations. Moreover, tying the minimum cost of labour to the amount of capital circulating in the economy could help to ensure that quantitative easing does not disproportionately benefit special interests.

A discussion concerning the various potential mechanisms used to decentralize economic control lie outside the scope of this article, I simply wish to point out that these mechanisms are important, and they are the ones that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency projects seek to prevent or eliminate.

Bitcoin vs. Corporations align the self-interest of a group of individuals to the pursuit of value just as Bitcoin does. Unlike Bitcoin however, they are required to be productive and are constrained by the legal framework in which they reside. Citizens, or customers, can align their self-interest to that of a profit seeking special interest only in specific ways that are governed by the legal framework present in society.

The act of becoming an employee, or a shareholder of a company are specific processes which entail legal protections and regulations. Corporations represent private special interests and although their control is highly centralized, some control is decentralized in that elected officials, who are accountable to the public, create rules which govern their operation. The inherent conflicts of interest caused by lobbying and corporate malfeasance are well known, but overall, the legal constructs known as corporations are legitimized through the consent of the governed.

Bitcoin by contrast has no such frameworks to police its excesses and the private special interests represented by Bitcoin are unaccountable and anonymous. The Kings who rest atop a feudal pyramid control the system. A more subtle difference between corporations and Bitcoin is the way in which Bitcoin can align the self-interest of Users. The self-interest of the corporation is aligned towards the pursuit of value, but my own self-interest is aligned to whatever utility I am seeking by consuming their product or service.

I buy apples because I am hungry, or intend to make a pie, and not because I am interested in turning a profit. If my interests turn to selling apples or pies for a profit, then my desired utility is once again different to those who purchase my goods.

In economic exchanges between buyers and sellers, self-interest is unaligned as each party desires different utility. If our self-interest is aligned, then we are either colluding or competing. It is worth noting that the act of buying the pies I produce, adding nothing of value, and then attempting to sell them for a higher price would be referred to as speculation.

In a typical economic exchange, I am seeking the utility of a good or service in exchange for the utility of value. As no real utility is returned, with Bitcoin I donate value in exchange for a promise that the value of a bitcoin will increase. Bitcoin is unique, in that its structure allows for the unconstrained alignment of self-interest with the special interests who control the system.

Bitcoin consumes capital in the real economy and replaces it with a desire to increase the price of bitcoin. Even compared to our modern-day corporate structures, Bitcoin is without equal in its ability to advance self-interest, it is the purest form developed in the history of our species.

The usual cast of evangelists, hucksters, and sectarians have moved in quickly to sell their own forms of worship to the masses of true believers. Crypto authorities and their congregations cannot tolerate doubt, heretics and apostates must be denounced or suppressed, least their skepticism infect the flock. Almost 50 years after the specification for TCP was drafted, we have the strange honour of being the first in history to witness the development of a religion rooted in digital networks.

The utility of value is a powerful driver of human action as it is a logical construct which represents any possible desired utility. Combined with decentralized zeal, clerics and con-men collude and go to extraordinary lengths to preserve and extend a system which benefits them.

This system of belief is being widely evangelized and conversion of those in control of our political and economic systems is especially prized. Will those whose interest lay in a competing system be tempted to sabotage the ones they govern? History and human nature would indicate that this is likely.

We should be wary of public officials whose financial interests discourage them from enforcing the separation of Church and State. The alignment of self-interest to a religion over the common interest of all citizens is a well-known threat to democracy, and as we have seen with cults such as Scientology, the combination of financial exploitation and faith can result in organizations that are extremely resistant to collapse. Democratic governance is fundamentally incompatible with existing cryptocurrency systems as they can only represent the interests of those in control of the system.

Therein Lies the Rub The digital personification of corruption Bitcoin performs a bait and switch. If legitimacy is gained through consent of the governed, then Bitcoin claims that no consent is needed because its decentralized functionality means there is no central authority. The truth however, is that decentralized functionality conceals centralized control by a group of individuals who have a singular purpose.

Worse still, unlike existing systems of control in our society, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have no public accountability, representation, or rule of law. Advocates may insist that the rules which determine the functioning of the protocol are open. But if the only laws that can be made are for the benefit of Kings, then Bitcoin is a tyranny, and those who promulgate its spread wish us to be serfs. When power advances private over public interest we say that it corrupts.

A technological system devoted to the unrestrained advancement of private interest above all other considerations is then the digital personification of corruption. Bitcoin is an ethical regression which claims the divine right of Miners, early adopters, and the Creator s to rule. Other popular consensus mechanisms, such as Proof-of-stake, do not provide guarantees that control is decentralized as token ownership is centralized among early adopters and, at best, acts as a proxy for the existing unequal distribution of wealth in the capital based economy.

Active resistance is needed to prevent the dismantling of existing decentralized control structures. The installation of systems that favour centralized control and zero accountability are a risk to existing democratically governed institutions. A group of individuals who act in concert and whose self-interest is aligned are no different to any other special interest.

The core issues that I raise with Bitcoin are present in all public permissionless cryptocurrency systems as existing projects are, to my knowledge, centrally controlled.

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