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Blockchain & the Future of Democracy

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More info: https://blockchainhub.net/

How to see beyond the Hype and focus on what is important

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Blockchain & the Future of Democracy

  1. 1. The Future of Democarcy How to see through the hype, and focus on what need to be done BlockchainHub ■ Dr. Shermin Voshmgir ■ November 4, 2015
  2. 2. Blockchain A new Constitution The algorithm of present and future blockchains are the constitutional foundations of how our future societies will be structured We need to look at the history of modern democracy to learn from past mistakes to implement more functional ‘constitutions’ on the blockchain.
  3. 3. The Future of Democracy in a world of blockchains Imagine that... In the future, we won't be citizens of a nation state anymore Instead we will be citizens/users of different blockchains Our constitutions will be the underlying algorithms of those blockchains, and the consensus mechanisms that define it
  4. 4. Post Democracy or the shell we live in... Political scientists claim that we are living in a time of ‘post democracy’ On a superficial level it seems like we have a functioning democracy, but many citizens feel that what they have voted for is not what they get
  5. 5. Why? We have a fundamental constitutional bug Dissolving of the Nation State
  6. 6. Constitutional bug Separation of Powers One of our fundamental pillars of modern democratic constitutions is our system of "checks & balances" aka "separation of powers" These ideas were first formulated by John Locke & Baron de Montesquieu, two political thinkers who lived in the 16th century in Europe. 600 years later, our society has evolved, but our constitutions are still based on ideas and concepts of the 16th century
  7. 7. Constitutional bug The 16th century Absolute Monarchies 16th century no private companies printing press was a new technology All political & economic & ‘media’ power was held by one person, the absolute monarch.
  8. 8. Constitutional bug 20th Century The Battle of communism & capitalism Centuries later, when our modern democracies started forming, the idea of how to deal with economic power was insufficiently accounted for Ideological battle between communism & capitalism A battle that no side has won
  9. 9. Constitutional bug Inertia As long as we don't fix our constitutional bug, we won't have functioning democracies Easier said than done Constitutional Inertia thinking inertia power inertia
  10. 10. Dissolving of Nation State Post democracy of the economic shell we live in Because economic activity has not been sufficiently accounted for in the constitutions of our modern democracies... ...corporations evade national laws by establishing headquarters in countries, with less rigid workers protection rights/environmental laws, taxes. Our modern constitutions are stuck in inertia and fail to sufficiently adapt to the new circumstances
  11. 11. Blockchain Algorithm Consensus on the Blockchain On the blockchain, the algorithm defines the ‘constitution’ ie the underlying laws of how people interact with each other When the algorithm is outdated, it has to be modified Modification happens though consensus But consensus on the blockchain is not easy, as we can see from the challenges that bitcoin is currently facing.
  12. 12. Before we enter the era of the blockchain, … before we start building the next killer applications, … we should start thinking of how we want to define the algorithms aka our future constitutions

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