The blockchain won’t make you (or your counterparty) a better person

On smart contracts

At a conference recently, I was asked about smart contracts rather insistently. At first I thought my discussion of layers of hardened, tamper-proof data and time-triggered executables was a bit too ‘mad scientist’ for my audience, but I soon realised they understood the idea of software locking-in and channelling information in a transparent, distributed way to trigger actions that had a predetermined dependency on how some of that aforementioned data behaved. Payment received, security issued, shipment acknowledged – you name it.

So what was the issue? The issue, as it transpired, was how do smart contracts ‘bake in’ assurances that individuals will not willingly and intentionally violate their intent.

So here we are. The blockchain will not make you a better person. If you’re hell-bent on cheating, and apply yourself to the task, you will find a way. Again, look at Ethereum for proof that it’s not a silver bullet to remove any inherent human traits.

It will make your exchanges faster and safer. It will make your processes slicker and your infrastructure leaner. It will make mechanisms of asset, value and information exchange flatter, and banks much less profitable than they once were. All this is good news for some, mixed news for others and utter heartbreak for some others. No matter where you fall, however, one thing applies to us all: this won’t make us better people. Those who want to cheat will keep trying.

via  | BankNXT


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s