Has Decentralization Become the Panacea?
Thanks to the growing popularity of Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, the word decentralization has become the latest fashion in almost all business sectors. If one thinks a startup will be a failure, he will simply put it:
” This is not decentralized.”
Decentralization enthusiasts boast that the Internet itself is the very child of decentralization which they believe is the panacea for all business sectors. But if you ask them what exactly decentralization is, they would act like:
” How could you ask me such a silly question? Isn’t it the most natural thing in the world?”
And they would tell you a good example of decentralization is Wikimedia, a free encyclopedia, created and edited by volunteers worldwide and it’s considerably better than Encyclopedia Britannica in every way.
If you don’t want to miss a chance to embarrass them, you could go on asking them:
“Have you ever edited anything on Wikimedia? Do you even know where is the edit tab of a Wiki page?”
That is not to say I am against decentralization; my point is that we should not seek decentralized solutions for everything we do. This is too extreme.
I never know a thriving community without a centralized core leadership. In the case of Wikimedia, the editor group is more important than volunteers around the world. I never know a developed country favors real democracy. Decentralization doesn’t necessarily mean the elimination of centralization. It is not centralization itself but deprivation of rights that we oppose.
I believe that centralization of power is a must be in a decentralized mechanism. We work to empower the public through decentralized methods.
Many people go so far as to believe decentralization is the sole criterion for justice and success. This is sheer nonsense.
For example, Bitcoin, a decentralized digital currency, is indeed a good investment, but it would be silly to believe it will ultimately evolve into a mainstream currency.
It’s not hard to understand when you think of the nature of money is a medium of exchange that is used in everyday life. Bitcoin, however, is isolated from the real world. Unless the meaning of money is redefined, otherwise the fate of Bitcoin will remain as it is for life.( an investment product)
Just like those peer-to-peer finance startups claiming to trump traditional banks, but work as intermediaries do. And chances are they are more likely to abscond with money.
Put simply, decentralization does not guarantee success. No matter how decentralized a product is, it is still a disaster if users fail to find anything fascinating in it.
Next time, stop saying this is not decentralized, instead, tell them:
“Even if decentralized, it still has no future.”