Anton Galenovich, PhD
DAO IPCI Co-founder
It’s now trivial to ask whether a project or activity really need public blockchain.
Does any economic activity bother you as harmful to you, your beloved ones, your children and grandchildren, to natural environment, to the people you care? Do you sometimes doubt that the governments, UN bureaucrats, major corporations and NGOs can cope with these issues fairly and efficiently? Do you think that your choice matters? If the answers are positive, then public blockchain solution is for you.
There are countless organizations calling to join them, support them and trust them to fight pollution, climate change, child exploitation, deforestation, poverty, preserve biodiversity, develop green energy or support those in need, and so on and so on. All of these socio-environmental issues are the result of human economic activity, collateral damage in its’ original sense. But once you join and support specific organization you trust, you give up your right to choose the very specific methods, measures you’d prefer, and cannot actually track how the money is spent and what are the results. As a rule, once you trust some organization or program, it prescribes a selected scope and ways of activities their leaders think are the best. Not to mention that it often turns out that the brightest brands are not entirely beyond suspicion, and at the end of the day those people are just people – sometimes ignorant, susceptible to pressure and not alien to greed and corruption.
That’s where “trustless” public blockchain is indispensable. “Trustless” meaning that you don’t have to trust anyone personally, nor the name, nor the brand, nor the reputation. You can track every step of the program you join or support, or launch your own program, and trust only open source contracts that have been tested and working for quite some time and can be checked by anyone and anytime. You don’t really need to know who is behind those contracts or who governs the system. (Spoiler alert, no one governs or administers, it’s those contracts and you or people you choose).
Still, there are a few life hacks to make sure the system is actually trustless and not just an imitation:
- Minimum Viable Product, intrinsic set of open source smart-contracts should be in place, tested, and working for the period enough to make sure it is working fine. Plans, concepts, statements, whitepapers, MOUs with important people, brands, and corporations on future developments just blur the absence of what is so hard to develop and launch as a real product.
- The data, especially the results you would want to check and track should be independently verified within the system, on public blockchain, not someplace else. Supporting documentation should also be stored in distributed file system so no one can “make corrections”. If the data and the core results are placed into the system by those who run the system, it just means that they are not verified and are no different from what you are trying to get away from.
- Blockchain should be public, not privileged or permissioned. If it is privileged or permissioned, it just means that the data is stored in the cloud or on the servers under control. So then, you would be back to the question whether you can trust those who control the data.
If those features are undoubtedly in place you may be sure, that you deal with the “trustless” public blockchain system, which noble social and environmental activities deserve.
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