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26 October 2020

Stephanie Hurder: The Inevitability of 'Big Blockchain'

Stephanie Hurder: The Inevitability of 'Big Blockchain'

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Blockchain applications currently do not wield economic and political power as brazenly as major tech companies because they have yet to achieve any comparable user base.  Large-scale adoption (and the accompanying attention and money) is a prerequisite for accumulating power.

The essential question is, therefore, whether, if and when blockchain finds its own killer apps that those services will be meaningfully more decentralized than the current options.

There’s a good chance that in a decade or two, we’ll be complaining about the evil nature of 'Big Blockchain' in the same way we complain about Big Tech today.

Blockchain already exhibits early evidence of the same economic forces that have driven consolidation in the broader economy.

Modern tech companies have governance that is more decentralized than many people care to admit.

Distributed ledgers are not immune to “winner takes all” market dynamics, the increased globalization of markets, and more lax regulation and weaker antitrust enforcement simply because they are distributed.  Thinking deeply and realistically about the economic similarities between blockchain and other industries now will help the industry to anticipate potential problem areas.

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