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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

The Strange Allure of the Blockchain

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What social problem is blockchain trying to solve?

Credit: Diana Ejaita

Blockchain promises to decouple trust in our financial transactions from institutions. We do not have to trust that someone owns something, or trust that an institution will defend our ownership of something. Blockchain says trust moves from institutions—such as banks and regulators—to the apolitical ledger. In theory, no one owns the ledger, which means no one can undermine your bargaining power in an exchange.

But is that actually how the ledger works? Is an apolitical platform possible in a world where everything we do has a political cause and effect?

From The New York Times
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