Joseph Lubin, the founder of ConsenSys, and one of the earlier co-founders of Ethereum gave a powerful speech on decentralization at Deconomy recently, where he put forward a vision of Ethereum as a global settlement layer without any walls.
Lubin said, “Reliance on centralized trust enables certain kind of intermediaries to extract too much value from a transaction… the trust revolution will transform everything. The trust characteristic of blockchain derive from their degree of decentralization. Certain blockchain networks can’t be improperly manipulated, can’t be cheated even if up to half the nodes are malicious.”
He notes that some of these separate system are walled gardens. The former co-founder of Ethereum stated, “There doesn’t actually exist a global, coherent financial system. It is a network of walled gardens. Brokerages that serve their jurisdictions, central depositories for each nation, and banks that handle their business nationally and reach out through their correspondent banking relationships when they need to cross out to another walled garden to complete a transaction.”
He dismissed IBM’s blockchain saying, “Perhaps IBM’s Fabric? Nope, there is no chance in my opinion that will be evolving beyond relatively small networks for private and permissioned systems. Fabric can issue tokens, but only for narrowly circumscribed situations. The Fabric technology promotes platform locking.”
Talking about EOS, Lubin expressed his doubts about whether it could genuinely be called decentralized. He said, “How about EOS? As has been debated endlessly, a platform controlled by 21 crypto bros is just not all that decentralized. They can collude and censor if they wish. Governments and other well resourced actor can bribe them or force them to act against their will and against the well being and the security of the people using the platform…I can imagine EOS being used for some games, but not even games that have high value tokens. It is too easy to organize to steal value on this platform.”
In the past, Lubin has backed cryptocurrencies, even while the market was going through a rough patch. In October he had said, “Cryptocurrencies are not on the verge of collapse. We’ve seen lots of booms and bursts in our ecosystem over the last nearly 10 years, and our ecosystem has never been stronger. And I measure that in the number of projects, in the number of people… who are drawn into this space… entrepreneurs, developers… it’s orders of magnitude bigger than it was, and the foundational infrastructure is getting built out.”
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