Critique of the blockchain contra blockchain

Here is an excellent Kai Stinchcombe essay, piling together many of the extant criticisms of blockchains, here is one excerpt:

There are four additional problems with a blockchain-driven approach. First, you’re relying on single-point encryption — your own private keys — rather than a more sophisticated system that might involve two-factor authorization, intrusion detection, volume limits, firewalls, remote IP tracking, and the ability to disconnect the system in an emergency. Second, price tradeoffs are entirely implausible — the bitcoin blockchain has consumed almost a billion dollars worth of electricity to hash an amount of data equivalent to about a sixth of what I get for my ten dollar a month dropbox subscription. Fourth, systematically choosing where and how much to replicate data is an advantage in the long run — the blockchain’s defaults on data replication just aren’t that smart. And finally, Dropbox and and Google and Microsoft and Apple and Amazon and everyone else provide a set of valuable other features that you don’t actually want to go develop on your own. Analogous to Visa, the problem isn’t storing data, it’s managing permissions, un-sharing what you shared before, getting an easy-to-view document history, syncing it on multiple devices, and so on.

Overstated, in my view, but worth a ponder nonetheless.  How many years does blockchain get before we start being unimpressed?  Ten?  Thirty?


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