1500 experts dislike blockchain, and so should you


NOT always, mind you. But quite often.

About 1500 computer scientists, software engineers, and other technologists just signed a Letter in Support of Responsible Fintech Policy. The paragraphs that follows are the snippets of that letter that, with as little editing from me as possible, summarize why you should ask your representatives to do the same.

In Support of Responsible Financial Technology (Fintech) Policy

We urge you to resist pressure from digital asset industry financiers, lobbyists, and boosters to create a regulatory safe haven for these risky, flawed, and unproven digital financial instruments [usually called “fintech”].

Blockchain technology cannot, and will not, have transaction reversal mechanisms because they are antithetical to its base design.

Similarly, most public blockchain-based financial products are a disaster for financial privacy; the exceptions are… a gift to money-launderers.

Financial technologies that serve the public must always have mechanisms for fraud mitigation and allow a human-in-the-loop to reverse transactions; blockchain permits neither.

By [their very design], so-called “public blockchains” are poorly suited for just about every purpose currently touted as a present or potential source of public benefit [and] are not an improvement on existing non-blockchain solutions.

Finally, blockchain technologies facilitate few, if any, real-economy uses.

On the other hand, the underlying crypto-assets have been the vehicle for unsound and highly volatile speculative investment schemes that are being actively promoted to retail investors.

Other significant externalities include threats to national security through money laundering and ransomware attacks, financial stability risks from high price volatility, speculation and susceptibility to run risk [and] massive climate emissions.

[Therefore, we] implore you to take a truly responsible approach to technological innovation.

Summing up, once again…

1500 experts dislike blockchain, and so should you /img/vint-cerf-on-blockchain-20180720.jpg
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