Sergey Simanovsky, former CEO Golos Fund and a well-known blockchain enthusiast in Russian crypto space, approached BitNovosti with his considerations concerning the core principles of blockchain ideology and the current state of affairs in the industry, which we gladly present to our readers here below:
I have been long enough around the crypto space and I have seen many things have recently changed. From the hype of “stamping” out coins (forks), where you would spend up to 8 hours a day in the “ANN” threads of bitcointalk to the latest ICO craze in 2017-18.
During those years, many things happened: “the good, the bad and (most definitely) the ugly”. Unfortunately, the latter happened more occasionally than one could have wished for. I guess this is the way things work. I am actually really glad that I am able, to not only see all of this unfold, but also take part in this by myself, being able to see a real decentralized revolution happening right in front of me. Something we will definitely tell as a story to our grandchildren someday.
In this article, I would like to talk about what people have seemingly forgotten. That is, the true essence of what the blockchain is, its essence, Its core, its values. But again, they are certainly different for each one of us out there. So, I guess, the values I will be talking about are first of all my own subjective beliefs. And I truly hope that someone can find a point of interest (and a point of use) in those for himself (and for his project).
Before we jump in and talk about the intended, I would like to thank for a big chunk of the inspiration in my work (and by saying “in my work”, I mean this, globally) to Andreas Antonopoulos and his belief in the fact that the world can be a slightly better place.
In order to grasp the idea of the difference between a “blockchain” and an “open blockchain”, let us, first of all, have a look, at where the ICO market stands as of today. The ICO market has had a lot to do with the popularity of the blockchain technologies today. One may argue a lot against it, but one also has to admit that it is thanks to those people who came into this world via the ICO market and who may have lead us to glory and fame…. Or is it really so?
Starting as of 2016, the vast majority of those companies who came into this market, have not heard the word “blockchain” prior to that. They never researched the market, never cared about what was its intentions and so on and so forth. Most of my colleagues and me myself have been present at a large number of (blockchain related) conferences over the past 4 – 5 years. A lot of the time I have said – that this market will repeat the “.com” situation. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The “purge” that happened back in 2001, led the way for the IT industry giants of today.
The problems (just as back then) begin when marketing starts to overtake the product. As soon as this happens, it usually means that a crash is near. It means that there is nothing to give, but a lot to sell.
Many times people have been asking me to make scoring for their projects. Many times (when I don’t have the time to do the work) I answer, that the best judge is the market. When we open CMC, we see between 2-3 (depending on their price at the moment) CIS-based projects in the top 200 (that is, excluding the projects that started their work prior to 2016)… Recently, I had a phone call from China, and on the other end of the phone, my colleague asked me to name him “the 3rd best CIS-based project working on a blockchain of its own”. So I told him I’d think about it, but as soon as I put the phone down, I realised that there were only 4 of them in total…
Judge for yourself, let the market (as open and as honest as it can be, it is better than trusting a single entity) tell you whether the people who come into this market have any clue of how to work on this market. Do they have a product? Do they understand what is an “open blockchain”. Let the blockchain (that is an open source instrument) be your judge. According to our research, most CIS based projects simply lie about the money they have collected during their ICO. In 95% of the cases the collected sum is no more than 25% of the sum stated on the website!
That is actually a very sad state of things, as the CIS market (just as the rest of the globe) contains very good projects. Unfortunately, the way things are, it leads the rest of the planet not wanting to work with this end of the market.
What I wanted to show by the above is that there are values, just like they are in any field of work out there. And the blockchain has them too. As we can see, some seem to have forgotten those values and hopefully this article will help project creators to freshen up on those.
First of all, a “blockchain” means an “open blockchain”, that means that this is an open source and an open minded platform. One that doesn’t decide on which transactions it will stop and which transactions it will parse. This is the essence: a self-authorizing and a self-verifiable blockchain. One that cannot be persuaded to judge a transaction based on its source of outcome.
That is, a blockchain with open access, with no control and no censorship, a mathematically proven algorithm with no “single point” of control, an algorithm that is able to be called “routable”. “Routable” not for what one decides to route, but for anything that can be routed via that blockchain. That means, not controlling the network, not controlling the access to any parts of the project. Just like you wouldn’t control or hide any other information that was intended to be open in the first place.
A blockchain is meant to be borderless, global. It doesn’t have a patent. Anyone can come and innovate whenever and wherever he wants. This is not controlled by any single entity. That is what the true essence of decentralization means. This is what the ideology of the blockchain was fighting for in the first place.
Those are the core components that project starters within the blockchain should look up for, not to read between the lines of the bitcoin WP and not to read between the lines of the cypher punks’ philosophy which had set it all in motion.
In other words, if there was anything I could say to those people, that would be: “think” first of all: think before you start a project. Think of the infrastructure that needs to be build in the first place. Maybe the world is just not ready for what you are planning to do. Or maybe it needs it, but not within the blockchain space.
So for now, it is definitely the following: “You don’t need a blockchain, thank you!”