What the Crypto World Should be Focusing on, Fast
by Ves Sladin 12/14/2020

As I look into the crypto world I see an obvious problem.  Everyone is not focused on the right thing, or at least not enough people are focused on the right thing. Actually, is anyone?

Many cryptos have a ton of money in them, but they are pretty useless in daily life, with some exceptions like El Salvador making Crypto the official currency. All cryptos are worth something, and hopefully they go up in value from the time you buy them, unless they are stable coins. The problem is that mostly they're stuck in this loop of people putting money into them, swapping it around among themselves, and making exchanges rich. Yes, in the process, some people are getting rich, maybe quite a few. And to the rich this makes no difference, but for the average Joe if you don't exchange it, you can't really use it, and when you exchange it you lose money.  Even after 11 years of Bitcoin existence, there's not a single store that I shop at, where I can use crypto directly.  You know... food, clothes, pay for my electric bill, etc..  Compare this long drawn out process of adoption to government deciding they were going to start using a new currency, like when a country joins the European Union, and they switch from national currency to the Euro.  The change is announced, an exchange period and rules are established, the currency becomes official, and though the old one may or may not coexist, the direction is clear.  Relatively speaking, it happens fast.  It has to, because the longer you have multiple currencies floating around, the more confusing it is.

Yeah, I get that this is new technology, new paradigm, and those get adopted slowly, but we're there now, or at least far enough to ask is it headed in the right direction, and how long is it going to take?  I'm starting to think it's going to take a long time.

I think the way to accelerate this crypto adoption process is to work with government (yeah, didn't think I'd be saying that), because as much as the people want our power back, it's not going to be that easy to go against them.  What we need is to create a decentralized crypto that they can get on board with, and encourage adoption of, rather than forcing them into a defensive position.  You know... cooperation and education.  We can't blame it all on government since we elected these people and we allowed them to do what they do.  It's been said government moves slow (which is not a bad thing necessarily) and crypto is moving fast (you could say that is a problem, because technology moving fast, before we have a chance to understand it's consequences, can be devastating), at some point crypto will move too fast for government comfort, and they will squash it.  So, how do you get government on the decentralized crypto side? Government wants control, but decentralized crypto takes control out of their hands.  But crypto runs on rules.  Has an attempt even been made to define rules that government would agree to? If the initial rules of the system are acceptable to all parties, and theoretically government is for the people, then to have such a rule based system decentralized, shouldn't cause any issues, should it?  But, who would even negotiate with government about the rules?  How does the crypto world even select those people?  Some may say we don't negotiate with terrorists!

The thing that keeps rattling around in my head is, if government is not going to make the decisions on how the economy is run, who is? Most crypto systems have some kind of governance built into it, but how many of the computer geeks (I use that affectionately) running nodes, or even the average person using crypto, know anything about economics?  Yes, a crypto can have a democratic voting process to decide if you're going to increase the designed inflation rate from 1% to 2%, but how many of the people voting actually have a clue about what that really means. In which case you're no better off than flipping a coin, or maybe worse. 

The problem is that even economists don't agree on a simple set of rules which could guarantee a prosperous economy.  So, the rules can't be fixed.  If they are fixed, eventually they will become counter productive.  If you think you know how to run an economy, go ahead and play one of those Sim games for a while.  Which brings up the question, when the rules and assumptions of the system no longer serve the people, who will decide how they are changed? A bunch of people who don't really understand how the full economy works?

I think if crypto wants to be successful, it will have to have some guiding members, actually a bunch of them, who actually understand economics, and can guide the system.  One of the crypto discussion groups I belong to, there was talk of governance and how people need to start reading books on governance.  Following that logic I guess we better start reading books on economics too.  Not sure that's going to work.  If economists can't agree on how an economy should work, how are a few people reading a few books going to figure it out. I'm not saying it's impossible, but unlikely. We have to elect qualified people.  Wait, isn't that what we do now? Sort of, but the problem is I don't see crypto governance being any different than what's been tried before.  Beyond the fact that in a crypto without borders, you have people from all different economic philosophies, which will make it harder to reach consensus, and to have a policy which works for everyone, the fact is that in the real world, our democratic process is not truly democratic, and as a result, the wrong people get elected and people end up with too much power and they are prone to corruption.  It's not the most qualified people who get the job, but those who are good at politicking, which is a whole different set of skills. 

So, seems to me that crypto is working on the wrong thing.  Sure cryptos have governance processes, but they are focused on governance of the network, not the economies that they will be used in.  What the crypto community should be working on is a better overall governance system, which should work for crypto networks as well as the real world and which would help us elect qualified people to office, instead of politicians. Then not only could we elect better government now, but we could get agreement on how crypto should function.  And once you get agreement, implementing it could move ahead faster.  Speed is great as long as you're headed in the right direction, and you don't run into any walls.

All crypto is overlooking one thing.  Governments want control of the money, because the money has to be tailored to the community, the country.  Even in the EU, when countries switch to the Euro, there are pains. How do you work out the fact in country A the average salary is $75k but in country B it's $2000 . These types of problems will need to be solved, so coming to consensus is the most important thing. But is seems we can't come to agreement on anything any more.  It's left against right, vaxed against unvaxed, pro-life vs abortion, guns vs not, and it's all dividing us.  While we're distracted by all these petty arguments we have corrupt government stoking the fire.  We need a new governance system that eliminates the incentives for corruption, and where people's votes really count.  If we had a blockchain token based voting system in place for the 2020 election, would we be arguing about who won it? I highly doubt it. 

Our form of money is not really the problem, it's the people who govern it.  Money has been collapsing for millennia, and if it collapses again, ah well.  The bigger question is, when it collapses, what are we going to do about the system that made it collapse? How do we change the approach to how we elect people, and how they function in office? This is where we need the revolution.  This is what the crypto world should be working on; a blockchain based voting system where people are elected based on their qualifications, not based on how much money they have or how good they are at campaign, or how many news agencies support them.  Where the incentives for corruption are removed, and people have the right to remove their support from a candidate that doesn't live up to promises or takes actions that are unpopular. Maybe it needs to be modeled first in a crypto network, but I'm not sure that's a useful model for running a national or any other regional election.

Government gets its power from the people, or it should.  At this point it's a runaway train.  We need to create a system that allows people to take control again.  We need to create a system which is a true democracy, where peoples votes count, and where people have the power to hold politicians accountable. 

Create a voting blockchain, get everyone on it, and have an election.  First vote is for every person currently in government, should they stay in government or not, including the appointed people.  For all cases where the vote is NO, a reelection is held, on the same system, with candidates that got through a playoff process starting at the city or county level, and earn the approval to move up, going all the way up to the President.  We don't need the Democratic or Republican party or the News Media telling us who the candidates are, we discover them through ground roots debate and vote.  Blockchain is the perfect technology for this.  That's what we need to be working on, Fast.  Because the faster we get there, the sooner we can start solving the root causes of all our issues.