History has taught us that a fully centrally controlled government system fails completely – well, in the long run. Though the idea of a communistic system has its merits and would still work in some sectors of an economy, it omits the very thing that was provided to us as human beings – choice.
Knowledge is empowering – but the power to do the things you would like to do (provided it conforms with ethical norms and the general rule on mankind) and effortlessly without fear of error. This shared knowledge emanates from scientific, biological or financially proven theories and tests, and can help you make the right investments, save money on the best deals, obtain rights to certain social benefits, travel to great destinations or just help other people achieve their personal and spiritual goals.
Those that cling onto knowledge though, serve their interests alone and should not be revered but rather shunned for power-hogging. So, when a government monopolizes access to information, basic services, resources and even education to create an artificial demand for ´their services,’ this forms the basis of a centrally controlled or outright communistic state.
In business, this is a common practice of a monopoly to control the price of their good or service as they are the only ones providing it. The quality of that good or service, however, can and will be determined by them and them alone! Can you imagine then, based on the previous sentence, a situation that only governments have this power to dictate a basic service such as healthcare or education for you? Scary thought and if you look at most developing countries, the evidence is overwhelmingly sad.
But we are not here to talk about the governments as there would be several cases to point out and this is not a political platform. Case in point, the concept of centrally controlled system nevertheless is less efficient and prone to failure to disseminate the very items it sets out to provide.
Deploying software by a national or even global firm like IBM for example, via a centrally stored-located server would be absurd because the infrastructure of the recipient regions or end-users might not be well equipped to handle it – so one begs to question, why would you do it for social services for instance?
Decentralizing a system can improve efficiency because it gives options to get the best quality possible. It also removes power from one or a few providers (who by human nature can get greedy and sloppy) but shares it equally amongst other stakeholders – who stand to mutually benefit from the working system indirectly rather than just a monetary compensation or tax.
Centralized systems can learn from the blockchain to efficiently provide services.
Let’s take the now “illegal” peer-to-peer file-sharing and downloading software such as eDonkey/eMule (supposed developed by Microsoft) or BitTorrent for example, you could with them, build together any file by downloading “bits” of the file by many broadband -connected servers or PCs or “peers”. This leads to faster downloads and sourcing from the best quality of the digital bits to get the data to form the e-book, music track or movie that you’re after.
Leaving your download running could then allow others to get the files you have already amassed (you then reciprocally upload the files) and so the cycle continues until everyone hopefully acquires the same great quality file (if required) from the best ‘seeds’.
Downloading from a singular server for the same product, on the contrary, could crash the server, hit delays due to operational differences in time-zones, or lead to complete failure if the file source was corrupted or the file quality was bad.
Naturally, and rightfully so the entertainment industry put a stop to this because it meant that people could attain their copyrighted material – without parting with a cent. Many fines and warnings were dished out to individuals (myself included :o) once in 2005 and another time in 2012) as well as companies hosting the sharing servers – though it is still possible to access them via carefully planned entry gateways to hide your IP address using VPNs, Tor-like sites or via (old school) FTP.
BitTorrent -> Bitcoin…Torrent -> Tor …anyone seeing a pattern here?
Incidentally, this piecing together of data in the digital sphere is how the acquiring of the now highly discussed digital currency takes place. And because it is worth more than just an “entertainment-filler” is mined as opposed to downloaded – like gold or silver because of its intrinsic and purchasing power value.
Decentralizing services such as money transfers in the advent of Cryptomania takes the power (and monopoly) from regulated financial institutions, who charge high fees for sometimes slow and error-prone services provided. So, swiftness and security are a prime reason for the adoption the digital currency – everything else such as the price of these alternative coins or ‘altcoins’ boils down to basic supply and demand for it and of course rampant (valued) price speculation.
So, heading back to service delivery and running decentralized systems, governments, and other institutional service providers can take a leaf out of the blockchain technology tree and its true intention: to decentralize the provision of a service to improve access to it, reduce associated costs of using it and improve its efficiency!