Thinking about Decentralization is hard

So my article on block chains and the potential for disruption in financial services is published today on

I’ve had lots of lovely feedback, thank you.  But it does show for me that we’ve got a long way to go in thinking about decentralized models for anything at all.  Our experience of decentralizing media, for example, has been that we started out with high hopes of revolution and found that what happened was  our tools were co-opted by the big players and new players came along who used blog technology to build a new kind of newspaper – cheaper to run, but still along the same lines: we’re going to collect all the stuff and sell advertising off the back of it and we’re in competition with everyone else who tries to do the same.

I do think that decentralizing finance is a different matter, but maybe we’ll just build decentralized markets that are supposed to belong to the participants but then get taken over by the incumbents.  That’s what we’re trying to guard against with the stuff around mycelia.  Maybe extractive capitalism is just too strong, or maybe we just need to get better at helping people think in decentralized models.  I’m aware of the irony that the partially decentralized publishing platform that paid me for writing it is folding after 21 months.


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