Are Consortiums Suitable for the Correct Development of the Blockchain?
Decentralized open-source permissionless blockchains have the potential to democratize data, money, and power throughout the world. There exists a palpable sense of altruism throughout this community. Public blockchains could bring a voice to the voiceless in a world-community dominated for centuries by imperialism and institutions of centralized greed. Well-meaning anarchists have long envisioned the internet as a nexus for the world community and a fortress for the majority’s minority power. Nevertheless, there can be no doubt that the internet would have not evolved as it has without institutions of centralized power. Hence a trade-off. Corporate and educational monoliths provide research and development but maintain a profit or proprietary motive that deters transparency and open discourse. Governments help maintain structure through regulation, but inhibit progress, also through regulation.
Private consortiums are pariahs among the open-source public blockchain community, where they are often perceived as a threat to the benevolent progress of distributed ledger technology. This is myopic and does not account for the progress made by private blockchains and consortiums. The Ripple XRP Ledger can support large transactions at a cost of only $0.00001 USD and are finalized in seconds. XRP is an example of a private permissioned 3rd generation blockchain, not a consortium. Hedera Hashgraph (HBAR,) another 3rd generation distributed ledger technology, is currently owned and governed by a consortium of 25 different organizations, including Google and Boeing. HBAR boast over 10,000 transactions per second, where Ethereum is 12 tps. Transaction costs are low, about $0.0001 USD per transaction, where Ethereum fluctuates around $20.00 USD.
Blockchain soothsayers fancy the technology’s potential for a shift in the collective human consciousness, uniting the masses and equaling the playing field for billions. There is no doubt that this technology will change the world. The implied benevolence of it all lends a notion of sacred respect. Centralization of power rarely coincides with such concepts, if at all magnanimous. Nevertheless, Google, Microsoft, and Apple have most certainly added priceless value to the internet and information age. There is no inherent dichotomy between private and public blockchains. One will not destroy the other. There is, however, a huge potential for symbiosis, which many would argue is in the true spirit of blockchain. Blockchain is a new technology with huge potential, but still requires much research and development. Public open-source, private blockchain and consortium, all offer value to the development of this burgeoning ecosystem.