The technology has made goods cheaper and more luxurious but it has its cost on environment and animals. The world of technology and innovation is fuelled by capitalism. Capitalist put money behind a new idea thinking it will make the task more easier and cheaper to do and in turn they will extract there value and profit from it. Long term negative impacts are often neglected. Crypto long term negative impacts are also not addressed by capitalists.
The Crypto and blockchain technology is also going through same phase. People claiming that it will change the world , create equality in society and what not so. But at a closer look the picture is not rosy. The problem is we are expecting equality from a technology which itself has came from capitalistic roots i.e investors money(who have put money expecting profit in future not altruistic reasons). Would miners have joined bitcoin if there was no reward and they were asked to mine for just betterment of society.
Easy access to capital
Crypto has just improved one thing that it has made access to capital easier. A normal person can also invest in a startup which was otherwise only accessible to accredited investors.But finding genuine startups is tough in this space due to regulatory issues and scams. Moreover accredited invetors tend to make more informed decisions then retail investors. Due to both risk involved and there knowledge and experience in startup investments.
Each new technology brings its own set of problems sometimes far bigger in long term then the temporary benefits it provides, but no body care for problems as they are concerned about immediate profit and temporary benefits it gives. The most simple case is environment , how environment has harmed during all these progress fuelled by technology.
When plastic was invented , nobody would have think that it will create a menace on earth in future such that all benefits go in drain and more and more money will be needed to get rid of it. But money has to be made making things cheaper and making humans lazy so who cares about environment.
Nuclear Technology created the biggest threat on earth existence. Any big nuclear war can wipe out every single nation on earth.
Same thing goes with blockchain and crypto , capitalists and speculators are flocking in due to temporary demand and short term benefits it will provide , no body is thinking about the crypto long term negative impacts. It may have created few crypto billionares and millionares but in long term how many of them will not turn out like billionares of pre crypto era.
Crypto long term negative impacts
Energy Inefficiency and Carbon footprint
Proof of work chains are energy inefficient , top crypto like bitcoin and ethereum use electricity more than few small nations.
Bitcoin leads the way with as much energy consumption as to power the country like new zealand. Mining through coal powered electricity increasing carbon footprint. Bitcoin Developers needs to immediately focus on this to reduce crypto long term negative impacts.
Ethereum consumes significantly lower energy then Bitcoin but its still very high compared to Visa which is both faster and used by more number of users. It is trying to move on to more energy efficient protocol though.
Dao ( Decentralised Autonomous Organisations) which is termed as next innovation can make it possible to coordinate mass scale attack against nations. In such DAO’s identity of members is can be annoynomous , so there is huge possibilty of multinational criminal and terroist gangs operating through DAO. Due to anonymous, uncensored and easy money transfer nature of certain blockchains. A Dao may raise huge funds from supporters , act in strategic way same like a parliament and coordinate mass attacks on the nations.
The scary fact is to recruit any new terrorist it will require just a mobile connected through blockchain. All the attacks ,planning and execution can be done remotely easily.
Decentralised Social Media
It’s being said that decentralised social media will solve the problems of traditional social media such as spams , hate speech, privacy, distracting ads , no user incentivisation. This a good thing that decentralised social media will solve these problems but it will also create few big problems of own.
Bribe – social media companies will bribe users to stay in there network. The decieving rewards mechanisms will be created. Its already happening in form of airdrops.
Scams and Hacks– Because tokens used in such social media will have monetary value and easily transferable , criminals will try to find ways to attack any such bigger platform with millions of users.
There are many security issues and hacks which prevents the mass adoption of this technology in its current state. More than 11 billion USD have been lost due to hacking since 2011. 2019 was the most infamous year with as much as 4 billion USD stolen in crypto crimes. Most startups are only coming with quick money making ideas be it exchanges , wallets , gambling dapps and what not.
There is dirth of good security companies in this space and most of the times crypto companies relies on bounties and independent white hat hackers. It’s ironic that the technology touted to be most secure is most vulnerable right now. Do we actually need so many exchanges , wallets, nonsense dapps or we need guranteed security as promised by the blockchain technology.
What if in distant future whole world is run using crypto economy and a single hack creates the biggest recession in history never ever encountered. A single hack can collapse world economy.
Finding ethical solutions for reducing crypto long term negative impacts is very hard to achieve as majority of people entering in this space has same capitalistic mindset as predecessors and bashing big tech companies is just a marketing idea to entice users to there platform. We will see same consolidation like big tech in this space in next 10-20 years.
I still think there are few solutions ,like forming a DAO comparable to workings of UN(United Nations), which can protect ethics , security and reduce long term negative impacts of this technology.
Good experimant in public goods funding like CLR is great , many such experiments needs to be carried out more and refined. Initial experimentation results seems promising but only with large data sets the efficacy can be proved for long term.
The long term negative impacts of blockchain technology if not tackled right from the start, the future generation will curse us just like present generation curse older one for plastic , pollution and nuclear bombs. Benevolent investors ( either few big billionares or millions of small investors) need to fund more on security , ethical applications and applications which helps in decreasing inequality in world. The engineers, scientists should focus on research on long term sustainibilty of technology and security.
I want crypto to succeed but not on the cost of future generations. I want all the crypto billionares and all crypto community to focus on long term negative impacts and create a vaccine which will eradicate any such impacts and turn it into only positive long term impacts.
What do you think , how can we make sustainable long term positive impact through crypto, put your suggestions and ideas in comments.