Christian Marchant
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Cultural Standpoints Podcast- Blockchain

Trust in the Age of Blockchain- Cultural Standpoints Podcast


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The Ask

Explore the implications of Blockchain technology in our society.  Take a clear stance on Blockchain's effect on culture. Produce a podcast episode to deliver these findings.


Final Product

 

Primary Source Interviews

 

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Fitz Maro

Senior Innovation Lead at 360i

 
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Joe Lopardo

CMO of the DAV Foundation

 
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Edward Milner

Economics Professor at the VCU School of Business

 

What is Blockchain?

Essentially, Blockchain is a public ledger. It's a digitized, decentralized, ledger of transactions. This could mean transactions of currency, goods, data, or any form of information. There's no centralized unit of authority and no intermediary between transactions. What makes it so powerful is that it's hosted by users, making it a completely transparent record of ownership. Everyone has a copy of the exact same ledger, so no single person or group of people could change its history. Every time a transaction is completed, it forms a block. The next transaction attaches to that block, forming a chain. These chains are held together through cryptography, making it virtually unhackable.

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What You Need to Know

Blockchain comes down to trust. 

Blockchain is not Bitcoin (a common misconception). It is the technology behind Bitcoin, but it has applications and implications far beyond currency.

Blockchain will disrupt occupations that facilitate transactions since it can automate contractural agreements.

 Blockchain speculators believe it has the potential to take the power away from centralized stores of power like banking systems and internet giants. 


The Future of the Internet

One of the most prominent locations in our society for falsity, mistrust, and scam, has become the Internet. This is where we believe Blockchain has the most potential to create change. Back when the internet was originally created, an identity protocol was not put in place to verify identity on the internet. Blockchain proposes the idea of an Internet 3.0. Imagine, for example, if we could directly control our data and identity on the internet. Internet giants like Amazon, Google, and Facebook would not have the power over the internet they do today. These are the lofty goals that Blockchain suggests for the future. 

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Our Hypothesis and Cultural Standpoint

We also wanted to explore what Blockchain says about our society and our culture at a deeper level.

Blockchain has been lauded as "The New Technology of Trust." In our primary source interviews and secondary source readings, the word "trustless" also continued to pop up. Does this new technology mean we are in a societal shift towards trusting the whole, or does it mean we need a coded agreement to be able to trust each other? There are two ways to look at this idea, taking influence from some of the world's famous philosophers:

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John Locke: Humans are innately good and can trust each other.

Blockchain is an expression of humans trusting the whole of society, rather than centralized organizations. We believe things are safe out in the open, so we created a system that brings power back to the people. This places our full trust in the masses. 

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Thomas Hobbes: Humans act in service of self.

Our society created Blockchain because we cannot trust one another. We created a technology that will enable us to conduct our business and transactions without needing to place our trust in another human.


The Team:
Christian Marchant & Eliza Hadjis