Our world historically has been oscillating between centralization and decentralization.
Looking back in history for more evidence: The circuit switch technology created the then seemingly indestructible monopoly of ATT. This monopoly was only destroyed form the decentralized TCP/IP protocol that gave birth to the internet and to the gradual adoption of VOIP. As the internet became the dominant technology, several other monopolies grew out of the content generated on it; e.g. Google and Facebook. And now, we are in the beginnings of what Paul Nunes coins as the next Big Bang Disruption. Blockchain is threatening the powerful giants built on the first open source protocol, the internet, with a wave of data decentralization.
The internet has evidently increased connectedness. However, its design is not a collaborative one. The world that is built on top of this open protocol, the internet, is not a world that is fairer and that builds trust. The “trading” or any exchange of information on the web, is not collaborative. The central entities, the Googles and Facebooks, are the ones that are organizing the information and the data on the web. The first, step in the process of decentralizing the web, is to break these data monopolies.
Blockchain is a decentralized mechanism in which trust is built-in with mathematical formulas. As Plato preached, mathematics is the ONLY internally consistent language. As Nick Szabo preached, in his God protocols, mathematics is the language of God. God in this context is the entity that acts in the interest of everybody.
Blockchain protocols are presenting us with an opportunity to build on protocols with built-in consensus mechanism governed by math. Mathematics governance guarantees fairness and trust.
Dr. Zhang argued in this speech that we humans have developed languages and law in our attempts to organize and collaborate in societies and reach consensus on various issues. He now believes that we are stepping into the most advanced era in which Mathematics will be trusted in order to reach consensus. Admittedly from all the sciences (social, political, physics etc.) mathematics is the branch of knowledge with the highest level of consensus and in which we trust.
Dr. Zhang emphasized that we live in a world that is based on theoretical mathematics that were developed with no real-world application in mind and are now being used in all sorts of experimentations as we are in the early stages of the blockchain development. From hash functions to more such `abstract first` math concepts.
- Public/private key based on elliptic curve
- Cryptographic hash function
- Zero-knowledge proof. Zk-snark and Zk-stark
- Secure multi-party computation, differential privacy
- Formal verification
- Homomorphic encryption
- Dag, directed acyclic graph: money grows on trees!
Source: from Dr. Zhang`s talk; see full video here.