Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Techies Critical of Crypto?

Recently 1500 tech experts signed a letter to some leading Congressional officials regarding their concerns with crypto-currencies. They come from a wide range of industry leading tech firms and organizations - Apple, Microsoft, Google, MIT, Amazon, Mozilla, Cisco, Purdue, Columbia University to name a few. I have long considered crypto to be another fiat currency that doesn't solve the fundamental problems with fiat currencies, but I thought they might provide some privacy. However, after the Fed was able to recover most of the ransom money that Colonial Pipeline paid the ransom ware attackers, I realized it provides no privacy from those that matter most. Now it seems, tech experts are saying even the technology is not all it's cracked up to be.

They say:
  • We strongly disagree with the narrative—peddled by those with a financial stake in the crypto-asset industry—that these technologies represent a positive financial innovation and are in any way suited to solving the financial problems facing ordinary Americans.

  • Not all innovation is unqualifiedly good; not everything that we can build should be built. The history of technology is full of dead ends, false starts, and wrong turns. Append-only digital ledgers are not a new innovation. They have been known and used since 1980 for rather limited functions.

  • As software engineers and technologists with deep expertise in our fields, we dispute the claims made in recent years about the novelty and potential of blockchain technology. Blockchain technology cannot, and will not, have transaction reversal or data privacy mechanisms because they are antithetical to its base design. Financial technologies that serve the public must always have mechanisms for fraud mitigation and allow a human-in-the-loop to reverse transactions; blockchain permits neither.
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