It is said that for a German and a Finn, the truth is the truth, in Japan and Britain it is all right if it doesn’t rock the boat, in China there is no absolute truth, while in Italy it is negotiable. Culture clash occurs when a large number of people with similar values are confronted by another group with different values. This is exactly what is happening in crypto community at the moment as more and more people contribute to the growth of various coins, partake in ICOs and not to forget trade coins via exchanges.
What was once seen as a gimmick and a far-fetched dream, the decentralised nature of digital currencies is finally making inroads into the mainstream. Despite the rapid “popularisation” of blockchain, which for the majority of mainstream population occurred largely over the course of 2017, blockchain still suffers from inherent limitations and that is scalability.
The clash of cultures is relevant in this case because the fast-growing community of new users does not necessarily come with the same set of beliefs that once dominated the landscape. There is no one-size fits all solution when it comes to solving technology based problems and the same applies to blockchain where the choice between a blockchain and a regular database comes down to a series of trade-offs. Clearly, while a decentralization consensus mechanism offers very critical and unique benefits, such as security, political neutrality, and authenticity, it comes at the expense of reduced ability to scale. The problem centres around the relatively slow transaction rate, as the number of transactions the blockchain can process can never exceed that of a single node that is participating in the network. To make matters more complicated, the blockchain actually gets weaker as more nodes are added to the network. In other words, as the size of the blockchain grows, the requirements for such means as bandwidth and computational power required by fully participating in the network increases. Eventually, the network falls prey to its own success given the rise to the risk of centralisation.
As pointed out by one of the speakers, potential solution to the aforementioned problem may be cross-chain atomic swaps. So long as the chains can support the same cryptographic hash function, it is possible to make transactions across blockchains without trust in 3rd party custodians.
Still, despite the apparent clash of cultures, it is evident from the panel discussion that while the vast majority of the crypto community remains pro decentralisation, both camps should remain open to dialogue and avoid falling into the trap of cognitive biases. Chances are that this will lead to systematic deviations from a standard of rationality, otherwise known as good judgement. The risk is that any rash decision may lead to the undoing of years of hard work.
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