Sunday, 9 March 2014

Towards a declaration of independence for the internet?

Shortly after I first heard of bitcoin back in 2011, my first thought was that it could be used to implement a sort of peer-to-peer exchange in which the instruments being traded would not be stocks and shares in the conventional sense, but voting rights in committees that made decisions controlling shared interests. I envisaged that this would operate as a sort of virtual crypto-corporation controlling some real-world assets.

Since then, others have come up with ways of using the bit-coin infrastructure to provide a general-purpose computing resource, so one could, in principle, replace the virtual crypto-corporation and the real-world assets with some source code and a computing resource; raising the possibility of truly autonomous, distributed, financially independent digital entities; which is about as close to a declaration of independence as the internet is ever going to be able to give.