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The Blockchain Age: Awareness, Empowerment and Coordination



It may be the next step in human, social, cultural evolution. There’s a lot of hype surrounding blockchain technology. But the best ways to use it are still to come. Blockchain is often seen as a revolutionary technology. However, it even represents a possible means to reach the next level of human, social, cultural evolution. It can provide society with awareness and collective memory. It can furthermore boost creativity, innovation, coordination, sustainability and resilience, hence, enable an entirely new, efficient and trustable organization of the world’s societies at large.
This paper argues that the widespread belief that interactions between blockchains and their users are trust‐free is inaccurate and misleading, since this belief not only overlooks the vital role played by trust in the lack of knowledge and control but also conceals the moral and normative relevance of relying on blockchain applications. The paper reaches this argument by providing a close philosophical examination of the concept referred to as trust in blockchain technology, clarifying the trustor group, the structure, and the normatively loaded nature of this trust relation. The paper ends by critically reflecting on two of the most promising values (decentralization and transparency) that can invite users’ trust in blockchain technology, arguing that there is a tension between the pressing values that are intended to be achieved by developers and the predicament situations caused by current blockchain implementations.
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