“Did you know that 87% of all conversations about blockchain technology are nonconsensual?”
It’s already an old joke, but it’s sure aged well.
Hardly a day goes by without someone demanding that I listen to their explanation of their blockchain idea. A lot of times, I listen. Look, a lot of people I consider to be smart and thoughtful are really excited by this stuff, and I know them well enough to believe them when they say they’re not excited about the possibility that they can get in on the ground floor of a Ponzi scheme and exit with a bunch of suckers’ money.
I still don’t know. It’s easy to believe in unlimited corporate hubris, but it’s just as easy to believe in unlimited corporate foolishness. What’s more, it’s possible that some of the players were along for the ride, while others had a very precise understanding of the stakes.
What were those stakes?
Well, for starters, how about the definition of “the family.”
Last week, I began the story of the Broadcast Flag, a law that would make it illegal to build a general-purpose computer unless it conformed to a set of privately negotiated restrictions. The law had been promised by Billy Tauzin, then a lavishly corrupt Congressman, and its contours were being hammered out in an inter-industry body called the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group (BPDG), convened by the MPAA and attended by movie studios, TV studios, broadcasters, consumer electronics companies, and PC companies.