Cognate's Trademark Blog

Blockchain & The Commons

One doesn’t often expect to find an article with this sort of clarity and depth in Huff post, but here it is, a great piece exploring how blockchain will revolutionize the concept of “commons” ownership.

Here at Cognate we are already exploring one of the many opportunities in the law. This piece hints at how ownership by the private sector will be challenged by blockchain concepts.

Here’s an extract.

Privatization thrives in a landscape of central authorities, gatekeepers, and regulatory brokers that influence the mechanisms of finance, government, and most areas of society. Corruption of this system causes it to lose its intended use to serve and steward The Commons along with the people. After years of legal battles over net neutrality, establishment forces and large corporations got a legal ruling in their favor in the US. Sometimes it appears that corruption is winning, but that is also when we correct course, and new systems emerge.

The computer geeks, having recognized that centralized establishment powers would always assert their authority to control networks, have developed a ground-breaking technology that is both transparent, private, public, secure, and decentralized. It is called Blockchain and it is a fundamentally different paradigm that is decentralized, distributed, and peer-to-peer. It’s applications and adoption by all sectors of society are growing at an exponential rate.

“Instead of focusing strictly on finance models for currency like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the multitude of crypto tokens in the market, we must really begin looking at Blockchain technologies through the lens of social and human aspects to envision what we need as new systems to support society for the future. These address the questions of; with whom are we exchanging, what’s our voice or opinion within this process (as in voting, remembering how we spend and what we buy are actually a form of voting), and ultimately the WHY we exchange… especially in the context of how we engage collectively. All of this ties directly into a topic that directly impacts all of our future.” -Melinda Woolf, Blockchain for Humanity

When people work together to care for the commons, they create more value for themselves and for society at large. Governments are meant to be institutions of the people, by the people, for the people that issue currencies, then create incentives based on the manipulation of taxes, tax-breaks, subsidies etc. from a top-down process. When these systems fail to distribute wealth equitably, when they are unable to manage resources (the environment, the commons), when they no longer function in a healthy way or become corrupted then humans will naturally experiment with other systems to address the public well-being and the commons.


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