The power of open systems

Issue #17

If there's anything I hope you take away from these posts it's that the true power of blockchain is in its openness. 

It's open to use. It's open to participate in validating transactions. It's open to be audited. It's open to build on. 

People usually focus on blockchains being open to use. 

No government or company can prevent use, anymore than they can prevent someone from using the internet. 

The era of economic censorship is ending.

Plaid, one of the world's hottest payment processing firms, doesn't serve adult entertainers.  The majority of whom are women. Why does this company get to moralize and decide who deserves to get paid?

Permissionless use is just the tip of the iceberg.

One key innovation of blockchain is permissionless building.

To put this in perspective, let's look at building an application on the traditional internet.

Farmville, the popular game on Facebook, is shutting down. This is because Facebook has decided to stop supporting Flash.

Here you have a 3rd party developer, trying to build on top of a private platform, and is subject to the whims of the platform owners.

Now imagine this same developer building an application on Ethereum. 

An application that integrates Uniswap, an exchange, not only doesn't need to ask Uniswap's permission to integrate it, the Uniswap contracts will exist in its current form forever.

Developers can build applications without the risk of the underlying platform changing the rules.

Anyone can integrate any other application into their own, allowing new applications to be quickly spun up that build upon the existing base of applications and users. 

Facebook and Ethereum are analogous in this case. They are platforms.

The key difference is Facebook owns all of its users, data, and applications, whereas Ethereum's are public and open for anyone to use.

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