My first “new” posting here! After watching the success of the ITN play out over the last few months I realized that there may be potential for using the technology stack for even more levels of decentralization and diversification. While the original post is located here: https://coil.com/p/Chavros/Cardano-and-Decentralized-Diversity/8gQuyvKVh
I’ve decided to add the content here in this forum.
Cardano and Decentralized Diversity
Cardano is close to launching their true consensus platform here in the very near future. The level of decentralization and legitimacy of a Proof of Stake protocol is very important and impressive. However what Charles Hoskinson and team at IOHK have created may be even more profound than just a fancier blockchain.
At the Base Layer of the protocol the IOHK team and Cardano Community have been able to create something pretty unique and powerful. They have created a real Production Market that
Competition between Stake Pool owners
and is Resistant to:
Centralization of Capital (money) power
On the surface it appears they have solved for a significant set of issues that plague our current Capital Markets. That is those with the most money don’t overwhelmingly control or influence the Cardano base economy and functionality. Anyone of any status economic or otherwise can participate. This is an extraordinary achievement!
The basic premise on how this is accomplished is by using mechanisms that create diminishing economic returns when “too much” Capital is centralized in a Stake Pool (amongst other mechanisms). This mechanism incentivizes decentralization of Capital across the entire ecosystem and creates a level playing field for the production of blocks across the best running Stake Pool operators as opposed to just those with the most money.
Social Group of “Individual” Technocrats
I began mulling over the significance of this mechanism design and began to wonder if perhaps it could be used to curtail other forms of centralization besides the aggregation of Capital (money). You see Cardano gives me hope, hope that perhaps humanity can get this right. However I do feel that Cardano is missing a perhaps vital piece of the puzzle and that is Decentralized Diversity.
You see all of the people in the Cardano community including, developers, academia, and testers are well intentioned in building a decentralized, egalitarian, and yes somewhat libertarian level playing field ecosystem that Anyone can participate in.
There is only one issue with this…Cardano was created and now supported generally by a majority group of well intentioned but privileged elite of most likely middle to upper middle class academics, engineers, economists, entrepreneurs, and technology technocrats. And while I don’t have any data to back this up one could make assumptions that a large group within this technocrat demographic would be white and or male.
We’ll leave the white and or male part out for the time being and focus on just the “smart technocratic elite” as that is enough of a centralized aggregate in of itself.
Part of the potential beauty of Cardano will be it’s governance system in which it is anticipated that some form of liquid democracy will make an appearance. In theory this will give “everyone” a voice or the ability to delegate their voice. One can derive the Libertarian spirit this voting system can invoke. Unfortunately for the foreseeable future a Social Group of (probably Libertarian minded) Technocrats will mainly be running, securing, and governing the Cardano ecosystem. A Social Group of Libertarians sounds like a bit of an oxymoron but alas it is what it is.
While this group may have some division amongst themselves, thematically they collectively will mostly believe in the same types of principle foundations that Cardano was built on. This article isn’t advocating that groups that undermine the spirit that Cardano is built upon be included unnecessarily, just simply that a larger array of voices outside of the Technocrats be added to strengthen the ecosystem even more.
While giving voice and “opportunity” to the individual or rather the “atomic individual” is critical to disintermediating Economic, Corporate and Governmental control of The People. Humans still work in collective social groups as seen in our benevolent Social Group of “Individual” Technocrats that created Cardano. Opportunity is not enough, self-sovereign voice is not enough, network effects are not enough. Only through the combination and strength of individuals AND diverse social groups are we UNIFIED.
It is here that I would like to challenge the Cardano Community to utilize some of the same mechanisms used to incentivize the decentralization of Capital and apply it to the decentralization of Social Groups. In much the same fashion as before the more centralized Social Groups are either running/managing the platform or Governing it (Smart Libertarian Technocrats for starters) the more diminishing economic returns it provides for Everyone across the ecosystem. This way everyone is incentivized to bring more groups of diverse backgrounds and demographics to Cardano.
For example diversity of social groups is broken down between Cardano technocrats, women, minorities, different countries, economic philosophies, etc… If one or more of these groups hits a dominant threshold then everyone will see diminishing economic returns until equilibrium of diversity is reestablished.
I do concur that graphing out and identifying how much and what types of diversity is “appropriate” is no small problem to solve. However from what I can tell all the people that built Cardano to what it is today are up to the task, and the more diverse minds are included from the beginning the more network effects take hold the stronger Cardano becomes. If diversity can be quantified enough then at the very least mechanisms exist already to incentivize the action of Decentralized Diversity.
Cardano may be to far down the road to change drastically especially at the base layer, perhaps the upcoming Governance model(s) can provide the diverse capacity and capabilities asked for in this blog. Perhaps decentralized applications and frame works that include diversity can be built on top of Cardano via smart contracts. Only time will tell…
In the mean time for as bleak as things currently appear Cardano gives hope for the future.