In 2007, as the financial crisis took flight, the market was introduced to Bitcoin and blockchain. Both were supposed to be the markets savior, and, for a while, Bitcoin and blockchain did the job. Now, however, we have entered into a new crisis: a data crisis. So the question on everyone’s mind is, can blockchain help the data crisis?
Can Blockchain Help the Data Crisis?
A brief update on the Facebook scandal: The Cambridge Analytica scandal surfaced almost four weeks ago and announced to the world that we are in the midst of a data crisis. Yesterday, the political analytics company booted its acting CEO, Alexander Tayler. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg is still feeling the pressure as he makes his Congressional appearance. If you’ve seen any videos of it, you’ll know how scared Zuckerberg is – you can see it on his face.
If truth be told, the world has known for a while that we are moving in the direction of a data crisis. A data crisis might not seem like a big deal, and it might not compare to the 2008 financial crisis, but it is still very important. Why? Because it has severe consequences for users. To top it off, the data crisis has been caused by the same factors that led to the 2008 financial crisis – over-centralized institutions. Additionally, most people only tuned into the data crisis after the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal surfaced, even though user data has been exploited for years, long before news outlets gained access to the Cambridge Analytica story.
As Zuckerberg continues to get the brunt – as he should, the man created a platform that not only killed open-mindedness but killed journalism as well – many have come to the conclusion that Facebook won’t be able to rebuild itself after the scandal. After all, the Facebook business model depends entirely on the systematic exploitation of data. If it can’t do that anymore, where does that leave the platform?
That’s not the problem, however. The Cambridge Analytica scandal brought to light just how deep of a data crisis we are in, and as a result, many have lost faith that Facebook will be able to come back from this. However, that has not yet had an impact on user growth. Why? Because, well, social media is addicting. And do you really want to be the person who deleted their entire Facebook because of the scandal? Some might, others might not.
The problem is that many have claimed that in order to stray people away from Facebook, we are going to create better systems, more decentralized systems. When this conversation comes up, most respond with the following: “Well what about Bitcoin and Blockchain? Can Bitcoin and blockchain help the data crisis?”
No, Bitcoin and blockchain cannot help the data crisis. Not necessarily, at least – If anything, it might make matters worse.
Why Can’t Blockchain Help the Data Crisis?
It would make sense if Bitcoin and blockchain could solve the data crisis, right? Wrong. In order to solve a crisis that was caused by the over-centralization of institutions, the world is going to need more decentralized institutions. And while blockchain is decentralized, it’s not as decentralized as the world would need to it to be to end the data crisis.
It is worth mentioning that there are aspects of the data crisis that blockchain could help fix. Or, at the very least, help address. First and foremost, blockchain brings transparency to systems. Additionally, there is proof of blockchain and token technologies helping with issues such as the exploitation of user data and fake news. In fact, there is a decentralized social media called Steemit that now has various decentralized journalism-based projects launched on a platform that is entirely ethereum-based.
That said, the things blockchain can’t do surpasses the list of things blockchain can do. For starters, the blockchain, regardless of its functions, would not have been able to prevent the extent of the data crisis. It might be hard to accept, but Cambridge Analytica still would have found ways to spread disruptive messages on the platform. And do you know why? It’s because while blockchain is beneficial in terms of transparency, it fails immensely in privacy.
Can blockchain help the Data Crisis? The Takeaway
This argument really just boils down to one simple fact, and that’s that blockchain technology alone does not have the ability to allow individuals to control their own data. That’s the problem. Therefore, can blockchain help the data crisis? No. Unfortunately not. Blockchain will not solve the data crisis, as we need a social media platform that is both decentralized and gives users 100% control over their data.
Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) ended the trading day down nearly 2% and continued to drop in after-hours trade.
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