2016年的总统选举是美国和全球政治的一个分水岭事件。 这是真的，有很多原因。其中我最感兴趣的是作为一个区块链特别是以太坊的技术专家，通过他的视角可以看到，越来越多的证据表明，世界正在变得越来越分散，去中心化技术的力量会影响当前和未来的政治活动结局 — 甚至是国家和民族的内部结构 — 而这种影响还在成倍增加。
更重要的是，今年，我们看到出现了一些混杂的外国人和无政府主义者，他们拥有影响总统人选的力量。 虽然过去的选举无疑也会受到各种各样的权利影响，但这些权利至少大部分为美国人掌握。 从维基解密到匿名者，分散的无政府主义者可以发挥惊人的影响力，打破美国对竞选的控制。 大型僵尸网络中一个处在别的国家的控制器可以造成巨大的破坏（例如最近互联网服务的DDoS攻击），如果准确定时，可能影响到有相当远距离的事件。 美国研究“监督世界”已经有一段时间了，现在的世界越来越有能力直接对美国的政治体系施加一些“制衡”。
同样地，政府主义者越来越能够通过投资基于信息的力量来影响其他国家的政治事件。 俄罗斯和中国黑客是这种现象不断增长的证据。 像Stuxnet这样的网络武器早已被部署完毕，在其他国家的程序中造成数百万美元的物理和战略损失。 在我们的星球上，无政府主义者不断探索前沿的复杂的技术，使一个部落与另一个发生混乱不管距离多远。
1. Governance will happen through code
When decentralized groups like rLoop form on the internet, potentially govern themselves with blockchain-based tools, such as Boardroom, and organize and deliver successful high tech projects, the power of those technologies to support, decentralized, fluid, robust, real-time decision making becomes apparent. This has profound implications for future voting systems that employ techniques like liquid democracy, quadratic voting and even wisdom/prediction markets.
While public support for blockchain-enabled decision solutions might not be enough to convince nations to upgrade from their traditional voting systems (especially if parties have a vested interest in preserving the status quo), tech companies might be able to move the needle. Already the firms that deliver and adopt decentralization have the agility to shop for domiciles and engage in jurisdictional arbitrage. Some nations will make the wise decision to welcome them.
2. National identity will diminish in importance
When nearly all the 7.4 billion citizens of this planet can establish their own blockchain-based user-centric or self-sovereign identity and a persistent, portable reputation, each of them will be able to transact or bootstrap themselves into enfranchisement in the emerging global digital economy¹.
When your blockchain-based reputation enables you to get a microloan (through EtherLoan, for example, which is one of our spoke companies) from someone on the other side of the planet and use that blockchain-based money to buy a tool upon which to start a small business, the world gets integrated and national identity becomes less relevant.
3. Legacy voting systems will be taken to task
When groups set up online voting systems designed to mirror and hold legacy political voting systems to account, Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue will become more transparent to each other. Anyone will be able to contrast what benefits the average citizen to the policies pursued by lobbyists and politicians, and that gap could be closed by popular demand.
Self-sovereign identity and a persistent, portable reputation, in addition to other anti-spoof elements that we are working on at ConsenSys, have the potential to solve the Sybil Attack problem in which it is cheap and easy to set up fake identities on the internet. Once this is achieved, a major impediment to provably fair decentralized voting systems will have been cleared.
4. There will be incentives to expose corruption
Platforms where anyone can “bet” on the outcome of any decidable event, also called prediction markets or wisdom markets, are a powerful use case for the blockchain. For instance, Gnosis is a wisdom market built on Ethereum, where people seeking the truth in certain situations might post a “consulting fee” to surface information that might affect business or political activity.
When other wisdom seekers do the same, putting more value behind that quest for truth, people who were never before incentivized to surface such information might become “wisdom consultants”. These wisdom consultants might blow the whistle and collect that consulting fee. The worlds of accepted fact and actual truth might come closer together, and the infrastructure that supports deep, systemic corruption might fade.
The prospect of low-corruption future elections is enough to excite 99% of the world’s citizenry.
¹ We are building such a user-centered identity and reputation platform at ConsenSys. uPort is a mobile app that allows individuals to register their unique identity into the blockchain, which becomes a persistent trust anchor for all of their digital interactions. Individuals use this identity as a universal log-in for digital services and as a personal signature for digital transactions. Since all digital actions are now tied to this identifier, it earns a reputation over time. All of this information is stored in an encrypted, user-controlled environment, so it is free from reliance on legacy institutions and enables identity to represent a much richer representation of an individual.