The crypto community was rightly horrified by the “Bitcoin will save us” sign that a protester in Dallas last week put up against racial injustices.
– Jessica Huseman (@JessicaHuseman) June 1, 2020
It was a boring and inappropriate, albeit well-intentioned, attempt to force a crypto-narrative onto a decidedly non-cryptographic and much larger story.
The heart of the crypto community is in the right place
The United States’ racial discrimination protests, which broke out after the tragic murder of George Floyd by the police, have received widespread support from the crypto community on Twitter and probably also on the street.
And that’s how it should be. The cryptocurrency-grown industry has roots in anti-establishment policies, civil liberties, and economic justice. It is also an ecosystem of different actors: developers, scientists, academics, entrepreneurs and journalists from all over the world. Cryptocurrencies have the potential to be a truly multi-ethnic, diverse and multidisciplinary venture.
But the most important thing is Many crypto industry leaders have expressed their support for the ideals of the Black Lives Matter movement because oppression and violence against a group of us are or should be an affront to all of us. It reflects the famous words that Martin Niemoeller wrote after the Holocaust: “First they came for the Communists and I didn’t demonstrate …”
Blockchain technology is promising for the marginalized, people with no access to banks and people who have suffered from institutionalized discrimination, particularly in the financial sector.
But just like now, it’s not time to declare Bitcoin the savior of the situation we are in. It’s also not time to confirm that blockchain technology is a panacea for all of society’s evils.
No, blockchain is not an answer to racial injustice
Blockchain technology has a number of use cases. Some of them are already being implemented. Others are not yet fully developed. From financial technology to supply chains, origins, elections to identity management, distributed ledger technology is a really disruptive innovation that can increase efficiency in different areas of our lives.
But it cannot reverse centuries of social injustice, it cannot change human attitudes, and it cannot solve all conflicts. It can help mankind to do many of these things. But the will to drive change must be of human origin.
Not only is this not the time to proclaim blockchain as a solution to the systemic racism that has led to protests and riots in the U.S., it is also not the time to try to squeeze a blockchain narrative into a current issue to the heart of humanity itself.
For example, imposing blockchain-based solutions to record violent incidents involving former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin would not have prevented him from killing Floyd. Chauvin’s story was well established and well documented.
The future of blockchain looks bright, but now is not the time or place to stand up for it.
The blockchain technology movement is not yet fully mature. He will surely be by our side as we struggle to correct past mistakes and create a fairer and fairer world that will hopefully be less violent.
If we move into the future that blockchain technology can help us create open funding and sovereignty over our own identity, it will bring benefits to those for whom traditional systems and institutions have failed.
While blockchain may be a much needed actor in change, the real drivers of change will be society itself. Policy makers may be forced to consider the consequences of the immutability of a distributed ledger. But they don’t hear a decentralized ledger. You will only listen to their human components.
Blockchain can record incidents of police brutality. You cannot prevent them.
Blockchain can record your voice. He can’t vote for you.
And the Floyd family deserves more than a “software eats the world” answer to the horrific carnage that sparked the protests. After all, we are all oracles of mankind’s annals.
We all who are part of the blockchain community support the potential of DLT to solve many of the problems that our economies and societies face. But the blockchain cannot solve everything. It certainly cannot save us from ourselves.
Only we can do it.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are only those of the author and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.