Gavin wood: how to face blockchain technology critics?

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"After several years of Ethereum, it is obvious that there is something missing," Wood said in an interview on unfinished live.

Five years after launching Ethereum, Gavin wood still firmly believes that blockchain technology has the power to change the world. "Blockchain is one of the very, very few technologies in decentralization, and I really can't say more," he said in a conversation with reporter Manoush zomorodi on unfinished live.

But he admitted that he didn't do it right for the first time. "After several years of Ethereum, it is obvious that there is something missing," Gavin said. "It needs clear governance."

Gavin is also the founder of the Web3 foundation. He is now working on a new project called Polkadot, which connects different blockchains. Each chain can freely design its own governance mechanism. "So maybe people who vote or lock their tokens in the system for a long time get a greater say," he said. "We can create these very flexible governance mechanisms in various ways."

Gavin said that Polkadot also solved one of the biggest problems mentioned by critics of blockchain and cryptocurrency: their negative impact on the environment. "We ensure that we use a super effective way to reach consensus. We don't waste real-world resources, but just occupy virtual resources."Β 

The following is polkaworld's response to Β  A condensed version of Gavin's interview

Manoush zomorodi: you didn't work in the blockchain industry at first, but something happened ten years ago, which changed the technology world of all of us. Can you tell me when you met a man named vitalik?

Gavin Wood: Wow, it's been a while. I think it was eight years ago, early 2013. I'm reading an article. This article describes this thing on the Internet. It's a bit strange. It's called the silk road. It's something they can't do, because there's something called bitcoin, a currency used on this website. It makes me wonder why they can't do anything about it? This is the first time I know that technology is used to do things that human structures cannot do.

So I studied bitcoin, and I actually met the man mentioned in the article, the man named Amir taaki. He lived in a shed at that time. It was the first time I went to a square, so it was a learning experience in itself. He introduced me to several people. I got to know vitalik through one of them. At that time, he was studying bitcoin. He wanted to know how to expand bitcoin to be more universal and undertake some different functions, not just as a currency. So vitalik finally published this concept paper at that time. Although it has a certain technical nature, some parts of it are not well defined or will not really go through. Yes, through this mutual friend, I told vitalik, "if you like, I'm happy to realize it."

Manouth zomorodi: it's usually difficult to explain to others what a blockchain is. How do you explain to others how the blockchain works? How can we explain it simply and easily?

Gavin Wood: many developers have developed many blockchains. They can easily understand the technical details, but these may not be useful to ordinary users. We can understand it in another way. We can regard blockchain technology as a digital service without service providers. When we use Facebook, Google search or anything else, we actually use an organization owned by individuals, usually run by the CEO, with a group of shareholders making decisions, we access their services, and they provide these services to us. In any case, it always has the participation of this intermediate service provider, and these intermediate service providers have absolute control. So if we think of the Internet as a big country, this country is actually ruled by a group of dictators. Each of them has their own territory, almost feudalism.

The reality is that we need to go beyond this very feudal system, because, as we have found in the past, it is not the most suitable for innovation. It is not the best for people's life, even a little useless.

Manouth zomorodi: tell us why Polkadot was created? And how do you see Polkadot being used in new and different ways?

Gavin Wood: Polkadot came out to fundamentally iterate over what I built before. We did build Ethereum, but it will not become the final blockchain. It is great to design a prototype and deliver an MVP as soon as possible. But after several years of Ethereum, it is obvious that there is something missing.

One obvious thing is governance. We need clear governance to form a consensus among the people and stakeholders who use it, but what we haven't really done with blockchain is to explore the decisions made by blockchain outside its direct application. One of the decisions is how the blockchain should develop its technology and how to upgrade and fix some bugs. These are things you can't program into the blockchain on the first day. They make decisions when you need them. So this is what we built in Polkadot from the beginning.

Manouth zomorodi: so you mean, when you say fix a bug, you can write code and say, "if there's a bug, that's the plan."

Gavin Wood: Yes, we can write code. Because it is very difficult to define a bug before it occurs. But what we can do is we can say that if enough people think this is a "disaster" ", according to our governance standards, maybe people who vote or lock their tokens in the system for a long time to get a greater voice, we have a variety of ways to create these very flexible governance institutions. However, we need to take this into account and build it from the beginning. This is not something you can transform, because if you are If you can't make the decision to upgrade to governance at the beginning, you can't transform it.

Manoush zomorodi: can you talk about some examples? As you said, the prototyping is great. So how do you actually do things with any blockchain you participate in? Can you give us some examples in real life?

Gavin Wood: of course. One of our early projects was to work with a United Nations agency to deploy a food stamp program for those who have suffered from the various global turmoil we have seen. In this case, the refugees in the Jordan camp use the blockchain technology we have established. We can really provide help. Combined with some optical identification means, we can provide food for the refugees. Those who really need to obtain food at ultra-low cost and ultra-low profit.

Manoush zomorodi: is that using mobile technology? Like a cell phone?

Gavin wood: it's a QR code. In addition to mobile phones, there are some optical recognition, like the retina.

Manouth zomorodi: iris scan?

Gavin wood: iris scanning, yes, in addition, there is blockchain.

Manoush zomorodi: in fact, many people are skeptical about the current technical solutions. They think that most of them are just to obtain a lot of money. How do you face these critics?

Gavin WoodIn a broad sense, technology makes the world a better place for people to live. People usually don't die of preventable diseases in their 30s. But it's certain that technology often ends up as the center of power, right? Technology has emerged because those in power want to further consolidate their power. So they pay for technology development. Look at Facebook. It has paid the price for the innovation of artificial intelligence, so as to sell more advertisements in this direction and make more money. However, if this artificial intelligence causes greater differences in society and academic research proves this, it is a very unfortunate side effect of technological development, and I think it needs to be modified occasionally.

Generally speaking, there is no systematic or structural power debate without technical debate. So you need to create a way to spread this power, and blockchain is one of the very, very few of these technologies, which can be decentralized.

This is a very strange thing, but I think the world has reached a place of high concentration of power, which I call the trust structure. Basically, institutions and companies operate based on broad trust. They think their behavior is in line with the preferences of customers and consumers, but in fact, it is not. There are so many such trust structures in society that we finally get tired of using them. Snowden's enlightenment and the banking crisis in 2008 made me put forward some suggestions in mid-2014Β Web 3Β The concept of.

One of my goals for Polkadot isCompletely eliminate the need for mainstream users to use encrypted tokens。 This is a huge difference between the smart contract model introduced by Polkadot and Ethereum. The cost of Ethereum must be paid by the user, which means that the user needs to hold eth, which means that they must have an ether wallet.It's like asking you to pay part of Google's electricity bill when you use search tools. This doesn't work in reality.Therefore, I think it is difficult for a smart contract platform like Ethereum to achieve the adoption rate of billions of users.

This is not only because of scalability issues, but also because users must hold ether. They must hold this cryptocurrency. Therefore, for Polkadot, applications buy a large number of transactions for users, just like Facebook, Google and twitter. When users use their services, these applications will do the same thing without having to pay any type of token or even touch the concept of cryptocurrency.

Polkadot also addresses one of the biggest problems mentioned by blockchain and cryptocurrency critics: their negative impact on the environment. "We ensure that Polkadot uses a super effective way to reach consensus. We don't waste real-world resources, just occupy virtual resources."Β 

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