Silvio Micali, one of the most brilliant computer scientists on this planet has just re-invented democracy or blockchains or finance or law order and public authority and few other things, with his ALGORAND system. And some other brilliant crypto innovators are also doing the same thing: see DFINITY.
Possibly this is what we really want, a distributed ledger system which is very hard to corrupt and acts for the benefit of the honest players rather than the bad ones. The anti-dote to our mafia economy and all the fake sponsored consensus run by the corrupted few, in media, science, politics, etc, which we see every day.
On the surface, Dr Micali has the tool which we all want: a weapon for the oppressed, the under-represented, or just ordinary honest players in the market, a major step forward towards building a truly civilized society, towards restoring the market economy and truly democratic finance which benefits everyone. A space where people can live their digital economy lives without fear of being abused by fraudsters and criminals.
The system works by deterministic randomness which is quite hard to control for the attackers and which decides which entities will be able to vote on the future state of the ledger. It is designed to be extremely robust and stable. It is claimed to be secure in some quite strong adversarial settings, for example the attacker is allowed to corrupt the very person who will be [temporarily] in charge of deciding the next update of the ledger. And the system claims to resist this sort of attack. Micali his this nice metaphor: […the powerful attacker] “cannot call back the leader’s message no more than a powerful government can put back in the bottle a message virally spread by WikiLeaks”.
However in fact Micali is doing just this. He has just started to suppress the very brilliant ideas he has been building in the last few years. The process of suppressing these brilliant ideas have already began, and the person who runs the revolution and the counter-revolution is the same, Dr Micali himself. On the first page of their paper we read:
These technologies are the object of the following patent applications: US62/117,138 US62/120,916 US62/142,318 US62/218,817 US62/314,601 PCT/US2016/018300 US62/326,865 62/331,654 US62/333,340 US62/343,369 US62/344,667 US62/346,775 US62/351,011 US62/653,482 US62/352,195 US62/363,970 US62/369,447 US62/378,753 US62/383,299 US62/394,091 US62/400,361 US62/410,721
You bet that for the next 20 years we will be left with what we have: mafia-friendly systems such as bitcoin, hyper-centralized champions of excessively poor network neutrality, which are essentially privately controlled financial systems designed and working exclusively for the corrupt few. Why it is the systems such as bitcoin which are free and open source and good ones patented?
Shame on you Silvio Micali!