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The Dawn of the Crypto Age
by CANNON C. , in the year 2015
- -An essay on how crypto technologies will shape our world, and why these technologies are often met with government opposition-
Throughout all of the chapters of history, civilization struggles in a constant battle between liberty and tyranny, progression and corruption. For the world is plentiful in numerous points of its history of a populace oppressed by governments. Like a beast untamed or loosened, or a fire fueled and spread, it is the natural tendencies of governments to become corrupt and to perpetually expand and maintain power. This is not because government in itself is corrupt, but rather because mankind is corrupt through greed, in the pursuit of wealth and power at the expense of a nation while utilizing the powerful body of government as their tool. Government makes a handsome target of exploitation to the corrupt and enemies of liberty due to the centralization of power that governments wield and the position of the tool of government being in the high layer of power, known as the political realm.
Until now, the balance of power sat in the hands of governments who have gone rogue at the conduction of usurpers and tyrants and have been used to empower themselves while oppressing the populace and liberty, whether openly or covertly. However, in the modern age, in this dawn of the crypto revolution which follows the still advancing and parallel technological revolution, the balance of power in the world is shifting from that of governments and usurpers to the people.
Throughout history, humankind has been through various golden ages of enlightenment, and of technological advancements and progressions. It is this evolution in the advancement of humankind which has altered the foundation for which future technology and the direction of civilization is based. We have had the Age of Enlightenment, the scientific revolution, the Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution, and the technological/informational revolution, to name a few. And now, even when the latter is still young, we enter another age that parallels it: the dawn of the crypto revolution, which is based upon the infrastructure of the current technological/informational revolution.
The context of the word "revolution" in the case of this writing refers to that of sudden change in the world brought about by advancements in technologies and discoveries, while "crypto" or "cryptographic" is referring to the use of encryption (codes) paired with technology to create systems immune to espionage, control, and takedown by an enemy.
The newly emerging technology brought about by the crypto revolution is built on our current technological infrastructure. The advent of our current computerized cyber-infrastructure makes an easy way to build, host, and deploy decentralized protocols. It is also cyberspace that connects us all and breeds innovation through uncensored and decentralized communications such as the Internet, hence why the crypto revolution began shortly after the birth of the technological revolution. This new technology will secure itself and also secure society from the current flaws in our informational technology infrastructure which that same society has come to rely upon.
The crypto revolution will alter the shape of the workings of civilization in positive ways to advance us towards a more perfect civilization, just as the technological revolution altered the way we communicate, do business, interact, etc. And just as how the industrial revolution altered the way we travel, manufacture, and live, to too shall the crypto revolution shape our world. This time, this era in human progression will impact the workings of the economy, politics, banking, governments... all in a way that will make the workings of the pre-crypto age antiquated and perhaps even scoffed at by future generations.
Just as the crypto revolution is based on the technological revolution which was based on the industrial revolution, so too shall some other future progressions be based on the crypto revolution. These future progressions as a result of the crypto revolution I foresee being comprised of political, economic, and social advancements.
Although progressions in the advancement of civilization are often beneficial to the human race, advancement is sometimes met with opposition by the existing power structure. This opposition by the minority who wield power over the rest is due to the threat this new technology/discovery presents to their power. Opposition can also often be due to lack of understanding of the new technology.
The future of technology I am describing can be referred to as decentralized cryptographic protocols - secure, open source, self regulating, decentralized, cryptographic protocols, to be more descriptive. For the new way will be a better way, a way void of the major flaws and imperfection of the former which have empowered the corrupt and created insecure systems causing results which have haunted our society. These newly emerging technologies will repair the security flaws which came about by having a society that became reliant upon informational technology. The root of many of the current security flaws in our world come from the exploitation of vulnerabilities that are a result of the lack of the following three items, which I refer to together as the triangle of security.
Integrity, Availability, and Confidentiality
Through cryptographic proof. Protecting from unauthorized manipulation or forgery.
Through decentralization, keeping safe from attack by denial of service. or takeover by corruption and those security risks that are posed by centralization.
Again, through cryptology. Keeping communications and information safe from unauthorized access.
The flaws caused by a lack of any part of this triangle of security can be mitigated with decentralized cryptographic protocols which address a solution for all three of these security needs.
A few examples of how the birth of cryptographic technologies will affect us in these three ways (not in any particular order but of equal importance):
Confidentiality: No longer can threats to the populace undermine the security of the world through informational-warfare/espionage with ease as civilization and informational infrastructure shall be secured with cryptology. No longer can governments, oppressors, and adversaries unjustly spy on a population with ease or target them for political gain, intimidation, persecution, or control. Cryptology will ensure confidentiality by preventing governments from spying on communications.
Availability: No longer will society be prone to attack by an adversary due to the weakness of centralization. When a society is reliant upon informational technology, as is the current case, that same society is vulnerable to a compromising of protocols and information that are centralized. For centralization introduces a higher risk of security due to a single point of failure. This is the case with both technology and government structures (an example being why governments are prone to corruption due to their centralization; even when governments are designed to be decentralized, they often becomes more centralized in power over time). Cryptology, in the form of decentralized cryptographic protocols, will ensure availability by preventing governments from taking down services, protocols, or information they do not like.
Integrity: No longer shall our civilization be vulnerable to spoofing, identity theft, fraud, or manipulation - whether that manipulation be of just a simple document, the voting results of public consensus. or other information (just to name a few examples). Through cryptographic proof, cryptography will ensure integrity and prevent tampering of data.
This is why information and technological dominance is a very valuable and sought after asset. In the technological/information age, unauthorized access to informational technology can compromise all security since everything runs on technology. These are the same security flaws which this newly emerging technology will help to protect us from.
Technology can be used against the people just as much as it can be used to empower the people. This is why governments wish to suppress technological and, ultimately, human progression. For the future eliminates imperfection and corruption. We are now at the crossroads, in which technology used against the people is now progressing to the point that it will be used against corrupt governments and bring about a global balance of power. Governments also hate anything they cannot control. If governments cannot control something. they will attempt to destroy it.
Some of the changes, among many, which will be brought about by this new technology of decentralized cryptographic protocols will be decentralized markets immune to government control or takedown; distributed autonomous corporations and stock exchanges; self-enforcing smart contracts; secure and decentralized self-regulating financial systems known as crypto-currencies (such as Bitcoin); along with secure peer-to-peer escrow protocols resulting in anonymous and theft/confiscation-proof money, distributed crowd-funding platforms, and secure communications systems (such as Bitmessage or I2P-Bote); secure, anonymous, and fraud-proof identities; secure voting and consensus systems; distributed secure databases of information and records (such as Namecoin); legal document timestamping (known as "Proof of Existence"); secure property titles; secure wills and legal documents; secure distributed authentication systems; and distributed and anonymous reputation systems. Another result of crypto is meshnet networks immune to government control or surveillance that are known as darknets, which may eventually replace the current Internet infrastructure. The main structures of banks and governments may very well be replaced by secure, decentralized, self-regulating protocols which run on this technology. This is just to name a few things that will emerge or have started to emerge as a result of the crypto revolution.
Crypto technologies offer the ability to secure a population from the security flaws which cause identity theft, fraud, financial theft, corruption, manipulation, surveillance, and cyber attacks. Though this new technology protects society from such things which we suffer from today, it is also these things that governments and criminals use to control society and the populace. As a result, the security brought about by the newly emerging technology of decentralized cryptographic protocols threatens the ability of governments and criminals to continue their grip on a monopoly of control and power. Governments are often opposed to cryptology for this very reason. The suppression of cryptology is often done through "regulations" that are actually intended to cripple that technology, as well as outright bans on it, along with the targeting of its users. Another technique often deployed is use of the media to demonize cryptology through lies and fallacies - telling us that such technology is dangerous to our safety, when the truth instead is that the lack of cryptology leaves our liberties and our society insecure. Another fallacy often used to pass crippling regulations is that such technology needs regulation, which is a fallacy, for decentralized cryptographic protocols are already regulated by the principles of math which such protocols are built upon. These very rules of math which power these decentralized cryptographic protocols are perfect and incorruptible, unlike regulations done through government. Governments will try to suppress technology and human progression at the expense of the security of a nation, leaving us vulnerable to the security threats which currently plague our world - that is, if we allow ourselves to submit to tyranny by willingly complying.
There is a name for those who promote, develop, and support this crypto technology and who refuse to comply with the power structures' demands to abandon its progression. They are called the cypherpunks. They are the modern day architects, the visionaries of today, and the founders of tomorrow.
You can make a difference and help the crypto-age win. Join me. Join league with the cypherpunks to improve the world. At the least, learn about, support, and promote crypto technologies. If you are up to it, learn how to code so you can also contribute to these technologies. For we are now in the beginnings of a new era of advancement in civilization and the human race: the dawn of the crypto age.
Bitcoin Tip Address (to help support my writings): 1HcfM3dwy6zoT4kL2zWMD9qZRcsJdjiTST
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