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Quora Answer : How is technology going to change politics in the next 10-15 years?

Feb 15, 2016

It's going to change politics more than you can possibly imagine.

But probably not the superficial performance of politics.

In 10 - 15 years there'll still be elections and political parties and parliaments and congresses and presidents etc. And they'll still bicker on TV shows. And everyone will be dissatisfied with the politicians other people voted in ... and say what a corrupt bunch they are etc.

But this entire spectacle will have a lot less power and influence on the way the world works even than it does today. Potentially a LOT less.

Real power will continue to shift to those with money and those with connections and networking ability.

Here's the technology that may overturn things dramatically : Blockchains

Here's why blockchains matter. Assuming they take off. They let a decentralized group keep a common database which is entirely trustworthy and reliable without any central authority to back it up.

Right now, people think of the blockchain in terms of BitCoin and imagine it only affects the world if everyone starts using that currency. But there's a lot more to it than that. Blockchains are reliable, shared ledgers of accounts, reliable databases of certifications and permissions, unrevisable logs of people's behaviour.

One thing that's talked about is the use of blockchains with momentum accounting to eliminate the need for auditing company accounts. Imagine a world where accountancy and book-keeping are more or less automated out of existence; where they're simply the automatic infrastructure of making payments.

Banking is largely managing payments. Imagine no banks.

Including, no central bank or Federal Reserve as we understand it today.

Imagine organizations that are nothing but ids on the blockchain. But whose participants can have 100% confidence that all collective decisions really reflect their will.

Imagine the ability to have 100% confidence in your electronic voting. (Though at the potential cost of loss of anonymity.)

Would more people choose to spend their energies building up and voting in block-chain based democratically accountable organizations : companies, co-operatives, non-profits, liquid democracies etc. than equivalent energies on parliaments and bicameral houses where you can't trust the vote-counting machines?

The future is a proliferation of networks and new organizations that are increasingly hard to see or diagnose, but increasingly hope to acquire enough power to push the world more in the direction that they care about. Everyone from traditional charities to Avaaz, 38 Degrees, etc. to the Tea Party to DiEM25 to, yes, corporations. Many of these organizations will build blockchains into their DNA; as a kind of backbone to give them structure and solidity; to bind people to them.

Successful blockchain supported networks can equal nation-states for solidity and reliability, but move with the decentralized flexibility of markets. They will prove powerful rivals to nation-states, competing for loyalty and influence over their populations. (Compare Identity Providers by Phil Jones )

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