The recent rise in the value of BitCoin, whether a bubble or not, has stimulated great interest in the blockchain, and a recent opinion piece in the New York Times places it in the context of falling confidence in institutions and governments. From “The Bitcoin Boom: In Code We Trust” by Tim Wu, Dec. 18, 2017:

… Yet as Bitcoin continues to grow, there’s reason to think something deeper and more important is going on. Bitcoin’s rise may reflect, for better or worse, a monumental transfer of social trust: away from human institutions backed by government and to systems reliant on well-tested computer code. It is a trend that transcends finance: In our fear of human error, we are putting an increasingly deep faith in technology. …

Although it is too early to foresee what the effects of blockchains will be, it seems already clear that the blockchain is closely linked with long-term Foresight interests in computer security and managing the risks of powerful emerging technologies (see for example Cyber, Nano, and AGI Risks: Decentralized Approaches to Reducing Risks” by Christine Peterson, Mark S. Miller and Allison Duettmann.)


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