EU Wants To Manage Digital Identities With The Blockchain Technology
For a lot of people, the word blockchain means freedom. Many people see the decentralization of the blockchain tech as a sort of a liberation from centralized authorities like governments. However, that would be, in fact, quite the opposite, as we can because of the newest report of the EU Blockchain Forum (EUBF).
According to the blockchain forum, the technology could be used for the management of digital identities and for digital versions of national fiat currency. The two views are obviously different from what crypto lovers generally have in their minds while they think about the technology.
The idea of using the blockchain technology by a centralized entity to determine the ID of people, however, was deemed to be taken out of the book 1984 itself by The Next Web’s Hard Fork, which reported on this story originally.
One of the ideas that was proposed and, perhaps, the lesser evil of the two, is that digital version of the national fiat coins could be made using the blockchain. The idea is far from new and has already been put in practice by Venezuela, for instance, which created its own crypto.
The article written by The Next Web’s Hard Fork is very against this notion, though, as the author seems to believe that the tokens would be subject to the “manipulation” that conventional fiat is. If you ever needed to create more money, you simply could.
While the author seems like a hardcore Bitcoin fan, it is kind of obvious that any government-backed digital token would not behave as a private token or as a decentralized one like Bitcoin. It would be like fiat because it would, in fact, be fiat currency. just in digital form. The blockchain technology does have an ideology as Bitcoin does, it is simply a technology that you can use for whatever you want.
The whole notion that cryptocurrency needs to be without central control and that new assets could not be created is not a law, is just how Bitcoin works and most altcoins followed its pattern (and even then a lot of altcoins are very, very centralized). Pretending it is a law of how the technology works is simply ludicrous.
The report does not go too further on the implementation of these crypto fiat tokens, though, so we would need to hear more to start speculation for real.
1984 Is Today: Governments Using The Blockchain To Control Digital IDs
While the idea of national cryptos is generally very harmless, the idea of using the blockchain to control the identities of its citizens (and maybe from people from other countries) is a lot more ominous.
According to the report made by the EUBF, any future institutional blockchains need to be concerned with digital identities. With a very centralized bias, the report suggests that everyone could have a “trusted” identity on a state-owned blockchain. Just like a state-emitted ID card, you know.
The main idea, which was again criticized by the article, is that the state would be a better custodian than Google or Facebook. In a very obvious move, the government wants to control your ID and know what you are doing, so they are using companies that do not deal with this data well as an example to convince people.
What the government forgets is that people could simply take care of their own information in a more decentralized way, which is basically what the whole blockchain community (at least the one ideologically connected to Bitcoin and its followers) is based on.
The report may even state that the systems should be controlled by the user, but it could easily be controlled to know what everyone is doing, a notion that both I and the original reporter of the story agree on.
A blockchain owned by the government could still be corrupted and no evidence was provided that it would be a great idea for users. Because of this, anonymity on the internet would be almost impossible and some people really like it.
While affirming that a 1984-like dystopia is upon us may be kind of an exaggeration, we will clearly have to decide in the future what we want to do. It will come the time in which we will have to decide whether we will surrender our information to the government and let it seize our privacy together or if this is not acceptable.