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What is the Cryptocosm?
A term coined by information theorist George Gilder in his book Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy, the ‘cryptocosm’ refers to the network of companies, individuals, organizations, and systems interconnected via various blockchain technologies.
According to Gilder, each entity participating in the cryptocosm has its own private and individualized crypto-key that serves as your ‘signature’. That means, rather than exposing your private data (e.g. address, social security number, credit card information, etc.) to massive data aggregators such as Google, you just provide your virtually uncrackable crypto-key.
That way your personal information remains…well, personal. As it should, but maybe isn’t.
The cryptocosm offers a vision of the future where we can enjoy its advancements without (or much less of) the security and privacy concerns.
In this article, we will examine:
- The differences between the ‘world of big data’ and the cryptocosm
- The implications if such a network gets established
- How and why the Zero Theft Movement has leveraged blockchain technology in our effort to combat crony capitalism and eradicate the rigged economy in the U.S.
Big Data Laws vs the Laws of the Cryptocosm
Gilder famously proposed ten ‘laws’ or tenets of the cyrptocosm and compares them with what he sees as big tech’s ten laws. Just as a note, he uses Google as the representative of big tech, assuming his proposed laws mostly apply to all of the tech giants.
In 2019, on a tour for his aforementioned book, Gilder delivered a speech in Hong Kong where he outlined these laws. Each appears in a paraphrased version below.
|Focus on users by providing as much free content and as many free services as possible (e.g. search, email, maps, etc.)||Focus on providing security to consumers, whether it be their identity, content or otherwise. None of your property should go to anyone else for free without your consent.|
|Do one thing, or a set of things, better than any other entity. In Google’s case, search served as its ‘one thing.’ Now its focus has shifted to artificial intelligence technologies, which underpin all of its products.||Build a foundation where users can do a wide range of well-performing activities through the blockchain.|
|Speed is king, even if humans cannot keep up.||Human growth is more important than computing advances/processing speeds. Blockchain, while much slower than many technologies, facilitates human interactions and synchronicity between actions.|
|Democracy on the web is preferable, but within a hierarchical framework where major tech corporations preside over all actions.||The cryptocosm distributes power across consumers, establishing a heterarchy. Nobody has power over or control of anyone else’s property without consent.|
|You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer. Google, through AdMob, allows for the constant barrage of advertisements that can often distract from the actual content.||A smartphone, if it is indeed smart, should at least suppress ads.|
|You can make money without doing evil. For example, establishing data centers that run with a net zero carbon footprint.||Real money is good. It should function as a measuring stick, not as something that can be printed at a whim.|
|More information always exists, and everyone should be able to pursue and access it for free.||Information belongs to the creator, not the distributor. As outlined in law #1, none of your property should be available to anyone else without your consent.|
|The need for information spans the globe, and users should have the ability to cross all borders.||The borders of your devices cannot be breached. In the cryptocosm, your property is yours, not the network’s.|
|Users must give up personal information (name, SSN, mother’s maiden name, date of birth, etc.) to receive information, services, or goods.||You should be able to use services and transact without actually exposing personal information to the network.|
|Great isn’t good enough. Users need more information, more services, more access. For free.||The cryptocosm offers privacy and security that empowers users and keeps them safe.|
The Implications of the Cryptocosm
The economy of individuals and businesses built upon blockchain technology, or the cryptocosm, has immense ramifications and potential benefits.
Do you know that high-frequency trading firms could be accessing dark pools to make millions of financial transactions in a millisecond?
Don’t believe us? See what your fellow citizens are saying on Zero Theft…
The Cryptocosm Prioritizes Privacy and Security
As expressed in Gilder’s laws of the cryptocosm, the privacy and security of all users are actually prioritized. Not just claimed or advertised as matters of the utmost importance when they don’t appear so.
In our current Big Data system, many of the major data aggregators collect user data and often sell it as information for advertising targeting. You’ve probably seen ads selling products that match your interests. They’re virtually inescapable. And as you continue to use the internet, more and more information about you gets exposed and sold.
Sure, a lot of what you find on the internet is free to use, but clearly there’s a subtle or underlying cost involved: your privacy.
The cryptocosm, however, returns your privacy to you, ensuring you and you alone have final say on what you wish to do with your information or content. In the introduction, we briefly discussed the concept of the crypto-key—your secure and individual signature that eliminates the need for you to actually input your credit card information when making a purchase, for example. Centralized authorities and companies, in essence, lose free access to our information and cannot use it for their own means.
This blockchain network also has the benefit of improving security for citizens. As it currently stands, many centralized systems hold the sensitive information of thousands, hundreds of thousand, or even millions of people. Especially with financial institutions progressively transitioning away from in-person to online services, data breaches of credit card companies can create massive monetary damages to countless people. With your crypto-key, you won’t actually have to expose any of your personal information to any central agency, as well as the network as a whole.
The Cryptocosm Improves Efficiency
The decentralization, heterarchical system eliminates the need for trusted third parties/middle men, potentially reducing costs while improving efficiency.
The blockchain replaces trustees, exchanges and clearing houses with protocol written by software. Decreasing the need for these third parties will reduce overhead costs for businesses, enabling them to reduce costs for services and goods.
Furthermore, for end-users, the crypto-key renders account information and the like unnecessary. You can forget all the different username and password combinations you have used, that gibberish of capitalized letters, numbers, and symbols. The Cryptocosm makes it so that you cut out the clutter as all your data (e.g. credit card information) will be decentralized to your private devices.
The Cryptocosm Combats Fraud
Since the blockchain operates as a single public, permanent, and connected record of all trusted transactions, you do not have to worry about fraud. This ledger only updates if all parties involved in a transaction agree. These required confirmations and interactions promote trust and transparency throughout the system. Individuals cannot even change their personal information without the consent of another party.
Also, fraudsters cannot modify or remove transactions without changing every single data block in the chain. Each block has its own individual key, which is linked to the previous and subsequent ones. By essentially making fraud virtually impossible through blockchain’s architecture, fraud protection, then, becomes an unnecessary expense. That alone should yield billions in savings for customers, banks and businesses.
The Zero Theft Movement goes Cryptocosmic
“Blockchain holds the key to an entirely new system of the world. Its expansion in the coming years will trigger major changes in our day-to-day lives.”
Many organizations are finding innovative uses for the blockchain across industries, but we reckon none have utilized the technology to create a decentralized platform dedicated to activism.
The Zero Theft Movement, the effort to fight crony capitalism and eradicate the rigged economy, leverages the permanence and immutability of the blockchain ledger to make sure the work of our community cannot be altered or manipulated by bad actors.
But how does the Zero Theft community hold those rigging the economy accountable?
On the Zero Theft platform, citizens investigators examine potential problem areas across the economy and then author theft proposals explaining their findings. The community then decides whether that investigation has convincingly proven (1) theft is or isn’t occurring in a specific area of the economy, and (2) how much is being stolen or possibly saved. Through direct democracy, we can collectively decide where the problem areas are and start working on addressing them systematically.
The Zero Theft Movement does not have any interest in partisan politics/competition or attacking/defending one side. We seek to eradicate theft from the U.S economy. In other words, how the wealthy and powerful rig the system to steal money from us, the everyday citizen. We need to collectively fight against crony capitalism in order for us to all profit from an ethical economy.
Terms like ‘steal,’ ‘theft,’ and ‘crime’ will frequently appear throughout the article. Zero Theft will NOT adhere strictly to the legal definitions of these terms (since congress sells out). We have broadly and openly defined terms like ‘steal’ and ‘theft’ to refer to the rigged economy and other debated unethical acts that can cause citizens to lose out on money they deserve to keep.