One of our founding Geeqs, Stephanie So, was recently featured in a BlockPublisher article by Shehryar Hasan about consensus protocols. In the piece, Stephanie discussed some of her ideological issues with other blockchain implementations.
The idea that databases can be publicly accessed and distributed geographically often leads to the dangerous assumption that this data is beyond any outsider’s control. Stephanie says this is not the case.
In the BlockPublisher article, Stephanie states, “We at Geeq believe true decentralization has to involve voluntary exchanges that are honored. Promises made should be promises kept – it doesn’t seem right to change the terms on someone midstream without their consent.”
She went on to say, “It also doesn’t sit well with us that the ability to participate in a Proof of Work chain is probably related to how much wealth you have in the real world, either. Neither of these are consistent with the ideals of getting power away from some centralized and/or powerful institutions, nor are they consistent with providing access to all.”
Stephanie believes blockchain technology should be used to achieve true decentralization – which means no outside actor or actors are allowed to amass or otherwise consolidate power that could affect your control over how your data is processed by the blockchain. Geeq is built so that no one can impose a rule on you that you haven’t agreed to yourself.
In Stephanie’s opinion, it is unacceptable for anyone to have more control over how someone’s data gets incorporated into a blockchain than the owner of that data themselves. This is an essential value all Geeqs share.
Of course, as with all ideas in the blockchain space, whether a value actually survives the technological process depends on the details of the technology itself. This is why it was critical for the OGs (original Geeqs) to understand how all the interlocking pieces of other consensus mechanisms worked. But that’s a tale for another day.
During the BlockPublisher interview, Stephanie chafed at the idea that Proof of Work (PoW) blockchains, such as the bitcoin blockchain, present an outward appearance of being accessible to all. In actuality, she says the people who are most likely to get rewards are the ones who are most able to afford to purchase advantages, such as hashing power, in the physical world.
Similarly, Proof of Stake (PoS) based protocols introduce less obvious ways for a select few to accumulate more power over how data is handled in the blockchain. The fact that those with more technological knowledge can manipulate PoS blockchains to their advantage – while others with less education are left in the dark – really gets under Stephanie’s skin.
“In a nutshell, we’re not PoW or PoS fans,” Stephanie told Hasan. “We have our own consensus mechanism that does not have these flaws, although we are a start-up, so people don’t know about ours yet.
Read the full BlockPublisher article here.