What does Permissionless mean?
At the most intuitive level, the idea that disintermediated markets generate more efficiency and freedom.
The ideas of permissioning and permissionlessness crop up in many discussions surrounding blockchain. Database and application users might think immediately about restricted access to certain data or directories which is a logical, technical, and more complicated topic to tackle.
Typically, permissionlessness is interpreted literally as not having to ask permission. To illustrate why, let’s take a quick look at blockchains’ most prevalent use cases: as public ledgers for transactions of cryptocurrencies.
A large part of the cryptocurrency ethos is to be able to transact without going through an intermediary, such as a bank. Many cryptocurrency supporters also desire independence from the control of an entity such as a central bank and appreciate the industry has not been controlled by the traditional elite.
Because the underlying production for cryptocurrencies is crowdsourced, trading is open for business 24/7 around the world. Thus, permissionlessness conjures the idea that retail participants are able to participate in financial markets on their own terms, without requiring permission from anyone.
Used in a Sentence:
Two profound implications of permissionless blockchains are 1) it puts underused resources to work in a more frictionless economy and 2) it makes services conveniently available.
Last Updated: February 25, 2023
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