Updating the Doomschain Clock

With the announcement of Blythe's resignation from DAH, I am revising the doomschain clock upwards to 2 confirmations.

As zero people of my twitter profile know, I have had this cheeky tagline of "just one confirmation away from the private blockchain revolution." The doomschain clock is modeled after the doomsday clock nuclear scientists invented as their best estimate of the time until nuclear war occurred and all the catastrophic things associated with it. 

For both clocks, I hope neither of these outcomes come to pass.

Distributed ledger technology is nonsense. For anyone who has had to sit through a distributed systems class, it should be obvious that the long history and successful buildout of resilient distributed system capabilities is a superset of distributed ledger technology, and was around way way before the Satoshi paper.

I had people implore me -- but now we can distribute a ledger across many different systems. What the hell do you think facebook does with your photos? Store it on one hard drive? Do you think Google stores your email on one server? This problem has been solved for a long time. And yes, a ledger is not that hard to store in multiple places.

I cannot stand the years of my life wasted in board meetings with morons lecturing me about how private blockchains are going to revolutionize backoffice technology and suck the air out of the ecosystem for things like Bitcoin. They were right about one thing -- they did suck the air out of the ecosystem for a few years, drawing away valuable investment capital that could have been used for legitimate projects in public blockchains. That's why I'm so angry that this waste of time phenomenon has occurred -- it likely put the real industry back by 2+ years.

Private blockchains are a dumb solution looking for no problem.


Here's the real deal. Wall street backoffice technology isn't historically inefficient because they didn't have access to magical blockchains. Wall street technology sucks because they marginalize technologists. The "business guys" rule -- traders, bankers, these are the "front office" guys. Everyone else doing the work of recordkeeping and coding are called "back office", and they are treated and paid horribly. I've worked on trading floors where traders will throw footballs at the heads of nerdy programmers who are cluelessly being made fun of. 

So yeah, fix that problem first. Blockchain can't. Meanwhile, these suits will continue trying to decipher one of the greatest mysteries in modern science -- why a bond transaction takes 27 days to settle.

Paul