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[flagged] Russian spy boasts the Internet belongs to the Americans, the blockchain is ours (nytimes.com)
13 points by rmason 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

I think it’s okay. They can have “the blockchain”...

They're patenting it, you see.

If a public blockchain can belong to a single entity than it really isn't satisfying the moat sacred responsibility of a blockchain: to be trustless.

The fact that the times ran with this story despite the headline meaning very little just shows how hollow so much journalism is.

If the article seems messy, it's because it's about political rumblings rather than blockchain technology itself. Leaders are looking at it as a sort of "mechanism of the future" that they need to get in on. Per a quote from Gilbert Verdian, head of the British delegation at the ISO:

> To get behind it and back it now is going to put people at an advantage, either politically or economically.

That's pretty much politician catnip. "Yes, please. We'd like some of that." And that's how the people being discussed in the article are looking at "blockchain" (I'm using quotes intentionally here) rather than a technical-oriented perspective. The article isn't about a blockchain implementation. Think of the people in the article as similar to a stereotype of investors talking about the latest buzz-worth startup. They're excited about X, have some ideas on what X could mean, but don't necessarily have a deep understanding of X itself or how it's implemented. That's how some nation states are looking at future blockchain possibilities. The quoted Russians are basically saying "America won the internet, but we'll win the future (i.e., "the blockchain").

Surely this is just political grandstanding and nothing more.

The statement makes so little sense that either it 1) makes clear the spy does not understand the Internet, America, or Russia as the entities that they are in the real world, or 2) he is merely trying to make Russia sound good.

The internet does not belong to the Americans. If anything, the way the Russians have used the internet to subvert democracy and wage a new kind of war, I would say that if the internet belonged to anyone at the moment it belongs to the Russians! (using similar terminology as 'owned boxes' from the old hacker/cracker/scripts cultures)

And second, there is not one blockchain. If he means the entire branch of computer science and mathematics that makes up the workings of a blockchain, he's obviously a madman anyway.

I'll go with assuming the statement is meaningless grandstanding meant to achieve nothing but make Russia sound good to people who don't know anything about the topics discussed.

I've noticed that a lot of news and media pieces (including this one) refer to "the" blockchain, which could easily be interpreted as meaning there is only one.

What can US do to disrupt the Internet? Turn off root DNS servers, stop issuing SSL certificates (let's encrypt is US entity and many other CA), undelegate a lot of domains, mess with BGP, cut the backbones. I know that many of those services are duplicated, but I think that US can wreak a huge havoc onto Internet. And Russia can't really do anything of that scale. They even struggle to ban Telegram, there's too much dependency on foreign services.

> And Russia can't really do anything of that scale.

I think they already have, though, and that is my point. I think Russia has done something far more damaging to the internet (and by extension our society) than anything you listed above. Everything you listed above are technical issues that any major player could overcome.

Russia has created false realities on the internet, something far more dangerous than rerouting or shutting down technical services.

Total grandstanding. The block chain is from everywhere. Nobody even knows where Satoshi, its inventor, is actually from though US, EU, or Japan seem most likely.

Which one? Every citizen can have one too.

I'm really saddened that the NYT couldn't even understand what they were covering here...

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