In other words, NYC is blowing $200M to chase a fad that they nor many in the press even seem to grasp. This is one of those schemes they look back on with shame and embarrassment.
I'm still waiting on the edge of my seat for the other uses for blockchain than pseudo currency. But I've been on the edge of my seat for three years now, and other than perhaps DNS I've not heard much.
Most of the proposals ignore the fact that the ledger gets larger and more costly [by design] which limits the growth potential. That's why nothing has ever come on tap (except currency/investments where increased cost is a benefit, not a drawback).
> The purpose of this process is to solicit proposals from qualified vendors to provide a technology solution leveraging blockchain technology to overcome information sharing barriers, facilitate continuity of care, flag at-risk individuals, and serve as a communication and referral mechanism to appropriate services
I wonder how widespread this is?
Blockchain's distributed ledger offers no value-add here. Making it just a glorified Merkle Tree, but that doesn't even seem like the most appropriate way to handle this type of data set.
That said I take issue with "pseudo currency". In many ways it's a better currency.
An ever increasing ledger isn't that big of a deal either as technology improves and not everyone needs to store the whole ledger.
It is not a currency, neither a store of value. The blockchain technology is also not really technologically relevant.
* Donations to wikileaks. Paypal froze their account and there are tons of examples where they have done this without good cause.
* Legal businesses like marijuana sellers, porn, escort services and gambling platforms have had trouble using and keeping payment services. Some have been forced to only accept cash payments as they couldn't accept credit cards.
* A way to accept irreversible payments digitally. Credit card charge back fraud is a big problem.
* Credit card companies take a 5-10% fee. Cryptocurrencies are much cheaper (see Bitcoin Cash as Bitcoin is not a good example).
* Send money to remote countries, for example to countries in war, Argentina or North Korea. Western Union is slow, expensive and cannot be used to send everywhere. With cryptocurrencies all you need is internet (sometimes a VPN as well).
Case in point, Zimbabwe just tried to ban bitcoin and now the market price there jumped by almost 5000 USD.
It's hard for people who don't see the government as what it actually is, to see the value in cryptocurrencies. Some governments hide their nature better than others.
For those which are very straight forward about their parasitic nature and do not make any real attempt to justify it though, people subject to them are extremely aware of the actual value of state and central bank proof currency.
Inhabitants of OECD nations will at this point say "but nobody here needs that" with a straight face, unaware the US government just "lost" 21 trillion dollars. Which actually probably means worse than lost. It probably means it was illegally spent for nefarious ends. And given the foreign policy objectives of the US coupled with the "questionable partnerships" they've recently been discovered to be directly financing, that money probably has a lot of blood on it.
Such is the actual naked nature of the state. It's depressing, but there's no getting around it. And that's why the world needs cryptocurrencies; to destroy them all. They are the only possible tool for that essential job.
Sure we're not there adoption wise yet where it would help them much. The fundamental properties are there though and nothing else can claim the same.
Also you assume all cryptocurrencies are like Bitcoin, heavily deflationary, while others like Monero don't have a hard supply cap.
They're just doing some of the usual EDC stuff, announcing some partnerships, opening some kind of coworking space for blockchain people or similar, the usual.
I'm pretty sure the whole blockchain thing as a category is a bubble at best and mostly scams at worst, but that still doesn't stop this general trend from likely having positive consequences for the area longterm.
In case you are wondering if this is sarcastic, let me clarify. I fully expect the blockchain to revolutionize the delivery of government services the same way Bitcoin will revolutionize grocery shopping, and the same way Etherium will revolutionize legal contracts.
Since people still don't get it, let me elaborate:
Imagine a world where you could use Bitcoin to transfer money anywhere in the world with the same ease as making a Bitcoin micropayment, simply, safely, instantly, with no fees.
Imagine a world where people use Etherium smart contracts to control everything from marriages to college diplomas to corporate governance.
Now imagine the same revolutionary ideas applied across NYC to everything from garbage collection to city ordinances!
The power of the blockchain is bounded only by your imagination.
That's definitely not what a decentralized database is needed for. Any centralized SQL database could this much better and efficiently.
If you need to look for a use, it's not useful for you.
Through what technical mechanism? Or to rephase how does a distributed ledger help you shop for groceries or government services? Because without the distributed ledger, there's no blockchain.
Frankly who is even signing the ledger? If there's only two interested parties, why would third parties agree to literally burn money/electricity signing the ledger to verify?
Please somebody suggest an even remotely plausible way that "blockchain" could possibly improve "turn-around times for government services."
In fact, all of the above plus all the benefits of just destroying the state completely and interacting with all the functions it used to compulsorily provide terribly only by voluntary smart contracts, much more efficiently.
"voluntary smart contracts"... more buzzwords that sound great but mean nothing. What's so smart about contracts that lose hundreds of millions of dollars because someone put a semicolon in the wrong place? I'm not volunteering for that.
Can't wait for the first time the soon-to-be-obsolete government has to "fork" the Social Security "blockchain" because a few $$$BILLION "went missing" when some 25-year-old, third-tier programmer/consultant screwed up the "smart" contract. Oops.
All hype aside, what they really are is simply a useful platform for permissionless cooperation at scale. That happens to be a pretty useful thing to do, things like economies, religions, and nation states are typically employed to do much the same things, and as such when a blockchain can be used instead of those things and there are gains to be had, it makes sense to do it.
Voluntary is not a buzz word, it has a very specific and important meaning, especially when it comes to questions of the state, where the core force is coercive rather than voluntary. Smart contracts may be a buzzword, but they do in fact mean something very specific that actually once again is useful, which is effectively just an implementation of an application using a platform for permissionless cooperation at scale as the underlying technology. I get that it's cool to be cynical and complete paradigm shifts to the way things have been done for hundreds of years, especially when those things are both extremely morally questionable as well as so vast in scale as to be almost society defining, and typically justified in terms of "necessary evils" are scary, but none of that invalidates the very real gains to be made from these advancements.
That applications can have bugs should be as about as controversial as the statement that water can be a liquid on a forum like this, that doesn't mean they absolutely have to, anymore than it means water absolutely has to be a liquid, either. The truth is this is potentially the first widely visible platform where bugs really, really matter, as in they can't just be rolled back and we pretend everything is OK and a human comes along and fixes it, because that invalidates the entire purpose of disintermediated permissionless peer to peer cooperation. I actually think it's good that bugs matter so much, it is about time that security and software development were taken as seriously as they deserve, rather than treated as a cost centre and just going back and papering over inevitable failures. There's plenty of other areas where that's really not an acceptable modus operandi, either, but because they're not so visible as the failures in this area they've historically been allowed to slide under the radar. That doesn't mean the people that died because of bugs in x-ray software deserved it, though, or that it was alright in any way.
And finally, they're not at all a trojan horse. In the very first block of the very first blockchain a very loud declaration was made as to precisely why the creation was being bought into existence. The real irony in this charge is that the very forces they were designed to disintermediate ended up trying to trojan horse that exact same blockchain barely nine years later to subvert it away from the original vision and back to enslaving the very people it was designed to free.
With a public blockchain, grants and other government spending (which are sometimes otherwise misspent or stolen) could be verifiably tracked and published. This could be a great asset to state and local governments that are prone to corruption.
If block chain is the answer, awesome! If anything is the answer, awesome!
Do we need some kind of special department to run competitions to try and find a use for blockchain? Probably not.