Cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, distributed ledger technology. If you're reading this, you've probably heard of at least one of those, if not all. It's the next big thing after the internet. The factor that will bridge the trust gap in society. And all of it rests on a few core core concepts, two of which are important for the discussion that is to be had: decentralization and immutability.
Decentralization is the easiest one to understand: it's the opposite of centralization. :)
A more detailed explanation would be that with decentralization there is no central point of authority or control. Instead this control is delegated to multiple centralized nodes, therefore decentralizing the system as a whole. Distributed goes a step further: In this case there's a mesh of nodes of equal control that operate with and around one another. A distributed system is by definition decentralized, but a decentralized system does not have to be distributed.
With different nodes in a blockchain ( DLT system ) basically remembering and validating the transaction data of each block in the network, we get the other core value, immutability. When something is inherently and definitely unchangeable we call it immutable. In the case of blockchain data is immutable because of how the system works in terms of validating transactions. If one node were to be manipulated into thinking some hackers address had 1 million BTC, other nodes would immediately compare this to their own version of the blockchain and invalidate that change/transaction. This is also why when a certain community wants the algorithm of a blockchain changed or improved there's a hard fork, which is basically a split in the road at some point in the code, which is basically how we got Hive from Steemit, BCH from BTC, ETC from ETH, and so on.
Immutability and decentralization undoubtedly create the perfect censorship resistant environment, especially for social media platforms build on and/or around blockchain technology. Platforms like Hive on the Hive blockchain have a clear use case value that other similar but centralized platforms simply cannot. The data of all your posts is stored away on the Hive blockchain, safe and immutable. Sure, the frontends like PeakD or LeoFinance have the ability to censor what gets through (they don't as far as I know), but the data itself stays and may be perfectly visible on any other frontend. No real censorship in sight.
Then you have centralized platforms build around blockchain technology but not on top of it. Noise.cash is one of them, enabling people to earn Bitcoin Cash (BCH) by interacting with others and tipping. With your activity and quality content, you get fueled by free tips from the system that you can share with others. The trick with these kind of platforms is that you have to abide by whatever rules these centralized powers instill,. A recent post by the noise.cash overlords is what actually prompted me to start writing this. This post https://noise.cash/post/l9qv44n7 to be exact. They announce a set of measures to combat the problem of spammers abusing the system, which is reasonable and understandable, but they also managed to slip in a mention of Hivers promoting their Hive/Leo content on the platform possible not receiving free tips as well, pretty much putting this group in the same boat as spammers in terms of ranking on the platform.
There is one more thing that we will probably stop sponsoring in the future - that is promotion of competing sites (Leo, Hive, Peakd, Steem, etc...) and competing cryptocurrencies (i.e. anything except for Bitcoin Cash). Why? Well, our goal is Bitcoin Cash adoption and that's what we want to sponsor. We don't want to sponsor promotion of competing sites that promote their own cryptos or other cryptos. You are still free to talk about them, of course, we just don't see why we should sponsor it with FreeTips.
To me this is where the combatting of abuse stops and the censorship starts. And the funny thing is we can do nothing about it. It's their platform and they make the rules, that is the drawback of centralization, it almost inevitably leads to some kind of censorship. Even though a system is ironically fueled by decentralized currency.
This emphasizes the power of blockchain even more. In fact, we have already experienced it first hand. Back when Hive forked from Steemit. I wasn't there for the specifics, but a significant part of the community felt that things weren't going the right way, and decided to take a copy of the public blockchain and make it better, avoiding possible censorship, and thus Hive was born.
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