What is the decentralization of society?
Our world today is becoming more and more decentralized.
Decentralization refers to the breaking up of a completely isolated and individual system into smaller and more efficient organizations or communities. Multiple finely divided communities would exist from the standpoint of one individual human being, communities can also be physically separated. The kind of societal structure we are currently heading towards is a system depicted by the cryptocurrency.
As exemplified by Brexit, the withdrawal of the USA from TPP as well as the independence movements of Catalonia and Scotland, we are observing a tendency for people to return to the smallest unit of a congregation, one where common values are shared. We also saw from the German elections that a rising number of the population is against the admission of migrants and refusing unregulated trade with other countries.
The Bitcoin experiment
Looking back at the history of humankind, we are starting to think that the dream of “uniting nation states,” i.e., the unification of the world in one single, large framework is an extremely difficult task. Moving forward, it is probably more likely that people will choose to form smaller communities with others who share the same values.
Bitcoin is one of these possibilities. The people who identify with the ideology of the people who create the Bitcoin are coming together from the world of core currencies to Bitcoin. Of course, nobody is 100% dependent on Bitcoin, and most of them also belong to traditional communities. They usually concurrently use the various currencies that are necessary for their lives like Bitcoin, Ethereum, other tokens on Ethereum, Japanese yen, and US dollars. In this way, it is indeed a system where a person can belong in multiple communities with values that resonate with that person.
A healthy division cultivates a healthy decentralization of society
Viewed in this light, in the world of cryptocurrencies, it is healthy for Bitcoin to experience hard fork and for multiple Altcoins to co-exist. The world now has taught us that the idea of constructing a world with just Bitcoin would be impossible. Even in the small world of Bitcoin, there exist various individual ways of thinking and different ideas, so Bitcoin will be divided into smaller units, and people will flock to other Altcoins. What is needed in this coming era is to find a community that best fits your values and to belong to that community.
Hearing this, you may ask, “If I cannot find a community that best fits my values, won’t I ultimately be alone?” However, it is impossible for a person to become completely alone. The reason is that we are humans. Humans cannot exist individually. A lone human being is extremely weak and will not stand against a lion or a monkey. When one person is left alone in the jungle, the person will not be able to survive. This is why the development of humans was always by forming communities. This was human’s strategy to survive.
Let’s look at an example.
Amazon discovered the long tail on the Internet. They knew that there were many people who share the same values in the world. A bookshop in town raises its sales by selling many bestsellers, but Amazon, with its unlimited storage, can stock the kind of niche books that only one person in a class would buy and still have great profits like the small bookshop in town. Through the discovery of the long tail, we know that even what is seemingly a minority is actually quite numerous when elevated to a global scale. Even the ideology or values of a minority would become large enough to rival a great country if they were able to congregate from all around the world. By leveraging the Internet, this type of communication becomes possible, and new connections of shared values can be strengthened.
In school, sometimes you would only find one or two people who have compatible values with you. Or perhaps even none. With a decentralized society, it will no longer be necessary to force yourself to fit in with people with different values. What will be important will be to search for a community or a place with people who share the same values as you.
What will happen from now?
Once society becomes more and more decentralized, countries can be established on Blockchains, and people would be able to become the citizens of these countries. In the new concept of “virtual countries”, the question of the physical location of countries will be of least importance. If you lived in Japan and you do not receive even one yen for your salary, how exactly should you file your taxes? What about receiving a salary in the virtual currency of the virtual country you belong to and transferring the minimum cryptocurrency to an exchange office in Japan only to buy bread every day, or conducting negotiation transactions that use a decentralized exchange office and exchanging the cryptocurrency for Japanese yen? Your income and assets will become abnormally low when looked at in yen.
We will be able to live in Japan but participate in the economic activities in another virtual economic zone. These virtual countries will come into existence in the future. Moreover, I think that the day will come where it will be completely commonplace for a person to belong to multiple virtual countries.
Human beings have always lived in communities with other human beings and protected themselves from the threat of other animals or of nature within these units of communities. So no matter how divided the communities are, humans cannot live alone. As humans, we have just begun our great journey in search of more efficient communities.