Do you think irreversible transactions on blockchains are humane?
I have been considering this issue for a bit. Blockchain technology has the potential to erase hundreds of years social progress in the building of what I call the “legal-identity infrastructure”, a system where persons and bodies can be held accountable for criminal and fraudulent conduct before the law by means of legal identity.
With bitcoin, for instance, a hacker can steal your bitcoin and send it to their own wallet. Not only is this transaction irreversible on the bitcoin blockchain, but there is no certain way of associating their legal identity with the stolen bitcoin. Serving justice has become more difficult.
Contrast this to another payment network, like Visa, where charges on stolen credit cards can be reversed by a human, shipments to a physical address can be traced by a human, and if money is stolen, the names of the recipients of such money are on record.
With blockchains, identities are decoupled from legal names. No single human can reverse a fraudulent transaction, unlike on the VISA network. Decentralized, autonomous systems remove human agency – agency which can wright the wrongs of fraud and theft.
What do you think?