An excellent commentary. I was, however, disappointed with the swerve into a plug for Hedera. Hedera does mitigate some of the problems, but like all the attempts to achieve “decentralization” there is no point to it, no practical future and no reality to it.
Decentralization is a false virtue that was invented (for all practical purposes) in the fetid minds of Libertarian proto-economic anarchists who live and breath the nonsense of the “Austrian School”, if not pure anarchist visions of Murray Bookchin.
As I point out to those without any knowledge of the philosophical and political heritage of the Austrian school, they all came out of late feudal non-capitalist societies that were being wracked by the various -ism's and carried on the philosophical traditions of Hegel, Schopenhauer and Marx. This was a tradition of teleological speculation rather than empirical analysis that came down through Adam Smith, David Hume and Keynes, all of whom came from democratic capitalist Britain. The Austrians use “monetary value” is much the same way Marxists use “labor value”. Put some single concept at the center of importance in all things and they interpret the entire world through that single intellectual token teleologically: all things are brought down to this one overarching notion. Hence the crypto space wants to put “money” out of the realm of human decision-making because money is corrupted by central governments that are constantly debasing it and destroying society and once it is no longer controlled by "government" paradise will result. Sigh.
Decentralization is like that. It posits its virtues as universal and ignores how those virtues are both impossible to genuinely achieve and that they are primarily virtues that should be attained through the hard work of political practice. In a well-run democracy with strong rule-of-law practice, there is no use for Decentralization, since all the mechanisms to achieve trust and fairness operate optimally and are self-renewing.
But the ultimate absurdity of Decentralization is that it is created in software by people (such as myself) who have access to the code to change it. And requires a volunteer group of people/organizations to keep it running in infrastructure that they don’t have control over (no,DFinity doesn’t solve this problem, but makes it worse. See my writing on it.). And this leaves aside other possibilities of undermining the technology, as is the case with Bitcoin: https://www.cs.cornell.edu/~ie53/publications/btcProcFC.pdf
But the two truly problematic aspects of Decentralization are:
1) It benefits are impossible to access in non-democratic societies (eg. China)
2) Or those benefits really only accrue to the ruling political class and favored elites (eg. Venezuela, Congo, Myanmar, etc.)
And, ultimately, Decentralization is technology that requires electrical power and infrastructure and money. Whoever controls these will still control any use of it.