The chairman of the Israeli Bitcoin Association, Meni Rosenfeld, has continued the debate surrounding the providence of “imitation” blockchain projects and altcoins.
Exploiting ‘Invisible’ Features
In a series of tweets on May 21st, Rosenfeld added to the “cargo cult” narrative which first appeared at the Consensus 2018 conference last week. Rosenfeld began:
The reason ‘Blockchain’ is so susceptible to cargo cult mentality is that the fundamental features that make it what it is are, in a sense, invisible, and inseparable from how the technology works.
1/10 The reason “Blockchain” is so susceptible to cargo cult mentality is that the fundamental features that make it what it is are, in a sense, invisible, and inseparable from how the technology works.
— Meni Rosenfeld (@MeniRosenfeld) May 21, 2018
Criticism of products and services claiming to use blockchain has returned to the cryptocurrency industry after Consensus gained criticism from some of Bitcoin’s best-known names.
Stemming from a heated panel featuring a JPMorgan executive and Bitcoin educator Jimmy Song, Song led straight-talking appraisals of the executive’s newly-unveiled blockchain tool, telling the audience he had heard “nothing but buzzwords.”
On social media thereafter, as Bitcoinist reported, Bitcoin core developer Johnathan Corgan called time on blockchain becoming a fresh example of “cargo cult engineering” – the belief innovation will generate prosperity by definition. Corgan warned:
Unrestrained incantation of buzzwords and feel good hype does not a successful business plan make.
Consumers Will Suffer Only When It’s Too Late
Meni’s comments appear to incorporate not only dubious business proposals incorporating blockchain technology without use cases, but also spin-offs of Bitcoin itself, using its blockchain to create a new product, the downsides of which can only be understood with proper knowledge of “how, why, and when blockchains work.”
While not naming specific examples, the allusion appears to be to the controversial Bitcoin Cash hard fork. Meni Rosenfeld continued:
Even without using any of Bitcoin’s innovation, I can create a system that, to the end user, will appear indistinguishable from Bitcoin – greatly outperform it, in fact.
It will allow receiving tokens and sending to anyone, easily and quickly, with little to no fees. Of course, it will be completely centralized, and with it will come the associated risks – The system might one day shut down, or start charging high fees or apply censorship.
But these are things that might happen in *the future*. They’re not things you can observe now.
Like Song, Rosenfeld also highlighted that a lack of consumer knowledge was driving the financial success of such projects.