Commentary: It takes hubris to inform Jimmy Wales, the founding father of Wikipedia, learn how to retailer knowledge.
Wikipedia has been round since January 15, 2001. Since that point it has saved heaps (and much) of information. On the time of this writing, Wikipedia has over six million articles and grows by a couple of gigabyte of (compressed) textual content annually. As one of many world’s top-10 most visited web sites, Wikipedia is a significant goal for hackers.
As such, it isn’t stunning that somebody would ultimately recommend blockchain might resolve all of Wikipedia’s safety issues. It is also not stunning that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales would rip the idea to shreds.
SEE: Special report: How blockchain will disrupt business (ZDNet) | Download the free PDF version (TechRepublic)
To the person with a blockchain…
There isn’t any scarcity of people that will fortunately clarify how the blockchain will revolutionize record-keeping, farming, and, effectively, all the things. However there are few as doubtless to try this as Daniel Krawisz, generally dubbed the “emperor of Bitcoin.” Bitcoin (and the related blockchain know-how) runs in Karwisz’s blood, because it have been.
So maybe it was only a matter of time earlier than Krawisz provided to resolve a critical Wikipedia knowledge downside: Youngster pornography. As Krawisz said on Twitter, “It might be so low cost to document sufficient details about all Wikipedia interactions on the [Bitcoin] blockchain that you possibly can in all probability eradicate all doable youngster porn distribution on it for very low charges. Consider the financial savings!”
“I do not perceive what’s being proposed.”
Krawisz, undeterred, saved beating the blockchain drum: “I used to be simply desirous about the way you mentioned you did not like Bitcoin and imagining ways in which it could possibly be used to enhance Wikipedia. Extra typically, Bitcoin may also help any system to change into extra Byzantine fault tolerant.” The response from Wales?
“However what particularly are you proposing?”
Once more, Krawisz persevered, telling Wales that he wished Wales to “suppose extra deeply about why Bitcoin is a good suggestion,” additional stressing, “My level is simply that as a result of Bitcoin transactions at all times go away data, somebody who uploaded unlawful content material would depart you with extra contextual info that you possibly can monitor on the blockchain than you’ll have if there weren’t funds related to their interactions.”
And that is the place the dialog got here to an abrupt halt.
…All the things appears like a distributed, decentralized, public ledger
Although Krawisz may suppose it is a good suggestion to power Wikipedia editors to pay for the appropriate to edit, that violates a cardinal rule for Wales: “That is not how blockchain works. That suggestion–to power individuals to strongly determine and pay for the privilege of enhancing Wikipedia–is a nasty concept independently. And it could be simple and low cost to implement with out blockchain.”
One can quibble as as to if Wales is appropriate in his concepts on how blockchain works (some definitely don’t), his concepts on how Wikipedia ought to be managed usually are not actually a query about blockchain, or perhaps a query of know-how. Wales insisted that Wikipedia already stores data and hasn’t struggled to take action regardless of not utilizing blockchain. “We already retailer knowledge. In a database. It really works effectively.” In case this level was misplaced on Krawisz, he repeated, “We retailer knowledge utilizing a revolutionary know-how that modified the world: a database.”
Which brings us again to Wikipedia. And the blockchain. And knowledge integrity. That Twitter thread retains going and devolves into one more train in trying to browbeat individuals into believing that the blockchain will revolutionize provide chains, picture sharing, and most all the things. In the meantime Wikipedia retains storing knowledge. In a database. Because it at all times has. With nice outcomes. Wouldn’t it be higher on the blockchain? As Wales suggests, that is in all probability the fallacious query.
Disclosure: I work for AWS, however nothing herein relates instantly or not directly to my work there.