Ethereum developer Vlad Zamfir has published a Medium article titled My Intentions for Blockchain Governance, in which provides lucid details about his vision of what Blockchain’s governance should be about, including its modus operandi and expected outcomes.
According to Zamfir, the three outcomes to be avoided include: autonomous Blockchain; capture of Blockchain governance; and internet censorship as Blockchain governance. In his opinion, these three outcomes are to be avoided because they will inevitably lead to the corruption of Blockchain as a public utility platform.
Against Autonomous Blockchains and Governance Capture
Zamfir contends that “ethics and decentralisation are independent”, and that going towards decentralisation would be fraught with danger. This he says, makes treating blockchain governance as a centralised software platform a social obligation. This in particular is because it will take a centralised governance approach to reverse the harm that a decentralised approach would cause. In his opinion, autonomous blockchain frameworks should be actively resisted because of this.
Zamfir’s belief is that the public interest will be sacrificed for narrow individual interests if Blockchain governance were to be captured, and that blockchain governance capture defeats the purpose of its existence. This is because according to him, there is no reason to believe that a blockchain will continue to serve the public interest under individual ownership that is not open to public participation.
Against Internet Censorship as Blockchain Governance
Zamfir sees internet censorship as an inevitable outcome of autonomous Blockchain, and he believes that such an outcome would be deeply regretted if allowed to take place. To avoid this the says, blockchains should be governed on the basis of global cooperation between self-selecting members and entities from the global public.
While acknowledging doubts regarding the feasibility of this approach, Zamfir’s proposed governance framework would involve governing Blockchain according to international laws. The intended outcome of this is to make the blockchain a global public utility platform that is outside private control, which is governed ethically and in a way that prioritizes public interest.
According to Zamfir, this is the minimum precaution that can be taken to ensure that blockchain technology does not descend into a dystopian future. In his view, a globally accessible system of blockchain governance is actually achievable through technology and the application of collective responsibility in the coding and creation of blockchain platforms.