MIT Professor: Blockchain Technology Could Create Borderless Economies

Silvio Micali, a professor at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in Brookline, Massachusetts, recently said that blockchain technology has the potential to create a more globalized and borderless economy.

Micali, a Turing award-winning cryptographer, explained during an interview with Bloomberg's Daybreak Asia (on January 21st) that blockchain technology has three attributes which could help facilitate borderless business transactions. These include scalability, decentralization, and scalability.

According to Micali, decentralized systems will only be effective if they can operate at a level comparable to centralized platforms. A peer-to-peer (P2P) network must be as fast at processing information as a centralized system, Micali said. Most end-users are not concerned about the technical details, as they tend to care more about whether a software program is actually useful.

Decentralized Solutions Are More Secure Than Centrally Managed Platforms

At present, decentralized solutions are not as user-friendly or as fast as centrally-managed software. Because of these performance issues, decentralized blockchain-based platforms have not yet achieved mainstream adoption, the professor noted. Decentralized applications (dApps) have the potential to offer a greater level of security, Micali said.

He pointed out that an increasing number of centralized digital currency exchanges have been hacked due to various security vulnerabilities. Although decentralized exchanges (DEX) have not yet become as popular as centrally-managed trading platforms, Micali and many other analysts believe P2P exchanges are more secure.

Commenting on how it would be practically impossible to hack a properly designed decentralized system, Micali remarked: 

Only a true decentralized system, where the power is really so spread … that [it] is going to be essentially practically impossible to attack them all and when you don’t need to trust this or that particular node, [it] is going to bring ... the security we really need and deserve.

Internet Was Developed "In Secret"

As CryptoGlobe reported in October 2018, Dr. Neha Narula, the MIT Media Labs director, has said that decentralized systems and digital currencies may not necessarily evolve to the point that they become usable for the average person. However, Narula had also acknowledged that blockchain technology was “developing faster than [she] ever thought [it] would,”

Narula, who previously worked as a senior software engineer at Google, had pointed out that paradigm-changing technology, such as the protocols used to design the internet, were “developed in secret.” She argued that “people weren't paying attention in the early days.”

Because businesses were not really involved in the technological breakthroughs that helped the internet evolve, academics and developers were not pressured to meet deadlines, Narula said. These days, however, there are many blockchain startups that must adhere to strict deadlines as they may risk losing funding.