[Journal:] Beiträge zur Hochschulforschung [ISSN:] 2567-8841 [Publisher:] Bayerisches Staatsinstitut für Hochschulforschung und Hochschulplanung [Place:] München [Volume:] 41 [Year:] 2019 [Issue:] 3 [Pages:] 60-65
A lot of business and research effort currently deals with the so called decentralised ledger technology blockchain. Putting it to use carries the tempting promise to make the intermediaries of social interactions superfluous and furthermore keep secure track of all interactions. Currently intermediaries such as banks and notaries are necessary and must be trusted, which creates great dependencies, as the financial crisis of 2008 painfully demonstrated. Especially banks and notaries are said to become dispensable as a result of using the blockchain. But in real-world applications of the blockchain, the power of central actors does not dissolve, it only shifts to new, democratically illegitimate, uncontrolled or even uncontrollable power centers. As interesting as the blockchain technically is, it doesn’t efficiently solve any real-world problem and is no substitute for traditional political processes or democratic regulation of power. Research efforts investigating the blockchain should be halted.