Decentralized Democracy: The Blockchain Promise

Photo by Randy Colas on Unsplash

Gradually, we are hitting the nails on the head more and more.

Sequentially, we are bringing it all to light for all to know; we can be better only if we want to be.

Efficiently utilizing the blockchain technology is just where we must start.

This is hardly a topic anyone wants to talk about, or a subject many people want to hear of. It’s still not too late to drop this article and focus your gaze on one of those fairy-tale blockchain projects or use cases that have little or no benefit to mankind in the present era. If you have decided to read on though, you must be one who cares about our present predicament and is open to possible solutions. You will be amazed at what the blockchain technology is capable of achieving.

The idea behind the blockchain technology comprises the possibility of having decentralized settings. Needless to say that the whole purpose of decentralization is to put decision-making in the reach and hands of the common man and not centralized authorities. I have often marveled at the meaning of a quote from Aristotle: “Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers”. Alas, I found the answer. It can only be called democracy when it listens to the voices of the people. Men of property are the rich and powerful who often favor monopoly in all circumstances. Democracy sees everyone as equal and doesn’t discriminate between the rich and the poor. It is, after all, the government of the people.

“…purpose of decentralization is to put decision-making in the reach and hands of the common man and not centralized authorities.”

Today we live in a society where we provide a means to our own suffering. Yet we allow it all to continue without much of an action to put an end to it. We work day and night sacrificing a certain proportion of our hard-earned money to the government purse to fulfill our unanimous needs that otherwise may be left undone in our mixed economy settings. Such we call tax; even though they are often forcefully taken without much to show for it. We see and hear the statement of accounts being announced, followed by the budgets and expenditures but only to be spent on a project we know not. Stolen, used, taken, given and embezzled while we rot in the poverty of daily needs. We are the ones who put them there and, yes, we also empowered them. We voted in the men of property to rule and not to lead, having nothing to offer but the poverty of ambition; always wanting to take more and more even when they have more than enough.

We voted in the men of property to rule and not to lead, having nothing to offer but the poverty of ambition”

Photo by Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash

In the past ten years, records have it that African governments have waged several wars to fight corruption. They have however been spurred in many cases by international donors pushing for transparency and good governance as well as domestic pressure to fulfill promises of reform made on the campaign trail. Experts say countries such as Liberia, Rwanda, and Tanzania have made substantive progress on reducing corruption. U.S. President Barack Obama highlighted Ghana’s strong governance record during his visit in July 2009. But many countries, including Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, have made meager progress on fighting graft.

If we can take time to observe some major corruption cases, and we take Nigeria as a case study to narrow down the search at least to a region I’m most familiar with, we will find out they all have some specific factors in common. The N195 Billion misappropriated pension funds which was claimed to have been recovered from pension thieves,kerosene subsidy scam of $100 million every month to the syndicates’ pockets, $6 billion fuel subsidy scam with an ongoing court case but no conviction, the N123 billion fraud by a former head of civil service, the police pension fund fraud by high-ranking officers embezzling N32.8 billion. This list can go on without an end only limiting it to the 10 percent the media is able to cover. Not to forget the $20 billion missing NNPC fund, the $15 million in Private Jet Arms scandal, crude oil theft of $1 billion monthly among others. Most if not all these atrocities were able to stay hidden for so long because of the centralized nature of the system we run, lack of public accounting, the ease of theft nature of paper currency, undue influence over information management among others.

How the tide turns and dances to the tune of unfairness as a nation that ought to live in affluence dwells at the bottom of the poverty scale. I once heard of a true definition of a thriving economy as the situation where the rich get richer and the poor poorer being the only means of economic survival. ‘How did we get here a concerned being may ask. But a being without the ability to do anything will ask perhaps in vain even with the right answers. We can only know how we got here if we can recall where we have been.

“Most if not all these atrocities were able to stay hidden for so long because of the centralized nature of the system we run, lack of public accounting, the ease of theft nature of paper currency, undue influence over information management among others.”

Once in a while on an adventurous journey, we tend to get lost in the wonderland. Tales have told us time after time how to find our way back. Our way back lies in line with the path as we follow the trail of breadcrumbs. Over time, our understanding and representation of breadcrumbs have evolved. The breadcrumb represents our history whose trails lie within our stored information. With this, you’ll understand why information storage should be prioritized to protect our history. You’ll understand why an immutable system of recording information is direly required.

Innovation doesn’t have to be high-tech before it can empower or perform the promised transformation. A solution does not necessarily need to come from giant long-existing companies for it to be credible or worthy of application. A way out of our huge problems doesn’t have to be very expensive to be considered quality and worthy of scaling. We have been in a deep mess for so long that we hoped the end and coming of Messiah will rescue us.

“A way out of our huge problems doesn’t have to be very expensive to be considered quality and worthy of scaling.”

The problem lies with the factors these atrocities have in common. The factors that enabled the successful erosion of public funds into their bottomless account pit. To solve the problems, we need to remove these factors. We need a new publicly traceable currency to enhance a transparent transaction. We need a decentralized body that all except the centralized authorities are equipped with the ability to make a decision, a system where the Senators and Commissioners are only granted the authority to convince the people of the right opinion, but each decision can and will only be effected upon the vote of the people. We need a blockchain economy & governance, the new form of democracy. Our trail of breadcrumbs serves its purpose indefinitely in the blocks chained together by all, a strong bond of a unified and yet unknown mass. I present to you, a blockchain solution specifically on the Ardor platform.

Now that the problem has been carefully identified, what mechanism needs to be put in place to bring an end to the poverty of ambition among our leaders, the men of property? How can the blockchain implementation really solve this? A lot of questions will probably run through the minds of many especially those who know so little about the blockchain topic and those who expect so little from it. I particularly chose the Ardor Platform for certain cogent reasons. It is and remains the best and functionally unbiased platform where these ideas can successfully be launched and scale.

Let’s go ahead and cut the head of the snake and with it its poisonous venom. There are just few things I think need to be addressed and all within the scope of what can be achieved using Blockchain Technology. Remember, “Most if not all these atrocities were able to stay hidden for so long because of the centralized nature of the system we run, lack of public accounting, the ease of theft nature of paper currency, undue influence over information management among others.” We need to enable a decentralized system of government that carries our financial transactions, payment and disbursement of funds using digital currencies. A solution need not be complex or expensive. It can be simple yet effective, and this is a perfect example.

In my previous article “Blockchain Technology and the End of Corruption”, I made a sample on how Internally Generated Revenues can be accounted adequately with all loopholes for embezzling funds closed, thereby enabling full application of the collected funds to the development. This is a more advanced setup where a country willing to battle corruption will consider enabling a 75 percent of her currencies to be converted to digital currency. The reason for the 75 percent choice will be explained in the subsequent paragraphs.

1. Regardless of how developed a nation is, there are always certain percentages that aren’t exposed to the digital world. This percentage will be catered for with the use of the paper currency. These are usually in the rural areas.

2. The conversion will be a gradual process as the larger paper currency denominations will be taken out of circulation and the holders of such currency will be asked to submit them in return for a digital currency of its equivalence. After all, larger currencies aren’t really useful in buying things from the road side sellers or in the rural areas where digital money or mobile transfer can’t be used effectively. This is the first step of combating corruption and money laundering. For those who have stored the hard currency bills in various places for future spending, they will no longer be valid after a while. Money remitted in the bank accounts and little in the hand will or can only be tendered and converted in such case.

3. Blockchain transaction also facilitates the transaction of funds from one account into multiple accounts without the need of third party interference. This will enable an on-time transfer of pension funds to registered accounts and to no other without passing through another table, cutting out the middleman and embezzling opportunity.

4. Tax remittance and accounts are made public as all can see how much is accrued as tax and vote on which project to engage in.

The Ardor blockchain platform provides extra features asides from the possibility of creating a currency, but also an avenue to conduct credible and transparent votes in decision-making — features that enable transactions to be monitored with ease and transparency in what goes in and out. Additional security to prevent fund theft, more secure than the bank vaults to which brute force can be applied to give a desired outcome. There are mechanisms such as a dead man switch preventing total loss of funds and automatic transfer to the next of kin when the original holder is no more or unavailable. It also possesses an astounding digital marketplace where not just funds can be transferred but goods can be traded, and decentralized exchange to trade currencies which can be used between nations. You won’t need to visit a bank or an exchange to change currencies when traveling or transacting and many more. The platform is simply spot-on to execute these worthy use cases.

For those people who are yet to know about the Ardor platform, the next few summarized lines of enlightenment are dedicated to you. After careful evaluation of many of the top and common blockchain startups and platforms, I can say wholeheartedly that Ardor platform and its predecessor are one of the few if not the only unbiased, straight, tech and achievement-focused blockchain platforms with focus on real-world use cases, both present and future. They, as a result, strongly deliver several unexpected and advanced uses of blockchain to help humanity.

These platforms do not pay companies to use their products like some do, or conduct an ICO on a project they can’t deliver like most blockchain startups. They aren’t made up of a thousand team members on paper or a whitepaper full of false promises. They lead with groundbreaking ideas in the real world and others try to emulate even though they are mortified to admit it publicly. Amidst several startups that believe in “fake it till it’s real” motto and an unethical biosphere, the team behind these projects is the only one that keeps it real and with mind and efforts focused on the goal.

“The Ardor blockchain platform provides extra features asides from the possibility of creating a currency, but also an avenue to conduct credible and transparent votes in decision making.”

Many have seen more than I have but most have only had the opportunity to hear what we may call cooked-up stories. But I have seen enough to believe in the need for a change. I have sat in the same room where public funds, in bales of paper notes packed in sacks, are shared secretly. I have heard of a sudden disappearance of public funds from the vault it was saved and preserved for future use to a no man’s land. I have seen many old workers entitled to collect their pension go for years without receiving a dime from their entitlement as funds were misappropriated. Several cases of billions of funds embezzled ending up in a courtroom demanding for thousands to be paid as bail where the rest were shared in secrecy. I say it is time to put the feet to the ground and say enough to government secrecy and funds misappropriation. It’s time for a true democracy.

Further reading:

https://www.twincities.com/2018/05/12/air-forces-loses-box-of-grenade-rounds-in-north-dakota-it-wants-them-back/

https://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/what-are-sources-revenue-federal-government

https://www.naija.ng/402850-top-12-corruption-cases.html#402850

https://medium.com/coinmonks/blockchain-technology-and-the-end-of-corruption-9d631b56d72c

https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/corruption-sub-saharan-africa


Decentralized Democracy: The Blockchain Promise was originally published in Coinmonks on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.