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Cyberpunk 2077’s dystopian future can be avoided with blockchain tech

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The long-awaited online game Cyberpunk 2077 came out as an unfinished product with a bunch of technical flaws, however that doesn’t cease it from being one of the crucial essential cultural phenomenons of latest years. And whereas some avid gamers are asking for refunds and the builders are hurriedly engaged on patches, I recommend we take a look at the enormously wealthy online game setting.

The image will not be very good — this world is an actual centralized hell. Within the fictional world of Cyberpunk 2077, blockchain know-how both by no means existed or was by no means massively carried out. This can be a world the place full-scale decentralization was by no means achieved, and the outcomes are scary.

The world of Cyberpunk 2077

The world of Cyberpunk 2077 is a world dominated by companies. That is the dominion of aggressive capitalism in its worst doable kind — of a form by which North Korea and the Soviet Union might scare their residents.

Firms right here should not simply huge firms offering society with companies and merchandise. Slightly, on this world, companies are mighty, sinister entities striving for infinite energy. Controlling the entire world’s manufacturing, agriculture, media, computing and medical companies, these entities act not simply as companies however actually as sovereign nation-states.

Small- and medium-sized companies of this world act above the regulation and attempt to cowl the traces. They don’t hesitate to make use of practices similar to blackmail, extortion, bribery, espionage or the bodily elimination of these standing of their means.

Massive companies of this world are the regulation. They set up the world governments and provides orders to their very own skilled puppet politicians.

Night time Metropolis, town the place the sport takes place, is an impartial city-state throughout the territory of the US, which is totally managed by the big Arasaka Company. The mayor and metropolis council are chosen by company representatives, and town police power principally consists of so-called “company police” — extremely paid particular forces, loyal to dying to their company leaders. Firms, not the federal government, have a monopoly on violence right here.

The company enterprise heart of Night time Metropolis is an ultra-modern metropolis, a glowing metropolis of the longer term with lavish fortified skyscrapers the place company places of work are situated. In areas like this, safety is strictly guarded by company police, and solely a choose few — company staff — get to work and reside there. Additionally, company staff and their households have entry to a protected, affluent suburb, which can also be underneath company safety.

In distinction, poor areas of town are stuffed with violence and crime. These districts are residence to the poor and homeless, stuffed with blocks of ugly high-rise buildings and graffiti-painted deserted factories.

Varied clans rule right here: the Triads, the Yakuza and others. The company police don’t even look into these elements of town. These districts are patrolled by bizarre state police, who’re outfitted and motivated incomparably worse than the company ones. These cops are at all times able to look the opposite means when the case requires it. As well as, the mafia itself typically works for the companies, defending the company pursuits in these areas.

This darkish illustration of town of the longer term is as far faraway from the utopian good metropolis as doable.

Environmentally pleasant firms?

To say that the companies of Cyberpunk 2077 care little in regards to the surroundings is to say nothing. They aren’t simply irresponsible to the surroundings, pouring waste into rivers and polluting the ambiance — as massive firms periodically do in our time — no, they’ve gone a lot additional.

When sooner or later two companies didn’t resolve enterprise points in a typical authorized or semi-legal means, they started to overtly use military-style warfare in opposition to one another. That is how the Company Wars started. On the planet of Cyberpunk 2077, armed company conflicts have develop into a typical enterprise observe.

The companies waged damaging wars with using nuclear weapons proper within the territory of liveable areas. It resulted in big losses amongst civilians, in addition to in radioactive contamination of the territory. Due to the Company Wars, big areas of the U.S. have been become lifeless radioactive deserts. On the whole, outdoors of Night time Metropolis, the territory of the U.S. resembles the movie Mad Max. This can be a radioactive wasteland, stuffed with lifeless settlements by means of which motorbike gangs of criminals and nomads move by.

Inequality and the horrors of over-centralization

The cyberpunk style originated within the Nineteen Eighties within the U.S. as a response to each the event of pc know-how and the society of late capitalism, during which massive transnational companies performed an enormous position.

The closed hierarchical construction of companies, their extreme centralization, the dearth of transparency of their actions and the emergence of giant monopolies led to wealth and advantages being distributed erratically. Being centered totally on attaining income, massive conglomerates might typically afford to behave not within the pursuits of society however solely within the pursuits of their very own.

At worst, they created accrued wealth however not prosperity. Their beneficiaries had been a slim circle of prime managers and huge stockholders, whereas nearly all of the inhabitants solely misplaced from excessive costs for low-quality merchandise produced by monopolies, in addition to affected by collateral environmental injury.

The mixture of high-end applied sciences with big social inequality is a basic hallmark of all the cyberpunk style. This was classically described by authors similar to William Gibson and Philip Okay. Dick. It was additionally embodied in basic cyberpunk motion pictures like Blade Runner, Johnny Mnemonic and Robocop.

Within the fictional world of the longer term, many alternatives are technologically out there for enhancing and increasing human life — for instance, cybernetic implants or the power to add one’s consciousness to the community. However these advantages are erratically distributed. The wealthy can afford to reside ceaselessly. The poor, however, are pressured to guide a depressing existence in impoverished, ecologically polluted areas, dying at a younger age, both as a result of ailments related to an unfavorable environmental state of affairs or due to avenue crime. The common well being care system, which in the true world could thrive from the use of blockchain technology, is in a monstrously deplorable state.

Are we actually going this fashion?

The present state of affairs

Many consultants predicted that with the event of the web and data applied sciences for the reason that starting of the Nineties, big centralized, monopolistic companies would develop into a factor of the previous.

Firstly, younger tech startups emerged, competing with conventional firms.

Secondly, because of the web, clients might have free entry to details about all out there firms and merchandise. Now, any small firm with its personal web site might compete with an enormous conglomerate spending a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of {dollars} on conventional promoting.

Lastly, now any individual in any nation on the planet with entry to the web might present the companies of their mental labor to the worldwide market on an equal footing. This might result in a extra even distribution of wealth around the globe, in addition to to the emergence of numerous native firms in growing international locations.

Associated: Tokenization will bring desirable stability to emerging markets

Nonetheless, not all the things went so easily. We have now watched small tech startups develop into big monopolistic companies themselves. These new firms had been created on the identical inflexible, centralized hierarchical ideas because the megacorporations of the previous.

At the moment, these “new technological startups” have develop into the so-called Massive Tech, which controls many of the world’s information and media. And these firms should not simply market monopolists — as we will see, now Massive Tech considers it doable and advisable to intrude within the democratic processes of economically developed international locations.

Associated: The data economy is a dystopian nightmare

Massive Tech is understood for its censoring of knowledge it doesn’t take into account acceptable or politically appropriate. You possibly can see a sure political agenda even in Google search outcomes, the place the visibility of sure supplies is diminished however is promoted for others. YouTube and different firms act in an analogous means.

Associated: YouTube’s sleazy decline into scam promotion

After all, you want loads of creativeness to convey the present state of affairs to absolutely the and picture that within the close to future, Twitter and Fb could begin a nuclear struggle, say, for the management over the internet marketing market, as might occur on the planet of Cyberpunk 2077. And but, the development is obvious.

Blockchain as an answer

Of their ebook Blockchain Revolution, printed in 2016, Alex and Don Tapscott element how blockchain could possibly be used to decentralize huge firms. Of their opinion, blockchain know-how ought to assist rethink the very essence of firms’ work and make it far more clear. Having a single, impartial, dependable ledger of knowledge might assist create a brand new type of administration versus the present system of inflexible hierarchy.

When each motion of managers is displayed on a basic ledger that’s impartial and never managed by any slim group of individuals, the temptation to conduct doubtful transactions and cheat with accounting information is way decrease. Entry to the register might be supplied to all teams — primarily, to the society and regulatory our bodies, but in addition to the staff of the corporate.

It’ll not be doable to empty waste into the river or keep away from a big tax by bribing an official with impunity. All these actions will instantly seem on the ledger constructed on the blockchain and develop into out there to the general public, together with bloggers, journalists and prosecutors.

The usage of blockchain makes it doable to create a brand new, clear, open firm construction versus the present inflexible hierarchies of companies. Utilizing blockchain, you’ll be able to create a system that may pretty reward staff for actions that each profit society and generate revenue for the corporate. Thus, social duty shall be distributed amongst numerous individuals and shall be clear for society — which ought to cut back the extent of corruption, which, as a rule, depends on the unlawful actions of people.

The usage of blockchain makes it technically doable to create extra accountable, clear enterprise constructions — which, in flip, can save us from the centralized hell that’s proven in Cyberpunk 2077 and related works.

However will enterprise leaders agree to maneuver to those new, clear enterprise practices? And who might provoke the evolution course of?

The views, ideas and opinions expressed listed below are the creator’s alone and don’t essentially replicate or signify the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Bert Kozma is a author and an affiliate editor at Cryptogeek.data. Beforehand a gross sales and advertising professional, he has been an creator protecting cryptocurrency and monetary markets for the final decade. He holds a bachelor’s diploma in worldwide enterprise from Saimaa College of Utilized Sciences.