πŸ”– On Emergent Centralization (archive)

There is a principle of Defensive Decentralization: when besieged, a well constructed decentralized system will further decentralize.

The corollary of which is: A well constructed decentralized system will identify & attack emergent centralization.

There has been a tendency for some decentralized systems to move towards centralization, even in non-adversarial conditions β€” most email going through Google servers, or a few Mastadon servers hosting a bulk of the users. The centralization isn’t always in-protocol, sometimes it can be political, in code, or in design β€” as seen in many blockchain projects. Designing systems that defend against this is an open problem.

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