Technical Director at Samsung NEXT, Ricardo J. Mendez rates decentralization above blockchain when asked about the importance of both in the industry in an interview conducted on the 10th of January, 2019.
In the interview, the question of decentralization being more valuable than the blockchain technology was raised to which Mr. Mendez agreed at once, saying:
Without question. Blockchain is just one more tool, and one that can help in decentralized contexts, but a tool is always less important than the goal.
Ricardo J. Mendez calls blockchain just one aspect of a broader picture that is decentralization. He feels that blockchain is important but not as important than the concept of decentralization, which to him is the mix of freedom, flexibility and choice.
It is true actually that a decentralized network gives an opportunity to participants to work under the same protocol rather than giving the controller in the hands of a single unit. In this way, the participants of that particular network do feel free in making their choices and presenting their opinion. Mr. Mendez said:
Decentralization is about freedom, flexibility, and choice. Technically, it’s about moving activities away from a central controller and towards a network of participants that interact based on a shared protocol.
Mr. Mendez gives an example explaining his idea of a decentralized network where users can freely participate with standard set of rules for every participant regardless of their post. He compared the use of Email and X-mail how their functionalities differ from each other merely due to the fact that one is decentralized system where the other is a centralized one:
For example, E-mail is a decentralized system and we can all contact each other. We don’t all need to use the same e-mail provider, or even the same base software, as long as every server behaves in a standard way.
Imagine most people used “X-mail”, where you can only contact other friends who also use X-mail.
The Senior Executive at Samsung believes that a centralized network controls the system and monitors everything that goes around on that network, giving users no breathing space or freedom at all.
The people who use X-mail are eligible to talk to those people only who are linked to them on X-mail and they will have to follow the restrictions set by X-mail because if they don’t, they have no where else to go and that particular weakness is what centralized networks mostly trigger. He added why a decentralized network is preferable over a centralized network:
And what would happen to those people that X-mail decides to exclude from the system or those who don’t wish to be monitored?
On a decentralized system, the user has a choice.
When asked about blockchain’s future for the year 2019, he said:
Blockchain will become less and less of a magic word and that the ecosystem is likely to get “saner”.
He said that the people will realize the fact that blockchain is not as magical as people overrate it and with time, blockchain will not be talked about as much as it is now.
Finally asked if a decentralized network guarantees privacy for users, Mr. Mendez explained:
It’s just not a guarantee. You need only look at most cryptocurrencies, which are completely decentralized but also 100% public – their pseudonymity only needs to be broken once.
This is why, as an industry, we need to get better at explaining to users the trade-offs of different approaches.
He thinks that the privacy of users is not a sure thing even in a decentralized network because most of the decentralized digital currencies are public and in a peer-to-peer network, your friends have access to your activities due to which an external source is required to keep your privacy intact and thus, Mr. Mendez believes that on industry level, the importance of multiple perspectives must be taken into notice to value the privacy of users.