Stefan Thomas, one of the most prominent early promoters of bitcoin who abandoned the project in 2012, has come out accusing blockchain projects like Bitcoin and Ethereum, of deploying a ‘subtly tyrannical’ system. Thomas may have a point or two, when it comes to the cumbersome process of making the changes these systems need in order to enhance their functionality or overcome obstacles. After all, consensus is by definition the hardest kind of agreement you can reach in any situation in which you have multiple stakeholders – regardless of the number. However, we must all accept that every system has its flaws through a more nuanced approach instead of branding them a Tyranny.

The Blockchain Tyranny Argument

Since the term ‘tyranny’ has been well defined and studied by political sciencetists, it could be helpful to borrow a few insights from this social science to analyze Thomas’ argument. Tyranny is, according to multiple definitions on the Merriam-Webster online…

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