Crunch Indonesia | What does the blockchain want?


In What does technology want Kevin Kelly claims that technology is not separate from nature, but an extension of it. He sees the collective mass of contraptions, structures and even the social organization that humans and animals use to manipulate the surrounding environment as part of the same force, Technium.

As such, technology is not something from us: technology is expressed through us.

Without going too deep (Kelly's book becomes a bit esoteric), I think it's true that once a technology exists, it is permanently found in our lives.

Blockchain is such a technology. Like all the others – for example, machine learning or genetic editing – there is a phase in which we make a new solution here, but it does not yet have many useful applications. The technium, in the form of blockchain in this case, then seeks the evangelists to put pressure on its account. It establishes the narrative that it – blockchain – holds the key to a better future, which creates trust, increases efficiency and minimizes the power of mega corporations and institutions.

That narrative worked well for the technician many times before. So it infects other humans. It convinces them that the blockchain must be nurtured; surely an innovative and revolutionary technology deserves investment and attention. The blockchain has planted the narrative that will make some people very rich if they feed it now. These people will convince other people that they too have to worry about the blockchain, and learn its meaning, and talk about it, and write about it, so more humans will create and use the applications that the blockchain now lives sneakily until it survives every single device on earth and in space.

I'm joking, of course. But I will say this: the blockchain has just invited me to a conference in Hong Kong, the expenses paid, to know how to become a better blockchain journalist. Of course, the blockchain did not pay for it. His humans – the pioneering blockchain start-ups, investors and public relations companies who believe in the history of the blockchain.

I'm starting to believe it myself too. This is fantastic, I thought after the workshop. It's like the internet, but it's better. There will be so many stories to tell about how the blockchain has made some people very rich and how some people are doing their absolute heroism in such a way that the planet can be saved with blockchain. And in the end, there will be stories about how the blockchain failed to solve all our problems and even created new ones. The technician laughs because the blockchain is now everywhere and quietly plants a new idea in our head.

Around Indonesia

What's happening in Indonesian technology? Grab and Go-Jek continue to dominate the conversation. The latest Go-Jek fundraiser seems to be stuck, and it seems it has arrived at Valuation of US $ 9 billion. This must amplify Go-Jek's ego because it is not far from Grab, which already operates at the regional level.

Worthy of note is the decision of Tokopedia to get on board Ovo as its mobile wallet.

I've captured a mini-scoop that does not seem to appeal to many, but to the few 100 people in the scene: Sepulsa is rebranding and enter the hotel and tickets.

Good reading

A good staff of Yuval Noah Harari

A deepening in the debate that exploded around the video of that crazy White House press conference.

Nadine Freischlad is a journalist from Jakarta who writes about technology, business, culture and other things. Follow her on Twitter @texastee

The points of view and opinions expressed in this article are those of the journalist and do not represent DEALSTREETASIA.

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