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    It looks like megacorps are starting to take Bitcoin seriously. What happened to corporate social responsibility? Oh that’s right. It only applies when it doesn’t affect the bottom line.

    In the immortal words of Pink Floyd, “ha ha, charade you are”.

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      I would not assume they’re doing this to make money. In large organizations individual incentives are often quite divorced from making money for the organization. Instead, incentives might be “creating a splashy product will get me promoted” or “everyone is doing this, if it happens to turn out to be a big thing I’ll look stupid if I didn’t have a project in this area”.

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        I’m frankly worried by an uptick in bitcoin adoption by well-known companies and “nerd-celebrities” over the last several months. Here is a selection of links.

        Last but not least, we have the height of hypocrisy: people can buy a Tesla with Bitcoin. (@skyfaller already called Tesla out upthread).

        Herd instinct appears to be taking its course.

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          I’ve only read a small amount about Microsoft’s incentives here. But according to product lead Daniel Buchner (https://github.com/csuwildcat), Microsoft gave him this opportunity after years of toiling away on standards and working at Mozilla. So someone at Microsoft with some influence really pursued the talent and the money to put this together.

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          social responsibility

          There is a social benefit to decentralized technology (of which blockchain is one implementation mechanism) as well, which is mainly to do with circumventing centralized censorship and thereby enabling various subcultures to co-exist on the internet (as it used to be before Big Tech began controlling narratives) without compromising on localized moderation[1] of them.

          [1] cf. ‘decentralized moderation’, eg: https://matrix.org/blog/2020/10/19/combating-abuse-in-matrix-without-backdoors

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            If they wanted a decentralized system, they could have used one that wasn’t so egregiously wasteful, or invested in bringing more efficient options like proof-of-stake to fruition instead of latching onto bitcoin.

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              Yeah, I’m not sure what’s going on here. From their 2020 docs:

              Currently, we’re developing support for the following ledgers: Bitcoin, Ethereum, via uPort, Sovrin

              Our intention is to be chain agnostic, enabling users to choose a DID variant that runs on their preferred ledger.

              I’ve attempted to play with the API here, but it seems like it has been depreciated. At some point they must have decided to go all in on Bitcoin. Maybe they’re also going to next uphold the promise to develop on other ledgers.

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            Well sure - it’s right there in the articles of incorporation. For better or for worse, social responsibility isn’t part of the material of operating a business.

            It’s interesting that Microsoft sees a place to profit here.

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              It’s never been a genuine thing, and can’t really be.

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              Reminds me a lot of Tesla, building electric cars on one hand ostensibly to protect the environment, and buying/supporting Bitcoin with the other (which destroys the environment).

              The energy wasted by this could quickly make nonsense of any sustainability commitments Microsoft has made elsewhere.

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                Meta: is distributed a precisely appropriate tag for this; or do we need a new tag called decentralized?

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                  For better or for worse, Bitcoin is pretty centralised; if Chinese officials told them to start dropping blocks containing X, well… 51% of hash power would be nothing for them

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                    I would like to see a decentralized tag. But I’m interested in the ecosystem of centralized, federated, and decentralized deployments. So I’m biased.

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                      Standard procedure for requesting a new tag is to show a bunch of recent submissions that would benefit from it.