Is crypto centralized or decentralized? A researcher at the School of Computer Science and Informatics at De Montfort University, Catherine Flick, believes it has evolved into a heavily centralized network under the technocratic governance of a small number of bigwigs.
Academic Says Crypto Not As Decentralized As Assumed
According to a report by Business Insider, Catherine Flick argued that the crypto industry has a “colonial mindset” where power is concentrated in the hands of a small number of actors who rely on cheap laborers.
“These people are kind of sailing their ships across the sea to get there first and plant their flags and make the money. But at the expense of the people who do the labor, who are less likely to make the same sorts of profits and who are more likely to be exploited or not understand what they’re getting into,” Flick said.
She explained that some prominent artists responsible for creating some of the industry’s blazing-hot non-fungible token (NFT) collections have not been compensated fairly. The lead artist behind the iconic Bored Aped Yacht Club (BAYC) collection who goes by the name of All-Seeing Seneca, for instance, reportedly received unfair compensation for her work.
NFTs Raise Further Questions About Centralization
Flick further points to the fact that decentralization means there is no single individual or company in control. But this is not the case now as there appears to be a “recentralization of so much of the theoretically decentralized stuff.” Case in point, Bored Aped Yacht Club creator Yuga Labs acquired CryptoPunks and Meebits collections from Larva Labs.
Another thing that underscores the centralization in the crypto sector is the NFT marketplaces. If the market was truly decentralized, according to the internet academic, users should be in the driver’s seat and able to trade NFTs on their own.
NFTs shot to prominence in 2021. Even as sky-high price tags for NFT artworks and crypto tokens continue to steal the headlines, Flick warns people against investing in the market. Early adopters are the only ones who benefit, the rest of the people will be left as bag holders, she contends.