“Numerical techniques are fatally wrong if not based on scientific results”

Technological enthusiasm (blockchain, machine learning, artificial intelligence) will benefit from facing the realities of computer science research results, observe researchers Michel Raynal and Gérard Roucairol at a forum in “The World”.

stands. After the subprime mortgage crisis and its series of individual and collective bankruptcies, a man named Nakimoto (whose real identity is unknown) proposed in 2008 a digital currency system that should not be based on a central authority. In the minds of its inventors, such a dominant authority should be unreliable and suspect of fraudulent manipulation.

The new digital currency system must be based on the equal rights and obligations of all computers interconnected by the Internet that represent users who wish to exchange money. This is how the digital currency Bitcoin was born, and it has gained worldwide popularity.

For Bitcoin to be bought and sold, every computer involved must adhere to the same set of behavioral rules and communication protocols. A digital phalanx is then formed that contains currency transactions to guarantee their transparency, traceability, irrevocability and equal treatment. All the software that performs these functions forms what is called a blockchain system.

The system claims to secure the operations of its users, protect them from tampering with messages between computers or the identities of those computers, and prohibits theft such as “double-spending”. So it is thought to be implementing a form of sovereign egalitarianism, free from any centralized form of control, and able to make notarial deeds without a notary, without third-party attestation, without an arbitrator, without an intermediary, in a word, no leader or manager.

An act of faith, not a scientific reality
Alas, these promises are more an act of belief than a technological reality. ​To manage money, it is necessary to have a ledger that traces all transactions made and the identities of the parties involved at any time. All of these transactions are in complete chronological order, hence the name “blockchain”, with each block corresponding to a record of one or more executed transactions.

However, this egalitarian requirement requires each participant to have their own leader. Furthermore, each transaction requires consensus among the various stakeholders to authorize said transaction and ensure that these parties update their own books.

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