Is public cloud a form of digital Crack and could an Ethereum powered De-Cloud help


Having been very gritty and into the detail, in previous posts, I thought it might be useful to zoom out. Before we do that, let’s do the data.







The $48 Billion of  Ethereum TVL DeFi activity continues to trundle upwards despite a market bloodbath.

At the start of the year and late last year, I mentioned the fact that when interest rates rise Ethereum and other digital assets would look a lot more like tech stocks and have their arses handed to them whilst the dreamy alternative narratives about stores of value and new decentralized la-la lands would burn faster than Europe’s moral authority as it fails to protect Ukraine with air support. 

I also mentioned in my last post pre terra/Luna Whoopsie that the hyper financialization in the Ethereum eco-system scares me as history indicates it rarely ends well. Just because it wasn’t an ETH-related protocol that blew up,  but a stablecoin on its own chain does not make me any less worried. 

I always have and always relish a price drop in Ethereum as it allows more people to participate in holding and staking the asset for the medium and long term. 

Crack Cocaine

Crack cocaine is one of the most powerful illegal drugs when it comes to producing psychological dependence. It stimulates key pleasure centres within the brain and causes extremely heightened euphoria. Compulsive crack use develops soon after the person starts using because the substance is smoked and enters the bloodstream rapidly. Tolerance develops quickly—the addict soon fails to achieve the same high experienced earlier from the same amount of crack cocaine. 

Public Cloud 

Public cloud tools like AWS, Azure and GCP are one of the most powerful tools when it comes to producing useful working software that runs in production. It stimulates and reduces the cycle time from “idea to value”, for private businesses and governments looking to build digital products and services and allows for an extremely heightened response to customer feedback. Compulsive and habitual use of the public cloud develops soon after the business or organization starts using it, because it makes developers and product teams highly autonomous. Fast & scalable “building” enters the organizational bloodstream rapidly. An intolerance develops quickly of not using the public cloud in product and dev teams—the organization soon fails to be able to build to the same high quality and speed experienced earlier from the same teams when not using the public cloud.

As an organization that sells its product on the public cloud and as a geezer (English slang for guy/man) who has promoted its use across the world in gov and corporates, one might rightly ask what is my point? Well, firstly I should state I am not a user of crack cocaine whilst being a prolific user of public cloud.

What is the downside to the public cloud?  It’s the surrender of significant amounts of business and process logic into tools like cloudformation templates, lambda functions and all the tooling and capabilities that allow functionality to be delivered at the back end through microservices and data meshes and all the front end magic of stuff like AWS amplify. This surrender comes without CEO’s, Prime Ministers or even senior management or civil servants understanding it. The 2 problems that stem from the lack of understanding are

When things stop working

Nobody has a clue how to fix it and you can’t fix it without AWS, Azure, or GCP doing it. The idea of a backup to these monsters is dangerously naive due to it not being about infrastructure anymore, but rather the whole development and software paradigm.

I also think there are a big chunk of unknown unknowns around this space, that I hope people way smarter than me in our defense and civilian infrastructure are thinking about, because public cloud adoption is still in its early stages. The 3 main providers in the west are on a path to becoming as important as providers of electricity and clean water.

Choosing your cloud provider is a political choice 

As much as it is a technical one. Going for Alibaba over Azure aligns you to a US sphere of politics through your cloud provider over that of the middle kingdom. That is fine if you are a US business, but what if you are an Indian, Nigerian or French organization or like us UK based or, Vietnamese? 

My simple point would be and it has been when I have been inside the room, be aware of the business logic you are giving away and make sure when you give it a way for all the tech/value upside. You know that the public cloud provider you are giving it away to is on the same side as you are.

Could Ethereum and Decentralisation help


If people unpick the development capabilities that the public cloud offers in the form of serverless, IaaS and all the other magic and allow it to run over a decentralized infrastructure where people/orgs offer infrastructure to De-Cloud and are rewarded for it, all with some networking voodoo that means you get public cloud performance, without Jeff or Jack’ s businesses being involved well that could be super useful. 

Cos remember blockchain is just a rubbish word for what it actually is which is a shared database. So if the usage data on all this De-cloud infrastructure is on a shared database and we can all see and mine insight from, well that might create lots of opportunities for economic value creation for real people.

Happy staking, folks!

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