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For example, If I were a business that would want to use the Ethereum Blockchain technology to shift my business to Blockchain, wouldn't Ethereum be in control of the actual underlying Blockchain technology? Wouldn't it have the power to for example change the consensus algorithm or change the underlying technology? If I am missing something here please explain.

  • If you are using Ethereum Smart contract, then yes, your business will be affected by changes in consensus algorithm or the underlying technology. However, if you use your own private blockchain based on Ethereum, you can upgrade or modify it as you like. The latter will likely lead to centralization. – Chak Dec 21 '17 at 23:36
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"Decentralized" is really a hybrid of distributed and centralized:

Centralized vs. Decentralized vs. Distributed

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That is true if the business is running on the main public Ethereum blockchain. Besides that, you would control the business. However, the application would not be running on a central server or a cluster owned by a single entity. The application would be installed and running in a decentralized environment, i.e. the Ethereum main chain.

On the other hand, many businesses might have their own "private" blockchain. In that case, the level of decentralization depends on how it is set up. However, the Ethereum Foundation would not be controlling the underlying technology because the business would control what software client and version is being used. Since Ethereum is open source, a business could even make their own changes to customize the Ethereum client that it runs on.

  • So the entity which has implemented the Blockchain could hypothetically change the ledgers if they wanted? – sg30 Dec 22 '17 at 16:48
  • If they could, then it wouldn't be a blockchain. That immutability is one of the major desirable features of a blockchain so I don't see a reason an entity would want to do that. If the entity controls all the nodes of their own private blockchain and sneaked in a way for them to change the ledgers without the knowledge of the other parties interacting on it, it would be a major breach of trust and violation of their agreement with the other parties. Maybe someone more knowledgeable has a better answer to this. Have not thought about this scenario until now. – Ajoy Bhatia Dec 22 '17 at 19:32
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For example, If I were a business that would want to use the Ethereum Blockchain technology to shift my business to Blockchain, wouldn't Ethereum be in control of the actual underlying Blockchain technology?

No. What determines the rules the blockchain follows is the software that the users of the blockchain run. Nobody has any special power to make anybody else run software in some particular way. They can only try to convince them to change.

For example, when the DAO was drained, proposals were made for ways to restore the stolen funds. Nobody had any authority to force people to make those changes, and so some people made them and some didn't. That is why you have both ETH and ETC today. Those who disagreed with the plans were not in any way compelled to accept the changes as nobody had the power to compel anyone.

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