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Believe it or not, decentralization is nothing new. It first began with the social organization of ancient human societies. They lived together in small Neolithic decentralized communities of less than 100 people where everyone was accountable for one another. Small populations simply made management easier. Such small communities could easily trust one another and the close relationships maintained by individuals made it hard for any of the group to get away with bad or selfish behavior.
Decentralized (peer-to-peer) Image courtesy of Johann Gevers
As a result, the social structure that existed prior to the agrarian revolution consisted of a decentralized society where interactions were among individuals living in a society with a limited hierarchical structure.
Basically, there was no need for rulers to govern and control interactions since everyone was self-reliant.
However, as communities began to focus more on agriculture as a means of food production, suddenly there was more food and communities grew from paltry groupings of 100 people to larger societies of several hundred people.
Neolithic Age: the birth of the Agrarian Revolution
History is not precisely clear on what triggered the agrarian revolution. However, as communities became more sophisticated, the Neolithic Age became marked by a period of transition from small nomadic groups of hunters and gatherers to larger settlements of early agricultural civilizations.
History also reveals that this period started in the fertile crescent of the Middle East. This is where humans first came up with farming tools around 10,000 BC, shortly after the Stone Age. In fact, some scholars call this period the New Stone Age.
This is because during this period, even though humans had just started practicing agriculture,