Is a post COVID-19 future fully decentralised? 🤝

In his recent article for Enterprise Management 360, Pynk’s CEO Seth Ward (@Seth) discusses how he believes COVID-19 is accelerating the path for decentralised Fintechs and businesses to create ’ a new normal’ and usher in the 4th industrial revolution. But what do you think? Are we witnessing the death knell for traditional hierarchical institutions or is there life in the ‘old dogs’ yet?

Is the future fully decentralised or is it hard to imagine a future without some kind of hierarchical structures in place? Or perhaps a mixture of both?


Very interesting article indeed! This pandemic has caused many changes throughout the world. Some for the better, and some out of need. Statistics are showing that those working from home have been more productive than ‘going to the office’. I think businesses are learning to adapt and work from home will continue where feasible. I think there will be a mixture of decentralized and some kind of hierarchical structure. (Even here at Pynk, there are people in charge). As we all begin the process of coming out of lockdown, we will see changes that were made become ’ the new normal’ because they are better and/or safer. Some will go away because they will prove to be too costly for business bottom dollar.


@ZackofPynk Great research …


Great discussion @ZackofPynk, it is not far fetched to think about a more decentralized socio-economic model going forward. Specifically in the services industry. As @KarenM mentioned, there is already some evidence suggesting that in many cases things are working for the better, with people being more productive, and without dismissing the effects of the lockdown, maybe even happier.

Although I honestly don’t think that hierarchies will go away. In businesses these structures have a purpose in decision-making and control, and decentralization does not supplant this need. It possibly even exacerbates the need for control. Pynk is a good example of decentralization with a hierarchical model in place actually :grinning:


Agree with what’s been said above. What I would point out also is maybe the idea of heirachical Vs decentralised in this particular topic is related more to a methodology of work rather than its specific structure. The decentralised system of working has many advantages and a company like Pynk have used it to good effect during lockdown whereby it continues to function almost fully whereas those workplaces that have struggled due to their inability (through financial or educational opportunity) to embrace a digital, decentralised form of work have more or less shut down, even to the brink of bankruptcy in some cases.

I struggle to imagine a structureless future. Its hard to imagine how a company could run effectively without some form of management but I do think many companies will never fully return to the office/centralised approach. I also think there has been a rethink by many about their preconceived ideas about peoples effectiveness when working from home. I think there was this idea that we’d all just sit around in our underpants drinking beer if we were left to stay home :joy: seems like that’s not the case. Now if you’ll excuse me it’s 11am and I’ve a beer to drink :wink:


It also seems to be having an effect on climate topics as well, with people driving and flying less there is more of a focus on people cycling to work if they need to. It also hasn’t stopped investment in green projects, especially hydrogen as an alternative to carbon fuels. There seems to be a major push to come out the other side of this a lot greener and cleaner in how we live our live and work.

I think the move to decentralised projects, especially Fintech is similar, its something that has been coming for years but something like COVID-19 really pushes people and businesses to innovate.


Nice write up! I totally agree that the future is probably leaning towards more decentralization and less hierarchy. It’s pretty insane how hard it is to update and maintain some of these legacy structures. I think decentralized platforms and infrastructure lower management and infrastructure costs and as soon as these savings become significant enough, the switch will happen.


I imagine a future with a mix between traditional hierarchical institutions and decentralised ones too.
The decentralised ones will continue growing, but there are some operations and activities that will remain the same: centralized on hierarchical structures.
The world is in a continuous evolution, and COVID accelerated it tremendously.
We will see what is the maximum speed of change that we can support.


Agreed @mastersa, In fact, one of the things I think COVID-19 has done is caused that process to accelerate. Many bricks and mortar type companies have been forced to put the infrastructure in place to allow for remote working. So a lot of the cost that was probably holding some companies back has been sort of wedged into place now and it’s hard to think many will chose to go backwards on that. at least not totally.


The future will be somewhat decentralized. COVID-19 has forced businesses to restructure their operations and business models which has in turn influenced how they operate. I believe some if these structural changes if efficient and effective might stay. The pandemic was bad news but as Seth said, it also presented an opportunity for businesses to look at their operations from a different perspective and find alternative ways of doing things. The quest to find better alternatives has given some businesses better insights and perspectives and that will be a major influence on how they operate post COVID.


Covid-19 has great impact on the business market.
After post sesssion, Fintech will be an evolutionary effecr on the decentralized system of business trends.


Hey Al, I agree with you. It’s difficult to monetise a fully decentralised organisation. It is it’s own beast once the founders have set the wheels in motion. Things like.Gumtree are great but the quality control is pot luck. Much more likely to be successful is a hybrid hierarchical decentralised. Something like ebay is a good example.
I recommend reading the Starfish & the Spider as good reference material


I personally think that absence of hierarchical structure is not feasible in the realm of business, that will only make management and communication hard among the people which constitutes a certain organization.


“Post-COVID-19, Coinbase will be a remote-first company” by Brian Armstrong

Interesting that we started this discussion yesterday and coinbase dropped this. It’s a sort of hybrid model that we were discussing, whereby the majority of staff work from home but with a few small, offices in key places. What do you guys think are the pros and cons of this type of model? On the plus I guess we’d see less pollution but on the negative it’s going to leave a lot of empty office space which is not great news for property owners who will need to work at repurposing those properties (as what?).


I believe that @Seth lays it out well. Adaptability is a fundamental requirement for the survival of businesses wishing to remain relevant, especially on the backdrop of COVID-19. The same goes for employees and their skill set.

Looking at it from the point of view of the workforce, I believe that a transition to a decentralised or remote-first workplace would represent a full-fledged social liberation.

People could find employment all around the world from all around the world as long as their internet connection is sturdy. :world_map: There are substantial physical and mental health benefits to be had. Imagine commute-less mornings and evenings (yes!). Think about all the extra time to sleep (or the much-needed after-lunch power naps bliss).

Productivity and life satisfaction ought to increase proportionally.

I assume that drawing a line between life and work may prove cumbersome in some instances, but with a reasonable amount of discipline and emotional intelligence that should not interfere with overall performance and happiness.

People are the key assets of most businesses out there. They “come and go” through the door each day (metaphorically so while remote working). So profits will follow thereafter in businesses that embrace a people-first culture. :mage:t3:


As our CEO Seth Ward believes Covid-19 is ushering the world in 4th industrial revolution, I’m also thinking so. Due to lockdown and this pandemic, the working process of the organizations have got change suddenly. Some of them were already prepared for the change but not many. If we see, mostly the hierarchical structured businesses are being affected by this pandemic though decentralized one are still operating better. If every businesses and fintechs got the good lesson from the situation going on right now, ultimately the post Covid-19 world will see the fully decentralized system and it will be the new normal.:smile:


Absoulutely great article!!

This crisis almost came as a forced update to lot of businesses, if they weren’t already present online they had to do that basically overnight. I won’t event start talking about all other regulations, that was changing on weekly or even daily basis, they had to follow these few months. It was like an adaptibility challenge for businesses.

I think more and more businesses will try out decentralised model if they can, future will be more decentralised but I don’t see hierarchical structures going away anytime soon.

It is sad to see big businesses after all those past examples still struggle with adapting to new technologies. Their hierarchical structure is major reason why they struggle with that.
Soon we will see new examples companies that didn’t pay attention to changes that are coming and to changes in peoples taste, like Kodak and digital cameras or Blockbuster and new video formats.


@predictor Agree, it’s been an “adapt-or-die” situation for some businesses and a “don’t-let-a-good-crisis-go-to-waste” for others. :nerd_face:


I will not say post Covid.i hope our future not only fintech will be decentralized
I have been growing in fully centralized communist-socialism paradise
Biggest nightmare is centralized economy where everything belongs to anybody and there is no responsibility.Reality is that in kind of paradise all wealth belongs to very few.However i think that any nation need to have his own currency because it base of nation independence.It i swhy i think creating Euro was wrong idea


In my experience people have short memories and “business as usual” may well yet resume. I recall working in Hong Kong just after SARS hit. Students were held in lockdown in their university halls, everyone wearing masks (although they are more commonly warn over there anyway given pollution levels). It didn’t change behaviours then, nor did Bird Flu which was perhaps more of a global concern.

What makes this time different is that technology has progressed and remote and decentralised working is more viable now. However, what hasn’t changed is the need for human interaction. We are social beings. I find myself approaching my late 30’s and single. I would love nothing more than to move out in to the countryside and work remotely. But realistically, what are the chances of me meeting somebody? Even with new dating technologies it would be difficult to persuade me that the chances are better or even equal.

I dont have the stats but i dare say “the office” plays an important role in the development of our social and romantic circles.

City living and affords us the opportunity to meet many people (for whatever reason) and makes it convenient to do so. Catching up for a coffee or going for a bite to eat - much more difficult/arduous if you live in middle of nowhere and potentially miles apart. And i appreciate that the article is not suggesting “decentralised” means living in the sticks, but then if you have a lot of like minded individuals working on a common goal, and living in relative close proximity, dont be surprised that these people might want to work together. And before you know it, you have an office!

For these reasons i feel once the fear around the pandemic has died down (and it will), cities will thrive again as will office life. Many people take comfort from order and hierarchy and actively seek to be a part of it.