Decentralization is Not Binary

Centralization as a Spectrum

We often talk about centralization vs. decentralization as if they are two distinct states:

  • If we think about a completely decentralized reporting structure, it looks like a flat organization with no reporting lines.
  • If we think about a completely centralized reporting structure, it looks like a straight line from the CEO down.
Source: V-Dem Institute

The Dimensionality of Centralization

Now that we’ve established a spectrum, it’s worth calling out that the centralization spectrum can apply across many dimensions — a system might be more decentralized in some ways, and less so in others.

Source: Glassnode

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