I see decentralization vs disintermediation used interchangeably.

I see decentralization as technically inclined while disintermediation as business inclined.

Any other subtle differences between these 2 terms/concepts?

  • 1
    I have never seen the term disintermediation, can you provide an example? Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 19:14
  • 2
    Sorry for the meta-discussion, but please stop putting your name and location at the end of all your questions.
    – user19510
    Commented Jun 7, 2018 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


Decentralization is about having a system run by peers where every one has, hypothetically, the same rights as any others.

I say "hypothetically" because in reality, taking BitCoin and Ethereum as a sample, only developers are those who can provide updates. Yet they cannot always apply the updates even if the majority is at there side! Because, only miners and exchanges are the ones who can take the decision to adopt the new updates and the rest of people will just follow.

Because of that when, for example, Vitalik wanted to do the fork after the DAO attack, he made an online meeting with the miners and as a leader he proposed his valid point and most of the miners followed. The point is that Vitalik did not contact all peers because the majority decision is useless. He influenced the miners and the new Ethereum was luckily introduced and saved people's money. I hope they will do the same to bring back the hundreds of millions $ locked at Ethereum nowadays.

Disintermediation, is to remove the central/trust authority that facilitate and sometime take advantages of connecting the other parties. More accurately, it is not to remove the central/trust authority, it is about replacing it by a code/a system/a smart contact...

Finally, you can see the Decentralization and Disintermediation as an elimination of the power of a central authority.

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