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The Metaverse, play-to-earn and the new economic model of gaming

The gaming industry is rapidly growing, and the emerging play-to-earn model coupled with blockchain and the Metaverse is the future.
The gaming industry, which has always been synonymous with fun, has grown massively in recent times,..

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The gaming industry is rapidly growing, and the emerging play-to-earn model coupled with blockchain and the Metaverse is the future.

The gaming industry, which has always been synonymous with fun, has grown massively in recent times, and a lot of money is now being mentioned when gaming comes up. Since the introduction of Web 3.0, there has been immense growth in the industry. At the end of 2019, the global gaming market was reportedly worth $152 billion. This growth has meant that, since the introduction of Web 3.0, there has been a consistent rate at which Web 3.0 games are growing and garnering increased adoption. A lot of money is being made, and this has, in turn, attracted a lot of new developers to the space.

Related: Is a new decentralized internet, or Web 3.0, possible?

Gaming in the past has always been a one-sided relationship, where only the developers or owners of a game get the financial gains while players are left to just have fun and keep spending. A new economic model has now been introduced but, in the years leading up to it, players have spent a lot on gaming. In 2020, the mobile applications industry saw customers collectively spend $143 billion. Gaming apps took a huge $100 billion of that amount. This implied that, for every dollar that was spent on the Google Play Store (for Android devices) and the App Store (for Apple devices), gaming apps took a hefty 70% of it. Even with the introduction of the new model of gaming, it is estimated that over $120 billion will still be spent on mobile games in 2021. This will represent a 20% increase from the figures of 2020.

The new gaming model I've mentioned twice now is the play-to-earn gaming model. It is no lie that interest in play-to-earn games was sparked by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The same can be said for the virtual worlds or the "metaverses" that these games are hosted on.

Related: Play-to-earn games are the catalyst for this bullish period in the markets

What is the Metaverse?

“Metaverse” is a combination of the prefix “meta,” which means beyond, and “universe.” So, the Metaverse is a world beyond the universe. An otherworldly place, so to speak. In the Metaverse, virtual lands, avatars and even buildings can be bought and sold. This is most often done using cryptocurrencies. In these virtual environments, people can move around freely with their friends, attend events and buy goods and services — basically, doing the exact same things they can do in the real world.

The lockdowns, which were a result of the global pandemic, pushed people to look more into the potential of the online world, and they discovered that they could still do business and have fun at the same time, using their devices from anywhere in the world. Many of the metaverses in existence today are powered by blockchain technology and, to transact on these virtual worlds, a user would need cryptocurrency or nonfungible tokens (NFTs). A lot of the play-to-earn games we have today have their own metaverses with native cryptocurrencies that are used both for transactions and to receive in-game assets and rewards.

Related: New industry, new rules: Building the Metaverse without bias

What are play-to-earn games?

The play-to-earn gaming model embraces the idea of an open economy and financially rewards every user who adds value by playing and spending time in the gaming ecosystem. In the past, the perception about games was that they were just a way of having fun. That perception is changing now as a new class of games are emerging. These games are not only fun, but they are also attractive investment opportunities. Speaking of investments, in recent times, the industry has seen big venture capital firms invest a lot of money into it. As much as $9.6 billion was invested in the global gaming industry in the 18 months leading up to 2019, and 24 blockchain-based gaming companies have seen $476 million in investments in the first half of 2021 alone.

In recent times, play-to-earn games like Axie Infinity and The Sandbox have gained popularity, and one thing they have in common is their economic system. Take the traditional game The Sims for example, where a player can buy in-game assets with the in-game currency — but the currency and assets have no real-world value. This is because there was no infrastructure for liquidity in the game. Another traditional game, World of Warcraft, does have a marketplace where players can buy in-game assets and exchange characters, but it is very unorganised. Blockchain technology in combination with the play-to-earn model has solved all these issues.

Related: Tales from 2050: A look into a world built on NFTs

How do play-to-earn games work?

To explain how play-to-earn games work, I'll use Axie Infinity as an example. Axie Infinity is a Pokémon-inspired blockchain game created by Vietnamese developer Sky Mavis. It currently has over a million active daily users, and what attracted this large number are the cute in-game creatures called Axies. Users can breed, buy and train these Axies. The Axies are also used to carry out tasks and engage in battles. The goal of the game is to attain an in-game token called Smooth Love Potion (SLP). With SLP, players can breed their Axies, which gives them the advantage of earning more.

Another reason players want to earn as much SLP as they can is that SLP is a cryptocurrency that can be bought and sold on cryptocurrency exchanges. The best-performing players are said to be making up to 1,500 SLPs a day. This is around $250 (because volatility causes the exchange rate to change constantly) at the time of writing. The Axie creatures themselves can be sold as NFTs on an open marketplace. Players can also sell in-game assets like real estate and flowers, among others, as NFTs. So, in this play-to-earn economy of Axie Infinity, players get rewarded for their time by earning SLP, which can be sold on crypto exchanges, and by acquiring Axies and other in-game assets that can be sold in open marketplaces.

Other play-to-earn games

Aside from Axie Infinity, other play-to-earn games and platforms are set to launch, or have already launched, and I see the potential in them.

Bloktopia, backed by Polygon, is a decentralized metaverse that will provide an unprecedented virtual reality experience for the crypto community. The bridge between the virtual and physical worlds within the decentralized and open-source worlds is the Metaverse. Protocols to manage digital value of real estate and digital art will emerge, and NFTs on the Polygon network will act as facilitators for this because of the affordability and fast transactions.

OneTo11 is a fantasy sports mobile application that is geared at providing users with a new way to use their sports knowledge for their general enjoyment and benefit. OneTo11 aims to create a future where sports fans, bettors and gamers can do the things they love most on a revolutionary platform. They get to not only interact socially, but also compete against each other in a transparent and decentralized way. This is a play-to-earn platform that allows users to earn money by taking part in fantasy sports and other games on its platform.

OneTo11 rewards its customer's loyalty by giving every player the same chance and opportunity to prove themselves and showcase their skills. Players on the OneTo11 platform can earn even without joining the paid contests. This game differs from other play-to-earn games because users can earn money in three different ways:

  1. Contest winnings: Players create their fantasy team to enter in contests, and they win money by just being in the top 75%.
  2. Network commission: Players can refer other smartphone users to the OneTo11 platform using a unique code. When their referrals participate in paid contests, the players earn 1.5% of their contest fee.
  3. Referral income: Users of the OneTo11 platform can earn from the referrals of their referrals. OneTo11 rewards its users with up to 11 levels of referrals in the network.

Nakamoto Games’ aim is to give anyone with a crypto wallet access to a large range of play-to-earn games on the platform. With this access, they can make sizable and sustainable incomes. The company will launch an in-house suite of games where players from every part of the world will compete for weekly prize pools and earn lucrative rewards from these games.

Developers will also be able to build and deploy their play-to-earn games on the platform, and they will keep control over the monetization aspect of their games. This is similar to how applications are launched on Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.

Immortal Games is a platform built by a talented pool of game developers who are working on amazing gaming projects. They've developed trading card games (TCGs) and collectible card games engines, and are currently developing American Gothic — a unique take on classic TCGs. In this game, people play with four races based in an American gothic setting, with several unique game modes being offered, such as “Arena,” “Tournaments,” “Lands” and “Multiplayer.” Fantasy Defense, which is an interpretation of the classic tower defense genre with a bigger multiplayer field, is another game in development on the platform.

The guys at Immortal Games believe that the gaming industry is going through a revolution with regard to true ownership of in-game assets, and they are building in that direction.

TryHards is a shooter game that is NFT-based and powered by the Polygon blockchain. In Tryhards, players can stake, fight, craft and upgrade their characters and weapons by simply playing the game. These characters, known as Fanatics, and their weapons are all NFT-based. Players have to collect as many Fanatics as they can to upgrade their gaming power and, because this is a play-to-earn game, it means there is a monetary incentive to stake the platform’s native $TRY tokens and continue playing.

Final thoughts

Even though play-to-earn games are only just emerging, they look like they will be around and enjoy popularity for a long time. Players are allowed to create new digital assets, trade them using the game's infrastructures, and earn virtual in-game currencies that can be easily sold for other cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.

In the past, there have been many games that have supported the dynamics of an online community, but by adding the ability to generate a financial income, play-to-earn games are making the communities a lot more active. The niche is still young, so it might be beneficial to keep an eye on these play-to-earn projects, as they can be beneficial in the long run.

This article does not contain investment advice or recommendations. Every investment and trading move involves risk, and readers should conduct their own research when making a decision.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Evan Luthra is a tech entrepreneur and blockchain expert holding an honorary Ph.D. in decentralized and distributed systems. Evan has been featured in Influencive’s “The Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 Creating Life On Their Own Terms.” His companies, StartupStudio and Iyoko, invest in and help build the companies of tomorrow. Evan is a featured speaker at various universities and conferences around the globe.

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The Science Of Propaganda Is Still Being Developed And Advanced

The Science Of Propaganda Is Still Being Developed And Advanced

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

We live in a far less free society than most of us think.

It looks like we’re free. We don’t get thrown in prison for…

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The Science Of Propaganda Is Still Being Developed And Advanced

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

We live in a far less free society than most of us think.

It looks like we’re free. We don’t get thrown in prison for criticizing our government officials. We can vote for whoever we want. We can log onto the internet and look up information on any subject we’re interested in. If we want to buy a product we have many brands we are free to choose from.

But we’re not free. Our political systems are set up to herd people into a two-party system that is controlled on both sides by plutocrats. The news media that people rely on to form ideas about what’s going on and how they should vote are controlled by the plutocratic class and heavily influenced by secretive government agencies. Internet algorithms are aggressively manipulated to show people information which favors the status quo. Even our entertainment is rife with Pentagon and CIA influence.

How free is that? How free is your speech if there are myriad institutional safeguards in place to prevent speech from ever effecting political change?

It doesn’t matter what you’re allowed to say if it doesn’t matter what you say. It doesn’t matter if you’re allowed to call the oligarchic puppet put in office by the last fake election a dickhead. It doesn’t matter if you’re allowed to Google any information you want only to find whatever information Google wants you to find.

What is the functional difference between a regime which directly censors the internet to prevent dissent and a regime which works with Silicon Valley plutocrats to control information via algorithms and has a system in place which prevents dissent from having any meaningful impact?

There is none.

We live in a profoundly unfree society that is disguised as a free society. Western liberal democracy is just totalitarianism dressed in drag.

And it’s only getting worse. Propaganda is a still-developing science.

Last month Ottawa Citizen reported that the Canadian military used the Covid outbreak as an excuse to test actual military psyop techniques on its own civilian population under the pretense of assuring compliance with pandemic restrictions.

Some excerpts:

  • “Canadian military leaders saw the pandemic as a unique opportunity to test out propaganda techniques on an unsuspecting public, a newly released Canadian Forces report concludes.”

  • “The plan devised by the Canadian Joint Operations Command, also known as CJOC, relied on propaganda techniques similar to those employed during the Afghanistan war. The campaign called for ‘shaping’ and ‘exploiting’ information. CJOC claimed the information operations scheme was needed to head off civil disobedience by Canadians during the coronavirus pandemic and to bolster government messages about the pandemic.”

  • “A separate initiative, not linked to the CJOC plan, but overseen by Canadian Forces intelligence officers, culled information from public social media accounts in Ontario. Data was also compiled on peaceful Black Lives Matter gatherings and BLM leaders.”

  • “‘This is really a learning opportunity for all of us and a chance to start getting information operations into our (CAF-DND) routine,’ the rear admiral stated.”

  • “Yet another review centred on the Canadian Forces public affairs branch and its activities. Last year, the branch launched a controversial plan that would have allowed military public affairs officers to use propaganda to change attitudes and behaviours of Canadians as well as to collect and analyze information from public social media accounts.”

  • “The plan would have seen staff move from traditional government methods of communicating with the public to a more aggressive strategy of using information warfare and influence tactics on Canadians.”

So they’re not just employing mass-scale psychological operations on the public, they’re testing them and learning from them.

And we can probably assume that anything which may have been learned was also shared with the government agencies of other NATO members.

In a new article titled “Behind NATO’s ‘cognitive warfare’: Western militaries are waging a ‘battle for your brain’”, The Grayzone’s Ben Norton reports on how recent NATO-sponsored discussions have explicitly advocated the need to advance the science of cognitive warfare for offensive as well as defensive purposes.

Some excerpts:

  • “NATO is spinning out an entirely new kind of combat it has branded as cognitive warfare. Described as the ‘weaponization of brain sciences,’ the new method involves ‘hacking the individual’ by exploiting ‘the vulnerabilities of the human brain’ in order to implement more sophisticated ‘social engineering.’

  • “While the NATO-backed study insisted that much of its research on cognitive warfare is designed for defensive purposes, it also conceded that the military alliance is developing offensive tactics, stating, ‘The human is very often the main vulnerability and it should be acknowledged in order to protect NATO’s human capital but also to be able to benefit from our adversaries’s vulnerabilities.’”

  • “In a chilling disclosure, the report stated explicitly that ‘the objective of Cognitive Warfare is to harm societies and not only the military.’”

  • “The study described this phenomenon as ‘the militarization of brain science.’ But it appears clear that NATO’s development of cognitive warfare will lead to a militarization of all aspects of human society and psychology, from the most intimate of social relationships to the mind itself.”

  • “In other words, this document shows that figures in the NATO military cartel increasingly see their own domestic population as a threat, fearing civilians to be potential Chinese or Russian sleeper cells, dastardly ‘fifth columns’ that challenge the stability of ‘Western liberal democracies.’”

  • “Naturally, the NATO researcher claimed foreign ‘adversaries’ are the supposed aggressors employing cognitive warfare. But at the same time, he made it clear that the Western military alliance is developing its own tactics.”

In a 2017 essay titled “The War on Sensemaking”, writer Jordan Greenhall made an observation that I have thought about ever since: that the science of modern propaganda has been in research and development for more than a century now, and has necessarily advanced scientifically just as much as other fields in the military have.

“In 1917, a young Edward Bernays was asked to help the American war effort by applying his uncle Sigmund Freud’s theories of the unconscious to a new German technique called ‘propaganda’,” Greenhall writes.

“The technology of war moves quickly. In the span of one and a half centuries, the last war leapt from long rifles to repeating rifles to gatling guns all the way to Little Boy. The warfighters of the current war haven’t dawdled. The wars of culture, meaning and purpose have seen innovation on an ‘exponential technology curve.’ The artisanal efforts of Bernays and Goebbels have been left far in the past by modern methods.”

Think about how many technological advancements there have been in the military over the last century. Our rulers have been refining their methods of manipulating our sensemaking abilities to their advantage throughout that entire time, and only a small minority of us have even begun to realize that that manipulation is even happening. We’re just learning to play checkers while they’re mastering 3-D chess.

I don’t have any solutions to this problem other than to spread consciousness of the fact that it is happening. Propaganda only works if you don’t understand (A) that it is happening to you and (B) how it is occurring, and a basic awareness of the fact that there’s a globe-spanning campaign to manipulate human thought to the advantage of the powerful is the first step toward having that understanding. Having the humility to understand that you yourself can be manipulated and deceived is the second step.

My hope is that humanity will transcend its psychological susceptibility to manipulation and move into a healthy relationship with mental narrative as our adapt-or-die precipice draws nearer. But time will only tell.

*  *  *

My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, following me on FacebookTwitterSoundcloud or YouTube, or throwing some money into my tip jar on Ko-fiPatreon or Paypal. If you want to read more you can buy my books. The best way to make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here.

Bitcoin donations:1Ac7PCQXoQoLA9Sh8fhAgiU3PHA2EX5Zm2

Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 23:10

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The Bitcoin Rorschach Test

Bitcoin as an idea can be thought of, like a Rorschach test, as the interpretation of the particular context it presents.

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Bitcoin as an idea can be thought of, like a Rorschach test, as the interpretation of the particular context it presents.

TXID: cdd8014a379a8731fc9e9ba1fef8954ccda9e8300356c6f198144dee11bcdd36

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We would like to think of ourselves as masters of technology. We are the craftsmen, practitioners and creators. This assumption underpins many of our accepted models for understanding history. It’s a comforting way to view the world, with humanity and its heroes as the authors of our destiny. What is a far more uncomfortable truth is that technology equally creates and influences us, and molds the collective behavior that we call culture.

The invention of agriculture made the town the primary social unit, while the mass production of the automobile created cultures of independent holiday makers, commuters and suburbs. Every time Spotify autoplays a new song, when you visit a new restaurant based on its Yelp rating, Tinder’s algorithm displays or does not display you a potential date or a QR code allows health agencies to track and mandate the movements of individuals in a pandemic, technology is influencing culture.

Our choice of technologies - the appliances we use, the cars we drive, the operating systems we choose and the social media platforms which we engage in discourse on shape our lives by what they accentuate and what they hinder, defining the range of actions that are acceptable or prohibited. Technology is not only how human beings sculpt the world in their image, but in framing and defining the range of actions that are possible and encouraged, technology also sculpts who we become.

Producing paper is vastly more efficient than producing parchment, which requires around 200 animal hides to create a single book. Source 1, Source 2

The Qur’an says that good Muslims should seek knowledge, and as a consequence, mathematics, science and engineering flourished in Eastern antiquity. Cultural attitudes led to the invention of paper, which allowed information to be recorded far more efficiently and easily than with papyrus or parchment, which was the popular medium in Europe, where many kings remained illiterate up to the thirteenth century. Our choice of technologies is prescriptive of our character, how others perceive us, and ultimately our destinies.

Yet however potent a technology may be, it ultimately requires a user to be motivated to activate it, to switch it on, to use it, and that user will use it in the manner that they see as most aligned with their beliefs, their will and their intention, and how they see themselves reflected in it. In this sense all technologies are first and foremost tools for individual self-actualization, expression and exploration, a window or framework to understand who we are.

Hermann Rorschach was a Swiss psychologist born in 1884, Zurich, Switzerland. Known to his school friends as “Klex,” due to his enjoyment of klecksography, a child’s game making elaborate pictures from inkblots. As a young adult, he was torn between following his father into the arts or a career in science. He eventually settled on medical school where he majored in psychology.

During his studies, he came across the work of psychiatrist Szyman Hens who had experimented with using inkblots to study the fantasies of his patients. Rorschach saw the opportunity to combine his interest in the arts and the emerging field of psychoanalysis.

After much research and experimentation, he settled on a set of inkblots and a system for scoring the responses to them. He published what has come to be known as the Rorschach test in his 1921 book “Psychodiagnostik.”

Hermann Rorschach

The test itself is administered by presenting the subject with 10 cards in turn and asking them “what might this be?” It’s made clear that there are no right or wrong answers, the subject can pick up the card and view it from any position or orientation they desire, and they’re free to interpret the image however they want. The goal is for them to verbalize what the image suggests to them, with total freedom. Following this the examiner reads the subject’s responses back to them and asks the subject to clarify or elaborate where necessary, not to elicit further information but simply to ensure they have sufficiently accurate information to accurately score the test. The objective is to establish what is being perceived, where it is in the inkblot, and how particular inkblot features contribute to or help determine the response.

The subject’s responses are then used to determine a scoring on several metrics via a complex coding system. The scoring is not based primarily on what the individual says they see in the inkblot. In fact, the contents of the response are only a comparatively small portion of a broader set of data including response times, remarks and comments unrelated to the test, the originality or lack of originality of the responses, and the emotions, attitude, and frame of mind of the subject.

The Rorschach test takes a common stimulus and uses it as a context; the conscious and unconscious reactions of the subject towards that context are data points to better understand their mind.

Earlier we elaborated on how the context provided by a “thing” influences what we create or express, and the way we choose to use it is an act of self-exploration, i.e., it reflects who we are and what we will become. Rorschach similarly understood that by using the context of a fixed set of images and recording the wildly different interpretations created by an individual’s imagination in reaction to each, we could gain insight into a person's mind, and how they were likely to behave in the future.

It is human nature that we can’t help but to project our imaginations onto a thing, and these things, whether they be an inkblot on canvas, an automobile, or a computer program provide context, framing and boundaries for the expression of that imagination. This combination of imagination and framing decides how we act, and over time, what we become - our destiny.

Image source

Since Bitcoin’s invention people have debated what it really is — a peer-to-peer payments system, a form of digital gold, anonymous digital cash, a censorship-resistant means of transmitting value, an immutable ledger of data, the first primitive prototype of a new computing technology called the blockchain, a craze to speculate on, a Ponzi scheme, a tool for extortionists, drug dealers, terrorists and pedophiles? What is Bitcoin?

From Satoshi’s whitepaper, to early discussion on the Bitcointalk forum and the cypherpunks mailing list, to Laszlo Hanyecz’s purchase of a pizza, through the drama of Mt.Gox and Silk Road, and the explosion of other copycats or newcomers looking to be “like bitcoin but with x”, the common perceptions of what bitcoin is and what it means have changed since its inception. Today the popular consensus seems to be that bitcoin is a type of hard money, or digital gold. In five years, with the proliferation of technologies on Layer 2 and beyond like Lightning (that enables a word of utility anchored on the ultimate truth of the Bitcoin blockchain) it's quite possible that this popular consensus will be something altogether different.

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4

In truth Bitcoin is all of those things and it is none of them. It’s just code. Ultimately someone has to run that code, to mine the blocks, to send and verify the transactions. Their collective actions decide what Bitcoin is. Anyone could fork the open-source code and decide to raise or lower any value, that this or that is valid or invalid, defaulted on or defaulted off, or even increase the supply or issuance. If a sufficient majority of users agree to mine, verify and transact based on that code, this is Bitcoin, at least by the most objective measures possible.

More importantly though, how users collectively decide to act within the boundaries of what is permissible within this chaotic consensus defines what Bitcoin really is, defining its impact on the world and on our lives. Although the code provides an incorruptible, predictable source of truth, the ramifications of that truth are profoundly different in a world where all bitcoin is held by large banks, governments and corporate treasuries and therefore the legal regulations, political reality, societal norms and cultures of compliance dictate the average person interacts with it in a permissioned fashion, much like the legacy banking system. This would be a much different reality than an alternative where every user uses their own full node as a source of truth, holds the keys to their coins and makes informed decisions on the software they run based on its benefits for privacy and self-sovereignty. The aggregate state of affairs that emerges from these actions and values determines what Bitcoin actually is, not the software, or the network, but what it means for the world around us.

“Bitcoin” the network (capital B) and “bitcoin” the asset or currency (lower-case b) are in fact two separate (though highly-interrelated) things. They can exist without each other. For example, if there was an unprecedented worldwide internet outage the network would halt, transactions and blocks would cease to be broadcast, but the ledger itself would remain unchanged. Likewise the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network can broadcast messages and seek to create a global network of connected computers, without any blocks or transactions needing to take place. There exists a third completely separate thing from Bitcoin the network or bitcoin the currency, Bitcoin the idea.

Bitcoin the idea is like the Rorschach test, a particular interpretation of a thing, based on an individual’s experiences, personalities and biases, dreams and fantasies. Your ability to influence the ledger is limited by your financial means divided by the market cap of bitcoin; your ability to influence the network itself even more negligible, determined by the software implementation you run, the parameters you choose and the infrastructure you deploy — all of which must be largely in lockstep with the majority of the network. But your ability to influence Bitcoin the idea is where you have the greatest agency, to answer the Bitcoin Rorschach test, to decide individually what Bitcoin the idea is, and what you will do with it.

Without the robust software, the hash power, the businesses and the products and services that build out the network, Bitcoin the idea is little more than a kumbaya Ponzi scheme which a top-knotted 30-something influencer would shill you on Instagram. Equally it is true that without the recognition of Bitcoin the idea, bitcoin the currency would have no value: there would be no hash power, no nodes, no ecosystem, and the economic incentives that today secure it against almost any conceivable attack vector would not exist. Although it may seem inconceivable now remember that for several years Bitcoin existed in a form largely identical to what it is today, with almost all the value propositions of the technology and protocol we know today but had no value, or it was traded for loose change. It is not the technology itself that increased its value, it was the collective recognition of its brilliance, the growth of Bitcoin as a meme is what led to there being any price, let alone the prices, ecosystem and the hash rate we have today.

No one can own a culture, they are the collective possession of its participants.

We are here because people see themselves in Bitcoin; they will project their values, their hopes, their aspirations, whatever they want the world to be, onto a technology, onto Bitcoin. A sound money, a way to make more of your chosen fiat currency or buy a Lamborghini, a way to buy drugs, a way to make payments that otherwise are prohibited or impossible, a social club to meet people, a way to sound smart and impress people on the internet, an interesting technology, a way to get a job, a way to provide a nest egg for their children, a ray of hope in a dystopian world. It doesn’t matter, Bitcoin is all of these things and none of them, what matters is how its users use it.

Bitcoin is not a centralized service but a peer-to-peer network and state of affairs controlled by its users despite their disparity of views. Anyone can download it, anyone can fork the software or contribute code, there is no CEO of Bitcoin, it has no official website or spokesperson. Bitcoin has more in common with punk rock music or Rastafarianism, or Oaxacan tradition than a centralized top-down entity like Spotify, Tinder, or something owned by a government agency or a corporation. No one makes the rules in Bitcoin, we all do. Bitcoin is solely the possession of its community of users. Bitcoin is a culture, Bitcoin is a meme.

“Birds of a feather flock together.”

Image source

People stared at the inkblot of Bitcoin and acted on what their imagination showed them. Bitcoin itself is simply the aggregate actions of thousands of these otherwise-unrelated individuals participating in a network because their imagination told them it is of benefit to their own ends to do so.

Bitcoin is living technology, an economically self-sustaining culture, the aggregate sum of all its users, who participate because they see themselves in Bitcoin. Without them, it is simply another repo on GitHub.

This is a guest post by CoinsureNZ. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.

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Bitcoin Education For Indonesia

The Indonesia Bitcoin Conference is a chance to educate Indonesians about a better savings technology.

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The Indonesia Bitcoin Conference is a chance to educate Indonesians about a better savings technology.

Bitcoin represents a new and open internet standard for hard money. Nowadays, with the increasing awareness about bitcoin’s superior properties, it is increasingly being adopted by global financial institutions as pristine collateral, a longer-term store of value, and unstoppable money. We believe that bitcoin was not formed in a vacuum. Like any other technology, bitcoin was invented to fix problems; in this case, the global economic problem.

Indonesia represents the fourth-largest population in the world, with 60% of the citizens owning smartphones. As a country that has experienced hyperinflations in the past, it is crucial for Indonesians to understand what bitcoin stands for. Most Indonesians at the moment see and treat bitcoin as a get-rich-quick scheme. Due to lack of information and comprehensive education in Bahasa Indonesia, many have fallen into scams that are associated with the words bitcoin, blockchain, ”crypto” and mining.

Indonesians wanting to invest have also struggled with mismanagement and corruption. Over the years, we’ve seen cases of fund managers and property developers (similar to the crypto space) who were unable to deliver on their promises and failed to return their customers’ money. This has happened both in the private sector and also in government. News of these cases can easily be found online, both in Indonesian and in English. Even some of Indonesia’s Covid-19 relief funds were embezzled. For these reasons, Indonesians desperately need savings that not only perform, but are also trustworthy.

For years, Indonesians have preferred savings in gold and property; now bitcoin, a better alternative, has dawned. Since Covid-19, all of the other markets have experienced stagnation. The latest government bond SR015 yields 5.1%. The economy was declared to be in a recession since Q3 2020, and is currently trying to climb out of the recession. In the midst of this, bitcoin continues to gain traction, with an approximate 90% gain YTD (October 2021) as an indicator of its dominating performance.

We believe the majority of Indonesians will leapfrog from gold and property markets straight into digital assets (bypassing bonds and securities). This would be similar to how most Indonesians bypassed the use of PCs and most adopted Android smartphones. The government data shows that the number of people in the digital assets space already reached 6.5 million people at the end of May 2021, way more than the 5.4 million people in the stock market. 20 years of user growth in the stock market was easily surpassed by 1 year of user growth in the digital assets space.

Number of smartphone users in Indonesia from 2017 to 2020 with forecasts until 2026. Source: Statista

Indonesia Bitcoin Conference: A Leap For Better Education

There are many challenges for bitcoin adoption as the best savings technology in the country. It is not easy to understand Bitcoin, and requires a multidisciplinary approach. The Indonesia Bitcoin Conference is a way for Indonesians to get proper information and education about Bitcoin. This conference features speakers from Indonesia and abroad such as Saifedean Ammous, Robert Breedlove and Danny Taniwan.

With topics such as the future of crypto exchanges, mining, retiring with bitcoin, Lightning Network, and bitcoin through the islamic lense, we hope to change the mindset of Indonesians about bitcoin.

The Indonesia Bitcoin Conference will happen on October 31, 2021, the same date as when Satoshi Nakamoto published his Bitcoin whitepaper as the beginning of the monetary revolution.

Visit the conference website for ticketing information: http://indonesiabitcoinconference.com

This is a guest post by Konsultan BTC . Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.

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