The Blockchain is a peaceful place of assembly under a shared idea. The currency systems involved with the Blockchain environment are nothing more than measures-of-progress in the shared pursuit. The Blockchain is a place where everyone agrees to leave their guns outside, empty all pockets and operate under an agreed upon set of computer-guided conditions. The Blockchain is truly a democratic and equalizing tool.
Perhaps it is natural to focus on the cryptocurrency function of the Blockchain, a lot of the terms have been adapted from the financial realm like; “Initial Coin Offerings” (ICOs), which force our minds down this path. However, this focus may be misguided — the true power of this entire system is the Blockchain, not the currencies the Blockchain produces.
A symptom of this radically transparent platform is that economies can be quickly and easily built around ideas. The Blockchain is proving to be a fast track to go from idea to operations, promoting innovation and small business. Knowing how powerful humans can be in organized groups, our founding leaders protecting our ability to gather under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
We Be Loyal Scouts
The Boy Scouts of America is a great illustration of this concept. Families pay money to join a community, that community has a set of agreed upon rules, when a member of the Scouting community executes desired activities; tying knots, camping, helping old ladies etc, they receive rewards. Same-same on the Blockchain — groups organize on the Blockchain in pursuit of a common idea, the coins are just rewards that encourage and measure the common pursuit.
Participating in the Boy Scouts offers no guarantees of any profitable outcomes, no guarantee your boy will “always be prepared” or be known by his peers as a rule-following “boy scout.” Because the outcome is not guaranteed in no way denies the Boy Scouts protections under the constitution to freely assemble and pursue their ideas.
This concept can be applied to myriad of assemblies of citizens — karate dojos use belts systems as currency that measures and rewards behavior within the group. Massive Online Role-Playing Games (MORPG) use currency systems that would be hard to argue do not have “real world” value — at any time one can sell game-currency, rank, status or capability in a number of MORPGs for US dollars. Further and surprisingly, my mother’s quilting club has a cut-throat rank and reward system which has true value to that group.
Recent headlines attempting to draw comparisons between cryptocurrencies and traditional financial tools may be fundementally flawed; perhaps comparisons to merit badges and black belts are more parallel.