Friday, September 27, 2019

A whimsical take on Ethereum


The year is 2019. It is a time of magic and wizardry (whizkids). All over the world, wizards have been clandestinely gathering to summon mythical beings from their summoning circles.

Lately, it has been artifacts after artifacts. Strange, columnar objects have begun materializing from the ground up from the summoning circles. These aren't just isolated cases. There have been reports that objects bearing similar characteristics have appeared all over the world (blockchain).

At first, society was baffled and adopted a cautious stance, eyeing the columnar objects from afar. As hesitancy gave way to curiosity, they began to poke and prod it with various tools. It came as a surprise one day when someone found out that writing tools worked on these objects. What made it all the more miraculous was when those same words were found replicated across objects bearing similar characteristics (distributed ledger). Try as they might, words, once written, could not be altered. Henceforth, they became known as global magical books.

There are many such global magical books today. Dear reader, today we will look at one such book: Ethereum.

Initial reception of Ethereum was simple enough. People wrote frivolous stuff on it. Due to its immutable nature, these early words were immortalized for all time. Covertly, entrepreneurial individuals began travelling the world to seek out the multitudinous but similar copies of the Ethereum book. They figured that there was more to it than meets the eye. Their suspicions were confirmed. Books (Ether) were slowly but surely increasing, popping up in strange places all over the world. Second, it could be used to record when money changes hands. It was revolutionary. For once, it meant that humans could travel anywhere, point to a local copy of the book, and engage in financial transactions anywhere.

Travellers who hunt for such books and hoard them became known as adventurers (investors/speculators). Still, peace of mind is a fragile thing and cannot be easily attained. Hence, they handed over some of their books to dwarves to safe-keep in their underground network of caves (miners). Surely this would make it more secure!

Each global magical book has some special characteristics attached to it. Shortly after its discovery, adventurers learned that Ethereum could spawn miniature books with the help of wizards (Initial Coin Offering). These miniature books have special characteristics of their own that may be dissimilar to its parent. Playing with Darwin's roulette, the adventurers and the wizards came together to artificially induce the conception of miniature books. Perhaps there might be novel mutations, they said.

How did playing with Darwin's roulette turn out? It did not turn out well. Growth requires time, something that adventurers could ill afford. In the end, interest waned and people returned back to their daily lives.

Little did the leavers know that there is a stirring in an obscure corner of the world. Some wizards have managed to conjure mana pools (Compound Finance, dYdX) to the delight of adventurers. Energy (interest income) surged through their veins as they drew financial strength from them. Now, fewer visits to the inns were needed to refresh and restock. Still, some have viewed these mana pools with suspicion. What is the source of these pools and how are they sustained? Surely they would dry up one day? These are indeed valid concerns.

Then came the steampunk revolution. Zeppelins became an ubiquitous sight in the azure skies. Some of these pilots saw the opportunity and rendered their services as vigilant eyes over the creation of the wizards (OpenZeppelin Security Audits).

On land, a small proportion of horses began to turn pristine white. Their change culminated in the growth of a single spiralling horn at the centre of their forehead. Like moths to flames, these magical beasts were naturally drawn to the magical books. Some have used them as pathfinders, assisting their riders to locate other magical book holders who are up for a trade (Uniswap Exchange Protocol).

Inspired with the rise of the unicorns, the wizards began poring deeper into the esoteric arts. Tales began to spread of strange creatures (EtheremonAxie Infinity) roaming the land. Some have surmised that these are the works of wizards, their imaginations made flesh.

Scattered all over the world are the wizarding guilds. Each of them dedicated to find their role in this magically new landscape (MakerDAO, MolochDAO). Slowly but surely, the world is no longer the same. Humble traveller, what would you do?

(Blogger friends and readers have been asking for an Ethereum post. I thought it through long and hard. It had to be easily understandable to the layperson and comprehensive enough. Halfway through, I decided "scratch that, I'll make it memorable" and this is what came out. Hope you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it. Cheers!)

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