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Tradable and scarce digital assets on the blockchain (medium.com)
44 points by windsok on Apr 21, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments

> They cannot be faked

The directory of the owners (the Rarepepe "scientists") can autocratically approve whatever they want, including clones of anything valuable. This system can function only as long as it remains an unimportant joke.

The point that the author is trying to make here is that the digital asset cannot be forged. The Bitcoin blockchain and the Counterparty protocol enforce this.

Another blockchain governance issue... We need new social structures to make any valuable use of this new technology.

> (At Project ORB, we are working to build a platform for blockchain games which incorporate Counterparty tokens. In addition to rarepepe, [..]"

So I guess they are trying to get more people to focus on this silly thing in hopes that they'll get more users for their app? Adverts are weird

Using a blockchain to enforce scarcity and authenticity of digital objects is a cool idea on paper but only actually becomes effective under one of two scenarios:

1. Everyone simply agrees and acts accordingly thereby giving the ledger value. See: US dollars.


2. There are real-world repercussions to violating the rules. This implies some form of hybrid blockchain/real-world-contract with trade via blockchain and enforcement via the real-world law.

There are advantages to trading on a blockchain. To make the claim that a digital item (can be simply copied with a screenshot) is "rare" because it's one-of-a-kind on the blockchain only works if everyone agrees that ownership via blockchain is as important or more important than the pixels that make up the image.

The definition of "works" in my previous statement is up for discussion, considering this idea is silly on its own merits, it might be working just fine as far as the creator intended.

That is valid, but tokens also have value from managing real scarcity in the underlying protocol. For example, bitcoin as a p2p protocol can only transmit so much information reliably. Bitcoins fundamentally have some value in relation to that bandwidth. The value may be relatively small compared to the value as financialized bubble asset, but it is still there.

This is more apparent in a token like Huntercoin. HUC plays a role in a game that is played by following the Huntercoin protocol (ie, on the "blockchain" though I hate to use that term). One could trivially clone this project and build Froggercoin or whatever, but you would give up the real network effects from humans playing the Huntercoin game.

This could become a more interesting dynamic as people come up with bitcoin-like protocols that (a) do more interesting things aside from merely publish tx sets, and (b) are not protocols that could exist as federated services without a scarcity token.

As blockchain industries begin to deliver on some of their promises, then the real-world impact of owning a token on a blockchain starts to increase.

Consider a promotion where you receive a 20% discount while purchasing a new game on Steam using Bitcoin if you hold a specific Rarepepe token. This is a real-world benefit that can be enforced by the blockchain with technology available today.

These are early days. We will see many more crazy, fun, and, yes, useful tokens emerge over the next few years.

There are real-world repercussions to violating the rules. This implies some form of hybrid blockchain/real-world-contract with trade via blockchain and enforcement via the real-world law.

A blockchain backed by legal requirements could then be used to authenticate chains of custody. This would actually be useful in legal proceedings and for the tracking of things like medical records.

I also found the "A Universe Explodes - A blockchain book" a pretty cool experiment.[1]

Would be interesting to see a big game publisher like Blizzard experiment with an item trading interface built on a blockchain to really cement the feeling of ownership.

Though I suppose Blizzard in particular would be opposed to a lot of what that implies.

*1: https://medium.com/impossible/lets-talk-about-ownership-6e6c...

Could the blockchain be used to maintain a chain of custody on digital documents? If there were laws and regulations supporting this, I think it could be viable. South Carolina law supports the notion of legal documents represented as rows in a SQL database. I wonder if HIPAA and such laws could be hacked to create a chain of custody service for legal documents?

I think the idea is sociologically interesting, which is a shame this article's conclusion is

> how can you resist those dank eyes anyways?

It's hard to take the article seriously when it doesn't even take itself seriously. the whole thing has a very jarring tone.

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