Why Portability Matters in a built-to-last Cryptocurrency

Metronome Token
Jan 4, 2018 · 3 min read

When we announced Metronome last October, it wasn’t a surprise to the team that the cross-blockchain portability feature would get the most people talking and grab most of the headlines.

However, when we talk about the three pillars of Metronome — self-governance, reliability, and portability — there’s actually a reason why we put portability at the end of that list. In our view, this feature plays an equally supportive though uniquely essential role within the overall Metronome mission — a built-to-last cryptocurrency.

The notion of cross-blockchain portability continues to attract both curiosity and criticism. However, this feature isn’t just about engineering oneupsmanship or gimmickry. There are two principal reasons why we believe cross-chain portability is important today and necessary for the advancement of cryptocurrencies in general.

It’s Practical

First and foremost, at this particular stage of the cryptocurrency category’s development, the cross-blockchain approach just makes practical sense. Cryptocurrencies are tethered to their own blockchain, and require exchanging and cashing out to move those funds, which can make their utility as a store of value impractical.

As a fiat bank analogy, if your money were tied to your bank’s general ledger, requiring a kind of “cashing out” in order to move it to another bank with its own general ledger, you would likely find such a situation completely intolerable. However, we accept that a cryptocurrency would be wholly and exclusively native to the blockchain that supports it. There’s a lot not to like about the conventional financial system — Satoshi certainly thought so — but the fact that your funds aren’t tied to a particular general ledger is most certainly a plus. In our view, mobility and portability of fiat currencies gives it an edge when it comes to longevity. We believe this needs to be reflected in a cryptocurrency. Thus Metronome.

It’s Never Just About the Work

We would all like to think that any engineering project is just about the tech. But this is tech built by human beings, who make decisions for any number of reasons. Those decisions — which may have little or nothing to do with technology itself — inevitably affect the choices you make.

To continue with the bank analogy, imagine if you discovered that your bank was engaged in illegal activity, or its executives generously donate to causes you don’t support or even find offensive. Or maybe you simply don’t like the back-office systems that they chose to keep track of depositors’ money. Today, moving your money for those or similar reasons is a fairly simple matter.

When it comes to cryptocurrencies, however, you’re kind of stuck. If you hold Xcoin and you don’t like the way the Xcoin community or its BDFLs manage the Xcoin chain, you don’t have any other choice but to cash out and choose another cryptocurrency with its own chain, losing money in fees (and potential price slippages while blocks confirm) along the way.

So while the financial and cryptocurrency communities paid a lot of attention to cross-blockchain portability as a noteworthy feature, we simply regard it as an essential one — and one we believe is long overdue for this category.

Conclusion

Portability is not some gimmick meant to dazzle potential purchasers. We believe it is necessary to achieving the main goals of Metronome: endurance and flexibility. Metronome allows its holders to choose where their MTN are recorded and move them as desired for any number of reasons. By using other blockchains, Metronome will be able to be self-adapting and keep up with the latest governance norms and technology developed in the fast-paced cryptocurrency space.

Cross-chain portability not only makes sense for a built-to-last cryptocurrency, we believe it is a necessity for any currency to thrive.

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More to come,

  • The Metronome Team

UPDATE: For various reasons, the Metronome team has chosen to use the new symbol “MET.”