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“I am putting myself to the fullest possible use, which is all I think that any conscious entity can ever hope to do.” (2001: A Space Odyssey)

What would look like if it were created in the image of Bitcoin?

This question pushes us to explore how a truly autonomous organization could come to be — and what that might mean for the future.

We’ll call our (as-of-yet imaginary) creation “Nile.” Welcome to Humanity’s Sovereign Bookstore.

What is Nile?

Nile is a bookstore on the internet that exists wholly autonomously. It only depends on the decentralized platform on which it runs — nobody can exert any control over it.

Nile was created by a pseudonymous individual or group named, say, Jatoshi Bezos. Jatoshi wrote the code for Nile and deployed it as a smart contract onto the Ethereum blockchain. Then, they wrote a tweet announcing it and promptly disappeared. Since then, nothing about Nile has changed, but many thousands of users have interacted with it (in a variety of ways, which we’ll get into shortly), and Nile has behaved as a true independent actor. …

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Ocean’s 14 (2021). Danny Ocean (George Clooney) returns from hiding for his magnum opus: taking over the Ethereum network.

A few months ago, we discussed what a token network hostile takeover could look like. Today, let’s tweak the premise and consider how a friendly takeover — an acquisition — could happen.

As previously mentioned, these are the early days for token networks interacting with each other. As more and more networks go live and gain traction, increased incentives will arise for corporate-governance-style interactions like takeovers, acquisitions, mergers, and partnerships.

Meltem Demirors has a great illustration of the current state of some popular token networks (shown below). Thus far, teams and networks have been focused on engineering work (creation), sales and/or airdrops (distribution), and marketing and community (speculation). Next up is utilization and finding their unique positions in the market (specification). …

Today, your citizenship determines the currency you hold, earn, and spend. As an American, you use the US Dollar; as a German, the Euro; as a Korean, the Won. Our current financial systems are predicated on this assumption, and it has held for several centuries.

But now, there’s a glimmer of a new paradigm. …


Andy Bromberg

Co-founder & President at CoinList. Founding research scientist at the Stanford Bitcoin Group.

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