If you’ve ever run an Ethereum node, you have a copy of my sci-fi short story.
Less than a month after the Ethereum network launched, I published a sci-fi short story.
A Letter to Pat & Ara at Block 6127192.
Today, I really miss you, brother & sister. I’ll keep the scent of last night’s party around a while longer, since the…
The premise of the story is that in the near future, as a result of various information (prediction) markets, people became increasingly incentivized to submit information to a blockchain. Using this information, software could recreate a person & simulate it in a VR experience. Thus: one could relive experiences with people who are no longer with us, because blockchains don’t forget. For example: etched indefinitely (for now), is Simon de la Rouviere, trading a CryptoKitty.
I posted a hash of the short story into the Terra Nullius smart contract: the first interactive smart contract on Ethereum. It’s a simple graffiti contract, and I scribbled a hash into it.
However, when I published the short story on Reddit, a community member (linagee), published the whole story into Ethereum as a hexadecimal string.
Back then, it only cost $0.25. However, with the same gas prices today (57 gwei), it would now cost ~$150.
If you take the input of that transaction & do the following on OS X:
- Store the hexadecimal input into ‘story.hex’.
- Run: xxd -p -r story.hex > story.txt.gz
- Run: gunzip story.txt.gz
- Run: cat story.txt
There, you will see in your terminal: my short story. Since it was published less than a month after Ethereum launched, it’s likely that if you’ve ever run an Ethereum node and still have the chain data, you have a copy of my short story on your hard drive. A story about how we are forever being etched into a blockchain is now distributed in computers all across the world.
It’s definitely an unexpected & strange realisation. Even IF blockchains change their designs to shed old, unused storage (likely), this piece of writing will exist far longer than anything else I create.
If the Ethereum blockchain ever switches to a mode where one has to pay rent for storage, I can hopefully keep it around by just selling access to the 5 ether I locked up in October 2015 till the year 2065. ;)