The Genesis Thought
We are proud to finally reveal the Cellarius Universe. To read our Universe Guide, and apply for our Alpha please head over to https://cellarius.network
“Inquiry regarding a potential project” was the subject line of the initial batch of cold-call emails our team sent out on May 7, 2017. Our early collaborators were skeptical, but the fact that the outbound email address was associated with an @consensys.net domain sparked curiosity, despite the vague subject line. These initial connections would form the basis for an idea that has gained momentum over the past nine months and is emerging as a global effort to tell a new kind of science fiction story.
Today we are revealing the Cellarius Universe (CX) — an original, transmedia cyberpunk franchise that leverages blockchain technology and user-generated assets to create a collaborative, fan-curated story.
That’s a bit of a mouthful, so it might be useful to break down exactly what we mean:
Original: We created the Cellarius Universe from scratch. Our narrative begins in the near future and asks whether humankind is prepared for the consequences of our insatiable desire to push the limits of technology. The activation of the first artificial superintelligence is the core event that shapes the future of our civilization. While many other stories tell of human subjugation by robots or AI, ours has a different bent: an AI whose motives are unknown: both destructive and giving in turn.
Transmedia: A common set of questions we hear when we first introduce Cellarius is: “…so is it a video game? A movie? A book?” Our answer, happily, is “yes!” We want CX to extend beyond just one format and allow the story to permeate through whichever media are the most fitting for the narrative. As the project grows, we want to explore as many types of media as we can.
Cyberpunk: A genre that is near and dear to our hearts. As members of the Decentralized Renaissance, we are constantly asking ourselves how civilization will evolve in our modern context. In time, CX will come to define its own inimitable brand of cyberpunk.
Blockchain technology: ConsenSys is the largest blockchain company in the world and a thought leader in bringing Web 3.0 to the mainstream. Unlike legacy media franchises, CX embraces an ethos of sharing and openness that will empower the community to explore new ways to experience media and culture. Our team intends to use the technology to facilitate fan curation, immutable lore, provenance, and asset management, as well as digital object permanence.
User-Generated Story: Our goal is to make Cellarius a community-first project. We want to work with our fandom from the outset to grow a global and diverse set of collaborators. In time, we hope that the project can become self-sustaining and give back to the users who help create the story.
The CX project has been incubated within ConsenSys. Our team consists of dreamers, writers, creators, and futurists who want to empower people to tell their stories and reach a global audience.
The ConsenSys “hub” coordinates, incubates, accelerates and spawns “spoke” ventures through development, resource sharing, acquisitions, investments and the formation of joint ventures. These spokes benefit from foundational components built by ConsenSys that enable new services and business models to be built on the blockchain. In addition to the development of internal projects and consulting work, ConsenSys is interested in the identification, development, and acquisition of talent and projects on an ongoing basis.
This effort has spawned a new spoke — Genesis Thought, Inc. — whose focus is on exploring how blockchain technologies can be used to tell new kinds of collective stories. The Genesis Thought team is headquartered in Manhattan, New York, but consists of members and contributors from around the world.
We’d like to briefly introduce ourselves to the community:
Igor has been a part of the blockchain ecosystem since 2012 and a member of the ConsenSys Mesh since 2015. Known for his work in creating ConsenSys Solutions and working closely with ecosystem partners such as Microsoft, Igor has spent the past year writing, drawing, and building the Genesis Thought team.
Ever since Tyler threw the famous DEVCON1 “Free My Vunk” t-shirt pass to Igor sitting back on the 10th row, he has been actively engaged in building the vision for media based virtual assets. Though he took a couple years off to build the world’s first enterprise production grade blockchain for BHP Billiton, and later lead ConsenSys Energy’s engagements, his heart brought him back to virtual world-building. He views himself as a modern day “crypto-Medici” and is dedicated to inspiring the community and enabling everyone to find joy in being a patron of the arts.
After six years in management consulting — with side projects focused on brewing and creating original comics — Anthony joined ConsenSys to work on CX in Fall 2017. Ostensibly brought on to help write stories, Anthony’s role immediately transitioned to an operational position. “Big Okto” is helping the team scale, onboarding new contributors, and assessing transmedia opportunities.
Before jumping down the blockchain/decentralization rabbit-hole, Mally was a book editor at Penguin Press. She joined ConsenSys as a writer and researcher in summer 2017 and Cellarius in winter 2018, where she’ll help shape CX content. She’s excited to help creators find new ways to share their ideas and build the future through stories.
Frank joined the team from a completely different field (Chemistry), after building out concepts for several side businesses with his brother and pitching a CX graphic novel. Deeply involved in defining the world, story, and design of the Cellarius Universe, he will be responsible for managing canon, and is excited to see the fanbase’s vision for the future of the franchise.
Sean has spent the past five years working on early stage EdTech projects as a product marketing manager; prior to that he taught in Sri Lanka as a Fulbrighter. He fell down the crypto rabbit hole after reading Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon. Sean’s focus for CX is on education, marketing, and analytics.
Eujern has been working for startups for the last ten years and started digging into blockchain projects a year ago. When Igor and Tyler told him that they were working on a project that combined blockchain and sci-fi he didn’t hesitate to say sign me up!
Octavian has been doing design in various forms for the past 16 years. It’s easy to guess what his role is in Cellarius. He has joined the team to dive deep into a somewhat unfamiliar subject and express himself in a free and unobstructed way. He likes throwing stones into the pond, watching the waves run away.
When Maggie learned about blockchain in 2016, she left IBM Watson to join ConsenSys and the revolution. As an eternal optimist, learner and dreamer, the CX project deeply resonated with Maggie, and she was stoked when Igor and Anthony asked her to join the team. Maggie runs one of the media businesses, supports operations, and champions diversity. Maggie believes CX will allow people to fall in love with unique sci-fi stories created from new and globally diverse perspectives, and of course, disrupt the patriarchy too.
Gregory loved speculative fiction before he knew what it was. He started reading for fun, and instead, became a better person. Sci-Fi is uniquely positioned to challenge current perceptions of life and this project is an opportunity to engage in this process as both producers and consumers of media in a community.