A Peercoin Propaganda Piece
Let’s talk motivation. What makes you get out of bed in the morning? Why do you want to stay in bed in the morning? There is a constant balance between pleasure and duty, a mixing of chemicals and spirit that makes you do you. And sometimes, let’s be honest, a lot of the time that motivation is money. We all need it to function practically, to survive, and its versatility allows us to boil our motivation into something we can channel into a specialization. Say what you want about capitalism, it undoubtedly creates a system of motivation.
Peercoin is money, so the logical conclusion is that my motivation for writing this piece is in order to get more Peercoin. Well, I don’t want or expect donations, I would much rather you donate to the Peercoin Foundation or developer funds. But surely it’s because I am invested in the system. That much is true, there is motivation there in that I have put a nontrivial amount of time, energy, and money into this network. However, I do not at present intend on ‘cashing out’ at any imaginable price point. There must be a deeper motivation, or an expectation of reward, for my writing to you today.
I ought to construct an argument about how Peercoin is a revolution, that it will entirely replace government capital, and so on. And if I thought that, it would be perfect motivation for a hypothetical future where I have a large amount of social power. However, I don’t really believe that, at least not for the foreseeable future. I believe Peercoin is a settlement network that works best with third party services and functions, and government capital as well as credit cards and the entire financial system in place across the world is a plenty fine example of a ‘third party’ (to Peercoin) service/function. I don’t see Peercoin replacing anything that came before cryptocurrency, really. I see it as adding something new.
Possibility is what motivates me. I wake up in the morning and say ‘what if?’ The creation of new that is Peercoin fills me with hope. It is sappy, without a doubt, but the way I have seen people come together around Peercoin over the years is powerful. There is a common acknowledgment of the mutual motivation, that if you’re just in it for the money you should go elsewhere. Peercoin is a bridge between the practical and the fantastical, in that it dared to implement something new (Proof of Stake) while still being rooted in its history so strongly that protocol development still follows Bitcoin’s in lock-step.
That mysterious creation of the mixture between the old and the new is what I want to tell you about. Take Lightning Network for example, this is a function designed for Bitcoin that Peercoin ported over without too much trouble. But the potential implications are highly intriguing. Let’s presume that Peercoin implements a few expected upgrades to its minting protocol, such as multisig minting. At that point, we will need to choose how minting interacts with Bitcoin technologies like Lightning. Are Lighting nodes now able to mint by cooperating with each other? If a Lighting multisig mints a block then we are suddenly thrust into a world where Lighting operators are uniting to govern the chain and possibly make intrinsic money from it, a situation completely unlike what Bitcoin had imagined. Here, with these curious forms of rewards for participating in the system, we readily see how motivation is a key property of Peercoin.
The alignment between people that use the functions of Peercoin that go beyond simple transactions and the people that govern the chain to select these kinds of functions is one of the main drawing points of Peercoin. The ability to motivate coinholders to actively participate in the network via the block reward provides a fundamental base point for interaction with the system. And this motivation trickles all the way to the top, where people feel compelled to volunteer their time and effort working on something that they don’t have a huge reason to expect large rewards from. We all see the self-sufficiency of the network and that it will likely survive for all time because it is designed specifically with that goal in mind. It is a self-reinforcing system in this way, regardless of how it is valued by the third parties. The ability to motivate is the motivation, in an endless bootstrapping of human involvement in the consensus process. I can’t tell you how to interact with Peercoin, I can only tell you that you will have company if you do.