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Casino or Marketplace?


In the book "De Bitcoin Revolutie", Quinten François describes the evolution of money and explains, among other examples, how the various surpluses of milk, eggs or grain that farmers produced, should the next harvest fail, were lent to other individuals in the community. As everyone was lending different goods to each other, temples were the most logical and central place to keep track of everything. These temples not only had the trust of everyone in the community but there was also more than enough space to store all the surpluses.

Eventually, the number of loans grew increasingly, and the accounts that had to be kept began to become enormously complex, so a solution was needed. One good was available in abundance in the temples: grain. Its characteristics allowed it to express all loans in quantities of grain, which not only simplified accounting but loans could now be repaid in grain as well. [1]

A quote by the CEO of root; thoughts on blockchain technology and marketplaces


Let’s elaborate on the function of grain in the example above and how blockchain technology is used nowadays. In 2009, the first global autonomous system enabled by blockchain, functioning as a peer-to-peer medium of value exchange or currency, was Bitcoin.

Over time, the technology as well as its architecture (!) have been implemented for other use cases as well. As a result, all of these projects behave like grain, they act like a medium of value exchange. However, if everything behaves like a medium of value exchange, the concept itself loses its meaning or purpose and we’re back to square one. It is like giving everyone the same name, there is no longer any point of reference.

Getting to the root of it all

We witnessed in recent years that implementing the technology and its architecture the same way over and over again for different use cases brings about volatile economies. Moreover, even the success and security of these projects, despite their good intentions and exciting concepts, depend on their (increase in) token price. The ability to ‘tokenise’ everything through blockchain technology has led many projects to build casinos instead of marketplaces, a place for stealing value rather than exchanging value. At root, we see another architecture, a blockchain as the full embodiment of a marketplace, as a stable economic layer to build upon.

We are enabling the next generation of blockchain technology and moving away from blockchain implemented as a medium of value exchange to blockchain functioning as a fully-fledged value system. We make and maintain an autonomous internet infrastructure and technology on which each individual can construct. An infrastructure free from and for everyone.

PS – Imagine other engineers in other industries building similar systems for other types of infrastructure as well, such as water or electricity networks and so on: the internet truly fulfilling its role inter-connecting net-works.

~ Benedict Coghe, Co-Founder & CEO root


[1] François, Quinten “De Bitcoin Revolutie” Lannoo; 1st edition, 2020, pp. 22-24

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Sep 08, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you, now this sounds like the world should be doing things 🤓

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