For anyone that holds a Crypto wallet this week has been like Ash fighting the Evil Dead. It looks like a losing battle from the outset and the demons are swarming. Hopefully everyone has a backup chainsaw and boomstick. The reasons behind this monumental dip in the world of Crypto are in a lot of ways magnanimous - at the same time they are relative nothing.
Does anyone remember the movie Borat? Well it turns out that Kazakhstan is a very real place - so much so that when protests started within the country over gas (not GWEI or the $GAS token covered in issue #68) the government decided to pull a straight up killswitch on the internet within the country. So why is your humble writer bringing this up? As fate would have it, the people of Kazakhstan as well as various outside investors love mining Crypto in the mountainous country.
The problem is twofold. On the other side of this week you have the Fed announcing - surprise surprise- rate hikes… I feel like you weren't surprised. Administrations world wide are trying to catch up with this space and dig their fantastic - tiny little fingers - into every honey pot in existence. This is the function of the old world, a systemic form of bondage that reverberates through our daily lives. I don't know about you, but I'm sick of the ball gag and gimp suit.
So what happens when a government just pulls the plug on the internet? Certainly we can see the immediate effect from the outside, but imagine the chaos within. It goes to show the ultimate vulnerability in today's world. How would you even be able to read this article without access to the internet? Then take it one step further and think about something as simple as banking… What happens if this whole platform just disappeared in an instant? You have a card in a wallet that says you have money, but what happens when the cash apparatus has no connection?
This scenario seems impossible right up until the moment you see an entire country just go dark on purpose… The scary thing is that this certainly isn't the first time a government has pulled that proverbial trigger.
I had the chance to interview a developer from Almaty, Kazakhstan (Very nice!) who lives in South East Asia. This is what he had to say:
"We have had this problem with outdated people for too many years already. They’re trying to stop our move to the stars. This is not the first time in human history.
So, how can we put all of these cockroaches into the box?
- We should understand that the most expensive part of this project is already done - we have all the hardware - mobiles, routers, personal computers and electricity. All we need is to write software.
- This software is about 1:1:1:1 communication. The latest example we saw in Hong Kong in 2021 when people used mobile to mobile messengers for communication. So the first part is to develop this m2m messenger to the highest possible level we can achieve.
- The second step is to do the same but for our home based routers, so we’ll be able to build completely autonomous local networks for cities.
- The third step - is to organise a “global endpoint” in our local community which means all of us have to pay for a satellite router - and we’ll have access to the global network as it were.
There are many technical problems we have to solve of course along the way, especially the problem of speed, but it’s totally doable when you look at it from this perspective."
So when you look at our community from the outside in, we are at the current moment absolutely reliant on something that could at any point be either regulated out of existence - or worse just shut down altogether with the swipe of a dictator's hand. How do we as a community deal with this single issue? There must be crypto miners and NFT creators sitting there in Kazakhstan losing their minds right now. Just standing in place, cut off from the world that they love every bit as much as all of us. What is decentralization if it's as simple as pulling a plug and eliminating everything we are building?
The answer is right in front of us as a community, the hard work is already done, we just need to take the software step, put it all together and WE are there.
This is a call to action, a shot across the bow. How do we organize beyond something as simple as power? How do we make sure that everyone that is part of this community isn't cut off from a construct so archaic as a government directive?
We do it by using the existing hardware and building software to match. Yes, we may have to deal with slow speeds and issues in the Beta period, but what is to stop us from doing it anyway?
When you look at the world and see things like the conflict in Myanmar happening in real time, you have to hope that it's a community like us that will find a way to change this nonsense. I look around this space and see the greatest collective of wild minds and open hearts - game changers and innovators - that this world has ever seen.
At the end of the day WE can do this, we can come together and create something that is far beyond the limit or control of any power structure. We just have to do it.
Let's do something yesterday.