There are many blockchains that have different functions serving different needs for different community networks. Visualizing blockchains from an anthropological point of reference may reveals how some of the current variants have come to pass. We may then continue to contrast the QUANT ecosystem as the logical next step in Blockchain Evolution.
[Note: QUANT is the cryptocurrency of the Integrated Engineering Blockchain Consortium (IEBC) with first issue and copyright on December 15, 2015 on the Bitshares blockchain and should not be confused with tokens of a similar name. QUANT is novel among digital tokens for representing value intrinsic to the ingenuity of people.]
The Anthropology of Blockchains
Communities have as many different ways of reaching consensus as they have means of doing so. A soccer ball hitting the back of the net is social consensus that also serves to establish the value of a cup of beer at, say, 12 dollars. Without consensus, the price of a can beer falls to about a dollar. Many transactions depend on this consensus; from the parking garage, to the advertising, ticket sales, sports bloggers, and referee salaries. The public consensus, cheered as everyone witnesses the ball hitting the back of the net, makes the world go around. Topics like video playback, corrupt referees, Hooligan behavior, performance-enhancing drugs, or inflation pressure of the ball, cause an enormous commotion as the network forcefully identifies, isolates and neutralized any internal threat to the consensus.
Computers Simulating Human Consensus
Blockchain technology is a means by which computers reach consensus, AND where the human community must agree that the computer consensus is valid. In auto racing, for example, the human consensus of the machine is as important as the operator and their team.
Proof-of-work. A bit like the soccer match, PoW randomizes the creation of a token, called a “point” by staging a somewhat trivial work statement between competing teams in whose best interest it is to act with high integrity rather than low integrity. This is not unlike bitcoin miners who compete vigorously to solve somewhat trivial puzzle under the assurance that consensus will hold — or they’ll stop playing.
Proof-of-stake is analogous to a community of merchants who have the most skin in the game voting together on the outcomes. They have more to lose from lack of consensus than they have to gain from corrupting the consensus. The assumption is that a collection of individual agents each acting in their own best interest, will vote in the best interest of the network. Other variants include proof–of-resource, proof of time elapsed, etc. They are all meant to serve as randomization machinery that makes it easy to verify consensus but difficult for a malicious actor to corrupt.
Private Blockchains: The next layer of security may involve limited access to the event. In the Blockchain domain; a corporation, a school, a medical facility, or a bank may have a practical or legal obligation to verify the identity of the people in a network or to otherwise restrict access to the database. In this case a private blockchain everything is managed by a trusted 3rd Party facilitator. Many of these applications may be better suited for existing database technology.
A private blockchain is analogous to charging an admission price to the event. The pay wall actually serves to put “skin in the game” for the entire community of spectators, so that the everyone has an incentive to preserve the consensus, demand fairness, watch out for each other, and to tamp any disputes – even if they lose the game. Others events may require exclusively private access, limited access or temporary access. Each serves a different purpose for the community that seeks consensus.
What is the Token all about?
For Bitcoin, and hopefully in all application, the purpose of the token is to reward the people who maintain the integrity and fairness of the game, and who expend energy to compete for their token award fairly and in a manner that benefit of the entire network that supports the value of their own efforts. In short, the purpose of the token is to align incentives to create a condition where it would be more profitable to interact with high integrity than low integrity. In society we use laws, courts and prisons. In the cryptographic world, tokens awards create the condition where it would be more profitable to act with high integrity than low integrity.
The Anthropology of QUANT
Following the prior analogy, it would be likewise applicable that the engineers who designed, maintain, and renovate the stadium depend on the popularity and sanctity of the game in order to assure their own prosperity. After all, public consensus is often is required to establish funding for such projects.
However, what may be lost upon society – and an omission that is now in danger of being inherited by a recent rash of cryptocurrency ICOs – is that the game depends on the competency and vigilance of the stadium engineers to safeguard the health, and welfare of people and their property in and around the operational facility. The same can be said for the roads and vehicles that transport soccer fans, and the food and clean water that sustains them … and the electricity used to mine their Bitcoin.
Also like Bitcoin, the QUANT token may serve as an incentive that assures that any number of communities can achieve any worthy agreement to which they may aspire. The QUANT token is produced from the valid decentralized consensus of the engineering, architectural, scientific, and construction communities on what is the next proverbial block that needs to be placed in order to support the games that people play together.