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The main value of any given type of money is not its role as a medium of exchange or a store of value, but its function as an informal social protocol aligning key stakeholders, such as policymakers, market users, and money traders. The inherent tension among these groups, both natural and necessary, manifests in numerous money paradoxes and can lead to system forks when alignment becomes unsustainable.

New types of money should not be conceptualized as products or commodities; instead, each new money type should be understood as the creation of a new social system, each with unique methods for maintaining cohesion and resolving these tensions. Successful new money are the ones that are able to create new long-lasting social systems, no more and no less.

In past eons, the exploration of new forms of money or social systems has been significantly limited. Typically, the system one is part of is determined at birth, and the costs of switching to (migration) or innovating new systems (civil war) are prohibitively high.Prevailing systems in most countries exhibit large similarities, with only minor variations in parameters, despite a high degree of variance between the countries themselves. Further complicating this is the significant mental and technical constraints: comprehending an entirely different money/social context requires substantial mental effort, and the potential features that can be integrated into a fiat are quite limited.

This changed obviously, with cryptocurrency - which has catalyzed the emergence of entirely new money/social systems, breaking away completely from traditional paradigms, leading to the development of a global, parallel, decentralized economy. In the wake of eroding trust in centralized systems, a substantial amount of human capital is migrating to this new model, driven by innovation and collaboration levels previously unimaginable to those accustomed to a zero-sum mindset.

For the first time in human history, innovation in money (and the corresponding social systems that form) is no longer limited to those who wield the biggest guns, bribe the most cronies and possess the largest nuclear warheads. Anyone can spin up a new blockchain, create a new memecoin - aka create new money with the only limitation being one’s imagination, and crucially - ability to spin up a new corresponding social system.

Historically, understanding the implications of monetary innovations has lagged behind their practical application. This is particularly true today, with our comprehension of these new economic models trailing behind the pace of technical innovation. Our discussion seeks to bridge this gap by integrating traditional economic and political concepts with observations of the decentralized economy and unchanging truths about human nature, tribal instincts, and technological inevitability.

Contrary to widespread calls for revolutionizing and replacing systems like governance and finance, we anticipate that decentralized economies will evolve in tandem with existing systems, eventually converging and overlapping. Focusing solely on replacing current systems is counterproductive, ignoring the fact that centralized systems currently perform better in many scenarios and are underpinned by centuries of infrastructural development.

There are stark differences between constructing large centralized social systems and decentralized ones. In centralized systems, virtuous cycles often revolve around value extraction: establishing walled gardens, maximizing value extraction, and amassing significant assets for a select few. In decentralized systems, lacking centralized enforcement and faced with lower switching costs, success hinges on aligning diverse stakeholder networks to collectively create value.

As such, winning strategies in decentralized systems involve spreading value through cycles of narrative reinforcement, trust building, and alignment clarification. This distinction is vital, as replicating a value extraction model in decentralized systems risks recreating the shortcomings of traditional systems.

The other major difference between centralized systems and decentralized systems is, of course, the cost of forking. The tribal nature of humans, incentives of seigniorage, and continuous technical advancements make for an environment ripe for ongoing system forks. Each fork represents a unique experiment in addressing money’s paradoxes, attracting individuals who share its core values.

But forks come with massive unrest and cost - since it basically amounts to a splitting of social systems. Yet, the cost of forking centralized systems is massively more than forking decentralized systems.

When centralized money systems fork, it basically means civil war given the inextricably tough job of splitting atoms. When decentralized money forks, it’s a bunch of nasty comments on the internet, chest-puffing moralistic stances amongst over-brained apes, and a new coin. It can be unsettling, but it’s a very healthy and chilled tension release, contrast to the massive pain of forking centralized systems.

Case in point, consider the ease of splitting ETC from ETH, BSV from BTC with North/South Korea, India/Pakistan, Israel/Middle East, Catalan/Spain.

As trust in opaque, centralized systems continues to wane, transparency in entity operations and clarity in individual decision-making become increasingly crucial. Leaders in this emerging landscape will require distinct skill sets, including extensive stakeholder engagement, coalition building, and the design of grassroots incentive and governance systems. Integrity, transparency, and intention clarity in open systems are paramount.

Embracing an experimental mindset is essential to navigate the ebbs and flows of this journey. America, once termed ‘the great experiment,’ exemplifies this approach. It is imperative that our community avoids hypocrisy, characterized by virtue signaling while overlooking our tendencies towards seigniorage, bubbles, and tribalism.

Lastly, judging the success of our work solely by their USD exchange rate is like measuring the artistic value of a Picasso by the weight of its canvas. Sure, it tells you something, but completely misses the entire point of the endeavor - that we are in this because we have the chance to break free of the shackles of old social systems, and get to reinvent totally new ones, with limitations only bound to our imagination.

Let’s forge ahead with brave new experiments, acknowledging past failures and mistakes with repentance and retrospection, but always moving forward with lessons and courage.

And we will surely need all the cumulative lessons we can find, for we are not just inventing new tokens and symbols - we are inventing what the world can be.

So let’s have more fun, shall we?