The QuestionJanuary 4, 2021 0 By Rev. GRAII
Is it the next Bitcoin?
No matter how many times users in countless Discord servers explain the difference between a game and a cryptocurrency, it seems every five minutes someone else asks the question.
Is it the next Bitcoin?
It would seem most early adopters are in fact both crypto traders and gamers alike, but there’s a definite air of urgency around the first few messages sent by users on the servers, they feel like they’ve arrived just in time for the next big thing, the next historic ‘boom’. People ask how much they should invest, if anyone has withdrawn successfully (a great many have, for the record), or if there’s any Class 1 land left. Once the 101 has been explained, and they get a sense of what’s going on, what prices are rising the fastest, what a ‘Pump and Dump’ is and why everyone is always talking about it, their next question is invariably the same:
Is it the next bitcoin?
A great number of users joined as a result of a viral TikTok video that set a small corner of the internet aflame, I was personally made aware of Earth2 by a friend who had seen the video in question and knew I was into the whole crypto sphere, I was convinced this was a scam by his initial pitch, it sounded like people who bought stars or the infamous con where Victor Lustig sold the Eiffel tower to gullible entrepreneurs. I said as much, to which my friend quickly replied:
But what if it’s the next bitcoin?
As most of us know, the explosive burst of value throughout BTC’s history has redefined the way we think of internet businesses and the relation between the so called “real” economy (to which I’ll refer to as the IRL economy) and ‘game’ economies (hereafter referred to simply as digital economies). Nowadays we marvel at the fantasy of having bought entire bitcoins for a fraction of a cent, and riding the wave to fortune, the same way stock traders feel when watching The Big Short, for instance, and when someone asks that increasingly annoying question, we tend to think of it only in terms of value and profits, but we are forgetting the soul of the question, and the soul of Earth2.
So, then, just what is it about E2 that’s so similar to the world’s most famous cryptocurrency that causes such incessant repetition? The meteoric rise of tile prices in the USA, for example, is one clear point of comparison. Several early adopters discuss their hopes for a growth target, often speculating about the possibility of thousands of dollars per tile in value, and it’s not unheard of in the gaming sphere to have digital property fetch five figure prices, just take a look at Decentraland and their most notable sales. Earth2, however, is a much more ambitious project, and its end goal is nothing short of world changing; having an entire worldwide digital economy where resources, land, and even services could be exchanged for in game credits that are in turn redeemable for real world cash could not only generate untold amounts of online jobs, it could provide the means for users in impoverished countries with poor exchange rates to the USD earn incomes dozens of times above what they could realistically achieve before. This project has the potential to become a force for equality and social change, just from the economic aspect alone. The implications of in game interactions and user relations are yet to be determined, but we can definitely expect freedom of speech, censorship, moderation, and ethics to be hotly debated issues.
Several notable clans have already established themselves in the game, strategizing and collaborating to both spread word about the game and for the next phase, in which they’ll establish their own cities and villages, competing for their corner (or corners) of the globe. There’s something poetic and beautiful about witnessing these communities take shape, we’ve skipped ahead several steps in the history of human evolution to arrive at a stage where users recognize the value of alliances and have thus sacrificed some of their liberty for security and the promise of even greater success as a group. This may seem like barely an afterthought of the game’s design, but it’s an entirely new branch of social development. For a game where absolute liberty and freedom of choice are central pillars, we should watch the things we bring with us from Earth 1 and what we can learn from the experience.
So, one final time: Is it the next bitcoin?
No. It’s not even a digital economy, it’s an entire system of digital economies, different philosophies and practices interacting and competing in a digital state where their actions reverberate in the AFK sphere. It’s a grand experiment into what humanity could accomplish if given the chance to restart with the accumulated knowledge of our past, it’s the ultimate disruptive product, one that looks at the state of the world and says, “I can do better”, “We can build better”.
Welcome to Earth2, we’re in for the ride of our lives.
-The Reverend GRAII