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How Cryptocurrencies Are Changing Social Media

Allen Taylor
Cryptosocial: How Cryptocurrencies Are Changing Social Media

Copyright © Business Expert Press, LLC, 2022.

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Interior design by Exeter Premedia Services Private Ltd., Chennai, India

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,

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permission of the publisher.

First published in 2022 by

Business Expert Press, LLC
222 East 46th Street, New York, NY 10017

ISBN-13: 978-1-63742-183-3 (paperback)

ISBN-13: 978-1-63742-184-0 (e-book)

Business Expert Press Digital and Social Media Marketing and

Advertising Collection

First edition: 2022

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
I dedicate this book to my parents who worked hard all
their lives and got to see their son live his dream.
The year 2020 could go down in history as the social media tipping point.
Facebook and Twitter came under fire for censoring alleged misinforma-
tion related to COVID-19 and presidential election results. Fake news,
fake social media accounts, and data breaches have compromised the
­personal information of millions of users worldwide. Facebook is fighting
an antitrust lawsuit while YouTube is losing top creators over its demon-
etization policies.
To save the world from the evil empires of social media, a hero is
rising up from the digital soil. Its superpower is a new technology called
Until recently, cryptocurrencies were of interest primarily to a few
digital nerds, a handful of financial renegades, and libertarian idealists
with a lot of time on their hands. Cryptosocial: How Cryptocurrencies Are
Changing Social Media deconstructs the ideas and ideologies that underlie
the hype and keep bitcoin trending. It shows how the strengths and weak-
nesses of the new platforms and protocols are embedded in the features
of the technology itself. Far from being a glossy-eyed evangelist or hostile
critic, author Allen Taylor objectively offers a realistic view of the benefits
and drawbacks of cryptosocial media for the average user.
Will cryptosocial media displace current social media or remain a
niche product serving but a tiny fragment of a much larger audience?
This is the ultimate question addressed in this book.

decentralized social media; decentralization; blockchain technology;
cryptography; ­ cryptoeconomics; cryptosocial media; crypto; tokens;
­centralization; ­centralized media; tokenization; tokenomics; tokenized
economies; social networking; ­distributed ledger
Acknowledgments���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� xv
Introduction��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� xvii

Chapter 1 Practical Applications of Blockchain Technology��������������1

Chapter 2 What’s the Big Deal About Decentralization?�����������������23
Chapter 3 A Brief History of Social Media��������������������������������������49
Chapter 4 The Rise and Rise of Cryptocurrencies���������������������������81
Chapter 5 An Introduction to Cryptoeconomics���������������������������107
Chapter 6 What If Facebook Had a Cryptocurrency?��������������������133
Chapter 7 How the Blockchain Turned Social�������������������������������159
Chapter 8 Social Gaming on the Blockchain���������������������������������195
Chapter 9 How Businesses Can Benefit From
Cryptosocial Media������������������������������������������������������215
Chapter 10 Coda: The Future of Cryptosocial Media����������������������235

Appendix A: Cryptosocial Media Platforms and Protocols����������������������253

Appendix B: Glossary of Relevant Terms�����������������������������������������������257
About the Author��������������������������������������������������������������������������������265
“For the last 15 years, social media platforms have disrupted life as we
know it—almost every industry has been touched by this new ­concept that
didn’t exist two decades ago. As two billion new people find ­themselves
on the Internet, social media platforms are a big part of that introduc-
tion … but can the disruptors be disrupted? Allen Taylor’s new book,
Cryptosocial: How C ­ ryptocurrencies Are Changing Social Media,
is a detailed yet fun look into the new decentralized platforms pop-
ping up to challenge traditional social media and which offer a more
fair, more equitable Internet. If you had no idea this was even a thing,
this book is for you. Or, if you’re like me and know quite a lot about
this new wave of exciting and enthusiastic challengers, this book offers
insights into areas I’m excited to try out for myself. The world is changing
quickly and this book is a fantastic guide to decentralized social media.”
—Adam from

“In times like this, it’s hard to envision that anything could become
­decentralized. There is a huge opportunity for major shifts in social media,
Internet, and cyberspace. Blockchain technology is a rising star to help decen-
tralize and protect our personal information. This book explains in great
detail the past, present, and future of the Internet and social media. If you
do not know what blockchain technology is, this is a must-read book. The
book explains how cryptocurrency has made blockchain technology a valuable
security mechanism. Since security is a high priority in the finance industry,
the book caught my eye as a definite book of interest. It provides a refresher
on what is happening in social media and what is possible for everyone in a
decentralized world.”—Tina Pittman, CPA, MBA, CGMA, tax accoun-
tant and former controller
xii Testimonials

“Social media has changed the world. Cryptocurrencies are changing it.
Where the two intersect there will be chaos—and great opportunity for those
who can seize it. The ups and downs and long way rounds, Allen Taylor
explores how we got to where we are and where, from here, we might be going.
While he doesn’t have all the answers, he has a great many insights. Whether
a newbie or a veteran of the wars, Cryptosocial: How Cryptocurrencies Are
Changing Social Media, is informative, thought-­provoking and well worth
the read.”—Paul Savage, former hedge fund manager
The information in this book is not intended to be financial advice.
­Neither the author nor publisher are financial advisors. The information
is for entertainment and educational purposes only. Before investing in
cryptocurrency, consult your own financial advisor.
I’m grateful for the assistance of several important people who have
helped to bring this book to see the light of day.

My wife Theresa has been patient and supportive of my work for almost
20 years. Were it not for this support, I could not have started this project
or completed it.

I’d also like to express my gratitude to my parents for instilling within me

a strong work ethic and for tolerating me as I chase rainbows.

Adam the AussieNinja, Thomas Dylan Daniel, M.A., and Paul Savage
(aka @Quillfire) ­provided great insight and feedback on this manuscript,
helping to improve it beyond my own capabilities.

I’d also like to thank readers at Publish0x, Voice, and Trybe (before it
rebranded as Loop Markets) for their encouragement and engagement
while sharing my ideas on the concepts and projects discussed in this
book. The Cryptowriter team was immensely helpful in allowing me to
test my material on their audience. Thomas Wolf, in particular, was very
encouraging and supportive. Thanks for sending me that Voice invite and
introducing me to Cryptowriter.

Also, a great big thanks to George Popescu for asking me to edit

­Blockchain Times, an opportunity that introduced me to the vast world
of cryptocurrencies and which kickstarted my cryptosocial adventure.
The year 2020 rode in on a dark horse.
From a lab in Wuhan, China, a virus spread out across the globe like
an imperial sword. Social and political tensions were such a force not
experienced in recent memory. But this book is not about politics or
­pandemics. It’s about social media.
Unfortunately, even our social media has us polarized. We can’t agree
on a definition of fake news and Facebook news feeds serve as personal
diaries for proud and doting mothers, wall-to-wall cat memes, and soap
boxes for millions of amateur political analysts who make no attempt
to hide their biases. The previous year’s brouhaha spilled over into 2021
and led to several legacy social media platforms banishing a sitting pres-
ident and locking him out of his own accounts1. Twitter and Facebook
had already been fact-checking his posts and flagging them as potential
Is this the power we want our social media platforms to possess? If
they de-platform a member of one political party, might they also target
members of another? If they silence the most powerful man in the world,
who else might they silence?
The World Wide Web has come a long way since the first website
was built in 1991. Where will it be in five years? Or fifty? If blockchain
developers have their way, it will return to its decentralized roots. But
what will be the price, and how will we get there?
Given the pace at which technology is changing our livelihood and
our deeply held cultural values, perhaps we should ask what we really
want from social media. How will it affect our beliefs and behaviors, our
liberties and our laws?

  L. Cohen. January 07, 2021. “Twitter and Facebook Lock Trump’s Accounts,
Take Down Video of his Message to Supporters,” CBS News,
news/trump-twitter-facebook-accounts-locked/ (accessed March 30, 2021).
xviii Introduction

And, just as importantly, how should revenues generated from the

content on social media platforms be split between the platforms, the
creators, and the curators?
These are the problems cryptosocial media entrepreneurs are trying to
solve. Advocates point to blockchain technology and note that it provides
benefits for everyone—if only everyone would get on board.
Throughout this book I will refer to blockchains and protocols like
Bitcoin and Ethereum by capitalizing the first letter of each word. When
the lowercase is used, I’ll be referencing the cryptocurrency. For example,
ether and bitcoin are cryptocurrencies while Bitcoin and Ethereum are
the blockchains. I will note one exception: When mentioned in a series
with other cryptocurrencies, all those mentioned in the series will be cap-
italized. This should facilitate a more enjoyable reading experience.
My hope is that this book will interest and intrigue readers to ask
the right questions about the purpose of social media, how its content
should be distributed and rewarded, and whether blockchain technology
will solve the problems of the current social media landscape or simply be
another layer of paint on chipping walls.

Practical Applications of
Blockchain Technology
When primitive man wanted to travel from Argos to the banks of the
Yellow River, he invented a circular object and called it a wheel. In those
days, traveling farther and faster meant more cash in the war treasure and
greater leverage for trade. The invention proved to be a huge advancement
for civilization.
Throughout history, enterprising individuals have identified problems
and addressed them with creative solutions. This has often led to future
innovations and improvements.
In the 1440s, an enterprising German named Johann G ­ utenberg
ushered in the age of mass communications with advancements in
­printing.1 That led to the publication of daily newspapers, monthly
­magazines, and countless books. Many of the font types that have been
developed since then are now used in Web publishing.
New technologies often do more than solve old problems. Sometimes
they address challenges people weren’t aware they had. That might be the
case with decentralized social media.
Blockchain developers make bold promises. One of those is that
blockchains and distributed ledgers can and will return the Internet to its
decentralized roots. Another is that the technology will provide a greater
sense of security for anyone sharing personal data on the Web. Just as
important, the persons to whom that data belongs can have more control
over how it is shared and profit from it, as opposed to third parties selling
it for a profit and not sharing that profit with anyone else. These benefits
are wrapped up in the nature of the technology itself, but are they what

1 editors. May 07, 2018. “Printing Press,” www.history
.com/topics/inventions/printing-press (accessed March 30, 2021).
2 Cryptosocial

Web citizens want? If so, does the average Internet user know they want
these benefits?
Crypto enthusiasts don’t need to be sold. The rest of the world might.
If you’ve wondered what the fuss over bitcoin and cryptocurrencies is
all about, or you’re at least a little bit concerned about the power that
rests in the hands of a few at the top of the social media pyramid, then
keep reading to learn how a new emerging technology could solve some
of the ­biggest problems facing the planet at the beginning of the third

Twenty-First Century Problems and Their Solutions

Technology is a double-edged sword, often solving one problem while
­creating another. When that happens, someone comes along later and
solves the new problem. That process may take years. The cell phone, for
instance, didn’t see the light of day until almost a century after ­Alexander
Graham Bell’s immortal words, “Mr. Watson, come here. I want to
see you.”
As with any new technology, the problems blockchain technology
promises to solve are related to its features. In that light then, let’s dive
into the river of problems and solutions concerning blockchains.

The Problem of Centralization

Today’s young people are put off by the centralized institutions of the
past. That’s why many of them find decentralization attractive. When
you examine the modern world, it’s not hard to see why there is a strong
distrust of authority.
The first Millennials were born in 1981.2 In their lifetimes, they’ve
­witnessed an S&L crisis, the Y2K scare, the World Trade Center attacks,
the 2008–2009 financial crisis, and more than one global pandemic. In
each case, centralized authority was either the heart of the problem, a part
of the problem, or failed to see the problem and ineffective in addressing it.

 “Millennials,” Pew Research Center.
(accessed March 30, 2021).
Practical Applications of Blockchain Technology 3

From financial corruption to police brutality, centralized authority

has run amok. Centralized social media platforms, which were supposed
to “democratize” media, have proven to be another organizational night-
mare where power rests in the hands of a few. With decentralization, there
is no platform to control.
An article in Inc. magazine lists three clear benefits of decentralization:3

1. Trust in centralized authority is replaced with technology where trust

is not a factor;
2. Systemic failure is reduced exponentially by the number of nodes
that make up the system;
3. There is no Twitter-like authority to banish or censor someone.

Humans are fallible. There is no class of individual immune from

the misuse or abuse of authority. To quote Lord Acton, “Power corrupts.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Decentralization de-powers the
powerful by empowering everyone else.

The Problem of Data Ownership

Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal put data security on everyone’s

radar. Many people who’ve flocked to Facebook and Twitter have assumed
or taken it for granted that the platforms would protect their personal
information. The truth is, they can’t.
Beyond data breaches, there lies another issue. What happens when
your data is used for purposes you don’t support or endorse?
For instance, any platform that collects personal information can sell
it. And it’s likely that such information will be sold multiple times. B
­ uyers
can range from anyone who might have a product you’d be interested
in to a political party you’d never support. The rule of thumb is: If the
­product or service is free, you are the product.

  K. Kline. October 25, 2019. “3 Important Advantages of Decentralization,”
(accessed March 30, 2021).
4 Cryptosocial

E-mail is like last century’s postal mailbox. Full of junk. One day,
you land on a website, fill out a form providing your e-mail address, and
receive a download. Before dinner, you’ve received a confirmation e-mail,
an introduction e-mail, and a follow-up promising untold benefits
delivered conveniently to your digital mailbox. You now have a lifelong
­relationship you have to actively request to be removed from—if you have
the energy to pursue it. We’ve been trained to join lists.
Think about the websites you visit. Do you conduct business with
your doctor, your dentist, your state government, the federal govern-
ment, your bank, your credit card company, your church, and c­ haritable
nonprofits through the Web? All of that data you share about yourself
is sitting on somebody’s server. Actually, multiple servers all around
the world.
Blockchain technology makes it possible to wrap all of your import-
ant data into a single file or data source that only you control, keep it
secure with end-to-end encryption, and prevent it from being shared
with anyone you do not explicitly assign consent to. It’s possible you can
make money from that data instead of Facebook and Google cashing in
on it.

The Problem of Data Security

There is no platform anywhere in the world that cannot be hacked. Some

servers may be more secure than others, but passwords can be guessed,
two-factor authentication (2FA) can be hijacked, and virtually every form
of data security currently in use has weaknesses. Blockchain technology
takes a different approach to data security by using public and private
keys, which must be matched, to keep data secure.
Data security experts suggest passwords should be long (at least eight
characters) and contain at least one lower case letter, at least one upper
case letter, and at least one special character. The reason for these stipula-
tions is because such passwords are harder to guess or hack, which makes
your data more secure. Cryptographic security is even better.
Cryptographic security, the security protocol for blockchain technol-
ogy, takes sage advice and puts it on steroids. Bitcoin public and private keys
Practical Applications of Blockchain Technology 5

Key Size Combinations Key Size Time to crack
1-bit 2 56-bit 399 seconds

2-bit 4 128-bit 1.02 × 1018 years

4-bit 16 192-bit 1.872 × 1037 years

8-bit 256 256-bit 3.31 × 1056 years
16-bit 65536
32-bit 4.2 × 109
56-bit 7.2 × 1016
64-bit 1.8 × 1019

128-bit 3.4× 1038

192-bit 6.2 × 1057
256-bit 1.1 × 1077

Figure 1.1  Two hundred fifty-six-bit encryption is very difficult

to crack. To succeed, even the strongest and fastest computing
system would need to test a massive number of possible numerical
combinations. In fact, the number of combinations are equal to
10 multiplied by itself 77 times and the result multiplied by 1.1
Credit: Taylored Content. Based on data from

contain a string of 30 to 65 characters using 256-bit encryption.4 (Figure 1.1)

On top of that, decentralized blockchain s­ olutions often use a base-16 num-
bering system as opposed to a base-10 numbering system. These complexities,
usually randomized, increase the level of security for stored data. The more
complicated a password or key is, the more difficult it is to hack or guess.
Blockchain technology increases complexity to ensure security.

The Problem of Transparency

Centralization allows those in control to put up shields. Secret board

meetings hide facts that others might use to make critical decisions. While
this provides some benefits, there is also the side effect of centralized

 H. Agrawal. August 12, 2020. “Bitcoin Private Keys: Everything You Need
to  Know,” CoinSutra, (accessed
March 30, 2021).
6 Cryptosocial

authority tilting the scales in favor of a few—and many times “the few”
have self-serving interests.
Google has long kept its search engine algorithms secret. They tell the
world to feed their robots with valuable content but don’t give explicit
instructions on what that means. Search engine optimizers and web-
site copywriters must guess at how content is indexed and ranked at the
world’s largest and most successful search engine. While this opaqueness
is effective in combating spam and discouraging people from gaming the
search results, there is a hard truth that must be explored: If search algo-
rithms are so great, then why do they need to be tweaked hundreds of
times a day in order to manipulate the end result?
Facebook’s algorithms determine what content users see on their
news feeds. Why? Doesn’t Mark Zuckerberg trust that his platform’s users
know what they want to see?
Most of us can appreciate that it would be against Facebook’s interests
to publicly declare how their algorithms work. Nevertheless, centraliza-
tion has a built-in opaqueness that often leads to abuse or unfair advantage
for a few. Virtually every country in the world has a central authority that
“manages” the economy. This is often defended by arguing that it keeps
economies stable and benefits everyone, but the economy still moves in
waves, with recessions and depressions, with unemployment and instabil-
ity, and there is still inflation and deflation despite all the tinkering. Who
do central banks really protect?
Blockchain technology is capable of delivering greater transparency.
Each transaction is recorded on a public ledger that anyone can audit at
any time.

The Problem of Accessibility

Block explorers record every transaction on a blockchain. Bitcoin has

operated seamlessly since 2009 and every single transaction since the gen-
esis block has been recorded for everyone to see. Because the information
is transparent and secure, every transaction can be viewed and analyzed by
everyone, even people who don’t use the blockchain, without damaging
reputations or violating privacy.
Practical Applications of Blockchain Technology 7

The Problem of Ownership

In 2016, 26 million people age 16 and over experienced identity theft.5

From bank accounts to education reports, identity theft is higher than it’s
ever been. Bad actors can purchase personal information on thousands of
people at a time on the dark Web for pennies on the dollar.6
Blockchain technology can be used to secure identities, prove identi-
ties, and give identity owners more control over their personal informa-
tion. More importantly, if you wish to remain anonymous or disassociate
your real name from your online interactions, you can more easily do so.
Provenance is the art and science of tracking ownership and posses-
sion. Typically used in relation to art, jewelry, and items of high value, it
can be used to track everything from vehicles to real estate. Imagine how
useful it would be to search a public record before making a purchase to
determine whether the seller has the legal right to receive compensation.
What if you could loan out your vehicle, record that transfer of posses-
sion on an immutable public record, and the new driver automatically
enrolled in a short-term insurance policy they paid for prior to the trans-
fer? Blockchain technology makes these types of transactions possible.

The Problem of Faster Payments and Money Transfers

It takes three to five days to transfer money from PayPal to your bank
account. International money transfers can take a week or longer. By con-
trast, Bitcoin transactions take ten minutes. Other blockchain transac-
tions are even faster. Some of them can move money in seconds.
If you run a business in Nebraska and have a customer in Spain,
instead of sending U.S. dollars (USD) or euro through the painfully

  E. Harrell. January 2019. “Victims of Identity Theft, 2016,” Bureau of Justice
Statistics, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.
content/pub/pdf/vit16.pdf (accessed March 30, 2021).
  B. Stack. December 06, 2017. “Here’s How Much Your Personal Information Is
Selling for on the Dark Web,” Experian,­experian/
(accessed March 30, 2021).
8 Cryptosocial

slow process of the 20th century, you can invoice your client and receive
­payment in bitcoin or one of the thousands of other cryptocurrencies in
a few minutes.
With regard to social media, if you and your client use the same plat-
form, you could request payment through the cryptosocial platform and
receive it within seconds. I’ve done it.

The Problem of Mediation

If you shop at a retail store and want to pay by credit card, you have a
variety of options: Visa, Mastercard, or Discover, to name a few. The pay-
ment does not go directly from your bank to the retail merchant. Instead,
it goes through the credit card company, who extracts a fee for mediating
that transaction.
Suppose that you wanted to pay the retail merchant with cryptocur-
rency. Bitcoin was designed as a peer-to-peer cashless payment system. In
other words, the merchant can simply share her public wallet key with
you and you can send bitcoin directly to that merchant from your smart-
phone while standing at the cash register. If the merchant accepts other
cryptocurrencies, you can do the same with those—wallet to wallet, yours
to the merchant’s.
This type of scenario could take place in banking, insurance, real
estate, or any industry where money exchanges hands. Not only that,
but if you had a medical card secured by blockchain technology, when
you visit your doctor, you could transfer only the relevant records to your
doctor in a few seconds.
Blockchain technology is peer-to-peer by nature, cutting out
­unnecessary intermediaries.

Other Problems That Need a Solution

Every industry has problems to solve.

Real estate, banking, entertainment, travel, logistics, retail, you name
it. There are thousands of blockchain developers working to solve the
problems in every industry.
Social media is one more business sector where blockchain develop-
ers are working on solutions to systemic problems that affect all users.
Practical Applications of Blockchain Technology 9

These include centralization, privacy, data security, identity ownership,

transparency, accessibility, and more. It’s just a matter of time before any
of these problems are solved well enough that the technology is ready for
prime time. And we’re almost there now.

The Features and Benefits of

Blockchain Technology
It’s impossible to understand how blockchain technology is being
employed or what its potential real-world applications are if we don’t
understand what its underlying features and benefits are. I’d like to lay
that groundwork before we get to the central issue.

What Is a Blockchain?

Simply put, a blockchain is a new way of ordering data.

Most people today are familiar with databases, the current way data is
structured and organized for computing systems. The problem is, they’re
easy to hack. In the first quarter of 2020, more than 8 billion data records
were exposed, a 15-year record.7
Records in a database are organized in tables. By their nature,
tables contain information that can be changed or edited. By contrast,
­information on a blockchain is organized into blocks protected by a
security measure called cryptography. Therefore, a blockchain is a chain
of blocks tied together by hashes, a cryptographic function that converts
­information into something else.8 (Figure 1.2) It’s a secret code. In order
to understand the information stored in the block, a person must have
the key to the code and be able to convert the hash back into its original
data. By design, information contained in each block is unalterable. The
technical term is immutability.

 I. Goddijn, and J. Kouns. n.d. “2020 Q1 Report, Data Breach Quick-
View,” page 2. RiskBased Security,
.pdf (accessed March 30, 2021).
 “Hash,” TechTerms. (accessed March 30,
10 Cryptosocial

Hash Hash

Block Block

item item item item item item

Figure 1.2  A blockchain is a chain of blocks. Each block contains

data secured by a hash. To unlock the data, a user must pair up a
private key with a public key
Credit: Taylored Content.

What Are the Many Uses of a Blockchain?

While cryptocurrencies are the most widely known use of blockchain

technology, they’re not the only way the technology is used. Of course,
there are different types of blockchains and each type has advantages and
A public blockchain can be accessed by anyone from anywhere in the
world. A private blockchain can be accessed only by invitation. A side-
chain extends from a primary blockchain and operates independently of
the primary blockchain with the ability to link to and from the primary
blockchain. A hybrid blockchain contains features of both public and pri-
vate blockchains and may be centralized, decentralized, or a combination
of the two.
Bitcoin is an application of the first blockchain. While it started as
a decentralized ledger, it has become increasingly more centralized. In
fact, in January 2020, 49.9 percent of the network’s computer power
was centered on five entities within China.9 As bitcoin mining becomes
more expensive, it is likely that the Bitcoin blockchain will become more

  O. Kharif. January 31, 2020. “Bitcoin’s Network Operations are Controlled by
Five Companies,” Bloomberg,
bitcoin-s-network-operations-are-controlled-by-five-companies (accessed March
30, 2021).
Practical Applications of Blockchain Technology 11

Smart contracts are computer programs with defined parameters

that execute when a trigger event has occurred. They are popular among
blockchain developers, especially within the financial industry where a lot
of blockchain development is taking place to deliver financial services in
new ways.
Some blockchain users play video games and collect digital assets.
For instance, in 2017, a game called CryptoKitties rose to popularity. In
December that year, one sold for $100,000.10
Blockchains are also used for energy trading, supply chain manage-
ment, diamond mining, antibody test tracking, provenance, insurance
product delivery, and counterfeit detection.
Governments have used blockchains for voting, records keeping, and
services distribution.
Since 2016, there have been more than 100 social media projects built
on blockchains. Many of them have been failures, but some are popular
among a niche audience.
The use cases for blockchain technology are growing all the time. The
global investment in blockchain technology in 2020 was $3 billion. It’s
expected to grow to $39.7 billion by 2025.11 As more people, businesses,
and corporations learn about the technology and how to implement it,
more uses are tried and experimented with. Some catch on and some
don’t. It is not likely the technology will go away any time soon.
The Internet has turned the world into a global marketplace.
­Blockchain  technology promises to transform the planet into a global
village with a spherical connection like never before. The following
­features  and benefits may prove to be useful in more ways than we
can imagine.

  E. Cheng. December 06, 2017. “Meet CryptoKitties, The $100,000 ­Digital
Beanie Babies Epitomizing the Cryptocurrency Mania,” CNBC, www.cnbc
100k.html (accessed March 30, 2021).
  C.R.W. De Meijer. December 18, 2020. “Blockchain Trends in 2021: Expect
the Unexpected,” Finextra,
trends-in-2021-expect-the-unexpected (accessed March 31, 2021).
12 Cryptosocial

Blockchain Technology Features

Blockchain professionals narrow blockchain technology down to six
­primary features. Experts discuss three other features to varying degrees.
Below are short summaries of these nine features to help you better
understand how cryptosocial media entrepreneurs approach blockchain


Immutability means transactions recorded on a blockchain cannot be

changed or altered.12 Once recorded, transactions are irreversible. For
instance, if Tom sends Rebekah 5 bitcoin and Rebekah receives that
money in her digital wallet, a record of that transaction is made and there
is no way to cancel it once completed. If Tom meant to send the bitcoin
to Sally, that is his error. He cannot retract the payment, in full or in part.
He is out of luck.
Immutability ensures that no third party can intervene and cancel a
transaction, retract it, or redirect money to another wallet. It also means
that mistakes cannot be undone.


Decentralization means no individual or entity controls the technology.13

The U.S. Postal Service is centralized. It has a postmaster who is
responsible for the overall operations of the service. If you have a problem
with mail delivery, you contact your local post office, which answers to
the authority of the national office. Likewise, Facebook is centralized.
It has one individual at the head who is responsible for how the plat-
form is managed. Your local boy scout troop is centralized. Your church?

  G. Iredale. November 24, 2020. “6 Key Blockchain Features You Need to
Know,” 101 Blockchains,
chain-features/ (accessed December 11, 2020).
Practical Applications of Blockchain Technology 13

To be centralized means that one individual or a group of individu-

als manages the affairs of the entire organization or network. Blockchain
technology has no such structure.
As envisioned by its inventor, the technology is designed to operate on
the basis of multiple computer nodes that follow a programmed consen-
sus process in order to approve transactions on the network. There is no
one individual or entity controlling the process.
We’ll discuss consensus mechanisms later, but for the purpose of
understanding decentralization it’s important to know that multiple com-
puters—often thousands—make up the network on a blockchain.
An important distinction must be made between the computers on
a network and an organization that owns or controls the blockchain. In
some instances, an organization may be behind the blockchain. That
organization may own the blockchain or define certain processes that
make it operational. Theoretically, the organization does not influence
the blockchain at the transactional level. However, in practice, that can
create network management challenges. Unresolved, those can lead to
splits, called forks, and two blockchains diverge from one.
While blockchains are essentially decentralized, organizations that
own or manage them may not be.

Enhanced Security

When blockchain developers talk about enhanced security, what they

mean is that blockchain technology is inherently more secure than ordi-
nary digital assets and require more computing power to break the secu-
rity protocols in place.14
Most Internet users understand password-level security. When you log
into your Facebook account, you enter your password and are admitted
based on a record of that password on a server. The longer and more com-
plex the password, the more secure it is from hackers. However, because
Facebook is centralized, there is only one attack point for bad actors to

  M. Orcutt. April 25, 2018. “How Secure is Blockchain Really?” MIT T­echnology


chain-really/ (accessed March 31, 2021).
14 Cryptosocial

use to break the security. No matter how strong your password is, that
central attack point makes it easier for hackers to break in.
Even 2FA is relatively unsecure compared to blockchain technology.
With 2FA, users can authorize a centralized platform to send a text of a 5-
or 6-digit code to their mobile phone when they try to log into the plat-
form. Anyone who does not have access to your mobile phone is shut out.
While 2FA is more secure than a single password, it is still fairly easy
to break for smart hackers.
Think about your home. You have a front door, a back door, and four
windows. That’s six entry points. But your home likely has one secu-
rity system for all entry points. Simplifying for the sake of clarity, even
with a security system involving a complex security code, a burglar can
­easily hack the system and get in. But what if the burglar had to match a
long, complex multiple-character private code with an equally long and
complex multiple-character public code while also satisfying the secu-
rity requirements for at least one of those doors and at least half of the
windows in the house? That would certainly complicate things for the
burglar, wouldn’t it?
To reiterate, the burglar would have to satisfy ALL of the following
criteria in order to break into your home:

1. Know, or guess, your extra long private security code.

2. Match it with your extra long public security code (which, being
public, everyone knows).
3. Break the security mechanism for one of your two doors.
4. Satisfy the security requirements for at least two of your four win-
dows (the more windows you have in your home, the more difficult
it will be for the burglar).

This is somewhat similar to how blockchain security works. The

­private–public code component relies on what security experts call cryp-
tography (I’ll explain the nuts and bolts of cryptography in Chapter 2).
The door and window criteria is what we call decentralization. Because
there’s no single point of entry for the burglar to break into, and because
to enter the home with the proper authorization requires that he break
the security mechanism for 50 percent of the doors and 50 percent of the
Practical Applications of Blockchain Technology 15

windows, the number of hurdles the burglar must get over to get into the
home increases the home’s security and makes it less likely the burglar will
be successful.

Distributed Ledger

A ledger is an accounting tool. There are different types of ledgers, but,

generally speaking, the format is based on two sets of entries—debits and
credits. Since the 13th century, businesses have used a system of account-
ing called double-entry bookkeeping.
With the advent of computing, the double-entry bookkeeping system
hasn’t changed much. What has changed is the migration of the financial
data from paper records to digital records. Blockchain technology turns
the double-entry bookkeeping system upside down.
Double-entry bookkeeping requires an intermediary. Our modern
centralized banking system is built on the double-entry ledger. When a
loan is made, that transaction is recorded on one side of the ledger as
a credit and on the other side as a debit. With a borrowing and lend-
ing ­system, and a system of holding money in accounts that requires an
intermediary, the system crumbles with lack of trust. If borrowers can’t
trust the bank, there will be no lending. If account holders, people who
keep their money in banks to be used for lending, can’t trust the bank,
then there will be no money to lend. A distributed ledger takes the inter-
mediary, the bank, out of the picture completely.
Blockchain technology records transactions in a ledger that is dis-
tributed among all the computer nodes on the network. For instance, if
1,000 block validators approve a particular transaction, that transaction is
recorded and stored on each block validator’s computer.
In the earlier illustration where Tom sent Rebekah 5 bitcoin, let’s
assume that transaction must be approved by Tom, Rebekah, and 20 of
their friends. Let’s further assume that each vote cast to approve or disap-
prove of the transaction is made anonymously so that no other individual
in the network knows how the others are voting. Let’s also assume that
each individual has an equal vote and that all that is required for the trans-
action to be approved is a vote of at least 50 percent of the voters. Rebekah
and Tom each cast their votes in the affirmative but Sally abstains. Of
16 Cryptosocial

the 19 remaining votes, the transaction receives 10 anonymous approvals

and 9 disapprovals. With 12 approvals, a clear majority, Tom’s transaction
is approved and Rebekah receives 5 bitcoin even though Tom intended
them to be sent to Sally.
Replace each of the human voters in the previous scenario with
­computers and that’s how a blockchain consensus works. Of course, there
are different types of consensus mechanisms and we’ll get into those later.
To keep it simple, this is a rough explanation of how the distributed led-
ger feature works on a blockchain.

Faster Settlements

In today’s banking system, bank-to-bank money transfers typically take

three to five business days. International transfers take longer. Accounts
at the same bank can take less than 24 hours. Blockchain transfers occur
within minutes. Sometimes, seconds.
Blockchain transactions have become extremely important for inter-
national transfers. In today’s fast-moving world and global economy, it’s
very common for citizens of one country to move to another country
and send money home to family members. Blockchain technology
makes that process simpler and quicker. The reason is based on all the
aforementioned features of the technology and the one we’ll discuss


Consensus is the process that computers on a network use to make deci-

sions. I’ve been talking about computers approving of transactions on a
blockchain. They don’t make those approval decisions in the same ways
humans make them. Because we’re dealing with ones and zeros, politics
and personalities are not a part of the equation.
In simple terms, computers on a blockchain network compete to
solve mathematical calculations. When a computer on the network solves
the calculation, it approves of a transaction. This can take place in a mat-
ter of minutes or seconds depending on the blockchain and the type of
consensus mechanism employed. When enough computers have solved
Practical Applications of Blockchain Technology 17

the mathematical calculation, a block on the chain is created and all trans-
actions within that block are approved by the network.

Increased Computing Capacity

Because blockchains involve multiple computers on a network working

together or competing to keep the distributed ledger up to date, enhanc-
ing the security of the network, and so on, the entire network has access
to more computing capacity than a single computer could achieve on its
own. Essentially, computing power can be increased exponentially based
on the computing power of all nodes on the network.

Peer-to-Peer Interaction

This may seem redundant, but the peer-to-peer component of blockchain

technology is an extension of its other features, especially the decentral-
ization and distributed ledger features.
Because there’s no need for an intermediary to conduct transactions
on a blockchain, participants can interact with each other without inter-
ruption or coercion from other members. For instance, when Tom sends
Rebekah 5 bitcoin, there’s no need for any other party to be involved.
The money moves seamlessly through the network from Tom’s wallet to
Rebekah’s with no middle participant.


Minting refers to the act of making money. Because blockchains involve

cryptocurrencies, which can be spent on the blockchain network or
traded in exchanges for other cryptocurrencies, there must be a method
for creating those digital monetary units. Minting is the term used for
that process.
There are different minting mechanisms. Each blockchain has its
own. One popular minting method is called mining. Miners create blocks
by solving mathematical calculations. The data created within that block
involves a certain number of transactions and is encrypted for enhanced
security purposes. Each time this happens, cryptocurrencies are minted
18 Cryptosocial

and distributed among the different participants based on their level of


The Benefits of Blockchain Technology

Every good salesman knows that customers do not buy features. They
buy the benefits those features produce. Unfortunately, many blockchain
developers focus their attention on the features. This may be why block-
chain technology has not gone mainstream yet.
Blockchain enthusiasts generally point to some or all of the following
as benefits of the technology:

• Leveraged computing power: Blockchains are powered by

multiple computers on a network. Each network participant
can increase its computing power by piggybacking off of, or
“tapping into,” the computing power of the other partici-
pants. This is done on a voluntary basis.
• Asset protection: Cryptography enhances network security,
and each node on the network, giving each participant greater
confidence that valuable assets and information can’t be
• Data security: Because blockchain technology is immutable
and transactions irreversible, users can trust that data has not
been tampered with.
• Seamless transactions: Peer-to-peer money transfers take
place in a matter of minutes or seconds as opposed to days.
• Access to more computing resources: If weather or other
events cause network nodes in a specific region to go offline,
network computers in other regions can provide the necessary
power and resources to ensure uninterrupted connectivity.
In other words, a disruption of a few network nodes will not
cause a disruption to the entire network. All computers on a
network have extended computing power.
• Financial freedom: A user living in a country where USD
is not available or where currency exchange is difficult can
conduct business using a cryptocurrency that is easy to use
Practical Applications of Blockchain Technology 19

no matter where they live. If they live in a country with a

volatile, inflationary, or worthless currency propped up by an
abusive regime, they can opt for a more stable alternative.
• No intermediaries: Blockchain technology facilitates peer-
to-peer interaction. If two users wish to enter into a contract
for business purposes, they can do so with no other party
• Lower barriers: Money, communication, data, and other
assets can move across country borders without government
• Transparency: Anyone can access the blockchain and audit
• Technology is trustless: Individuals do not need to trust each
other in order to enter transactions or interact with each other
because the technology itself ensures each party’s interests are

Some of these benefits may be difficult to understand, particularly for

older people who have spent their entire lives fighting technology that can’t
be trusted. U.S. citizens may have trouble relating to the experiences of
people in third world countries whose very lives may be in danger just for
trying to exercise their natural rights. In a Windows world, personal com-
puter users know that laptops sometimes go on the fritz, technology can
fail or die, or something unexpected can go wrong. Furthermore, for most
of us, banks have been the central repositories of financial information
our entire lives. It’s a difficult task to change the perceptions of people
who have no experience with any other method of storing, sharing, and
trading items of value.
On the other hand, blockchain technology ensures an abundance
mindset. In the past, people have had to share resources and have toler-
ated scarcity regarding things of value—including money. But if anyone
can create a token for any purpose, and those tokens can create and store
value, then resource scarcity is a thing of the past.
Due to the nature and novelty of blockchain technology, it’s an
uphill  climb to overturn the prejudices, preconceived notions, and
­misunderstandings about a technology that is not widely accepted or
20 Cryptosocial

easily understood. For many people, the willingness to try isn’t even
on the radar.
That brings me to the drawbacks of blockchain technology.

The Drawbacks to Blockchain Technology

Far be it from me to sing the praises of a new technology without
­mentioning its drawbacks. I’m a firm believer that every upside has a
downside. To quote the lyrics of the popular 1980s glam metal band
­Poison: Every rose has its thorn.15

• New technology is difficult to understand: Blockchain

­technology has its own language. Words like “hash” and
“merkle” are not everyday words in most people’s vocabulary.
Few people understand what is meant by “immutability”
and “decentralized.” Even when explained to them, “a chain
of blocks,” which can’t be seen, cryptographic security, and
intrinsic blockchain characteristics are hard to wrap one’s
head around.
• It’s difficult to trust: Because blockchain technology is hard
to understand, it’s difficult to communicate the benefits in a
meaningful way. People have a hard time trusting what they
don’t understand. Can they really have these benefits that
seemed impossible just a few years ago?
• The benefits have downsides: Strengths and weaknesses often
come wrapped in the same package. Immutability is a good
thing, but mistakes are unforgiving. Once you post that insult
on Hive, you have three seconds to delete it before it becomes
a permanent record.
• Lockouts are permanent: If you lose the key to your house,
you can call a locksmith. If you lose your Steemit keys,
there’s no recovery. If you hold millions of a cryptocurrency
in a digital wallet that only you can access and you lose

  B. Michaels. 1988. “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” Track 8 on Open Up and Say

… Ahh! Enigma Records.

Practical Applications of Blockchain Technology 21

your ­password or key, you’ve lost your assets. We allow our

browsers to remember our passwords, a security breach since
browsers can be hacked, and call the bank if we forget our
account password. As a result, we’re not accustomed to being
the gatekeeper to our own security. Decentralization requires
a greater degree of vigilance toward self-protection. Stefan
Thomas, a computer programmer in San Francisco, learned
that the hard way.16
• Websites load slowly: Many blockchain websites load slowly.
In some cases, the latency is ridiculous.
• Development is slow: I’m not a developer so I don’t
­understand the technical challenges associated with block-
chain technology. However, I have observed that development
tends to be slow. In fact, every small change must undergo the
­consensus process to be approved.

While I believe there are distinct drawbacks to blockchain technology,

I also believe that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. This is the 21st
century and it’s time to learn some new habits. Progress isn’t easy, but it
is necessary.

Blockchain technology promises to return the Internet to its decentralized
roots and in the process solve the problems of the 20th century (central-
ization, data ownership and security, transparency, accessibility, control
over one’s identity, faster payments and money transfers, and interme-
diaries). Utilizing a new way of ordering data, this nascent technology
enhances computer security while decentralizing command and control
through consensus mechanisms on computing networks.

  R. Neate. 2021. “Programmer has Two Guesses Left to Access £175m Bitcoin
Wallet,” The Guardian,
the-programmer-locked-out-of-his-130m-bitcoin-account (accessed April 13,
22 Cryptosocial

The bottom-line benefits to blockchain technology involve leveraging

computing power to protect assets, enhancing data security, facilitating
seamless financial transactions over the Internet while providing greater
financial freedom without intermediaries, lowering barriers to com-
munication and asset exchanges between parties in different countries,
and increasing transparency using trustless technology in peer-to-peer
­interactions. While there are drawbacks to the technology, the upsides far
outweigh the downsides.
accessibility, 6 Bitcoin Core, 92
ADAMANT, 181–182 Bitcoin Foundation, 92, 95, 98
Advanced Research Projects Agency Bitcoin Gold, 127
Network (ARPANET), Bitcoin SV (Satoshi’s Vision), 127
26–27, 29, 30, 49, 50, 108, Bitcoin XT, 126
198 Bit gold, 85–86
advertising, 220 BitTorrent, 40
opportunities, 233–234 blackout, 73
Aether, 185–186 Blankos, 210
airdrop, 119, 168 Blind Signature Technology, 82
AltaVista, 37 blockchain, 9–10
Amazon, 217 attack, 129–131
America Online (AOL), 54, 198 community, 112, 121, 125, 184,
Andresen, G., 91–92, 97 250
antitrust violations, 67–68 developers, 1, 8, 11, 13, 18, 33, 62,
Antonopoulos, A., 98–99, 159, 161, 112, 117, 123–125, 159, 163,
162 236, 249
APPICS, 186–187 games, 201–212
Archie-Like Indexing for the WEB programming, 121–123
(ALIWEB), 35–36 uses of, 10–11
Armstrong, B., 100 blockchain technology
Ask Me Anything (AMA), 72 benefits of, 18–20
asset protection, 18 centralization and, 45–46
Associated Press (AP), 40 drawbacks to, 20–21
asymmetric cryptography, 108, 241 features, 12–18
block explorer, 6, 185
Back, A., 84, 86, 88, 91, 109–111, Blocklords, 211
133 block rewards, 122
Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, 162, 55–56
Basic Attention Tokens (BAT), 153, bloggers, 55–56
233, 242 Bluesky, 45
behavior incentivization, 118 b-money, 85
Berners-Lee, T., 31–34, 40, 82, 196 Bob the Facemeister, 143–146
Biff, 160 brand promotion strategies, 231–232
Big Tech, 39, 41, 49, 78, 246, 249 brand sentiment, 230
Binance, 105, 112–114, 171, 188 bulletin board system (BBS), 51–52
bitcoin (BTC), 6, 8, 10, 81–82, 101, business
247 advertising opportunities, 233–234
code, 101 cryptosocial media, 225–233
cryptographic floodgates and, decentralization for, 222–225
108–111 and social media, 215–222
development, 91, 92 business-to-business (B2B), 217,
Bitcoin Cash, 92, 127 219–220
268 Index

Buterin, V., 94 earning, 228

Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT), 125 real money and, 116–117
Byzantine Generals Problem, 125 types, 115–116
cat-and-mouse game, 219 exchange, 61, 94, 99, 100,
Cent, 187 113–114, 165, 178, 232
centralization, 2–3, 5–6, 9, 21, explosion, 101–106
43–45, 49, 74, 121, 219, Facebook, 134–142, 156
239, 249 cryptoeconomics, 107, 108, 111,
centralized media, 13 117–129, 190–192, 199
Cerf, V., 29 building, 118–120
Chaum, D., 82, 83, 86–87, 111 case study, 190–192
Chez, B., 101 code and, 120–123
Cisco, 217 crypto ecosystem, 105
ClearCoin, 92 cryptographic security, 4
client, 8, 30, 51, 223, 227 cryptography
close sales, 221–222 and economics, 111–114
Coil, 172–173, 227, 238 history of, 107–108
Coil application programming CryptoKitties, 11, 201–206
interface (API), 172 CryptoPunks, 202
Coil Blogs, 173 cryptosocial
Coil protocol, 173 accounts, 114
coin, 115 community, 117, 230, 234, 238,
Coinbase, 94, 100, 112–114 250, 251
CoinMarketCap, 101, 102, 105, 144, developers, 250
179, 208 games, 212
collectibles, 115–116, 162, 201–203 platforms, 8, 113–116, 118–120,
Communications Act of 1934, 41 131, 163, 164, 170, 171, 174,
communications protocols, 29–31 187–190, 193, 226–229, 238,
community building, 119, 230–231 242, 253
CompuServe, 198 trajectory, 237
computing capacity, 17 cryptosocial media, 12, 104, 111,
computing resources, 18 112, 123, 127, 128, 157–159,
consensus, 16–17 171, 179, 192, 193, 195,
mechanism, 122 223–249, 251
protocols, 127–128 businesses and, 225–233
content curation, 227 platforms and protocols, 253–256
content promotion, 220, 227 role for, 239–247
Control Video Corporation, 54 void in, 238–239
conversation monitoring, 221 crypto supply, 119
Craigslist-style listings, 155 Cunningham, S., 179, 193
cross-chain, 172, 212, 237 customer rewards program, 231
cross-posting, 229 customer service, 221
crypto, 2, 45, 46, 88, 90, 94, Cygnus founder, 109
100–103, 105, 115 Cygnus Solutions, 109
CryptoAlchemy, 205 cypherpunk, 44, 86–88, 108–111
CryptoAssault, 206
cryptocurrencies, 81, 101–106, Da Hongfei, 101
113–117 Dai, W., 85
Index 269

Dapp. See Steemit Dapp DLive, 189

Dark Energy Crystals (DEC), 208 Dogecoin, 244
data breaches, 64 Domain Name System (DNS), 30
data ownership, 3–4 Dorsey, J., 45
data security, 4–5, 18 double-entry bookkeeping, 15
Decentraland, 204–205, 208 Dragonereum, 206
decentralization, 3, 12–13, 21, 23, 31, DTube, 189
44, 45, 121, 130, 131, 159,
174, 181, 204, 239, 249, 250 eBay, 217
for business, 222–225 Eggies World, 211
Internet and, 24–25 e-gold, 83–84, 133
and social media, 240–244 Electronic Frontier Foundation, 63
decentralized autonomous Electronic Numerical Integrator and
corporation (DAC), 242 Computer (ENIAC), 25
decentralized autonomous Elemental Battles, 210
organization (DAO), 99, 204, eMarketer, 69
242 encryption, 4, 5, 53, 84, 108, 109
decentralized exchange (DEX), 114, enhanced security, 13–15
171 Enjin, 209–210, 213
decentralized finance (DeFi), 24 Enjin Coin, 209
decentralized gaming, 24, 195 EOS games, 210–211
decentralized social media, 1, 23–24, EOS Knights, 210
106, 160, 177, 180, 188, 223, Epic Dragons, 211
224, 246 ERC-20
Defense Advanced Research Projects protocol, 202
Agency (DARPA), 26 token, 115, 169, 173, 177, 180,
DeFranco, P., 44, 182–183 188, 202, 209, 233
DelegateCall, 190 ERC-721
delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS), 128, protocol, 202, 203
129, 139, 146, 210 token, 206
Dell, 217 ether (ETH), 115, 172, 186, 201,
demand creation, 119 202, 204, 206
desktop wallet, 113, 171 Ethereum, 94, 97, 102, 103
Dice, 208 Blob, 202
Diem, 68, 137, 138 blockchain, 115, 168, 177, 180,
Digg, 163 182, 201, 202, 204–207, 209
DigiCash, 82–83 games, 205–207
digital asset, 11, 13, 115, 162, 202, European Council for Nuclear
203, 243, 250 Research (CERN), 31, 32
digital collectible, 162, 201, 203
digital currency, 33, 67, 68, 82–86, Facebit, 138–157
98, 99, 134, 161, 249 Facechain and, 149
digital signatures, 121–122 fictitious value, 145
digital subscriber lines (DSLs), 28 staking, 146–148
digital video disc (DVD), 217 transaction and, 155–156
digital wallets, 12, 20, 112–113, 122, value of, 144, 149
138 Facebook, 6, 12, 13–14, 39, 60–63,
Dissolution, 206 140
distributed ledger, 1, 15–17, 23, 249 ads, 153
270 Index

antitrust violations, 67–68 Google, 6, 24, 37, 38, 217–219, 229

cryptocurrency, 134–142 Gore, A., 40
data breaches, 64 graphical user interface (GUI) BBSs,
events, 154 52
games, 154–155 groups, 221
groups, 151
and income, 156–157 Hanvecz, L., 92
invisible influence, 68–69 hard fork, 125–127
issues, 69 hardware wallet, 113
marketplace, 155 hash, 10, 20, 91
objectionable content, 65–66 hashcash, 84–85
pages, 151–152, 235–236 HashCraft, 209
political manipulation, 66–67 hash function, 121
posts, 150 Hay Day, 154–155
privacy, 63 Herald, A., 200
shadow profiles, 64 Hive, 20, 105, 127, 129, 166–168,
spying, 64–65 184–185, 192, 195, 207, 223,
Facebook presence, 216 226–230, 232, 237, 247, 250
facechainers, 140 HootSuite, 220
FARM, 228 Hoskinson, C., 100
faster payments, 7–8 Hughes, E., 109
faster settlements, 16 hybrid blockchain, 10
faucet, 92 Hyperspace, 188
Federal Communications hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP),
Commission (FCC), 40–42 31
federated, 159, 174, 238
51% attack, 130 IBM 701, 25
File Transfer Protocol (FTP), 30, 36 immutability, 9, 12, 159
financial freedom, 18–19 Indorse, 188
Finney, H., 88, 90, 111 initial coin offering (ICO), 105, 173,
fork, 13, 53, 95, 125–127, 185, 229, 177, 179, 190, 204
240 Instagram, 236
free speech platform, 245 instant messaging, 152–153
Friendster, 57–58 Internet, 11, 25–27, 242
fungible token, 115 chat room, 54
Füssinger, M., 181 and decentralization, 24–25
marketing, 215–216, 219
GALA games, 212 Internet Chat Relay (IRC), 52–54
games Internet Computer Protocol (ICP),
blockchain, 201–212 248
decentralization, 212 Internet Corporation for Assigned
popular, 197–201 Names and Numbers, 24
social nature of, 195–197 Internet Explorer, 36
game theory, 123–125 Internet service provider (ISP), 40, 54
Gemini, 100 IPFS, 181
Gilmore, J., 109 IRC operator/IRCop, 53
Gods Unchained, 206
gold, 86 Java, 54
Golos, 189 JumpStation, 35
Index 271

Kahn, B., 29 minting, 17–18

Karma, 187 MLB Crypto Baseball, 207
Kik, 188 mobile wallet, 113
Kin, 188, 189 moderators, 52, 53, 69, 72, 73, 151,, 55 153, 157, 169, 186, 191, 192
money, 159–162
Larimer, D., 99–100, 164, 167 functions of, 161
LBRY, 183, 238 transfers, 7–8
ledger. See distributed ledger monitor conversations, 229
Ledger Nano S, 113 Mosaic, 35
Lee, C., 93–94 Multi-User Dungeon (MUD), 198
leveraged computing power, 18 MySpace, 59–60
Levy, S., 87
Libra, 67, 106, 134, 135, 137, 138, Nakamoto, S., 33, 34, 86–93, 95,
188 97–99, 106, 111, 125
Libra Association, 134 12 apostles, 89–101
Libra Blockchain, 134 Namecoin, 102
LinkedIn, 58–59, 221 Napster, 56–57
Litecoin, 93, 94, 102, 105 Narrative case study, 190–192
lockouts, 20–21 Narrative platform, 148
Loop Markets, 170–171 Netflix, 217
Lordless, 206 net neutrality, 40
Lou Gehrig’s Disease, 88 Netscape, 216
lower barriers, 19 Netscape Navigator, 36–38
Network Control Program (NCP), 30
McCaleb, J., 92–93, 97 Nixon, R., 162
Makeoutclub, 56 node, 3, 13, 15, 17, 18, 26, 28, 33,
MANA, 204, 205, 208 34, 125, 126, 130, 212
Maro, 187 no intermediaries, 19
Marr, B., 237 nonfungible tokens (NFTs), 115, 171,
massively multiplayer online role 202, 232–233, 243
playing games (MMORPG), Novi, 138
196, 198, 199, 205, 211 NRVE, 148, 149, 191–192
massively multiplayer online war
game (MMOWG), 206 OAuth, 179
Mastodon, 174–175 Obsidian, 190, 55 Odysee, 183, 238
MatchMaker, 54–55 Onavo, 64–65
May, T., 109 online dating, 54–55
Maze, 198 online presence, 216
mediation, 8 Ono, 190
Memorydealers, 95 Oracle-D, 232
merkle, 20 original content, 220
Mesh, 31 original content production, 226–227
MeWe, 244–245 OurMine, 77
Microsoft, 36–38 ownership, 7, 202
Minds, 168–170
mining, 10, 11, 17, 59, 78, 85, 100, packet switching, 26, 27, 29
112 Pair, S., 101
272 Index

paper wallet, 113 security, 119, 131

Parler, 244–246 server, 4, 13, 30, 32, 51
PayPal, 38, 217 shadow profiles, 62, 64
peer-to-peer (P2P) Shrem, C., 97–98
cashless payment system, 8 sidechain, 10, 182
file sharing service, 40 Simple Mail Transfer Protocol
interaction, 17 (SMTP), 30
messaging service, 182 Six Degrees, 55, 57, 60, 216, 237
P + epsilon attack, 130 smart contracts, 11, 122–123
Pinterest, 236 Smart Media Tokens, 167
pixEOS, 210 Smoke Network, 178–179
platform, 3, 45, 78–79, 81 social blogging, 56, 163, 168, 180,
PLATO, 197–198 226, 238
political activism, 73, 74, 109 social gaming, 195–197, 212
political manipulation, 66–67 Sociall, 188
Polkadot, 105, 144, 248 social media, 8, 49–50, 79
posters, 140 business and, 215–222
powering down, 165 decentralization and, 240–244
primitive social communications, 53 definitions, 49
privacy, 63, 87, 135 Internet and, 53–79
private blockchain, 10 marketing, 215, 221–225, 234
privileges, 122 money and, 159–162
proactive policing, 119 pre-internet, 50–53
Project Genesis, 206 Social Media Examiner, 234
Proof-of-Stake (POS), 128, 130 social networking, 50, 53, 55, 56, 58,
Proof-of-Work (POW), 127–128 59, 71, 72, 74, 75, 79, 172
PROPS Project, 182–183 Social Networks Re-Rank, 75
Prospectors, 210–211 SocialX, 180–181
protection of value, 118 soft fork, 125–127
protocol, 29 software development kit (SDK), 204
provenance, 203 Sola, 190
public blockchain, 10 SoMee, 179
Publish0x, 114, 150, 173–174, 189, SoMee tokens (SAT), 179
192, 193, 224, 228, 231–232, Splinterlands, 195, 207–208, 210,
235, 238, 242 212, 213, 223
pyramid scheme, 168 spying, 64–65
stablecoin, 105, 137, 138, 165
QunQun, 187–188 staking, 128, 129
blockchain economy, 148–149
Facebit, 146–148
Reddit, 71–74 STEEM, 103–105, 114, 115, 147,
162–165, 167, 168, 184, 185,
Sand Hero, 211 189, 231
Sapien (SPN), 176–178 Steem Basic Dollars, 115
scarcity, 119 Steemit, 20, 99, 103–105, 115, 127,
Scott, N., 164 128, 139, 147, 162–168, 170,
seamless transactions, 18 171, 175, 176, 180, 184, 185,
search engine, 6, 35, 37–39, 70, 79, 188–190, 192, 195, 207,
216–219, 229, 233 226–228, 230–232, 235, 237,
Second Life, 199–201, 204 240, 242
Index 273

Steemit Dapp, 189 UNIX operating system, 34–35

Steemit Inc., 127, 167, 184 Unstoppable Domains, 46, 243
Steemit knockoffs, 175, 176, Upland, 211
188–190 Usenet, 27–29, 50–51
Steem Monsters, 207 user expectation management, 120
SteemPress, 166 user interface (UI), 166
Subs, 186 U.S. Postal Service, 12
Subsocial, 248
Sun, J., 167, 184 validators, 140
Sun Microsystems, 54 #Valuables, 243
SysOp, 52 value determination, 203
Szabo, N., 85–86, 111, 133 Ver, R., 94–95
virtual private network (VPN), 65
TCP/IP, 29–30 Voilk, 188
Tech Crucial, 190
technology, 19, 20 wallet, 8, 112–115, 152
Texas Holdem, 154 War Riders, 206
timestamp, 122 websites, 21
tokenization, 244 Web wallet, 112–113
tokenized assets, 115–116 Web 3.0/Web3, 62, 249
tokens, 115 Wegehaupt, J., 193
Torum, 188, 238 Weku, 190
transaction fees, 122 Whaleshares (WLS), 175–176
Transmission Control Program wide area networks (WANs), 26
(TCP), 29 Wikipedia, 73
transparency, 5–6, 19, 56
Traps, 211 World of Ether, 206
Trezor, 113 World War II, 25, 108
TRON blockchain, 207 World Wide Web, 30–35, 38, 40, 49,
TRON games, 211 52, 54, 62, 82, 106, 196, 197,
TronKingdom, 211 217, 229, 237
Trump, D., 39, 42, 66, 67, 72, 76, 77,
97, 135, 169, 176, 235, 246
trust, 20 XTM, 188
trustless, 19, 22, 45
Trybe. See Loop Markets Yahoo!, 218
Turing, A., 25 YouTube, 39, 70–71, 236
Twitter, 74–78, 236
2FA, 14 zero-knowledge proof, 122
zero-sum games, 124
Ubisoft, 209 Zimmerman, P., 109
Ulbricht, R., 95–97 Zion, 188
Uniform Resource Locator (URL) Zuckerberg, M., 6, 61, 65, 67, 133,
system, 30–31 134, 143–148, 150, 153,
Uniswap, 114 156, 157

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