Jun 08, 2018 I Paul Seaburn

A New Religion Based on Blockchain May Have a Prayer

The number of people who understand or can adequately explain bitcoins is small. Not surprisingly, the number of people who understand or can explain the blockchain technology behind bitcoins is even smaller. This frustrates the vast majority who want to get filthy rich like they know the bitcoin owners and blockchain gurus undoubtedly are, but they don’t trust things they can’t understand. This frustrates those selling bitcoins and blockchain technology. So, what’s the best way to get people to accept something they can’t understand or explain? Form a religion based on it, of course!

“It’s a religious framework that could allow for belief sets to update much more quickly and also to democratize the relationship between membership and convergence on what everyone believes in this religion.”

At the recent Seven on Seven 2018 event held in New York’s New Museum of Contemporary Art, an art-meets-tech event that pairs seven leading artists with seven visionary technologists and asks them to create something, artist Avery Singer (a painter whose 3D images appear to be part human and part cyborg) and Matt Liston (former CEO of Augur, a prediction market platform built on the Ethereum blockchain) unveiled 0xΩ or 0xOmega," a new consensus-based crypto-religion that is built on the collective consciousness of its members via a blockchain.

“The idea is you can take an existing religion, say Judaism, and you could place the scripture in a blockchain.”

Liston is the Cryptsiah or Cryptophet (titles given to him by Singer) of 0xOmega and author of the so-called “flame paper” which describes how it will work. In extremely simple terms, the blockchain will provide a digital ledger of rules and beliefs of the religion that all members can see and vote on before they become canon law. Followers will be given an “Omega” – not a watch but a token which empowers their participation in the faith … think of it as a bit-medal or bible-coin.

Confused? That’s why it’s called a religion. Liston and Singer prepared for puzzled possible participants by offering a variation of 0xOmega that could be based on an existing religion and then modified after reaching a consensus. Besides this, Singer also contributed the most important part of this new blockchain religion … how it will make money from the flock. The artist created a statuette of a “Dogewhal” (guess what it looks like) that could be obtained by ‘contributing’ cryptocurrency to a distributed autonomous organization that is programmed to send the statuette when certain criteria are met. What’s a Dogewhal? Think collision between a narwhal and a pooch. Now THAT’S art! (See it here.)

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Narwhal or one-half of a Dogewhal

The 0xOmega crypto-religion is consensus-based, which means there’s no ‘pope’ or leader, so Liston prefers not to be called the Cryptsiah. Well then, what is he? ‘Religious entrepreneur’ might be a good title. Liston thinks all religions could benefit from using blockchain as a feedback mechanism or, not surprisingly, as a way to manage donations and spending by making everything totally transparent to the flock so they don’t feel like they’re getting fleeced.

So who is the ‘god’ in this new crypto-religion called 0xOmega? Is it Dogewhal? Nope. Whether it’s crypto, card or currency, it appears to be money.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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