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Arjun Balaji
@arjunblj

Cryptocurrency is the world’s largest massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG).

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2/ A core leap to understand the Crypto MMORPG is to realize Bitcoin has no “community”: it is an open protocol maintained by a global distribution of node operators.

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3/ In our game, there are many different players, each with unique guilds: investors (retail, institutional), miners, node operators, hackers (adversarial), hackers (core developers), companies, economists, and promoters.

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4/ Many MMORPGs (e.g. WoW, RuneScape) have fantasy themes: crypto has a fantasy of the re-creation of La Belle Époque: the period of sound money driven prosperity during the French Third Republic.

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5/ MMORPGS are oriented around character development and “leveling”, in which players “grind” to acquire skills. Here, we have real money: every player is grinding to acquire meaningful skills (and $BTC).

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6/ Status is at the center of many MMORPGs: grinding in an infinite progression means optimizing around status in the online world.

In crypto, people accumulate massive clout via through shipping meaningful code, trading calls, predictive game theory, deep analysis, and more.

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7/ Naturally, tribes form around strategies, ideologies, and simple friendships. They have varying degrees of leadership and formal structure.

Cryptocurrencies are deeply tribal, money accentuates the antagonism between tribes as capturing mindshare (and $) is zero sum.

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8/ These tribes develop their own culture and vernacular built around very deep memes which look extremely foreign to those not deeply embedded. HODL GANG

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9/ These games are "always on", just like 24/7 traded crypto markets. They lead to deep addiction problems, financial trouble, and more.

This will be a bigger problem in Bitcoin in the coming years. Lost fortunes will lead to mental health issues.

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10/ In middle school, I was a huge Runescape and MapleStory player. This form of online interaction has always been native to me.

It isn't a shock that when the chance came to play with higher, global, real-world stakes, I was hooked.

Should be a fun 10y ahead. 🚀

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