Blockchain Can Improve with Personal Hardware, Real Spaces: Introducing SkyPalace!

How can the world of virtual currencies be made to interact more with the world of physical consumer needs?

In a developing economy, the first step is often to build up a country’s physical infrastructure as sturdily as possible. With better roads, ports and communications, the basis for more market activity is in place.   In a disaster like a war or natural catastrophe, the harm to the country’s support structures for travel and communication is the damage that needs to be mended first,  before deeper recovery can begin.

In the developing cryptoeconomy, the presence of more physical things linked to transfers of value via cryptography will enable a growth of confidence. As is often pointed out, when it is equally possible to buy a house, a holiday or a  cup of coffee with Bitcoin, an important barrier will have been breached.  It is impossible to decouple the cryptoeconomic space from computer-enabled encryption, and in the past five years the “infrastructure” of Bitcoin and other currencies’ consensus mechanisms has become concentrated in specialized ASIC chips as well as organized efforts to dedicate all sorts of machinery to the growth and maintenance of the networks – this has enabled Bitcoin to scale and tied it to a specific piece of hardware, but has negative implications for decentralization.

The obstacles to widespread adoption of the different forms of crypto are complex. One solution to which ShellPay is committed is the use of a handful of creative approaches at once to provide incentives. A key category is the creation of premade nodes, SkyBoxes, that will earn back the initial investment made by owners and lead to a profit while encouraging a firmer infrastructure.

To borrow some other classic terminology, SkyBox is both a “durable” good that not only keeps its value, but can passively earn back its initial cost investment over time – and add a great deal more. As a node providing Internet access to the owner, it also gives better access to “non-durable goods” and to “services”, creating a virtuous “circle of value” that touches on the fundamentals needed for a new kind of economy.

Recall how Apple computers experienced a depressed period in the late nineties. Recovery and exponential growth towards the dominant position of today depended on providing a consistent, unified hardware infrastructure (especially the iPhone, then MacBook) that allowed secure access to a varied marketplace: the App store, the web, media production and consumption.

Recall how e-commerce, online banking, email, messaging, streamed content and innumerable other tools and services depend on digital cryptography to function. This aspect of the online world is hidden from view for most of us, and yet most of us possess multiple devices with the power to encrypt and decrypt information at speeds that would have been astounding for the engineers and physicists that devised the moon landings.

The private blockchain and Obelisk consensus of Skycoin and the mesh network of Skywire, combined with the simplicity of SkyBox, provide a combination of unified hardware and greater access to a brand new marketplace being opened up around cryptocurrencies and blockchain. To leverage the capacity of supporting a packet transfer network and blockchain with just a very small amount of electricity and specialized hardware, SkyLedger and ShellPay have sought to simplify the path from curiosity to running an active node in a scalable network. The lessons of design, integration, connectivity and security from previous decades have been learned, and are being applied to blockchain. The design team behind the SkyBox housing and structure is even the same that crafted world famous “shells” for Apple.

In future articles we will examine how having physical spaces from the get-go to support the growing infrastructure is such a good idea, and describe some of the unprecedented innovations that ShellPay will bring to notions like “incubator” and “accelerator” – and outline plans for a “Special Crypto-Economic Zone” within an area in need of ground-up development.