A Foray into Blockchains and Cryptocurrency

Published by elazar351153 14 Jul 2019

A Foray into Blockchains and Cryptocurrency

I've kept an eye on blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies for a while, but I haven't done anything with them or involved myself in their communities. If I'm honest, I've sometimes wondered if they weren't passing fads.

That said, it's hard to argue with the results when it comes to my friend Luke Stokes: he paid off his house, sold the house and his half of a business that he built from the ground up, moved to Puerto Rico, and is now living the good life there with his family and participating in blockchain and cryptocurrency communities full-time. These days, an accomplishment like that seems worthy of a closer look.

When I came across this Twitter thread that Luke posted, I decided that it might be time to try my hand at it.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about getting into blockchain/cryptocurrency stuff, but you want to see it actually DO something fun (not just show up as fluctuating, speculative numbers of value on a screen).📈📉 Here’s my suggestion...

Getting an EOS Account

The first step in Luke's suggested process was to get an EOS account.

Let’s start with a game. For this you’ll need an #EOS account which you can purchase via the @EOSLynx app.

I found it odd and rather annoying that the EOS Lynx app is available on mobile devices and not desktop devices. The same thing has annoyed me about the Current app that I use to transfer allowance funds to my kids. That said, installing the EOS Lynx app on my phone was easy, and the price point of $1.99 seemed low enough.

When prompted for what sort of account to create, since that I didn't recognize the other two options, I selected EOS.

The biggest friction point was setting up an EOS account because of having to come up with a username that met its requirements: consisting of characters from a-z and 1-5, and precisely 12 characters in length. A feature to assist users with this step would be useful.

When the app prompted me to store a copy of my private key, I did so using my LastPass account.

Getting Scatter

The next step was to get the Scatter app.

The game I have in mind is a little difficult to play on mobile (though you can), so let’s go ahead and install @Get_Scatter on your desktop computer. This is like installing a web browser so you can browse the web.

It took me a bit to find the Scatter web site because, when I hovered over their account name in Luke's tweet, I saw a link to their ScatterApps GitHub repository rather than the link to their main web site, which I had to click through to their main Twitter profile to see. This is a usability issue with Twitter, but something the Scatter project should probably be aware of.

While I generally prefer to install software using Homebrew, it didn't have a recipe for Scatter, so I had to install it manually. Not a big deal, though a minor annoyance.

I used LastPass again to generate and store a secure password for Scatter, then to retrieve the EOS private key I'd generated in the first step and import it into Scatter.

Playing Prospectors

Next was to fire up the game that Luke suggested.

Now sign up at https://prospectors.io/?ref=1lukestokes1 … It’s a fun resource game where you can mine cryptocurrency gold 💰 and everything is done on a blockchain. /7

I signed into the same Google account that I used to pay for the EOS Lynx app, then opted to use Scatter to open the game. The purpose of this seems to be having Scatter automatically provide my key rather than requiring me to provide it manually.

Luke likened Scatter to a web browser in his Twitter thread, but it seems more like an app store crossed with an MFA agent (e.g. Authy) to me.

When the game came up in my browser, it didn't provide much in the way of prompts or an in-game tutorial. If you aren't sure of how to get started, consider checking out its video tutorial series on YouTube.

Once I watched the video on jobs and gold and assigned jobs to my workers, there wasn't much to do but wait four hours for them to complete. I felt a bit underwhelmed by this.

I wasn't sure if I was ready to throw $10 at Steem Monsters yet, so I decided to move further along in the Twitter thread.

Registering on Decentium

I noticed that Luke cross-posted his Twitter thread to Decentium, so I decided to sign in with Scatter and register a Decentium account so I could cross-post this there as well as on my Steemit account.

For more practical examples of using blockchain technology such as decentralized, uncensorable media content, I used my EOS account to publish this Twitter thread to the EOS blockchain: https://decentium.org/lukeeosproxy/blockchain-ga

Parting Thoughts

This foray showed me that it isn't difficult to get started, and there are some fun novelties out there. That said, I'd like to see Luke publish a follow-up with more practical applications.

Being able to post content and get paid on a platform like Steemit or Decentium is a start, but I'd like to hear about other ways that these technologies can be a source of value.