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Behind the Cover of Issue 21

A Bitcoin signet, proposed by Karl-Johan Alm, could provide a more predictable and stable Bitcoin testnet for development.

A Bitcoin signet, proposed by Karl-Johan Alm, could provide a more predictable and stable Bitcoin testnet for development.

This story is about the cover used for Issue 21.

The original theme of Issue 21 was intended to highlight the intersection between Bitcoin and the Art world. Looking back I realize it was too broad of a target and as I saw the direction of the cover starting to lean towards a deeper story about Ukraine, I saw a great chance to have a Ukrainian Bitcoiner, named Roman, jump in and write about certain stories related to the conflict in the Ukraine some media outlets may have missed. I delved deeper and tried writing about the essence of art, which was frustrating enough that I eventually scrapped the article that seemed to bring up more questions than answers. I determined defining art was impossible, but attempting to define it or redefined it ironically lets artist, coders, writers, painters, poets, actors, and comedians add their own personal interpretation of art. Building upon the volumes of inspiration that came before them. Creating a foundation of inspiration for many new artists to come.

There is a strange inspiration when you get your first Bitcoin tip. It is magical. The feeling of recognition in a digital context is something everyone needs to experience. There is no central location where someone lets folks get Bitcoin. It is a digital money available to all and when you get a Bitcoin for something you have done, you simultaneously know someone that could be physically distant from you has shown you appreciation. Despite the distance that Bitcoin tip had to travel, you feel the appreciation as though someone pat you on the back.

I have gone through a significant change in my views on art, Bitcoin, and decentralized creations after working on this issue, but I wanted to make sure the cover got a reasonable amount of explanation. The themes mentioned will be strangely familiar to Bitcoin users as there are several forces that have tried to manipulate Bitcoin away from being a free system for all.

When Victoria, one of our writers, and Troy of cryptoart introduced me to the Ukrainian artist Alexander, who would be designing our issue 21 cover, I told him he had the freedom to create anything he wanted. He suggested the theme be about the conflict he has seen in Ukraine and presented this image as a second draft.


I showed the image to Victoria, who had interviewed his partner Troy at cryptoart, and we both loved the ties to mythology and its modern day message he presented along with his initial sketch.

What you see here was inspired by the goddess Hecate, who performed favors for the Greek gods. She was personified as three women and often would bring gods and goddesses from Hades back to earth for a fee. That fee was often a soul swap: taking some other life into Hades to restore the balance of the requests she received.

Alexander suggested in the same way Hecate influenced others who were far off, Russia has similarly influenced Ukrainians.

The stars or points of bright light along the bottom of the cover are inspired by a ceremony for Ukrainian heroes who died after Ukrainians submitted the Declaration of Independence to Russia. This ceremony is held at a location in Kiev called Майдан Незалежності (Maidan Nezalezhnosti), which is literally translated as Independence Square. During the ceremony, smartphones have replaced the candles that were typically used by the Ukrainians commemorating the fallen heroes that helped secure their freedom. Alexander wishes to remember anyone who has passed on or been captured or tortured by the recent conflicts in Ukraine.

If you wish to tip or send a tribute to Alexander, here is his Bitcoin address: 1KzMeazRU6ZBp78RSrTNbe9EqgSv6aBQwq.