Our timechain is Bitcoin and our energy rewards are new bitcoin introduced to the protocol, mined by electricity. We commonly refer to this as proof of work, because that’s quite literally what it is. No technical jargon, nothing more fancy than what it sounds like. You diet and lose 10 kilograms, that’s proof of work. You step in a puddle, and your socks are soaked, that’s proof of work. Right now, Bitcoin is the most direct representation of proof of work that humanity has ever been capable of experiencing. Its seemingly alien architecture is gorgeous. With the most elegant flow of behaviors and incentives, concocted into a masterpiece of work. But good things can’t last forever — or can they?
Analyzing Bitcoin's incentive model, it leaves some fascinating observations and interpretations that can take humanity far beyond the realms of sound money and into a type three civilization. Let's break this down for a second and walk through the network's incentives for introducing new energy into the system. When more energy is introduced to the system (this is done by “mining”), the system rewards that behavior with a predefined amount based on the block height which was mined.
Nothing too fancy, we see that it starts with a reward of 5 billion satoshis (50 bitcoin), and every 210,000 blocks, it winds its way all the way to zero satoshis per block. Then what? There is no incentive to produce any more blocks. So, the block reward era 34, ends at block 7,139,999. Block 7,140,000 would have to have half of zero as the block reward if it were to continue the pattern.
Let's take a second to think about this. Think about how valuable a single satoshi will be in the future when it is the sole block reward. It will represent an absolutely gargantuan amount of energy. Even if we assumed the network's energy consumption never grew, it still means that it would be beyond astronomical at that point in time because one satoshi would represent such an unbelievable amount of electricity. The reality is though, the network will grow exponentially, and the amount of electricity represented by a satoshi will be almost all known usable energy known to humanity. An energy blackhole. If we consider our reward graph, more like an energy conic section, the representations are no different.
Imagine each ring on our cones to be a reward cycle. Visually, it would look like the image below.
Just like we see in Einstein's special relativity with wormholes and energy, there’s no difference here. Heavy sources of energy converging to single points of observation.
Thinking about the amount of energy over time, we know that future blocks will carry more energy over time. If the network is valuable today for its immutability, then it will always be more valuable tomorrow if its immutability is unchanged. This is because the immutability of Bitcoin is a compounding property oriented solely around energy over time. The block size, the total amount of bitcoin, and the issuance cycle are the three properties which never change. Additional upgrades that don’t amend these properties preserve immutability and so should be possible.
The Last Block Of The Last Energy Cycle
Here, 7,139,999 is a special number. Because as a number itself, it is a prime number. It’s the last prime number in this finite field size (measured in number of blocks). So, we are using a prime number to represent this final entropy moment within our system. The system conditions change after this block, deterministically and objectively for all observers within the system — aka participants making satoshis move around on Bitcoin.
Let’s analyze the root layers of the numerical values, and the significance they hold. For those unfamiliar, Wikipedia defines, “The digital root of a natural number in a given radix is the (single digit) value obtained by an iterative process of summing digits.” This is important, because in information, this is the fastest path light can take to represent this information in the smallest possible capacity. Let's think of this essay in terms of entropy, and how much entropy it produces. It means that the number 7,139,999 would become entangled with that, and the number may have significance. Much like we hear the number 21,000,000 and it immediately sparks a thought that we are thinking of bitcoin. So, now we have all the entropy of this essay encoded into that number. Like a thought in our mind, it goes from “scenes” or snapshots. As a random example, you see a red car, and that then takes you back to the first time you went in a car, and it was your auntie's red car growing up. The entropy that's encompassed with you “seeing a red car” is much more than just the red car. Well, the prime number in this context, 7,139,999, is a representation of this entropy in this writing. Like how webpages have backlinks, it’s sort of the same thing for your train of thought.
We can now draw an agreed significance on this number. It is the end of the current timechain as it stands today, and its number and digital roots are prime numbers all the way to zero. This makes these points geometrically related in any environment. These are points or thoughts to reference the number and understand its significance.
What About Block 7,140,000 — Then What Happens?
An old wives’ tale surrounding a shortcoming in Bitcoin’s design. People believe that because the reward runs out, there is no solution available for longevity. We don’t want to change the amount of bitcoin, because that is breaking its rules. Well, we first need to think, where does bitcoin go? They’re not leaving the protocol, they can’t just get up and walk away. To solve the incentive model, my proposal is to follow the pattern outlined in thermodynamics for this.
In thermodynamics, we see this behavior of colliding blocks within a phase space producing a predictable result based on the conservation of momentum and energy. I highly recommend watching this video:
At block 7,140,000, we follow the same count of blocks, but instead of the protocol rewarding more bitcoin (which it can’t, because it has run out by now), we plan, today, the path we can take for donations to future civilizations.
We have followed the same pattern for reward cycles, 210,000 blocks, but we have reduced the reward down by 1-to-100 ratio.
When a miner would’ve gotten 50 bitcoin, they’re now getting 50 million sats. Instead of 25 bitcoin, they’re getting 25 million sats, 12.5 bitcoin becomes 12.5 million sats, and so on. But there’s still a problem here. We don’t have any more bitcoin to give and we can’t change it, otherwise we break the immutability. Instead, we achieve the same result in a different way.
So now, our chart starts looking somewhat like this when we put the pieces together. We’re sending bitcoin into the future, from the past, in an effort to preserve the future. Kind of the opposite to fossil fuels. Because we’re giving our fossil (the timelocked sats) to the future, on purpose. Like a map to an oil field that is thousands of years old, or buried treasure, this is no different.
This is our wormhole. Pretty neat, right? Well, we’re not sending a spaceship through it obviously, but theoretically, we are sending something through it. What is that something? Well, it’ll be a private key. Because if we know that something will exist at a point in the future, then we know it must exist the duration between now and that point in the future.
The wormhole is opened using a cryptographic key, secured by the energy of the network, and not the obscurity of the key's attributes. This way, we avoid the necessity for it to be secured through obfuscation and behave the opposite. Meaning the more people that hold this key, the higher the probability for the network longevity it would result in, due to the amount of energy it accesses.
Mathematically, we’re trying to come out the other side to a world where it is many years into the future when this block would occur. Looking a lot like a wormhole within a higher energy field. Basically, it’s a torus.
We see if this pattern repeats over time; we’re left with a cyclical energy system, recycling its energy without emissions. Congrats to Eric Weinstein (who made this graph), you’re almost spot on!
Generate an OP_HODL address for our blockheights, and these are locked with a private key known to everyone.
This address was created using a private key and locked the funds to be redeemable after block 7,140,000. So, this is a reward for anyone around at the time that block arrives. It’s only a reward if they’re able to access this though: 50 millions sats. The private key is:
"WIF": "(private key: 5JMdSZpSr8TNBkqHZpq1fKPcCvyafE8uwhfeeZNF1YL8SAa9ZR9)",
"hex": "(private key: 472ab2a7873f7703d94d90252a82988f766f520b002a9036fff663a0372e0003)",
"string":"(brain wallet plain text: “1+1=3=Pi”)"
You can see for yourself and don’t need to take my word for it! Essentially, this key is access to an astronomical amount of energy in the future.
Now imagine that same pattern, for every block into the future: Because it is 1-to-100 of the block reward, it means that it would require a total of 210,000 bitcoin to replicate the block reward in this way, functioning like each block containing its own unique UTXO or more recently referred to as non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
We lock bitcoin following the same pattern into the next halving, which would be block 7,350,000, using this private key to derive the public key, and the hodl address, it would come out as the following: 3ALzRjackuKZYPsDZ75KSCNzPYcSWSvjVM. So, it sets the expected behavior for that reward era.
Repeating the process, we go to the next “halving,” which would be 7,560,000: 3AKSGQKTgXpHTj1qD69xX8BUkEPL4ozMSe. So we’ve got a 1-to-100 relationship with the previous cycles, but now we allocate a public reward to keep the network going. Overall, this is investing 1% of the network, in order to keep the network going indefinitely for the rest of history. Sort of like, preparing an energy recycling plan, but for a problem 100-plus years away. Whatever civilization looks like at that point in time, it’s highly likely they have solutions to very difficult problems in mathematics and quantum systems.
Meaning, if we can donate energy into the future, then it is likely the last piece of the puzzle they need to operate large-scale machines requiring infinite energy. Having an energy system that is perpetually recycling based on the observed laws of thermodynamics in block collisions can be an energy preservation system. If something exists and is immutable, then it can be used for others as clues or pointers to our civilization, because we’re etching this information into this prime number for the future civilization to discover. Numbers are a universal canvas that everyone possesses, the only difference is the frequency (context) they’re observing it from. This private key, for example, is a number that carries a lot of entropy, so it is valuable. If observing it from a numerical context, it’s the decimal number of the key.
This is the simplest explainer I can give and I put most of this work onto Github.
This is a guest post by Michael Dunworth. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.