The Star Chamber

December 6, 2022

Following the catastrophic financial crisis of 2008 that was caused by cheap credit and lax lending standards that fueled the housing bubble that could only burst. Banks suddenly found themselves holding trillions of worthless investments in subprime mortgages. The Great Recession that followed cost many their jobs, their life savings, and their homes. Somewhere in this narrative against the backdrop of this indescribable financial carnage. A group of post graduate students interning at the nearby aerospace facility in Rolls Royce gathered at McDonald’s in Derby UK. It was a wet muggy day when these budding scientist began to question the fundamental premise of money thru a new and revised assumption that was once considered heretical. One of these men scribbled on a paper napkin a equation that expressed the conception of a new form of currency known as money that today we call crypto. It was a strange formulation as it contained a cryptic reference to a Haiku about Samurai walking in the rain. This new currency that they had envisioned to eclipse old money was not created out of the evil seed of avarice or the self serving interest of perpetuating the apparatus of capitalism. It laid the prototypal blueprints of novus coptus – the new order. Only this time, power over who determines the actual value of this new currency will not be vested in man. For he is a flawed creature who can too easily succumb to the temptations of greed and self interest. Instead the purity of will of machines will be the vanguards that will guard against the greed of mankind thus creating a fairer and new improved economic utopia. That day the burgers and chips were soggy, but it didn’t matter much. As the men who sat on the table next to a life size figure of Ronald McDonald’s realised that what they would unleash into the world could only transform the idea of money itself by destroying the vestiges of old money.

Somewhere in this deep discussion over ‘what actually is money?’ The men found themselves in the no man’s land of hubris that led them to ask – what money should ideally be. It had only been one week after the great financial crash and they worked frantically to flesh out the bare outlines of this new hope. Somewhere between closing time and realising that they must have missed the last bus. They decided to walk. That was when one of them asked, what if this new money goes crazy and causes the same mayhem as real money? Another asked – Shouldn’t we build in a cut off switch that we could flip if the experiment goes crazy? At that moment the men who had till then ambled along aimlessly came to an abrupt halt. A eiree bluish hallow had descended on the square and in the far distance over the brow of the hills the first tendrils of light had began flaming the cold of darkness……… It was a new dawn.

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