by Gil Davis
Back in the early days of ether (ETH) trading, when it was only $0.25, Simon de la Rouviere wrote a story. The premise was that in the near future software could recreate a person and simulate it in Virtual Reality via information people gave to the blockchain willingly. With this power, those people could relive old experiences with that data for the rest of their life if they wished thanks to the immutability of the blockchain.
Rouveiere did two things with this story. The first was he posted a hash of it into the Terra Nullius smarter contract, the first interactive one on the Ethereum network. The second is he posted it on Reddit. Once it was on Reddit /u/linagee decided to take it into their own hands and post the whole story into Ethereum as a hexadecimal string.
Since it was published on to the Ethereum network so early, chances are pretty high that if you’ve ever run an Ethereum node you’ve also downloaded this particular story.
Check it out. Take the input of a transaction and follow these instructions on OS X:
- Store the hexadecimal input into ‘story.hex’
- Run: xxd –p –r story.hex> story.txt.gz
- Run: gunzip story.txt.gz
- Run: cat story.txt
That’s it. In your terminal, Rouveire’s story will show up for you to read. If you’ve ever done a transaction on the Ethereum network and if you have the data, you more than likely will have this story.
The justice of a story about humans being etched into the blockchain for eternity now available to all ETH users most definitely leave a sense of accomplishment with the author of it.
“…it’s likely that if you’ve ever run an Ethereum node and still have the chain data, you have a copy of my short story on your hard drive. A story about how we are forever being etched into a blockchain is now distributed in computers all across the world.”
As a sort of easter egg within the blockchain, it is a cool concept and is not the only case of the blockchain being used for artistic purposes. As long as the net is working and its stored on anyone’s computer somewhere these blockchains aren’t going anywhere, and this type of close to infinite and lossless data storage has really never been seen before.
If nothing else, Rouveiere can take pride in knowing that somewhere, in the depths of their hard drives, Ethereum users have his short story on their hard drive. This is kind of a dream for a certain type of writer, to know their work exists outside of their realm thanks to the blockchain.
Similar ‘stories’ have been embedded into the Bitcoin blockchain, also known as ‘cryptograffiti.’