Religion a Billion Dollar Opportunity
Earlier in May 2018, Liston was embroiled in an ugly $152 million lawsuit with his former co-founders, accusing them of fraud, breach of contract, and trade theft. However, while the trial remains ongoing, the 26-year old seems to have found peace in a religion he created.
Termed 0xΩ, the religion burrows inspiration from decentralized ideologies, such as the way blockchain participants reach consensus. Additionally, Liston believes that his protocol can revolutionize the traditional process of receiving donations by processing transactions on the Ethereum blockchain.
While the concept may sound outrageous to some, Liston believes that the religious sector represents a billion-dollar opportunity for blockchain technology. At current, religious work typically involves patronages and missionary work all of which imply significant organization and financing. The entrepreneur explained 0xΩ:
“It’s a religious framework that could allow for belief sets to update much more quickly and also to democratize the relationship between membership and convergence on what everyone believes in this religion.”
Religion means big business too, as donations for religious purposes reached $122.94 billion in the U.S. alone in 2016, as per a Giving USA report.
Sacred Digital Totems
To kickstart the process, Liston handed out “flamepapers” to 40 interested parties. Each paper contained a detailed explanation of how the religion’s governance model could work, along with an implementation procedure.
Additionally, a “religious ceremony” was held as part of Rhizome’s art exhibition at the New Museum in New York, with the cult unveiling public and private Ethereum keys called “totems.”
— Ryan John King (@frothcity) May 19, 2018
As described, the governance model would work on a smart contract proxy vote system, allowing believers to “identify, approve, and update” the religious bylaws via a blockchain-powered code, ensuring all participants receive the same message.
Furthermore, the system’s participants can appoint their leaders and fund projects of their choosing as long as it adheres to the religion’s mission. The structure’s design keeps in mind the faithful devotees’ constructs such as churches, mosques, and temples, and funding religious artwork while eliminating intermediaries.
Liston’s model can apply to any religion in the world, such that religious groups reach common beliefs. The entrepreneur explained:
“The idea is you can take an existing religion, say Judaism, and you could place the scripture in a blockchain.”
Hard Fork on the Cards
Seemingly avoiding an Augur-like situation, Liston has a backup plan ready in case his project fails to achieve consensus: hard fork the 0xΩ. With this, the entrepreneur intends to copy all historical transactions, and shift them to the new group where the model is slightly modified, and a consensus is achieved.
It must be noted that Liston’s platform is better described as a token-curated registry (TCR), an upcoming model that allows groups to agree on what constitutes useful information and what does not, without the approval of any centralized entity.
A non-religious use-case of the TCR is decentralized advertising platform adChain, which aims to dethrone Google and Facebook from their advertising monopoly. The company allows users to use TCRs and ensure that ads are reaching real users.
In conclusion, while 0xΩ may sound humorous to readers, the system is possibly the first elaborate, detailed effort towards religion, quite unlike the Ethereum-based JesusCoin, which aims to “decentralize Jesus.”