A Religion Based on the Blockchain - Strange but True
Former Augur CEO Matt Liston has founded a blockchain religion called "0xΩ." Liston pronounces this as "Zero Ex Omega." Let's explore what it is all about.
Matt Liston, the Founder of Augur is creating an ethereum based religion known as 0xΩ (0xOmega, pronounced as "Zero times omega"), and he is putting it on the blockchain. Matt was actively involved in the creation of Augur but due to disagreements concerning the commercial goals and technology of the company, he left or was forced out of the company.
According to Forbes reports, the religion’s community consensus and donations will be done via the ethereum blockchain smart contracts and consensus. Matt said, “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.” The religion held its first religious ceremony or launching party at the Rhizome arts group at the New Museum, New York, in May this year. During this religious ceremony, Mr. Matt unveiled the first sacred object of the religion known as the totem.
In the same event, Matt offered more than 40 hardcopies of the religion’s white paper, which according to him will be called the “flame paper.” The flame paper contains the religious outline of 0xΩ. The believers of 0xΩ can approve, vote, identify or evolve their sacred texts through the smart contracts. All the sacred texts of 0xΩ will be derived from the flame paper, “The idea is you can take an existing religion, like Judaism, and you could place the scripture in a blockchain,” said Liston.
The flame paper is the whitepaper of 0xΩ. It was written by Matt and it explains how this religion works. In a lay man’s language, the flame paper will give a digital ledger which contains the beliefs and rules of the 0xΩ religion. Everyone who wants to become a member of this church must see this document and vote for it before it can become a canon law of the religion.
Today, in almost all the major denominations, they have the topmost leaders. For instance, the Catholics have the Pope and the Chief Rabbi for the Jews and many others. In such churches, the major decisions and beliefs are made by the leaders and passed to the rest of the believers. The common churchgoers have little or no say on the church’s beliefs or decisions.
The blockchain eliminates the central leader hence the 0xΩ religion works differently. They do not have the central governing authority. Instead, the common users or members have the final say. Starting with the flame paper, the followers can decide to change the religion’s sacred text. Similarly, if they have a charity or religious function to support, they do so via the blockchain.
According to Forbes, “Because it is distributed and difficult to hack, blockchain may provide the perfect platform for followers to voice their opinions on these matters, or give their vote to another member to vote on their behalf.”
However, if the members of this religion do not agree on various topics, there are high chances that 0xΩ can be separated into 2 religions. According to Avery Singer, a supporter of 0xΩ, she said, “In this religion, the people participating and involved could essentially vote and continuously change the structure and nature of it."
The members of this blockchain religion can carry out various religious projects such as appointing leaders, donations and any projects that might need funding through the smart contract. This will help eliminate the need for middlemen. The smart contract will allow the members to make their donations through the blockchain. Matt said that he will also be making his contributions to the “church” through the same means instead of him receiving donations from his supporters and churchgoers.
According to Matt, all religions need to use blockchain, “as a feedback mechanism or as a way to manage donations and spending by making everything totally transparent to the flock so they don’t feel like they’re getting fleeced.”
Avery Singer, an artist who is one of the church members unveiled her project during the opening religious ceremony known as “Dogewhal.” She unveiled an animated model of Dogewhal which she said that other members can come up with similar projects and they will be paid through the church’s distributed autonomous organization.
Singer is among the first members of the 0xΩ religion. She said that she was attracted to this religion because it is decentralized hence it does not have a central figure as its leader. She said, “In this religion, the people participating and involved could essentially vote and continuously change the structure and nature of it.”
For every member who joins this religion, they will be issued with a token known as “Omega.” The Omega gives the members the right to participate in the religious activities. In other words, the token works as a bible-coin of this religion.
0xΩ is not the only religion that is based on the blockchain. There are other decentralized religions such as the Jesus Coin which was started primarily to decentralize Jesus. Other blockchain religions include the Pastafarianism also known as The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
In conclusion, the cryptocurrency industry is driven by “faith.” You invest and hope for the best. This might be the underlying reason for the blockchain religion - 0xΩ. The 0xΩ is meant as a platform where people from different backgrounds can meet and come up with their beliefs and use blockchain technology to exchange their religion’s sacred texts. Besides exchanging sacred texts, they can also elect leaders, vote for the religious activities of their religion among other religious things that they might want to do.
According to a recent Tweet by Matt Liston, he compares the act of cryptocurrency mining as a “ritual sacrifice” that is meant to increase one’s “belief” on the blockchain. In the same Tweet, he also likened the cryptocurrency tokens as the “commoditized faith in the blockchain.” According to Drew Millard, a blogger, “While it’s possible that cryptocurrency could radically shift the world as we know it, without fundamental changes to its current hierarchy, the process of decentralizing our money will likely just serve to even further centralize power itself. While 0xΩ might be a genuine stab at creating a new religion or simply an absurdist art project, it might also be a tongue-in-cheek attempt to warn us of the world to come.”