Category Archives: Sharedropping

Sharedropping as a stigmergic operation

What is a sharedropping?

Sharedropping is a practice perfected by the Bitshares community. Stan Larimer discusses the purpose of sharedropping in the article titled Bitshares Sharedrop Theory. This quote below highlights what a sharedrop does:

It’s not about imitating Bitcoin.  It’s about attracting an affinity group.  And once you’ve motivated that group to hold onto your coin, you have eyeballs to sell.  In this case, the value of your coin is tied to the value of your group as a target for other developers’ promotional shares. This is exactly what PTS and AGS holders are: A demographic MUCH more likely to be good supporters.  These block chains are like mailing codes that let you target your shares to the people you want to reach much, much, much more precisely than using Silicon Valley mailing codes!

One of the first successful sharedrops occurred within the Bitshares community. Originally Bitshares was centralized around a company Invictus Innovations which invented the concept of Protoshares. Protoshares at the time represented nothing more than an idea. All who believed in that idea were encouraged to acquire Protoshares through either mining it with their CPUs, working for it, or buying it.

What is a stigmergic operation?

Protoshares represented the hopes and dreams of the Bitshares community symbolized as a token and the developers encouraged all participants to rally around that shared idea by formulating a social consensus. This represents a stigmergic operation and provides one of the best examples of stigmergy to date in the crypto community.

How can you conduct a stigmergic operation?

To do a stigmergic operation just follow these basic steps.

  1.  Come up with a compelling idea and share it with people who are likely to appreciate it. Be good at explaining the idea and make sure people believe it can work.
  2. Find an attractor pattern to represent the idea. This could be as simple as tokenization where anyone can mine if they believe in the idea or acquire the token somehow by buying or working for it. It can also be the joining of a mailing list, the membership on a forum,  citizenship, reputation or anything you want.
  3. Create stakeholders in the idea. This is where you conduct the sharedrop onto all who hold the token, or who are on the mailing list, or who maintained active membership on the forum or virtual citizenship group.
  4. Create a social consensus and or constitution.

Once all is in place you will have created a swarm.  The price of the attractor tokens will influence behavior of the swarm. In bees the duration of a dance is the signal but for humans price is usually the signal. The social consensus is also extremely important to follow consistently because it is the glue which holds everything together. It is trust in the distributed rule-set which holds the holonic structure together.