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Sovereign Sky - Excerpt 8 - Brown v Howey

stanlarimerPosted to Publiclast year7 min read


The first Cities in Flight novel, They Shall Have Stars (1956) (also published under the title Year 2018!) is set in the [1956] near future (the book begins in 2013 [as did BitShares]). In this future, the Soviet Union still exists and the Cold War is still ongoing. As a result, in the West, civil liberties have been eroded more and more, until society eventually resembles the Soviet model. Alaska's Senator Bliss Wagoner, head of the Joint Congressional Committee on Space Flight, is determined to do something about it. Wagoner is eventually convicted of treason by an oppressive regime, but not before he has sent out expeditions. The main antagonist is one Francis X. MacHinery, hereditary Director of the FBI, which has become a de facto secret police agency. -- Wikipedia

Of course, this could only happen in a science fiction story...

DISCLAIMER - This draft short story excerpt is a work of science fiction designed to communicate insights about the actual "Real World" in which we live. Any similarities to the places, people, and events of that world are either a coincidence or a deliberate attempt to ridicule specific elements of that world that ought to be ashamed of themselves.


Sovereign Sky - Excerpt 8 - Brown v Howey

Marty: Hey, Doc, something's been bugging me...

Doc Hold this blowtorch for me a minute, Marty. What's up?

Marty Well, I've been going over Doc's Fictional Guide and had some questions about the "Targeted Demographic" you referred to there.

BEOS tokens will only be available to a Targeted Demographic consisting of BitShares and BROWNie.PTS holders that stake their tokens to earn BEOS during the “rainfall” period and the BitShares Reserve Fund which will be staked in place to accumulate BEOS tokens for a comparable BEOS Endowment Fund. In this way, BEOS can be seen as an optional migration to EOS for BitShares holders. This will allow BitShares to utilize the increased speed and power of the EOS software without needing to buy EOS tokens or give up their BTS.

Doc: Point it a little bit further away from that tank. Thanks. Sure Marty. I didn't invent the concept. The original BitShares Airdrop Theory was to give tokens away to people who already held other tokens under the theory that possession of those tokens marked them as members of a particular demographic. People holding Permacoin presumably were interested in Permaculture, so gifting them some tokens would attract the permies to your ecosystem. That sort of thing. Old Man Larimer had this crazy idea about breeding the perfect mix of supporters for a project by playing with the demographics of multiple groups. Getting the formula right was always the tricky part.

Marty: Yeah, I get that, Doc. I was just wondering if I could tweak the formula a bit?

Doc: In principle, yes, but once you start fiddling with the formula everybody wants to get in on the act. Next thing you know you've got a donnybrook going from people arguing about who gets what. Here, gimme that torch until you get your goggles on.

Marty: They're too foggy, Doc and I can't breathe in that mask. I was just thinking about how to attract some of the old supporters back to the project. The ones that have wandered off to other things. What if we tossed a few tokens their way?

Doc: It'll just be a minute and you're not going to need to see anything Marty. You just need to hold the flame still while I spray these two aerosols through it onto that sheet of silver foil. It's not really up to us anyway. Each parallel universe could choose a different formula. People will have to see what happens in their particular reality. In fact, you've already forked a few infinities worth of new universes just by thinking about it in public. But since the damage is already done, you might as well tell me what you had in mind.

Marty: Well, I was reading through Old Man Larimer's History of BitShares and the original two demographics were people who had mined surrogate tokens in two different ways. One was a Bitcoin clone and another was a virtual mining algorithm of some kind. They called them PTS and AGS ... basically nothing but glorified mailing lists on a blockchain. The forums were full of those names back in the day. Seemed to stir up a lot of interest at the time.

Doc: Sure, Marty. I can see where doing that would be a nice salute to the original supporters and that's certainly a scientifically valid way to define them. That's pretty much what I had in mind with including BROWNie.PTS anyway, since it identifies those who the inventor "appreciated" for helping found the system. Plus, it goes well with our BROWN EOS chain name... Hold your breath a minute...

Marty: Aaaack! Sheesh, Doc, that just about took off by eyebrows!

Doc: Sorry, Marty. Got to watch how I cross those beams. Anyhow, the one thing you have to be careful about in most selected universes is the Dystopian powers want to ignore past rulings, like SEC v. Howey, and make up new reasons why tokens are securities or commodities or money or property so they can be in charge. Different agencies and judges can't even agree on the definitions themselves, yet they expect young entrepreneurs to comply with all their conflicting ad hoc definitions or go to prison for decades. That's why I'm recommending that people just give it all away to the public. Let the Dystopian Powers explain to the jury why giving free gifts to a selected demographic deserves prison time.

Marty: Yeah, Doc, what are the rules anyway? Hey, Siri!

Siri: Dong! I found this:

Under the Howey Test, a transaction is an investment contract if:

  • It is an investment of money
  • There is an expectation of profits from the investment
  • The investment of money is in a common enterprise
  • Any profit comes from the efforts of a promoter or third party

Doc: Long established and those simple four tests have to all be true and none are true for BEOS:

  • No Investment of money - BEOS tokens and the software itself is free to anyone based on their own efforts and was created with private funding to be given away for the Public Good.
  • No Common Enterprise - BEOS is a platform on which others build their own enterprises. There is no central organization, it is run by robots maintained by individuals elected to temporary contractor positions.
  • No Expectation of Profits - BEOS grants right to use a public utility, but its up to holders to earn their own profits from whatever they choose to do with it.
  • Not From the Efforts of Others - BEOS users must build their own businesses on it where success depends only on their own efforts.

So BEOS tokens are no different than tokens that let you use a car wash or laundromat. In the sane and rational universes we're looking for, you can give those away to anybody.

Of course, you can't expect the Dystopian Powers to follow their own settled law, so we're going to just give our ideas to others for free from the safety of our nice, fictional laboratory in this alternate universe where not even government safety standards apply. Toss me that tube of plutonium, will you?


Posts in the Sovereign Sky Series

All My Free Speech is Fiction
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 1 - A Proliferation of Parallels
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 2 - Specialization is for Insects
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 3 - The Fall of Empire
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 4 - Doc's Darwin Awards
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 5 - Dystopian Universes
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 6 - Jailbait Jeopardy
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 7 - A New Hope
Sovereign Sky Excerpt 8 - Brown v Howey

Doc's Fictional Guide to the Brown EOS - BEOS

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