The fascinating species has developed complex decentralized societies long before we ever thought of it.
Leafcutter ants of specie atta colombica
I have recently picked up the book "Mastering Bitcoin" by Andreas M. Antonopoulos in an effort to learn the more technical aspects of the Bitcoin software and the underlying algorithms. In case you are not familiar with this author, he is one of the first people in the Bitcoin space that set out on an altruistic journey to promote the digital currency. Since the beginning of his journey in 2013, he has held countless conferences and speeches, educating the world about the decentralized vision - for free. His work is completely funded by donations.
Not only does he understand the vision, but he is also very knowledgeable in the technical fundamentals of the Bitcoin network and is considered to be one of the most eloquent speakers in the decentralized industry.
Mastering Bitcoin, 2nd edition
There is a clever Easter egg hidden on the cover of his book which he unveils in the early chapters.
Why are there bugs displayed on the cover?
The bugs are in fact a special subspecies of ants called the "Leafcutter ants". Ants generally abide to a complex and fascinating social system to form their colonies. This particular species operates based on rules that are determined by social interaction and the exchange of pheromones.
Next to humans, leafcutter ants form the largest and most complex animal societies on Earth.
The ants don't use these leaves as nutrition - Instead they harvest the leaves to to cultivate a fungus which is then used a the main source of food for the entire ant colony. They literally acquire their nutrition through farming!
Ant societies do form a hierarchical structure, in which the ant queen takes on the task of producing offspring. However, there is no central authority that governs this society: The participants of the ant colony display an intelligent pattern of interaction that allows the creation of a functioning and regulated super-organism. Each ant contributes for the benefit of the entire colony.
The many becomes one
Nature shows us that decentralized systems can work in a self-regulating manner without the necessity of authoritarian oversight.
The Bitcoin network is comprised of a complex set of algorithms that form a decentralized trust system. However, if we examine a single node, we can see that it follows a simple set of rules. The complex behavior of the network comes to fruition when the nodes interact with each other, instead of relying on built-in governance protocols.
Just like the ant colony, the bitcoin network consists of nodes that follow simple rules and together form a complex and intricate network that can operate on it's own, without the need of central power.
"Mastering Bitcoin" 2nd edition, Andreas M. Antonopoulos, 2014
- Nick ( @cryptonik ) -