December 14, 2017
2 min. read
Through our art project Play4Privacy we were able to raise money to support the two Austrian/European NGOs epicenter.works & noyb.
Whereas cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are on everyone’s lips, hardly anybody understands the underlying technology blockchain. This autumn we introduced the blockchain and its paradigms to a wider audience in a — literally — playful manner.
Each game (like Chess or Go) can be seen as a succession of decisions, which — once made — cannot be reversed. The same is true for the blockchain. As soon as a decision is made (consensus), it is added to the blockchain as a new block, and can never be changed again (finality)¹. Consensus and finality are two of the main principles of the blockchain, along with transparent anonymity.
¹ This is an oversimplification. Many Blockchains don’t reach instant finality, some (e.g. Bitcoin) never reach it. But practically speaking, this doesn’t make much of a difference.
To demonstrate the latter, we turned the light-facade of the Museum of Modern Art in Graz into a game board for the strategy game Go.
Every evening, people from all over the world, split into two teams, played online. Based on a consensus-generating algorithm, each team placed their stones. All players who participated in deciding the next move earned a reward: a so-called PLAY-token that doubles as a crypto-currency.
All moves were transparently shown on the lit-up museum façade as well as on the live-stream and thus visible for everyone. In this manner, players as well as spectators got to experience how the blockchain works — namely as an anonymously distributed network with a public database that is practically impossible to be cheated, but which is still not subject to central control.
Crypto tokens to support the fight for privacy
As part of the concept, for every token mined, a supplement coin was generated to be distributed to donors supporting charity organisations fighting for privacy. Through a smart contract developed specifically for P4P, we could collect more than 38 Ether to support the two reputable and selected NGOs.
50% of the collected funds went to the NGO epicenter.works:
The second half of the donation pool to noyb, the new organisation founded by Max Schrems, an Austrian lawyer, author, and privacy activist who became known for campaigns against Facebook for privacy violation.
We would like to thank not only all the generous donors, but everybody who participated in Play4Privacy. Through playing Go you contributed to raise awareness for privacy. Thank you once again!