Tell me why (Spacemesh)?

Tomer Afek
10 min readFeb 17, 2023

Out of passion to contribute to PROTOPIAN futures, in which everyone can become active participants in the shaping of our culture:

a gigantic mesh of self-organizing, crypto-enabled, nested, and well-integrated human groups. A superorganism composed of superorganisms, vastly more resilient and prosperous than the sum of their individuals. Crisscrossing and switching between different modes of organization, capturing meaning together.

Thinking in greater detail into the challenges of adopting biological intelligence principles of Variation, Group-Selection and Replication, how to integrate these into our governance problems and multipolar traps;

Learning from nature how to deploy, rapidly evolving shifts in Unit of Selection on human groups level; So as to outcompete in coordination any top-down cooperation while sustaining the integrity of internal spaces from parasitic opportunity seekers.

One is quick to realize for such ‘state-transitions’ where enough of us agree to hand agency to a higher order ‘unit of selection’ like the bees; Must start with a Critical-Mass that built gradually over time, which pledge their commitment for this choice. The ability to coordinate and execute any such ‘state-transitions’ at global scale, including making irreversible public monetary-commitment in real-time, is unthinkable without robust fully decentralized and Programmable Cryptocurrency.

Out of the desert of the real!

The Spacemesh protocol is an aim to build a protocol based on the Value of Fairness, as means of demonstrating the spirit of Conscious Evolution, of Human-Values defining technology’s utility, as opposed to the old ‘values neutral’ functional design. Since the value of Fairness constitutes the domain of money, Spacemesh’s decision process was guided by asking “what would fairness dictate”? Which turned out to be akin to asking how to remain fair to home miners, since a ‘money-system’ is always threatened by an oligarchy of holders which fails to see perspectives other than their own. Spacemesh’s protocol is in fact fairer to smaller miners (read: those mining from home) and this could not have been achieved unless structuring our ongoing decision-making process around one prevailing value.

What would be the way to build a blockchain that can potentially onboard many millions of users? We decided to put our faith in a qualitative improvement to the distribution model, which will lead to a very large and sustainable pool of home miners.

If there’s one thing that 2022 cluster-fiascos have taught us, it’s that decentralization = robustness, and that we need more of both! However, existing PoW and PoS networks, fail to increase on decentralization over time as a result of failure to distribute assets (and power) among a wide enough population.

Welcome to the Biological Future

Spacemesh is virtually risk-free to join, with a very low barrier to entry. These qualities have the potential to create a very large base of Smeshers growing our project. If successful, Spacemesh’s ambition targets achieving a qualitative improvement to the degree of “permissionless decentralization”, the single most crucially advantageous property (as opposed to say, 5000 transactions per second) for robust conditions to facilitate transitioning into higher order complex adaptive systems, with ever growing velocity of social integration and drift resistance (evolutionary drift meaning the replication of maladaptive trait, death by a 1,000 cuts).

Read more on the qualitative aspect of money systems (7 Min read).

Winning Together

Genesis Is Coming

Spacemesh genesis will usher in a new kind of cryptocurrency. This uniqueness stems from the opportunity everyone reading this post has to participate in the fair distribution of a cryptocurrency, not by lottery nor by money, but rather by the guarantee of fair rewards, every epoch, from your gaming pc at home.

Yes, whales will still exist, and yes they will still get larger rewards — proportional to their total spacetime contribution to the network. But you can still be certain that you will receive some rewards at a steady, predictable pace. No more “big payout” races or lotteries.

To achieve this unique distribution, Spacemesh combines following three properties:

1. Credibly neutral resource — Since all such systems require spending a resource to achieve Sybil resistance, the resource to be spent needs to be: (I) widely accessible, ideally, most of us already have some of it at home right now (e.g., free hard drive space) (II) for neutrality’s sake, more can be easily acquired without requiring anyone’s permission (i.e. no K.Y.C., bank account, credit card etc. required) (III) ideally, non-perishable, (e.g. in spacemesh, shall one decide to stop smeshing, one may delete protocol content for the resource to return to its original state).

2. Low barrier to entry — to allow for anyone anywhere with a standard gaming PC to join the protocol, provide security, and receive their fair share of coins. We still have room to grow in this regard, as presently it’s not feasible for low-spec machines like a Raspberry Pi to smesh. But a standard gaming PC, with a modern CPU and GPU (from the last five years), will do the trick. And that’s already a huge step in the right direction.

Perhaps most importantly, there will never come a point in time where it is no longer feasible for new miners to get started. Even a century from now, the same low barriers will remain in place, allowing our system to remain dynamic and open.

3. Fair distribution — In a race-free / leaderless system, profit margins for the smallest home miner are equal to or higher than that of whales (that is, big players with lots of capital to invest). To our knowledge, no existing cryptocurrency allows for fair distribution of coins among millions of home miners in a manner that will ensure even the smallest miners will be paid regularly and fairly. The dynamics of Proof-of-Work and Proof-of-Stake are such that, with appreciation in value in coin, winning lotteries becomes increasingly lucrative and decreasingly probable — up to a point where years may pass without even a single such win.

Responsible Energy Use

The low marginal costs for home users, combined with the race-freeness property (that ensures rewards are proportional to the contributed spacetime resources) encourages small miners to join, leading to a “long tail” of small miners which don’t face risk of ever being “priced out” (faced with losses from smeshing activity). Thereby, our long tail of home miners may continue to mine happily for a long time, as whales come and go.

It’s truly exciting that we can build products around values. However, we’re well aware that the reality of crypto is still a very long way way from our values. Participation by non-privileged demographics remains negligible, usability remains for exports only, and uptake on novel application remains low. How come? Where are the users? Why are those who stand the most to gain largely absent from this revolutionary technology?

Not easy being strange attractor?

We argue it’s about what it takes to join and get going. To reach its full revolutionary potential, crypto cannot be introduced as stocks, “e.g. gamble money you don’t have”, nor as an elites-only hobby. We must by necessity offer these users a better deal:

Come as you are, with whatever PC you already own, and know-how already have — no other out of pocket expenses are needed, at any time. You really have nothing to lose!

This is our ultimate goal, and one we will be constantly striving towards.

Plant The Future

The Smesher Community are the free people passionate about contributing to a world that works for all. We see our calling in further reducing the barriers that keep the people who stand to gain most from crypto from becoming part of it. In addition, the Smesher community is passionate to join hands with other likeminded crypto industry actors to develop the tools and evolve the skills to notice what’s within us and what’s between us, ultimately allowing for the possibility that we as humans might create more equitable, effective, and satisfying systems of cooperation regionally, nationally, and globally.

Spacemesh Community ART

(*) Note 1) Spacemesh miners have expenses and revenues: Spacemesh cannot guarantee that the revenues are greater than the expenses (if they exist). It depends on the eventual size of the miner-base and the value of the coins collected as rewards.

(*) Note 2) If you spend money to purchase drives to better mine Spacemesh, you are unlikely to recoup the investment. You are even more unlikely to collect them in the case you endure recurrent marginal cost operating cloud mega-miner.

What are our design principles for the system we wish to build?

The great Ken Wilbert and Forest Laundry
  1. The Principle of Choice.
    You are not a faulty Robot :) Human capacity for reasonable choice-making in an ever-evolving context needs to be nurtured. Designs should be oriented towards increasing the capacity for choice, and building on top of that increasing capacity.
  2. The Principle of Wholeness.
    When selecting between groups, we in effect choose between models for sustainable living. Designs should be mindful of creating and working with well-integrated wholes.
  3. The Principle of Relationship.
    Designs should endeavor to place responsibility on real human relationships and to support the construction of strong, trusted relationships. Infrastructure should be built around relationships. Relationships are not static and evolve over time.
  4. Principle of Development.
    Designs should strive to build capacity from the ground up, rather than override failures at the ground level with top-down capacity. Make people more capable of being responsible, rather than taking their responsibility away. Build structures at the human scale that can carry more responsibility, etc.
  5. The Principle of Subsidiarity.
    Designs should push as much responsibility and authority at the most immediate level that is consistent with their resolution. In other words, a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed at a more local level.
  6. Principle of Unbundling.
    Designs should take care that no choice should be bound to any other choice, unless this binding is strictly required by the nature of the choice itself.
  7. Principle of Rights and Responsibilities.
    Designs should make rights symmetric with responsibilities. (e.g., the right to free speech should be replaced by the right and responsibility of meaningful communication; the right to private property should be replaced with the right and responsibility of stewardship of property).
  8. The Principle of Fiduciary Responsibility.
    Designs should ensure that whenever a relationship is highly asymmetric (e.g. when AI is on one side of a relationship and not the other) that the relationship be returned to symmetry by establishing a fiduciary responsibility on the part of the stronger party.
  9. The Principle of Network Optimization for Collective Intelligence. Designs should strive to always promote the evolution of the human social network towards increasing collective intelligence. For example: Aal nodes (people, families, communities, etc.) should be resourced so as to provide minimum viable signal. Each node should be able to refuse an offered transaction without fear of privation. The generator functions of network topology should balance efficiency and resilience.
Apes Together Strong

What Do We Stand For?

  • Authenticity: Speak from our true selves. We don’t show one face to the world and another face internally.
  • Openness: All of the work we do is open-by-default. Open source, open dashboards and progress, open KPIs, etc.. In this fashion our work speaks for itself.
  • Inclusive but Builder-Oriented: There’s room in the Spacemesh community for all sorts of people with diverse backgrounds, interests, strengths, etc., but ultimately we are a community of builders focused on building tools for other builders.
  • Organic Excellence: We’re not in a hurry to prove something or build something. We’ll take however long it takes to do it right.
  • Patience: These things take time to build and to understand and that’s okay. There are no dumb questions. Take the time you need to understand, discover, engage with Spacemesh. Take some time off and come back to it when you’re ready — we’ll still be here.
  • Quality over quantity: We’re in it for the long haul, and we have no interest in short-term metrics or pump-and-dumps. We’d rather have a small, engaged, values-aligned community than a large community of shills and profit-seekers.
  • Speak with code: The proof is in the pudding; our code speakers louder than our words. “Cypherpunks write code.” We’re happy to talk about Spacemesh, but always in the context of what we’ve built, what we’ve already proven in code, and what we’re currently building.
  • Face-to-face: We use digital platforms and tools by necessity but we believe in the old-fashioned, tried-and-true magic of putting humans in rooms together whenever possible, of sharing meals together, etc., for building trust and community. It’s the best way to explore and develop our shared humanity together.
  • Lead with values: Spacemesh isn’t about a person, nor about a technology. At the end of the day, the people and the tech of Spacemesh serve certain values and a certain social mission anchored in those values. This should be clear from every touchpoint: from speaking to Spacemesh team and community members, from attending events, from reading docs or code.
  • Accessibility: Everything we do, everything we write and the code and apps we ship, should be understandable, accessible, legible, and usable by regular people. This has profound implications on design, UX, engineering, and economics.
  • Independent thinking: We do the things we do, and we build the things we build, because we really believe in them. Not because someone else expects us to, not because it fits some accepted social standard, not because it’s what anyone else does. We believe in agency, personal responsibility, and the power of bold independent thought and exploration.
Spacemesh Proof of Space-Time (PoST)

Read more?

  1. What is Spacemesh Vision For Cultural Evolution?
  2. Spacemesh Cryptosophical Investigations;