Sometimes all those explanations of consensus algorithms and blockchain protocol features get a little wearying. Instead, it can be easier to understand what a crypto is really about using an analogy. Like movie characters.
Bitcoin. This is the James Bond of crypto. The movie character that has been around forever and is always popular. It’s as classic as a black tie dinner jacket, always in style and keeps going not matter what. And you Just. Can’t. Kill. It.
Ethereum. Garland ‘The Marietta Mangler’ Greene, the nasty, scary smart, ultra-dangerous dude played by Steve Buscemi in Con Air. Or Rockhound, the nutcase genius played by Steve Buscemi in Armageddon. Or Mr Pink, the hyper, slightly unhinged but seriously street-smart criminal in Reservoir Dogs, played by Steve Buscemi. (You ever wonder about Steve Buscemi? What’s his deal?) Anyway. Point is, you never know what you’re going to get. Smart and nuts is a bad combination (though it’s a hell of a lot more interesting than dumb and nuts). So treat it carefully.
EOS. Piggy, from Lord of the Flies (adapted as a 1990 film from William Golding’s book). There’s a group of you – let’s say, 21 boys – who have been thrown together by circumstance, outside of the normal rules of civilisation. You could work together and make a decent job of things. But here’s the thing: that kind of pressure can bring the worst out in people. And if you find yourself going against the herd, like Piggy does, or occasionally some block producer who disagrees with all the others, you’re going to have a bad day.
Litecoin. Any one of the Avengers films. There’s nothing new here, you’ve seen it all before, but meh. Whatever. It works. Kinda.
Ripple. Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo diCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street. He makes a career out of ripping off regular punters on an industrial scale and glamourises it in the process. But he doesn’t know when to stop and eventually he gets caught and goes to prison.
Bitcoin Cash. You know how ‘There can be only one?’ And how Connor McLeod, the immortal swordsman in Highlander, goes up against Kurgan, who wants to cut his head off and gain The Prize? And how McLeod sticks around forever but that’s it for Kurgan because he got his head cut off instead? And how you remember the name McLeod but not Kurgan, because Kurgan was the loser? Well, BCash is Kurgan.
BSV. The Emperor Commodus in Gladiator, played by Joaquin Phoenix. Dangerous, nasty, slightly camp and frickin’ mouthy, but ultimately can’t walk the talk. He comes to a bad end and thoroughly deserves it.
Dogecoin. Forrest Gump, played by Tom Hanks. Dumb as you like but somehow successful. Helped a lot by the fact he doesn’t have a bad bone in his body and doesn’t realise he’s kind of stupid, and has a huge following of people who love him.
Tether. The gas tanker in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. Played by a gas tanker. The tanker is massively valuable, guarded by the group of Settlers and violently coveted by the Marauders, a vicious gang who roam the post-apocalyptic wasteland in search of fuel. When the Settlers, helped by Max, try to escape with the tanker, carnage ensues as the Marauders pursue them. Most of both groups are killed. It turns out, after everything, that there’s nothing valuable in the tanker at all. It’s full of sand. But the Marauders don’t find that out until it’s too late. Get the parallel with Tether yet?
Basic Attention Token. The smartly-dressed guy who kicks off at the end in any of the Bruce Lee films. You don’t usually see him pull out all the stops until fairly late in day – the early fights are just too easy for him – but when it happens, you’d better be paying attention.
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