Exploring decentralised science with nano: a new perspective
In recent years, there has been a growing interest in decentralised science, or DeSci, as an alternative to traditional scientific practice. This movement aims to break free from the limitations of established academic infrastructures, allowing scientists and researchers to conduct their work independently with the help of cryptocurrency funding.
Image credit: @T4LYSSA
Traditional science, while responsible for numerous breakthroughs and advancements, faces several problems and restrictions. One of the primary concerns is the centralised control and funding mechanisms that can influence researchers and the direction of scientific progress. Some of the issues with traditional science and the existing method of scientific funding include:
- Bias and influence: Centralised entities, such as governments or large corporations, often provide the majority of funding for scientific research. As a result, they can exert significant influence on the direction and focus of research. This can lead to biases in the scientific process, where certain areas of research are prioritised over others based on the interests and agendas of funding entities, rather than scientific merit.
- Financial pressure: Researchers often rely on grants and funding from centralised entities to support their work. This can create financial pressure that may compromise the integrity of scientific research. Researchers may feel compelled to produce results that align with the expectations and interests of their funders, potentially leading to biased or falsified findings.
- Limited resources and competition: Traditional scientific funding is often limited, which can lead to intense competition among researchers for grants and resources. This can create a hypercompetitive environment where researchers may prioritise short-term results and publishable findings over long-term, high-risk, or innovative research. This can hinder scientific progress and stifle innovative ideas.
- Bureaucracy and inefficiency: Centralised funding mechanisms often involve extensive bureaucracy and administrative processes, which can be time-consuming and inefficient. This can divert researchers' time and energy away from actual research, as they must navigate complex application procedures and reporting requirements.
- Lack of transparency and reproducibility: Traditional scientific funding and publication systems can lead to a lack of transparency in the research process, as researchers may not share all data, methodologies, or findings due to concerns about competition or intellectual property. This can make it difficult for other researchers to reproduce and verify results, undermining the credibility of scientific research.
- Focus on short-term outcomes: Centralised entities may prioritise projects with immediate or short-term outcomes, as these are more likely to generate positive publicity and tangible results. This can discourage long-term, exploratory research, which may have significant potential for scientific advancement but is less likely to yield immediate returns.
To address these issues and foster a more open, collaborative, and efficient scientific research environment, alternative funding models and decentralised research platforms are being explored. These models aim to promote transparency, reduce biases, and encourage innovative research by reducing the influence of centralised entities and distributing resources more equitably among researchers. By addressing the problems and restrictions of traditional science, these alternative models have the potential to drive more significant and meaningful scientific progress. That’s what DeSci aims to be.
However, despite its promise, DeSci has not yet achieved true decentralisation, as it still relies on centralised dependencies. For example, relying on Ethereum that’s becoming increasingly dependent on centralised clouds. In current times, DeSci primarily functions on cryptocurrencies issued over the Ethereum blockchain. To fulfil its potential, DeSci must establish a separate economy based on a fixed and truly decentralised currency (just as traditional science works on fiat currency). This article explores the potential of nano cryptocurrency to be that foundation and how it could usher in a new era of scientific practice that benefits society directly.
The current state of DeSci and the need for a decentralised economy
The decentralised science movement has made significant strides in recent years. However, the lack of a specific funding model and the reliance on multiple blockchains have hindered its progress. Ethereum, the most widely used blockchain in DeSci, operates with an infinite supply model (just like Fiat currency, there is no limit to how much of this currency can be produced) and is dependent on centralised servers like Amazon Web Services (AWS). As a result, the current DeSci landscape does not fulfil its original vision of truly decentralised scientific practices.
Introducing nano for science
Nano, a lesser-known currency in the scientific community, offers a unique solution to the challenges faced by DeSci. Unlike other Ethereum, Bitcoin and fiat currencies, nano has a fixed supply, with the total amount in circulation (133,248,297 XNO) equal to the total supply. This makes it an ideal candidate for a truly decentralised currency, capable of supporting a separate economy for DeSci.
A Twitter thread discussing the benefits of nano for DeSci highlights the importance of a separate fixed supply economy to achieve genuine decentralisation. This fixed supply ensures stability and predictability, making it an ideal candidate for a truly decentralised currency, capable of supporting a separate economy for DeSci.
Benefits of nano in DeSci
- Fixed supply: The fixed supply of nano ensures that there is no room for inflation or deflation, creating a stable currency to fund scientific research. This stability would enable researchers to plan their work more effectively and encourage long-term investment in the DeSci economy.
- Decentralised: Nano operates on a decentralised network, avoiding the centralised dependencies that plague Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. This independence is crucial for the development of a truly decentralised scientific practice, free from the constraints of traditional institutions.
- Fast and feeless transactions: Nano's technology enables instant, feeless transactions, which is an essential aspect of its suitability for DeSci. Using an infinite supply blockchain model like Ethereum, with unpredictable transaction fees, could eventually lead to the same controlling policies of centralised academic institutions. Nano's fast and feeless transactions ensure that more resources can be dedicated to research rather than administrative costs. Researchers can effectively get funding from anywhere in the world, without any friction or processing fees. They are not limited to support within their borders, making international collaboration far easier.
Implementing nano in DeSci
To establish nano as the primary currency for a real DeSci economy, it is essential to:
- Adopt nano wallets: Dedicated nano wallets and platforms for DeSci researchers would encourage the adoption of nano as the primary currency for decentralised science.
- Collaborate with existing DeSci initiatives: Partnering with existing DeSci initiatives would help promote the use of nano and integrate it into current decentralised scientific practices.
- Educate and advocate: Increasing awareness about the benefits of nano cryptocurrency and its potential to revolutionise scientific practice is crucial for its widespread adoption. Researchers, institutions, and the general public need to understand the advantages of using nano to fund decentralised science.
- Regulatory support: Working with independent scientific communities to establish a supportive global framework for the use of nano in DeSci is essential for its success. This would involve engaging in dialogue with policymakers, educating them about the benefits of nano, and advocating for its inclusion in research funding policies.
- Foster collaboration between academia, industry, and nano: Encouraging collaboration between academic institutions, industries, and nano would help to create a network of stakeholders dedicated to promoting and implementing decentralised science. These partnerships could lead to joint projects, research grants, and other initiatives that leverage the benefits of Nano for DeSci.
Nano: a promising gateway towards a fixed-supply modern economy
Challenges faced in an infinite supply model
An infinite supply model refers to a situation where a central authority, such as a central bank or government, has the ability to create and control an unlimited supply of a particular asset or currency. This centralised control can potentially be harmful to economic growth due to several factors, such as inflation, misallocation of resources, and reduced incentives for innovation.
- Inflation: When a central authority has the power to create an infinite supply of currency, it can lead to inflation. As more currency is created, the value of existing currency decreases, leading to a rise in the general price level of goods and services. Inflation erodes the purchasing power of money and can lead to negative consequences for both consumers and businesses. High inflation can also discourage foreign investment and result in capital flight, which can further hamper economic growth.
- Misallocation of resources: Centralised control over an infinite supply model can result in the misallocation of resources. As central authorities allocate funds, they may prioritise projects or industries that are politically favourable or serve the interests of the ruling elite, rather than those that would provide the greatest economic benefits. This misallocation can lead to inefficiencies, wasting valuable resources and slowing economic growth.
- Reduced incentives for innovation: An infinite supply model controlled by a central authority can also reduce incentives for innovation. When resources are allocated by central authorities, there is often less competition and fewer rewards for businesses and individuals that create innovative products, services, or processes. This can lead to slower technological progress and reduced economic growth.
- Lack of fiscal discipline: When central authorities have the power to create an infinite supply of currency, they may be less motivated to maintain fiscal discipline. This can lead to unsustainable levels of government spending and debt, which can create long-term economic problems and slow growth.
- Political and economic instability: An infinite supply model under centralised control can also contribute to political and economic instability. If people perceive that the central authority is mismanaging the economy, it can lead to a loss of confidence in the government or the currency, which can result in social unrest, political upheaval, and economic crises.
To summarise the concept of Infinite supply, while this model can provide some benefits in terms of monetary policy flexibility, the centralised control of such a model can potentially be harmful to economic growth. It can lead to inflation, misallocation of resources, reduced incentives for innovation, lack of fiscal discipline, and political and economic instability. To foster sustainable economic growth, it is essential to strike a balance between centralised control and market-driven mechanisms.
Addressing challenges in a finite supply model
Nano is a digital currency that operates on a fixed supply model, meaning that there is a limited number of nano, and no more can be created. This fixed supply model can potentially address the issues associated with an infinite supply model and centralised control in several ways:
- Inflation: Since Nano operates on a fixed supply model, there is no risk of inflation caused by an increasing supply of tokens. This can help maintain the purchasing power of Nano, making it a more reliable store of value compared to currencies with an infinite supply. In addition, the absence of inflation can provide a more stable environment for businesses and consumers, encouraging long-term planning and investment.
- No Misallocation of resources: With a fixed supply and a decentralised control system, Nano eliminates the risks of resource misallocation that can occur with centralised control. Decisions on resource allocation are made by individuals and businesses in the market, rather than by a central authority, which can help ensure that resources are used efficiently and directed towards projects and industries with the greatest potential for economic growth.
- Incentives for innovation: A fixed supply and decentralised control system can encourage innovation by rewarding businesses and individuals that create valuable products, services, or processes. In the Nano ecosystem, competition can drive innovation, as market participants work to create new and improved solutions to meet the needs of users. This can lead to technological progress and increased economic growth.
- Fiscal discipline: Nano's fixed supply model encourages fiscal discipline by removing the ability of a central authority to create additional currency. This can help ensure that spending and investment decisions are made based on genuine market demand and the availability of resources, rather than on artificially created currency. As a result, Nano can contribute to a more stable and sustainable economic environment.
- Political and economic stability: With its decentralised control and fixed supply model, Nano can help promote political and economic stability by reducing the influence of central authorities on the economy. By removing the potential for mismanagement and manipulation by a central authority, Nano can foster greater trust in the currency and the economic system as a whole, which can help reduce the risk of social unrest and political upheaval.
Therefore, Nano's fixed supply model can address many of the issues associated with infinite supply models and centralised control, by reducing inflation risk, promoting efficient resource allocation, incentivising innovation, encouraging fiscal discipline, and contributing to political and economic stability. By addressing these concerns, Nano has the potential to provide a more stable and sustainable foundation for economic growth.
The following table summarises this and makes it easier to compare the infinite and finite supply model:
Infinite Supply Model (Centralised Control)
Fixed Supply Model (nano)
High risk due to unlimited currency creation, eroding purchasing power
Low risk due to fixed supply, preserving purchasing power
Potential misallocation by central authority, leading to inefficiency
Market-driven allocation, promoting efficient use of resources
Incentives for innovation
Reduced due to centralised control, slowing technological progress
Encouraged by competition and market forces, fostering innovation
Lack of discipline due to currency creation, risking unsustainable spending
Encouraged by fixed supply, promoting responsible spending and investment
Political and economic stability
Potential instability due to mismanagement by central authority
Greater stability due to decentralisation, reducing manipulation risk
How a fixed supply economy would impact scientific practice
The establishment of a separate fixed supply economy, such as the one proposed with nano cryptocurrency, helps scientists practise their work independently in several ways.
- Financial stability: A fixed supply economy provides stability, predictability, and resistance to inflation and deflation. This financial stability allows researchers to focus on their work without concerns about fluctuating funding sources or market volatility in the long term.
- Direct funding: In a separate fixed supply economy, researchers can receive funding directly, bypassing traditional intermediaries like universities or funding agencies. This direct financial support can lead to increased autonomy, enabling scientists to choose projects based on their interests and expertise rather than the priorities of external stakeholders.
- Reduced bureaucracy: With direct funding and financial independence, scientists can avoid the bureaucratic processes often associated with traditional funding sources. This reduction in administrative tasks allows researchers to dedicate more time and resources to their work, accelerating the pace of scientific discovery.
- Collaboration and networking: A separate fixed supply economy can foster collaboration and networking among independent scientists. By leveraging tailor-made financial systems and tools, researchers can seamlessly exchange knowledge, resources, and funding, thereby fostering a vibrant scientific community unburdened by institutional constraints.
- Encouraging innovation: The independence afforded by a separate fixed supply economy encourages researchers to pursue innovative, high-risk projects that might not receive support from traditional funding sources. This freedom to explore novel ideas and approaches can result in groundbreaking discoveries with a significant societal impact.
The potential of decentralised science, or DeSci, to revolutionise scientific practice is enormous. However, to achieve true decentralisation, DeSci requires a stable, dedicated, and decentralised economy. Nano, with its fixed supply, decentralised network, and fast and feeless transactions, offers a viable solution for establishing this economy.
By adopting nano as the primary currency for DeSci, researchers can bypass traditional academic institutions and directly benefit society through their work. It would be a very interesting alternative to how the centralised scientific world leverages the dollar as a primary currency. The question here for the research community, would more be about the use and nature of money itself than whether it is cryptographic.
Implementing nano in DeSci will allow integration of nano wallets and platforms, collaboration with existing initiatives, education and advocacy, and supportive global frameworks. With these steps in place, nano has the potential to unlock a new era of scientific practice that empowers researchers and fosters innovation for the betterment of society.
Avimanyu is a systems scientist, researcher and PhD student. You can find him on Twitter.
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