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Onchain Realities

Special thanks to Justin Glibert and Sylve Chevet for inspirations.

ELI5: Akin to how artificial intelligence research provides a fertile ground for experimenting with constructs that compose into components or semblances of human intelligence, the construction of Onchain Realities (ORs) provides a fertile ground for understanding the generative and enabling components of realities of varying levels of depth, including the physical reality we live in. This line of pursuit has at least two implications: (1) being borderlessly accessible and whose physics & metaphysics are constructued with high level of sophistication, Onchain Realities enable maximum creative expression for people with different backgrounds and talents; (2) if running the physics of our physical reality with sufficient fidelity, Onchain Realities become the borderless ground of innovation for a myriad of quantitative-driven industries, accelerating the pace of innovation in those domains, similar to how L1 blockchain dramatically accelerates innovation of financial primitives and incentive mechanics.

1- Games on the blockchain are ultimately not games, as understood as ephemeral software artifact that provides entertaining value. Games on the blockchain are predecessors of Onchain Realities, or ORs.

2- What are onchain realities? They are realities with laws and constraints enforced on the blockchain, or equivalently, with laws and constraints applied to mechanics of these realities and verified on the blockchain via zero knowledge proofs (zkp) / validity proofs (vp).

3- We can identify the two ends of the spectrum of the possible ORs: Skeuomorphic ORs and Native ORs. Skeuomorphic ORs attempt to recreate, or approximate as much as practically possible, the physics of our physical reality. Native ORs attempt to create laws, constraints, and mechanics that are native to our zkp/vp-enabled distributed computing system.

4- Some Native ORs may choose to implement certain skeuomorphic constructs to be relatable to human participants, while some Skeuomorphic ORs may choose to implement peculiarly native mechanics for the sake of compute/storage performance or for specific game design purposes.

5- Why building realities onchain? Among the many unique properties of blockchain & zk-rollup / validity-rollup as the medium, immutability and longevity are worth special focus. Smart contracts, when constructed to be immutable upon deployment (or becoming immutable / progressively “hardened” after specifc periods or under specific conditions), allow for realities where constraints or laws of physics are immutable and whose enforcement is guaranteed by the security model of the chain / rollup. Unthinkable longevity of these realities is possible, if the underlying chain / rollup is built and evolved with genuine long-term thinking.