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  1. How can XRP crypto investors help mainstream financial markets - and those others already in crypto - move past current limitations into the future? I give my take on this topic in today's blog, and spend some time covering the biggest XRP news items as well. This includes news from some of the biggest companies that build on XRP, including Ripple, Coil, and SBI, as well as two XRP Community members. I guarantee that the average crypto investor - and even those that follow XRP - have had a hard time keeping up with all the latest information; there's a lot to cover, but I did my best to touch on the most impactful items. Hope you enjoy today's latest edition. Please feel free to share my blog with a friend - or on any other platform or social media - and thank you for doing so! Twitter Reddit r/Ripple Reddit r/CryptoCurrency Reddit r/CryptoMarkets Reddit r/xrp Reddit r/RippleTalk Reddit r/alternativecoin Bitcointalk - alt coin sub forum Bitcointalk - XRP speculation thread
  2. In the 24th century… The view screen read Warp 5.975. Cruising speed for the light ship. The captain entered the bridge and sat down in the chair of her small, Sabre-Class, starship. Another day in paradise, she thought. Ratana and her crew were patrolling the border of the Romulan neutral zone. This had been the second year of her tenure and one of seval uneventful days in space near the Alteran Expanse. Most other captains were out exploring the edges of the galaxy, but this ship was one of many keeping up with patrols. The job had to be done by somebody. After all, the Romulans were still the Romulans after years of conflict, even in a time of peace. Ratana’s crew was a quiet bunch. Nobody really gets excited about checking sensor logs on the hour every hour for the same place everyone had been. Three months ago. For the hundredth time. As a captain, she kept her distance from subordinates and the only person she confided in was her first officer, Jindu. That day, a communique was blinking on the comm station and Jindu alerted the captain. She nodded but gave the impression that the message was low priority. At the moment, she needed to be certain the ship navigated through this particular segment of space. From the captain's chair without much reason, “Helm. Increase speed to warp seven.” In the background there was an “Aye Captain,” and obediently the helmsman diverted more power to the warp engines. Slowly the ship edged up on warp seven. Then she turned to her first officer; “In my ready room.” Her ready room was a collection of models. If you looked at the bridge, the space felt cold but in here there was a number of her works that she had made. A Sabre-Class starship was not going to be the last stop of her captaincy. There were several more advanced federation starship models that she aspired to. She turned to her first officer; “Jindu, Starfleet wants us to travel to Lukarris to begin repairs on the station here sooner rather than later.” Surprised, Jindu assumed she already knew what the message was about. That woman knows everything he thought, so he responded “What needs to be done?” With a grin, she appreciated that he didn’t question her about the little things, “There’s an old payments node in orbit of Lukarris. One of a string of nodes validating payments along the entire border”. Confused, Jindu said “Captain, payments? Everybody knows that money doesn’t exist in the 24th century.” She said nothing. Just raised an eyebrow. Of course money did not exist this day and time, but people in the Alpha quadrant still needed to transfer an object of value from one another. Jindu had a family house for ten generations that could no longer be cared for so it was still sold in a manner. There was a time when people needed to sell their homes for money because financial systems and governments gave a medium of value to paper and precious metals. Now anything that was yours was an asset that could be quantized on a ledger. In Jindu’s experience trading his family home was as quick as pushing a button to grant it to the home’s new caretakers and they set him up with their ship. He never gave much thought about how that worked. He just knew it was fast and that there had been other attempts to make a value transfer system in the 21st century but they had all failed due to technology flaws. Just like Starfleet he thought, only the best gets put to use. Jindu swapped his family house out for a generational family ship and for his first foray into the stars. A ship that his brother was watching out for now while he was in Starfleet. A question still posed to him, why would there be a payment system out here around the neutral zone? Who the heck are we dealing with out here? The intercom buzzed, “Helm this is the Captain. set course for Lukarris and maintain speed”, Ratana said. “Captain. I’ll have an engineering team ready when we arrive,” noted Jindu. Upon reaching Luckarris the ship’s crew quickly found the node satellite. Jindu and the ship’s chief engineer, Dalby, formed an away team to go out in Extravehicular Activity (EVA) suits to take a look at the thing. From the transporter room he tapped his communicator badge, “Jindu to bridge. Away team ready for transport.” The away team of two beamed away. In space, cold they materialized in front of the satellite. Dalby took apart the side panel and placed it on tether so it would float away. Inside was an access panel. He touched it and the Library Computer Access and Retrieval System (LCARS) came to life. In the bottom right hand corner a button with an X-shaped symbol was present. Jindu asked, “Dalby what is all of this? I thought these payment systems only existed on Earth”. Dalby, being unafraid to speak short with his superiors fired off “Haven’t you ever wondered how we bribe the Romulans to stay on their side of the fence? I am kidding. The old validator nodes that process all the transfers were upgraded to operate here and send transactions out over subspace frequencies. Now all the planets in the federation get to enjoy faster than light transfer of their stuff. The Ferengi love it. They use it to handle all of their Gold Pressed Latinum.” That still didn’t explain why there are nodes near the Neutral Zone. Dalby pressed the X-symbol and the screen changed to a command line with a print out; RIPPLED/CODIUS SUBSPACE NODE Version 16.1.20. “Wow” he exclaimed! “What a wonder to see old tech still going. Did you know these things run everything from handling the Ferengi’s latinum to running holodeck programs?” Jindu plainly said “No. Really, Holodeck programs?” Dalby spent a minute explaining how the holodeck software runs as contracts on the platforms and is spread out across the quadrant. “Not only does the holodeck program proliferate but it’s preserved in case one of these thing goes down, like the one we’re at now,” he said. The fix ended up being rather easy, the system had went down but it just needed to be reinitialized. All validator nodes forced on-site only access because it would prevent one person from taking them all down simultaneously from an asteroid base in the middle of the depths of space. After handling the fix, Jindu called back to the ship and had both of them beamed back aboard. “Captain, we’re all buttoned up now and the satellite is back online.” Satisfied, Ratana ordered the ship back to warp to resume their patrol. An hour later a report had come in. The Captain read it and was confused. The satellite was just repaired. How could it be broken already? Dalby was a capable engineer and anything he touches benefits from his skill. Okay, looks like we’re going back. She explained what had happened to Jindu and order the helm back to their previous location. “Captain, we’re approaching Lukarris.” She was irritated because they were due back on patrol soon. Nevertheless, she got up and headed to the bridge; “Ratana to Jindu, meet me on the bridge.” When the turbolift door opened, she headed for her chair. From across the room the tactical officer chimed in, “Captain, I have readings indicating there is another vessel in the area.” The captain ordered the unidentified ship on the view screen, but before it appeared the ship had gone to warp. “Jindu get back out there and see what they did to that thing. We already fixed this things once and I want this ship back on patrol.” He gave an “Aye Captain” and he was on his way. Upon reaching the satellite, again everything looked normal, except there was a new file added to the operating system. Blink and you would have missed but the file was there. The satellites were secured so the notion that anyone could have accessed it was cause for concern. Better report this. “Captain, our guest appears to have made some changes to this node and it appears to be running like normal. Are you sure it’s down?” Readings indicated the node was operational from the bridge. That’s not good. Jindu’s turbo lift opened and he entered the bridge. “Captain, if we’re back then our repair job is bust? You know, these nodes are pretty darn important after all. I was reading up about them. These things handle thousands of the quadrants’ asset swaps every second and we never even think about it.” Jindu was fairly enthusiastic about his explanation. He just found out his favorite holodeck program, a stand up comedy theatre named the Gaslight was a distributed codius application running over subspace. Whenever you tipped an artist the application handled it and noted it on the galactic ledger. Who knew? After an hour of tinkering with the node and no progress, a message appeared. “Kator Uve controls the quadrant’s liquidity and so do all the nodes.” Jindu was slightly confused. Who was this person? “Kator” sounded awfully Romulan. Then he saw the flash. The unmistakable flash that belonged to a ship dropping out of warp speed. “Uh, Captain…” Jindu started. “We know, a Warbird just entered the area. We’re beaming you back,” she said. On the bridge, a Romulan man hailed. “On screen,” said Captain Ratana. A witty Romulan appeared. He looked like a relic but oddly young. Since Ratana was the sort of person to just speak the obvious she said, “You know, you’re the wrong side of that little invisible fence and you’re tampering with our equipment.” Starfleet captains are supposed to be diplomatic by training but Ratana captained a Sabre-class starship. The ship itself was small, and poor diplomacy could mean Ratana’s ship was met with one too many disruptor blasts short of a bad day as far as your shields were concerned. These ships were easy to make and numerous which is why they were patrol vessels. The Romulan replied, “I am Kator Uve of the Romulan Star Empire. I know where I am. I have installed a contract that has now spread to every node in your network across subspace. In a few minutes I will have the ability to shut them all down. Everyone in your federation will no longer have the ability to transact. They’ll even lose their precious holodeck programs. Not unless you let the Romulan Empire join the network.” A Romulan node on the network? That would be an interesting day. She decided to play coy, “Kator, these satellites have been operating under your nose for hundreds of years. Are you telling me that you’re only now learning of their existence? This one only serves the region of space we are in for travelers.” Kator was not going to have it, “I know what these are. You have connected the entire quadrant and granted them the ability to send their most precious assets between themselves but no longer will Romulans be excluded. If we cannot be a part of the system then nobody will.” He must be bluffing, Ratana thought. Why destroy something that he claims that he wants to be a part of? Then again, Romulans do often fake their intent. At least that was her memory about a time in the past when her ship ran into the Romulans. Their encounter had been somewhat of a farce. The Romulan captain had projected a false image of a warbird on the Federation side of the neutral zone. They had been toying with her. Romulans do not reveal their intentions up front. “What is he up to?” she thought. The notion of allowing Romulan join the quadrant’s validator network seemed like a bad idea. Long ago the validator network had been married with Coidus to incentivize mass adpoption for deploying a validator and a contract platform, by two old earth companies named Ripple and Coil. Even if Starfleet was on diplomatic terms and she was allowed to grant access, the Romulans could deploy a contract that could take down the entire system, like a virus. This Romulan had already threatened to do so! However, all starship captains, especially those in the federation embody the notion that all beings, Romulan or not, were worthy of respect and friendship if the demonstrate honesty. There had just been hundreds of years of distrust telling her that on the best terms, the Romulan government would use the network for no good. Without regard for present company, “Jindu, notify Starfleet command and ask for their input.” Ratana said right in front of Kator on the view screen. Now he knows we’re taking him seriously. “Kator, even if we were to let you in on this system, how would the Romulans plan to use it?” He had the opening he wanted, “To enjoy the benefit of instantaneous trade with all federation planets and civilizations, of course”, Kator replied. Called that one. Exactly what he knows I want to hear. His ship even outclasses this one, so if he really meant to do harm that warbird could do some serious damage. But, she quickly ruled that outcome out because Kator was engaging in diplomacy by even making his threat. She decided to get more information, “Kator, how would you propose you add Romulus to the network?” This was going where Kator wanted, she was playing along. “Captain, our spies obtained the network topology software for your precious value transfer system long ago. We have been using it amongst ourselves, but we have not been able to connect it beyond the neutral zone. Until now. The contract that I have deployed will spread to all nodes, on both sides of the neutral zone and it will either connect or destroy all of them.” She saw a way out of this situation. He hadn’t said how long it would be until the contract spread but given everything she had learned about Rumlans in the academy she assumed it wouldn’t be long. Actually, it might have already. If there was any hope of preventing the entire system from coming down she’d have to destroy this node. That would be suicide. As soon as her ship powered weapons that warbird would bear down with every disrupter bank it had, and her light cruiser would only last the barrage for a short time. The situation did not look to good. Starfleet had not responded yet and Ratana was facing a decision that the only the President of the Federation was qualified for, and only herself, the crew and her ship were all that could stand up to this warbird. Given the impossible odds, she took a gamble. Turning to her communications officer, she said “Kator we’ll consider your proposal”. She made the gesture with her hands indicating to cease transmission. “Yellow Alert”, let’s see what he does. By posturing herself in a defensive stance she was sending the message that they were ready for a fight despite their size. The warbird matched suit and began moving towards a position between the satellite node and Ratana’s ship. I guess they’ll be using themselves as a shield, Ratana thought. Aboard the warbird Kator knew that even this small ship could destroy any chance at setting Romulus free of isolation. Of course he could eliminate the small ship now but then Starfleet would never cooperate. Open war may break out between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire. “How much longer until the contract software is deployed?” Kator started. A bridge officer replied quickly that only a few minutes need pass before he no longer needed to consider this small ship a threat anymore. All he had to do was wait. Except he was not given that luxury. “Captain, there are vessels approaching”, said his tactical officer. Kator smiled. They didn’t know the number of romulan vessels cloaked in the area”. The bridge air was rife with tension. Provoked, the warbird wasn’t baking down. Ratana was going to make a move to destroy the node. This meant that in all likelihood everyone would die, but there was no other option. “We have to destroy the node without powering weapons. That would give away our intention. Options?” she asked. Jindu suggested, “We could beam a quantum torpedo beside the node but we’d have to lower our shields. The node would be destroyed but so would we. With no shields we’re sitting ducks.” The path was clear, so she said “Crew to your escape pods. Get on it.” From across the bridge, “Captain we might not have to. There are several ships approaching. Starfleet signatures.” I guess Starfleet decided to send the cavalry instead of sending a message back. That might have been intercepted. After all, the Romulans had access to the validator node network, but just this one node they had infiltrated so far. She had an idea. The Romulans only had access to this one node but no others, and they couldn’t send messages through them on subspace yet, but Starfleet did not know that! She would send a text message of her intentions through the validator and broadcast it to the next nearest satellite on subspace. “Comms, send exactly what I say to starfleet: No choice. Must destroy satellite nearby or Romulan Control over all. Hold them off. Making move to destroy”, she said. The officer nodded and confirmed the message had been sent and received. After a moment, the other starships had arrived. From behind Ratana’s cruiser six more ships descended upon the area in succession, one after another, out of warpspeed ammassing directly beside her ship in a battle line. One Galaxy-class battleship, two Akira class and the rest were more Sabre-class ships. Starfleet must have asked the other patrol ships to get there too! Now, fully provoked, the entire Romulan fleet decloaked. Even with reinforcements, Ranta and the rest of Starfleet was outnumbered two to one. “Captain we’re being hailed by our flagship”, the communications officer reported. A bald man appeared on the view screen and order Ratana to stand down. “Yes sir.” she acknowledged. “May I ask what’s next?” He tightened down his shirt as he stood up and said, “Captain Ratana. We received your message. You have stumbled across a valuable diplomatic opportunity for the federation. I speak for Starfleet headquarters to deliver this message to you. I want you to negotiate the integration of the Romulan Validator Network into ours. This is your show, and we’re only here to ensure your negotiations go smoothly. There are a number of cloaked Klingon vessels in the area as well that would be willing to have a good time with us, but I’m sure you are more than capable of producing a peaceful resolution,” he said sternly. He knew what she was made of. Even with Starfleet’s approval to allow the integration she still had to ask, “Captain, how do we know they will honor their end of the bargain. Can they not bring down the network anyway?” Another man walked into the view screen, “Ratana, Admiral Schwartz here assures me that the network can rebuild itself in such an event. Make it so!” Goodness! They brought an Admiral? She thought as she raised her eyebrow. “Aye Captain,” she said. Turning back to the communications officer she nodded and a minute later she was staring back at a shrewd Romulan, “Kator, the federation will allow the Empire to join the network willingly. I hope this event will foster further cooperation between our two governments.” She looked sincere, although Kator was not so sure as he stared back at Ratana. He still had the upper hand and could protect the satellite if he wanted to. After all if he took out that Galaxy class starship then the line would break rather quickly. “An unexpected outcome, Captain. I knew that you were going to destroy the satellite. Tell me would you have if the other ships had not arrived?” he asked. Looking back at him with a smirk, “I guess you’ll never know, but one day you might have to ask yourself the same thing while I’m standing on the bridge of another larger starship.” Kator appreciated her candor and strength. The time had now passed, “Captain Kator, the contract pod is uploaded and is now spreading across the quadrant,” the warbird science officer said. “Do you hear that captain, we are now in this together. Goodbye”. The view screen went back to the endless depth of stars that was space. Now that the Romulans were admitted into the payment network things would change. The system would grow and evolve further because new minds would be uploading additional contracts. Many of which would never have been added if it wasn’t for this new understanding. There would always be puzzling questions. Would the liquid layer of the system still remain XRP? “Maybe it would finally get a name,” Ratana thought. That would be a strange notion since it had been without one for many hundreds of years. The digital asset was never going to go anywhere because it rooted itself in federaction culture many years ago. Starships began turning and warping out of the area leaving only her ship. In the distance a blinking blue light shown. It was the satellite. The node was running hard connecting the quadrant and now across borders previously uncrossed. A Romulan diplomat on Earth could now send any asset he wanted to his family. A seemingly uncrossable border. Until now. Ratana turned to her first officer out of earshot of her crew, “Jindu, I would have done it, you know”. Chuckling, he looked back and her and replied “I know, but I’m certain Kator didn’t think you would. I would have gone with you to the end, you know”. “I never doubted it, but we ought to get back on patrol.” Both of them took their seats. In the captain’s chair Ratana looked through the view screen, “Helm. Come about heading one two one mark six” The Alteran Expanse came into the view screen. The expanse was beautiful. Interlaced in it was many stars, some brighter than others. “Which planet should we start with, Captain?”, Jindu requested. Ratana smiled and simply said, “ Helm, second star to the right. Warp six!”
  3. Hey everyone, just thought I’d post my short story entry. As you can probably see, I am a new poster to XRP chat but have been following, buying and researching XRP since about mid 2017. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the incredible amount of community members who have helped me brave the steep cryptocurrency learning curve. Without the contributions of XRPTrump, Hodor, Tiffany Hayden, David Schwartz and countless others, I would no doubt have been turned away from XRP and what I now believe to be one of the most exciting technological advances happening in my lifetime. Thank you all! It’s a little presumptuous and I don’t expect to submit the best story but as per the competition my wallet address is rLGr8TLrscHNKye3xpk5MjWUhHqb1wtHxK and as far as I’m aware, there is no destination tag. Wishing you all the best of luck and if you like the story I’d be chuffed with a vote! The following is my short story entry. It covers a fictional account of a down on his luck conman struggling to make ends meet as the improved technology XRP becomes the standard method of value transfer. Perhaps even he can change? Short Story Contest Entry - “Please send me 1 XRP, and I’ll give you at least 6 back, I promise!” Jerry was not your average conman. Or at least, that’s how he viewed himself. Who else could have invented the ‘genius’ ETH give-away scam? Who else could have raised a 1 million dollar ICO funding round for the revolutionary ‘Cow Coin’, a way for technologically savvy farmers to trade milk on the blockchain? Jerry was amazing. At night, he would sit down with a glass of wine and 51% attack proof of work blockchains who’s names he found amusing. Those were the best days of his life, he chuckled heartily. Of course, Jerry’s schemes became more and more impressive. His pudgy, food stained fingers clicked over his keyboard, and low and behold, he found security vulnerabilities in the Ethereum smart contracts. Well, he murmured through a mouthful of chocolate biscuit, that’s what happens when you build your smart contracts as an on chain solution, he laughed to himself. But if he was being totally honest with himself, a trait not commonly found amongst conmen, Jerry was struggling to make ends meet. In recent years, many of his financial trickeries were just not getting the results he was used to. When Elon Musk started doing ETH giveaways, Jerry conceded that old scheme probably wasn’t going to bear fruit any longer. In fact, none of Jerry’s schemes were working out. Ever since the launch of Codius, no one had need for a hackable smart contract platform. And of course, if he hadn’t been out getting the milk from his local shop, he would have been able to sell all his CowCoin holdings before the news broke that there was an outbreak of mad cow disease, a fact that led his coin to lose 98% of its value in just under 2 hours. While he assured all of the investors that the value of the coin ‘definitely would recover’, he was not so convinced. “What did I do to deserve this?” he thought to himself. He remembered back to the heady days of 2017 where people would actually pay him money to transfer value overseas through the correspondent banking system. Those stupid people didn’t realise that it was actually quicker and more cost effective to fly £50,000 from America to Mexico by taking it with them rather than using his services. Well there’s only one person to blame for shattering that myth, he thought angrily, shaking his fist at the monument of Brad Garlinghouse in the rain outside. What Jerry needed, was a new con. The best con he’d ever come up with in fact. A con for a new world. But even he was beginning to admit to himself that might be easier said than done. Now that everyone was responsible for their own value transfer in under 4 seconds, it was hard to squeeze himself into the situation. The irony was, he supposed, that it took about 50 times longer to try and con someone into using him to help with a transaction that the transaction itself took to complete. “I suppose I could tell everyone that XRP is centralised” he thought to himself. That might lead to people going back to slower methods of payment. But ever since the Yanomani tribe of the Amazon rainforest got added to the recommended Unique Node List for running a well managed validator, it was a claim that was convincing less and less people, he sighed. Maybe he could make an XRP fork called XXXXXRRRRRRPPPPPPP that paid 1% interest every day to the investors. It might work, he guessed, but something in the back of his mind told him that the idea might not be his own and might be beneath him. It was time to face facts. Jerry needed a job. A quick online search on his iPhone 134S+ (limited addition black with crystal engraving - he’d have you know) yielded some possibilities. The micropayments company Coil were looking for a general manager for West Scunthorpe. Wow, he nodded admirably, if you need to split Scunthorpe into two, you are probably running a successful micropayments business, he mused. Omni, the rent based system for physical items, were looking for an engineer to integrate the newest Ripple product, XPool, into their business. While Jerry admitted that this was a good job, given he had always preferred to steal furniture rather than rent it, he didn’t feel this really aligned with his values. However, one particular listing caught his eye, a ‘young entrepreneur’ named Johnathan McAfee was looking for an engineering team to help him improve ‘the most secure wallet ever’. A quick Google search convinced Jerry that this guy was definitely legitimate and could be his ticket to proper employment and a fresh start. The job application had a few strange questions about whether he had ever been involved with the Belize Police Department but Jerry passed this off as most likely being a result of the high level of innovation, security and forward thinking in the company. After the fiasco of 2019 when Belize became the only country in the world to consider XRP a security, Jerry figured it was best to communicate with regulators first rather than the courts and police, as Ripple had failed to do in Belize. He congratulated himself on having such a forward thinking idea and wondered why others failed to do the same. Things had changed a lot since then, he mused. The world economy was booming, as everyone now had access to banking and financial services. The instantaneous movement of money had led to an explosion in remittance growth and global trade, bringing wealth to some of the most deprived areas of the globe. No longer was money centrally printed, and every citizen had the autonomy they needed to create wealth and a better standard of life. Had he not been reading these thoughts off the newspaper in front of him, he would have sounded quite impressive, he concluded. In case he was ever invited to a dinner party in the future, he would store the facts away. Things were looking up for Jerry. In fact a new idea had just entered Jerry’s mind: “Please send me 1 XRP, and I’ll give you at least 6 back, I promise!”
  4. Princess Zerpine and the Magic Ledger It was a busy day in the Crypto Valley, a place so big that the sun never sets over. A little princess with a black and white dress was walking timidly through a bridge; she was lost and scared while thousands of numbers were flying frantically by her side. The child was trying to get through them when suddenly; one of the numbers accidentally pushed the girl out of the bridge and threw her into the river. The frightened princess started to swim, but, fortunately for her, an eccentric robot with one big turquoise eye was walking along the riverbank. She was quickly rescued by him as soon as he saw her. —Thank you for saving me— said the little girl, the robot just looked at her intrigued— You must be princess Zerpine, what are you doing here alone? —replied the machine with genuine curiosity. —Well, my father send me into a mission, I have to find the code to open this magic key— answered the child pointing at a USB hanging from his neck as if it were a necklace— but I don’t even know where to start— the princess then observed the robot from head to foot— and by the way, who are you? —asked the girl. —Forgive my manners— replied the robot—I am Codius, and I am really smart—said very proud of himself. — Codius? That’s a silly name—the princess laughed. Codius just rolled his only eye in sign of disapproval, then, he changed the topic to hide his hassle. — I can help you with your problem, little princess, let’s make a contract, that’s what I do— proposed the machine. —A contract? How is that? — Well, yesterday, a page of the XRP magic ledger was stolen and now the nodes are stuck, because of that, millions of humans cannot longer send numbers to their loved ones. That’s why the good people of the XRP kingdom entrust me the task of retrieving the page as soon as possible, but if you help me to in my quest, I will help you to find your code, deal? —That’s terrible! —The princess shouted. She tough it for a moment, and then, gave her resolution: —Deal—. Suddenly, a mystic white light shined around her accompanied by strange electric sounds and after that, she was teleported through a magic wormhole and appeared in front of a big castle. Two bulls with an anthropomorphic body, guardians of the palace’s doors, looked at her amazed. The humanoids were wearing medieval armor; they were carrying big shields painted with a bull coat of arms. The three of them looked to each other bewildered until one of the guards finally doubly said: —Welcome to the Lambo Empire, we are the protectors of the green meadows of the Crypto Valley, a place where bulls can run free towards the lambo-glory. What do we owe your presence? — the bull solemnly said, the princess was confused and didn’t know what to answer. —Tell them we want an audience with the Permabull Emperor, then, ask him for the page— a voice echoed in the princess’s head, it was Codius who was taking care of her from the distance. —I want to see the Permabull Emperor— firmly answered the little girl. The guardians doubted a little, but due the royalty condition of their guest, they opened the gates and let her pass through the bridge; the princess walked until she was in front of the Emperor, then, she made a reverence and the enormous bull covered with bombastic jewelry nodded in response. —What are you doing here, little princess? —the bull asked. —Somebody stole one page of the XRP magic ledger and I am looking for it, does your majesty know where could I find it? —respectfully asked the princess. The emperor thought it for a moment. —Those damn bears! I am sure they stole the page so they could make the forest grow even further! —The bull showed a notorious gesture of distress —We are in dark times, little girl, the bears are winning the trading war against our army and the valley is being covered with woods. Bears love to destroy all the good and noble things of this world! I hate them so much… Go and find the Permabear, Emperor in the Bottomwoods Empire! He will surely know where your page is! But, be careful, the forest and bears can be dangerous. —Thank you, your majesty, I will. —Just one more thing before you leave— said the emperor with some concern —Just let me know if you recover the page, little girl, Xrp kingdom is our favorite places to run… numbers can travel really fast there and there’s no risk of double-spending them. —Count on that— said Zerpine with a big smile. The girl then did another reverence and left the castle, Codius teleported her again, but this time, she appeared in front of a colossal tree. At the bottom of the trunk was a kind of entrance to a cave, one big fat humanoid bear was keeping the entrance. The girl walked cautious towards him and politely asked: —Hello Mr Bear, I am princess Zerpine and I would like to have an audience with your emperor. The bear looked at her and started to laugh, he didn’t say nothing, but let the girl enter into the cave. The place was humid and dark, but the girl walked sure of herself. At the end of the cave, the small corridor turned into an enormous hall, all the bears were very busy moving from here to there carrying all kinds of weapons and supplies. Nobody seemed to care about the child’s presence, but when she approached at the Permabear emperor, all the guards set defensive positions. The ruler looked distrustfully at her and then asked: —What are you doing here, princess? —Asked the king, he seemed to know who she was. —Your highness, I am here looking for a page of the XRP magic ledger wich was stolen, I am sure you would know something about that. —Stolen page?— the bear rubbed his nose— What are you implying, princess? I don’t know anything about that, in fact, now that you say it, that’s a great opportunity to make the woods grow even stronger in the Xrp kingd… —the bear made a pause to think for a moment — but if the ledger is incomplete, the nodes will stop working and we won’t be able to send numbers… this is bad, XRP is one of our favorite kingdoms to move numbers between ledgers due to its speed and reliability. Princess! You must go and find that page before is too late! Go into the forest and look for the Fudbeast, that could be the only way! —the girl threw a look of surprise at the bear for the weirdness of his monologue but she thanked him anyway and left the cave towards the forest. That entire place was majestic and intimidating, huge trees rose miles towards the sky and the branches and fern barely allowed to walk between them. The girl was walking with difficulty when she unexpectedly heard a depressive echo of voices: “When moon!? When moon!?” they were yelling with a tired and scratchy voice. Zerpine gasped but Codius suddenly appeared and tried to calm her: —Don’t worry, princess, those are “the mooners”, poor bullish souls that got lost into the forest and seek to escape from it, however, many of them end up insane or being devoured by the flying whales up there, if we get to a clear in the forest, maybe you would be able to see one, they like to hide in the thicket of the trees to swallow their preys— Codius suddenly pointed to a spirit wandering nearby the princess— Look! There’s a one over there! do you see how his hands tremble? It is the “weak hands sickness”, the longer they stay in the forest, the more likely they are to release the little strength they have left and get wrecked by the flying wales— the robot said with some sadness. Both of them kept walking and the road led them to a nearby mine, a lot of graphic-card goblins were mining with big machines looking for blocks. Jets of wasted numbers fell in all directions as giant clouds of smoke rose into the sky. The smell was terrible and the princess could barely breathe. —This a bitcoin mine— Codius replied without being questioned— those goblins waste tons of magic-polluting energy to maintain the slow flow of numbers in the ledger, then they unlock blocks and receive more numbers and fees in compensation for their work. They are moved by greed and they don’t really care for the welfare of their kingdoms, if one day they decide to collude, they could overtake the hash power of their kingdom’s flowing numbers and spend them the times they want, thus causing the destruction of that realm, but they don’t care, they just move to another kingdom to take advantage of—. The princess grimaced in disgust. —Well, that’s one of the reasons why voting consensus through nodes is safer— Zerpine replied—people do it for a good cause, not for greed. —That’s right— Codius affirmed. They passed the mine and went further into the forest until they reached an open field; a battle was taking place there. A group of bulls were ramming against the bears who were clawing trying to stop their efforts. Mooners were shouting to the bulls and bears from the distance while a gigantic flying whale was floating above the field giving magic power to the bears who finally defeated the bulls, a lot of Monners were absorbed by the big cetaceous whilst the field were instantly covered with more woods, only a few of them escaped. —Another battle lost by the bulls… —Codius sentenced— well, this is one of the natural Crypto Valley cycles, you will someday discover the importance of these constant battles… —Suddenly, estrange noises interrupted the Codius speech, guttural and disgusting sounds started to emerge from the deeps of the forest. —Watch out princess! The Fudsters are here! They always come after a bull defeat!— The robot exclaimed. The girl ran, but it was futile, just in a blink of an eye she was surrounded by a big group of ugly, skinny troll-alike creatures. The girl just stayed there trying to look brave so the fudsters would keep their distance, but almost all her bravery banished when a big, fat, stinky and disgusting troll prostrated himself in front of her and started to laugh. —Look guys! What do we have here? The princess of Ripple’s centralized, banker’s lame-kingdom! Hahaha!— all the fudsters started to laugh in unison causing a terrible chorus, their roars were accompanied by erratic movements and obscene gestures. —You can do it! —Yelled Codius to the princess’s— you know how to defeat them! —In fact, XRP kingdom is not the same as Ripple stronghold and it is certainly not centralized— the princess answered calmly. —Hohoho! What did I just heard? Ripple not centralized? It has to be a joke! —It’s XRP! And everybody can run a node and participate and vote in the consensus of the kingdom! —Ha! But Ripple stronghold keeps almost all the supply! It is a scam kingdom made to fill the Ripple’s general Garlicbread bags! —The Ripple supply is locked in a scrow and is used to give liquidity and promote the entry of new participants into the ecosystem of the kingdom and thus make it grow and give it even more liquidity, not to “fill their bags”. —Well, but banks will never use XRP! —XRP has already been tested by several banks and it will be use at least by one bank later this year! —Ehm, but, but it’s a banker coin made to steal your bitcoins! —But you just said it will never be used by banks, so then they won’t use the asset they made themselves? That’s a contradiction—replied the brave princess. The troll was confused and disoriented, so Codius took the opportunity to tell the princes: —It’s time princess! Use this magic “facts” wand to finish this troll— and then a withe glowing wand appeared in front of the child. The girl grabbed the magic weapon and started to throw a lightning bolt against the Troll who slowly vanished until he was converted into dust. All the fudsters ran scared to their twittcaves and from the remains of the creature, a beautiful piece of paper fell slowly while the dust settled. It was the stolen page of the magic ledger! The princess took it, and instantly, she was teleported to the same bridge where the journey started. Codius was smiling in front of here. —You did it! You retrieved the page and now the XRP nodes can work at full capacity again! Well done princess! Now it's time to fulfill my part of the agreement… —the robot started to glow and his voice changed into something more magical: —You now know the constant battle between the Bear and the Bull empires. They need each other so the Crypto Valley ecosystem keeps liquid and dynamic. Forests and meadows cannot overtake the entire valley; that would abolish the balance of the realm. The bulls would run an endless ram direct into the abysm and the bears would get drowned by their own woods. We have a lot more space to grow, but I am confident that on the horizon, a bright future awaits us. You already know the code of your USB wallet, enjoy your life, little princess, and take care— then the robot disappeared. A young woman was sitting alone on a living room; she was contemplating through the window the yard where she used to play with her father when she was a kid. The garden had a wood castle, a big three and a little ornamental bridge. A lawyer came then and sat facing the woman. —I really feel the loss of your father— the man kindly said. —He is finally resting, his disease was getting really painful for him— the woman answered. The lawyer smiled slightly as a sign of empathy and opened a folder with an official document. — Very well Miss Zephie, with 21 years old and as your father's will marked, today, on October 21, 2033, I give to you the last good that your father inherited in his last will, this usb wallet—the lawyer solemnly said— he didn’t left the password, I assume you know it—. The woman just stared at him and remembered all the silly games he played with his father when she was a child. —Oh, yes, I know it…
  5. Hello. This is the first time I've posted. Long time lurker... blah blah blah. Hope you enjoy the story. Look forward to reading the others. The Automatic Uto-Calypse: A Satire I don’t keep a Screen in my bedroom. Those that once knew me called me old-fashioned, a curmudgeon, but I didn’t mind. It was good natured enough and I wanted to keep at least one room to myself. The rest of the house can suffer the clutter of surveillance and electricity. My bedroom was where I slept and read. And even occasionally put pen to paper. During those rare moments of… nostalgia or inspiration. I sometimes wondered how many were left that could actually write with their hand. Not many, I’m sure. Paper was expensive now. Not that it was rare, but rather no one used it. It was a special order and those always cost more. A series of drone shipments starting from one backward place that still had a market for the old things to the next and on and on till it arrived here. Apparently where I hid wasn’t backward. Surely, there were no more lumber yards or paper mills as the lumber industry saw to that. I stocked up though. Years ago. Throughout the house were boxes of legal pads and stenographer pads; and the plastic packages filled with plastic ink pens. Of course, they were ink. I loathed the gel pens. I wrote with my left hand and the ink always left a thick smudge on the meaty parts of my hand. At least the Bic pens didn’t leave that much of a trace. Some day I’ll probably start selling them. I don’t write long-hand enough to ever come close to using it all. It’s probably worth a small fortune since I got it all before the Wreckage. Most days I lounge in bed for a bit. When I was younger I never thought that I’d have that sort of lifestyle. Sleeping late. I’d be lying if said I wrestled with any kind of guilt over it. At some point I’ll shuffle my tired, old body into my office den and start my day. And I don’t feel guilty about the ease of it either. My life is easy, though it’s not for everyone. I’m famous, but anonymous. This new world we find ourselves in… I’ve been reassured, both by those who worship or despise me, that my name is known throughout the world. I’ve the distinct pleasure of being simultaneously essential and dangerous. It’s been a long time since I marveled at the delicious reality of how ideology no longer factored, at all. But this morning, somehow, it tickled me once again. My DA spends just like everyone else’s and I’ll wager that I spend substantially more than most. Amazon (I refuse to acknowledge their revisionist rebranding since the Wreckage and call them Phoenix) sends their drones out my way no matter how much I petulantly blemish their benevolent ubiquity. After all, I can afford fresh eggs and it’s still not cheap to ship eggs over hundreds of miles faster than my old morning commute. On most days my post-waking thoughts don’t venture beyond the routine of perusing the responses and comments to my online persona. This morning, however, I did take the time to remember and marvel at the world I inhabited and how it came to be… Later on, I’d find it an odd coincidence, perhaps even a touch of the clairvoyant. When I entered the main room the silent alert on my Screen drew me closer. My eyes weren’t what they were even after the surgeries which guaranteed 20/20 for the rest of my life. I once considered composing something angry and critical of the practice, but then I remembered most medical practitioners were long gone… brought to you by Amazon… er… Phoenix. As I stepped into range my hand signaled and waggled. My pointer finger jerked to and fro like an uninspired and spastic conductor. The Screen, long accustomed to my habits, displayed the usual briefs. The list of views, paid views, responses/comments in descending order of value. People actually bid on the chance for me to interact and even openly scorn them across the Network. What a country… I often hear my father’s sardonic chuckle. Oh, how he’d gape in astonishment and awe at what we’ve become. I know he’d shake his head, with an amused contempt, at my choice of seclusion instead of the luxurious refuge of what I call ‘gated communities’. I wasn’t the only one that amassed XRP when it was dirt cheap. I’ve just a different idea on what I want to do with it. But that was the point, wasn’t it? The freedom to choose the life, be it luxury or self-righteous solitude. Amazon’s stature as the Provider of All the Things is an irony that isn’t lost on me. In fact, it’s part of my bread and butter. The alert still beckoned, though. No matter how much I distracted myself it wasn’t going away. It’s just that at my age, alerts no longer carried the promise of good tidings. By now, the Screen knew my middle finger summoned the alert. And I wasn’t wrong… My brother was dead. The shock of the pain startled me. It wasn’t necessarily the loss of my brother, whom I haven’t spoken to in years. We were never close and he eventually resented my foresight. It boiled down to how I saw what was coming and he didn’t. I failed to convince him and that was that. When the Wreckage hammered the world’s economy over and over, I was fortunate enough to only adjust while he barely survived. Or maybe he didn’t. Maybe, like so many others, the Wreckage poisoned him like radiation from a nuclear blast and after all these years, it finally killed him. I can’t imagine his life since those desperate days of wave after wave of Crashes. Once government was privatized… well… there was no choice but to opt for relocation. The First World had no room for him, along with tens of millions of others like him. Yet I was fine. What was it that Stalin said about the death of millions being a statistic? The latter part of my brother’s life was a tragedy. We weren’t close and we sure as hell didn’t get along, but I knew him. And I knew what relocation likely did to him. What was once a career move that implied opportunity and drew excited chatter from friends and family had been reduced to a symbolic suicide. His life was no longer his. He wasn’t told where to go. He simply learned where he was when he got there. Like the solar panes for my windows that arrived yesterday. Deposited. Installed. And used till they no longer functioned. I have no idea where he was. In the old days they were called ‘emerging markets’. The Wreckage sent many of those markets back into the Stone Age. I’ve read some of the accounts. Corporate fiefdoms or utter wastelands. It would be a while before automation could seep back into those places and those technological vacuums overflowed with desperate humanity. My brother was once a respected tradesman. Metal fabrication. There was a time when we grew horrified at the idea that skill and others like it were disappearing. Then it was suddenly gone. Automatic. A proud man who fed his family with knowledge and skill of the press and some shears. He lost it all. He lost everyone in those horrifying days. The ominous expression ‘there’s no milk in the store’ spiraled from a colloquially academic nightmare to reality in days, not weeks. I offered to help, but he refused. He also refused to accept the end of what I eventually labeled as the Apple Paradigm. I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of guilt in how that turn of phrase helped propel me to Network Elite. It was later when I recognized the source of the real pain. The death of my brother signified something more than the loss of a sibling, as painful as that should already be. I had to face the jolting realization that although he likely died half a world away, penned in a worker’s compound, he was the last person that I’m aware of who knew my face. As I considered what, if anything, I could do regarding my brother’s remains I brought up my default playlist. It was mostly British blues rock or Outlaw Country. I hadn’t heard a new tune in years and wouldn’t bring myself to it. Music, for lack of a better word, wasn’t composed or written at all. It was an algorithm. Just like everything else in this damn world. Imagine a group of androids banded together and produced a sound solely designed to pacify its consumers… Nah. It’s Steve Marriot or Waylon Jennings for me. I used to think I turned into one of those ‘tin foil’ types… I spent a good deal of time and a considerable amount of DA to effectively hide in a world where everything is ‘Chained. My gains and earnings were buried beneath layers upon layers of smart contracts. Perhaps it was reactionary. After the Digitalization I saw so many reports of the Hodl Class fall victim to scams, extortion, and robbery. Desperados with the technical know-how lurked in the corners of Network and lunged at those who carelessly bragged about their portfolios. I even coined the phrase, ‘they got Lamboed’. It was scary for a while, that was for sure, and it pushed me further into my virtual cave. Eventually, I was confident that I was faster than the slowest in the proverbial herd and began to relax. My portfolio was in the Goldilocks Zone. I was rich, but I wasn’t wealthy. I splurged a bit and bought my profile name from someone else on the Network. This was long before XRP reached six figures, but I liked the name. And it was reassuring to assume a new online identity. I grew confident in my suspicions. I let people know what I was thinking… Eventually, I learned how to monetize my thoughts. Sure, I was controversial, but that was part of the business model. Random Users would pay me for the honor to debate or foam underneath my post. My father’s chuckling often followed those moments I stopped to consider my livelihood. My brother’s death was something else entirely, though. While I often railed and ranted, from afar, about the futility and desperation of those we once called ‘normies’, it was always abstract. Hell, my brother sentenced himself to the life of serfdom. For me, in my mid-21st century cabin, it was still abstract. But he’s gone now and with him is the experience and knowledge of someone who made something with his hands. They used to be necessary and thus valued. Then they were admired. No one knew that was the beginning of the end for them. Then they were envied, admired, and demoted to Nostalgia. Now they’re forgotten; replaced by an algorithm and automation and speed. Long ago I reckoned with the remorse of knowledge lost. When the Christians burned the Library of Alexandria, eventually we recovered what was lost. But this was different, obviously. It was my brother and though I often couldn’t stand the sonofabitch, he knew what the hell he was doing and now that skill is lost. Perhaps not forever. I decided to find out. I very well couldn’t broadcast that a relative of mine recently died. Anyone who knew how to work the ‘Chain could conceivably link a death to me. But I’d reach out, somehow, and see who else felt the same way. Who else had the suppressed urge to preserve what was once known? Perhaps it was time I stopped scorning. I grabbed a legal pad and pen.
  6. Exarpee and the Community THE INTRO “You will defeat them,” said a voice in the distance. It continued, “ You wish to take what they have, for the better of the people. They will bring everything they’ve got and you will defeat them, but you are not ready!” It was a cold dark night. The wind was blowing so hard it began to whistle and made the trees lean. The sky started to cry. Exarpee was lying on the ground. Not able to move a muscle. His body was exhausted. There were scrapes on his arms and a cut on his leg. He was lying there breathing heavily. He heard the voice come closer. “Patience! Your time will come!” Exarpee could feel someone looking over him. He did not have the energy to talk back and it was so dark he could not see anything. He just felt a calm by this presence. He had just barely escaped and he knew this person was here to help and not hurt. The person knelt down and slowly positioned his arms under Exarpees legs and lower back. He was so weak. He tried opening his eyes to see but the rain and darkness would not let him. Sleep came for him faster than he could fight it. The person lifted up Exarpees body off the ground and walked into the dark stormy night. THE GOOD GUYS Many days and nights have passed when he finally regained consciousness. He was back home. Or at least what he knew to be home. He never really had a real home. One where you live for many years, in peace with loved ones. The last part is all that matters and that’s all he needed. Home to Exarpee is wherever the ones he loves are. They move frequently and constantly have to look over their shoulders so they can’t get too comfortable. He and his community make refuge where they can. Caves, abandoned villages, mountains, anywhere away from the enemy. “ So I see you finally decided to wake up,” a familiar voice said as he entered the room where Exarpee lay. Exarpee was happy and not so happy to see his father, Garlinghouse. “Hello father,” Exarpee said. “I’m still in one piece.” “Now is not the time for jokes. I told you not to do anything unexpected! You think you’re ready to save everyone, but you’re not! Not yet! This will take time,” his father told him as he paced back and forth in and out of deep thought. Exarpee too, was in deep thought. He wasn’t really paying any mind to his fathers’ lectures. He knew he was wrong for attempting to do what he did so he didn’t need someone else telling him something he already knew. He began to recollect what happened that night, in his mind. How could he be so foolish to think he can take them head on all by himself. The weight of the community depending on him got the better of him. He does not regret what he did. He’s young. He was just trying to moon so everyone would be happy. It was in the heat of the moment, he did not think he just reacted. Next time he will be ready, he thought. “Who found me?!” He quickly asked as it came to him. “We found you a mile out of the village! You don’t think we’re good trackers? We calculate their every move. We’re always one step ahead of them. We’re faster and smarter! You don’t think we can find you a mile out?” Exarpee ignored the lecture part and began to try and remember what had been said and what little he was able to see of the person that rescued him. He didn’t tell his father since his father obviously didn’t know. He found it strange that his father didn’t know. His father knows everything and what he doesn’t his people do! They do happen to be good trackers so he was thinking how he could be a mile out and nobody knew about the person that saved him. He tried to slowly get out of the bed he was in but his body was moving slow. His father moved towards him. “Slow down now digital asset, you need some rest.” His father put Exarpee back in the bed. Exarpee soon fell into a deep sleep for some much needed rest. Garlinghouse quietly left the room and was met by his longtime friend Katz. “How’s he doing?” Katz asked. “He’s finally awake so that’s a good sign. I think he just needs a couple of days to recoup.” “ Well that’s great to hear, because its finished,” Katz said as his eyes began to glow and had a grin from ear to ear. “XRapid?!” Garlinghouse said to himself quietly. They had been waiting for this moment for so long. This was one of the key steps they needed to defeat Swift and it’s finally here! “They don’t know of us just yet. But they will. Then it will be too late.” He said to his longtime friend. Garlinghouse breathed a sigh of relief and gave Katz a hug as they quietly celebrated. They didn’t want everyone to know just yet until they tested it and were for sure it was ready. He followed Katz to see their newly developed weapon. It had been about a week since Exarpee fell back to sleep. He was lying in his bed in some sort of dream turning from side to side. He slowly began to come out of his sleep. His senses sharpened while his eyes remained closed. He heard footsteps in the distance getting louder and louder as the subject got closer and closer. ‘Who is in this room with me,’ he thought. He could feel the presence of this person go from one end of the room to the other. His eyes finally came to him and he left the dream he was in. He slowly opened his eyes and picked up his head. He saw one of his closest friends. “Cobb,” he said with a quiet weak voice almost as if he whispered. He had been asleep for days. His body felt relaxed and he was close to 100%. “Exarpee! It’s about time! It’s been a week,” he said as he helped Exarpee up. “People were starting to worry about you. Some of the community sold. We’re getting attacked by fud now daily. Its getting harder and harder to keep everyone calm but enough about that. How do you feel?” “I feel a lot better. I haven’t felt this good in years,” he said with a small smile on his face. “ How many members did we lose?” He asked cautiously and began to unload more questions. “Where are Katz and Garlinghouse and what of XRapid? It should’ve been ready by now!” XRapid was a major piece they needed in order to defeat Swift. Exarpee without XRapid can only do so much damage to Swift. Swift has many allies that are loyal to a fault and if they don’t see the full potential of Exarpee they will not take the leap of faith needed to make Exarpee the standard. He knew Cobb was one of the better-informed members of the community. Almost all news that was worth mentioning went through him. He began to answer, “We lost quite a bit. Most of the newcomers have weak hands so they were the first ones out. For the most part the rest of the community has remained strong thanks to Hodor, CK, Jungle and all the others. Even DM has been helping us fight fud. Wherever he is... and XRapid is still being tested and should be ready to launch anytime now. They will bring it to you when it’s ready.” Exarpee breathed a sigh of relief. He had been out for so long and wasn’t sure how everything was going so he was relieved that the news wasn’t too bad. Cobb took Exarpee to talk to the other members of the community since they hadn’t seen him in awhile. He built more trust with everyone and helped reassure everyone that everything is going as planned. There have been a few hiccups but for the most part it’s coming together. Exarpee knew he was the chosen one to lead the community and save the world from Swift. THE ENEMIES Swift is slow and his technology is outdated, but as unintelligent as he may seem he too knew his time was coming to an end if something wasn’t done. Swift has more allies than Exarpee, for now, so he got with a lot of them to orchestrate an attack at the village where they are now. Swift even reached out to Conbase, a major fud spreader, to help aid in Exarpees demise. Conbase and Garlinghouse didn’t get along and Swift knew this. So Swift got with him in secret so they can put an end to Exarpee once and for all! “We must defeat them before XRapid goes live!,” Swift told Conbase. “I agree,” he replied, “our window is shrinking by the day. Now is the best time! They are split. XRapid is still in testing. They are vulnerable.” Conbase too, needed Exarpee to fail so he would ensure Bitcoins dominance over all the cryptos. Conbase and Swift got with all their bank friends and they were each going to bring all their fud with them and march them to the village for battle. Exarpee and its community are used to fighting fud here and there but not an enormous amount that they were planning to take with them. They knew XRapid wasn’t ready so this was going to be their last and final opportunity. Conbase s’ technology was way more advanced than Swifts so they were able to track Exarpee and its community. Some of the Exarpee community would actually tip off Conbase because they thought it would help get them listed on their exchange. For a long time the community was unaware of the behind the scenes with Conbase and Garlinghouse. As time went on their past got more exposure and it became clear that Conbase was never intending to list Exarpee but instead try to hurt it by spreading fud. Conbase didn’t want anyone to interfere with Bitcoins dominance. Conbase, Swift, their allies and fud were making their way to Exarpees village. They moved slowly and quietly to stay undetected. It had taken them days to reach the village. The village was asleep. They had a few lookouts posted on the outside of the village. The village was pretty big. It was lush with trees almost as high as the clouds. Which made it a great hideout from their enemies. There were many houses in the village that they built for their supporters. They had even built a gate surrounding the whole village to make it easy to keep people out that had no business going in. Lookouts were located on all four sides of the gate around the clock. They always had someone looking and waiting. Conbase led the charge with more than 50,000 fud close behind him. He was tall, slim and moved fast even with his thick armor. He wielded two swords, one in each hand. The blades were sharp and shiny. They had not seen battle in years. Normally he just sent his fud to fight the battles, but not this time. He knew he needed to be there. The fud that were with him came in all shapes and sizes. There was old fud that’s been around for years and then there was new fud that had barely been around for a few days. Some had daggers, some axes. They typically moved fast to spread their word. Some fud were wearing armor and other fud were just wearing regular clothes. Some have seen battle and others were new to it. To fud, Exarpee was the one and true enemy. No fud has ever killed Exarpee and a lot have tried. Each day new fud is created to try and help kill Exarpee but Exarpee and the community that follows it have always survived. However this will be the biggest amount of fud they have ever had to fight off. THE BATTLE The sky was dark. The moon was hiding behind the clouds. Conbase and the fud were a few hundred yards outside the village. They began to move faster as the battle was about to begin. They made it that close without being spotted so they successfully accomplished their mission of a surprise attack. The ground began to rumble beneath the people of the community. People were unaware of what was happening. A horn sounded in the distance from one the lookout posts. It was heard throughout the whole community. Everyone knew what the horn was so they knew they were under attack. People were scrambling to gather their weapons and to get the elders and children to safety. The ones ready to fight began to make way to the lookout post. Exarpee was asleep when the rumbling began. He woke up and grabbed his sword. He has thin armor he always wore just incase something like this ever happened. He is the greatest fighter anyone had ever seen. He’s always ready for a good battle, but he was unaware of what awaited him. His sword was a gift from Katz. It was a perfect fit. Not too heavy and one of the strongest blades he had ever used. He was on the other side of the village from the horn so he had to hurry. He began charging to the other side of the village with other community members ready for battle. As he was running he glanced over and saw some of his top members at his side. Jungle, Tiff, Yoda and others armored up and ready to fight. Cobb was not with them. He was near the lookout post. Cobb was awake when the horn went off. He was already in his armor as well so he was ready to go. He grabbed his sword and bow and arrow and made way to the lookout. By the time he had gotten there, there was a few hundred people at the top of the gate where the lookout posts was located. Many of them had swords but the ones that had bows and arrows began to shoot towards Conbase and the fud. Cob went to the top and began to organize the people he had. When he looked out towards the enemy he felt his stomach cringe and his heart drop. It was still dark so he couldn’t see much but he saw movement as far as he could see and they were all heading straight for the community. It was the most fud he had ever seen. He then turned towards his people and had to focus. They were looking at him for guidance and reassurance. He had to be focused. He had all the arrows at the front and got all the swords to the bottom for when the fud breaks through. More of the community kept making their way and started to form up lines and get organized. The community was good at communicating where people needed to be and what needed to happen. Cobb looked down towards the community to check if everyone was in order. As he looked down he saw one of his close friends CK guiding people on where to go. The numbers were stacked against them but maybe if they were organized and on point they stood a chance he thought. Conbase and the fud were getting closer and closer. They saw the village at the gate scrambling to get positioned. Arrows from the gate began to fly towards the fud striking them as they ran full speed towards the village. It did not slow them down. As soon as the arrows struck the fud they would drop and Conbase and the rest just kept on going. Cobb and the men he had at the top kept unloading arrows into the never ending crowd beneath them. They were so overwhelmed. Each arrow that was shot was hitting fud but it just seemed like it wasn’t making any difference. There was just too much. Conbase and his men reached the gate and were trying to bust their way in by charging the gate and hitting it with axes. The gate wasn’t built to fend of 50,000 men so it was only a matter of time before they flooded into the village. CK was on the other side with a lot of the community ready to meet them head on in battle. They didn’t have anywhere near the amount of men on their side but they had some of the more experienced fighters. “1,2,3 CHARGE,” was heard outside the gate. A big rumble came right after that shook the lookout above. Cobb gathered his men and made their way down to the bottom with CK. He met with CK drew his sword and waited for the inevitable. “We have to hold them off for as long as we can,” Cobb told CK as he glanced at him nervously then back at the gate. A lot of the men from the community were pushing the gate back for every charge from the enemy. “Exarpee should be getting here soon. We can hold! Move fast and think slow,” said CK as he focused on the gate. “1,2,3 CHARGE,” was heard with a bang right after. The gate was giving in. There were holes from the axes so they were sticking swords and trying to stab what they could. Seconds seemed like minutes and minutes felt like hours as they were hoping the gate would hold just one more time after every charge. “1,2,3 CHARGE!!” A loud bang hit the gate once more, pushing the people who were trying to keep the gate shut back. They regained the footing and pushed back. “Good luck brother,” CK whispered under his voice just loud enough for Cobb to hear. Cobb nodded nervously with wide eyes. He had fought off many fud before but not this much. This was the most nervous he had ever been. “1,2,3 CHARGE!!” was heard once more. Everyone was hoping for the bang that they had heard for the last few minutes, but this one was different. They felt a whiff of air hit them in their face from the gates location. They saw swords clashing with swords. They had breached the gate. Conbase and his men charged the gate and yelled as they made their presence known. Cobb and CK rallied their men, held their swords high and charged the enemy. Conbase was at the front of the line for the enemy slicing through whoever tried to stop him. His slices were swift as he moved from one to the next. Slicing with his right then with his left. CK saw him from afar and knew that’s whom he needed to fight to slow the enemy down. He ran towards Conbase while also trying to take out as much fud as possible. The enemy was slowly progressing through the gate. There were piles of fallen fud and members of the community everywhere and it wasn’t stopping. The Exarpee community was slowing them down but there was just too much. People were still trickling in to help aid the community against the fud. There was still no sight of Exarpee and other notable people to the community. Cobb was holding his position taking out fud left and right. He saw more and more of the enemy inside the gate. They began to spread out making it harder to keep them contained. He saw CK and Conbase in the distance. CK had finally caught up to him and was ready to take him on. The fud had seemed to swallow him. There were no other members of the community that far behind the enemy lines. Cobb gathered the men that were next to him and began to charge towards CK to aid him but he was already too far. There was too much fud in between them. “Have you lost your mind boy,” Conbase asked confused at why he is challenging him. “You are no match for me. Just like Exarpee is no match to Bitcoin! You are a fool to think otherwise!” “Exarpee will be the standard. He is faster than Bitcoin and any other crypto out there! Soon you will see you have always been on the losing team!” CK dashed towards Conbase with his sword ready to swing down. Conbase moved back as he came down with his arms. Conbase threw his swords on the ground and punched CK in the face. CK came back with another faster swing. Conbase quickly moved out of the way. “You see boy, you are no match for me! Do not worry, time is not on my side so I will make this short,” he said as he began to smile and moved towards CK. CK threw his sword down and lunged towards Conbase and punched him in the face. He then gave a couple of punches to his stomach and side. It seemed to not faze Conbase at all. CK began to swing for his face and that’s when Conbase ducked and punched CK in the rib. His punch was so hard CK lost his breath even with all the armor he had on. He grabbed his side and took a few steps back. Cobb could see from far that CK was in trouble but couldn’t get to him. “CK!!!” Conbase heard Cobb scream from far away. “It’s a pity he has to watch you die.” Conbase told CK who was trying to recover from the blow. Conbase walked towards him clinching his fist. “ They will join you soon boy.” As he began to pull his arm back he felt something strike him in his side. He looked down to find an arrow sticking out of his armor. He pulled out the arrow and looked to see where it came from and as he met eyes with Cobb off in the distance another arrow struck him in the chest. This time deeper than the last. He felt the arrow pierce his skin under his armor. CK gathered what strength he had and picked up his sword. Conbase saw Cobb aiming for a third shot so he moved out of the way. He then saw CK coming at him with his sword in hand. CK swung fast and came down hard and struck Conbase on the arm slicing through the armor. Conbase pulled his body back and grabbed his dagger from his leg. He was moving slower but still faster than CK. CK got ready for another swing and that’s when Conbase moved in quick and stuck CK in the leg with the dagger. CK went down to one knee and yelled in pain. Cobb couldn’t get a clean shot, as the fud was right in front of him. Conbase grabbed one of his swords off the ground and before he could slice CK he felt the ground rumble beneath him. He glanced over his shoulder and he saw a rider on a horse leading 6000 men ready to fight. The horse pushed Conbase to the ground and the rider came down on him with his sword. He went to CK and lifted him up onto the horse. “DM?” CK asked with a weak voice. “Is this where you’ve been riding to this whole time?” “We’ve been looking all over for you guys! My followers and I are here to help. Lets get you to safety.” DM said as he rode through the village dodging as much fud as he could. Exarpee had finally arrived to the battle and with much needed help. Cobb looked back and saw Exarpee standing with Yoshitaka. It meant only one thing. SBI went live! Behind them were 10s of thousands of fighters ready to aid the community. They had the fud surrounded once again as they were attacking from both sides. Exarpee rushed to the battle and was moving and slicing fud as fast as he could. He eventually caught up to Cobb and was fighting with him side by side. Hodor was striking fud with his ax close behind. Tiff had a sword in each hand moving faster than most. All seemed to be going well until they heard another horn from the opposite end of the village. Exarpee quickly ran to the location as fast as he could. Hodor was ahead of him and so was Tiff. Cobb stayed back to ensure the fud died once and for all. Exarpee followed Tiff and Hodor, as they were further ahead. As they got closer they began to hear screams and clashes. They came up on this house and knew everything was happening on the other side of it. Hodor grabbed the door, “are you ready,” he asked as he looked at Exarpee in the eyes. Exarpee nodded and Hodor opened the door and let Exarpee go first. Bodies were everywhere, and homes were set on fire. Swift was here. He was a few yards in front of Exarpee. His bankers were further behind causing destruction wherever they could. “We finally meet,” Swift said as he stood tall smiling. He was much taller than Exarpee and much wider also. His armor was thick. He carried a sword that he never had to use, until today. Hodor and Tiff stared up at Swift in awe. Nobody had ever seen him before. They had only heard of him. He was much more intimidating than they had imagined. “Stop this!” Exarpee yelled. “Nobody else needs to die! Just one of us!” Exarpee was nervous but he didn’t show it. This was his moment. This is why he was brought into this world. To rid the world of Swift. He remembered the voice from the person that saved him. ‘You will defeat them. You wish to take what they have, for the better of the people. They will bring everything they’ve got and you will defeat them, but you are not ready.’ Hopefully he is ready now as the fight was about to begin. Swift walked slowly up to Exarpee. “For along time I have heard of you. For along time I have hated you. I guess you can never send someone to do your dirty work. I must destroy you myself!” He pulled his sword from his sheath and moved faster to Exarpee. Exarpee drew his sword and moved forward to meet Swift. Their swords clashed. Swift matched every swing Exarpee attempted. Exarpee was faster but not stronger. Swift was much more powerful than he had anticipated. Exarpee moved fast from one side with a swing and then quickly to the other but no luck. Swift was a well-trained fighter. “You are not as fast as they say,” Swift said while defending every attack Exarpee made. Exarpee was ready to swing once more and that’s when Swift grabbed Exarpees sword by the blade and broke it. It didn’t even leave one drop of blood. Exarpee looked shocked and quickly went for his dagger and stuck it in Swifts leg. His armor was so thick that the blade couldn’t even penetrate it. Swift picked Exarpee up by his ankle and threw him into the ground. Exarpee hit the ground so hard it made him bounce. Tiff and Hodor quickly went at Swift. Swift punched Tiff so hard she flew back and hit the house behind them. Hodor grabbed his ax and struck Swift in his side piercing his armor. Swift swung his sword and struck Hodor in the side. It went through his armor and Hodor went to the ground. Exarpee was weak but had to get up. Swift was going to kill anyone in his path. Before he could get up he felt Swift grab him by his ankles and swing him into another house. The house crumbled to the ground. Exarpee was lying on the ground. Not able to move a muscle. His body was exhausted. There were scrapes on his arms and a cut on his leg. He was lying there breathing heavily. He heard a voice speak to him, “the time is now.” Exarpee could feel someone looking over him. It was the same voice that saved him. He felt the calming presence of this person. He opened his eyes. It was Katz. He was holding a sword and handed it to Exarpee. It was the lightest sword he had ever held. The blade was so shiny and sharp. He felt his body healing itself as he held it. The scrapes began to go away and so did the cut on his leg. Katz stood there smiling. “This is XRapid.” Exarpee smiled back and stood up feeling better than ever. He turned to find Swift who was about to grab Tiff. He quickly ran to Swift and pushed him off and Swift flew to the ground. Exarpee was amazed at the speed as he felt he was barely moving but to everyone else it was like the blink of an eye. Swift got up and stared at Exarpee in awe. Exarpee ran to him and Swift didn’t even see him move. He tried to grab his sword off the ground but before he could there was a blade through his stomach. Blood ran out of his body and he became weak. He went down to one knee clinching his stomach. Exarpee looked at him, “you were as slow as they say,” he said as he gave the final blow. The battle ended with that and Exarpee became the standard. The price went to $589 and we mooned!
  7. A marathon runner knows what it takes to go the distance - much like the stakeholder organizations championing XRP adoption. In my latest blog entry, I describe the latest progress & news items in the XRP ecosystem, including a new Canadian exchange listing, my perspective on the AMA with David Schwartz and Asheesh Birla, and news about XRP Community developments. I hope you enjoy this latest article: Feel free to share my blog with a friend - or on any other social media platform or venue - and thank you for doing so! Twitter Reddit r/Ripple Reddit r/CryptoCurrency Reddit r/CryptoMarkets Reddit r/xrp Reddit r/RippleTalk Reddit r/alternativecoin Bitcointalk - alt coin sub forum Bitcointalk - XRP speculation thread
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