Cryptocurrency and Burning Man may have more in common than you might think. Each explores ways that people can approach models of governance, and both are built upon a platform of sharing and transparency. It is not uncommon to see people going to Burning Man with raw, tradable materials with which to trade for anything they need while attending the festival. Whether it’s art, food, fuel, or hugs, everything operates on the barter system and value is decided by those doing the trading.
The ability of those Burning Man attendees to conduct their business in a way that they see fit is one of the things that makes the annual festival so endearing. Cryptocurrency traders have a very similar feeling towards decentralizing the world’s monetary system and it seems the platforms are an unlikely pair which is why you will now find many specific, cryptocurrency-related, camps at Burning Man. You’ll find Camp Decentral, Node Republic, and Camp DAO, for example, offering education and discussion to anyone interested in taking part.
A Perfect Pair
There have many big concepts that have come from the Burning Man meetings, as they have been headed by some of the most influential names in the business. Cryptocurrency legend, Jeremy Gardner; former Bitcoin Foundation board member, Brock Pierce; and at least 50 others belonging to the same echelons. According to the experts giving the talks, Burning Man is the ‘perfect place’ for these types of discussions. Not only does the festival foster close personal relationships with those involved in making changes within the industry, but it is also one of the few places so many interested parties gather to hear one another speak.
In fact, much of the crypto markets slow down during the festival in anticipation of the influx of ideas and announcements that come once Burning Man comes to an end. This year, the close date for the festival is September 2nd, and we will very likely see some changes in the near future. Of course, one might ask how a bunch of crypto elites showing up to a festival to discuss their business ideas could have such a big effect on the larger blockchain picture. The answer might lay in the fact that it is the same values that drive the festival that push blockchain tech forward. It is the idea that communities can decide how to share openly and honestly, while guarding against some of the negatives that exist with other forms of money.
The connection between belief structures that support blockchain and the Burning Man festival are well-established enough to create interest in a Burning Man-specific coin. At least, that was the idea back in 2015. The proposal was to have people use cryptocurrency at the festival as a method of payment, along with the classic trade economy, since money is not allowed at the festival. While many jumped on board with that idea, too many were opposed. The primary arguments were that Bitcoin, while being decentralized, is still capitalist in nature. The leading person with that idea was the lat, Larry Harvey, who was a co-founder of the festival.
Last year, Harvey passed away and the management behind Burning Man is now decided which direction the festival should go. Should enough people decide that blockchain be a part of the festivals future, it would not be surprising to see a Burning Man coin emerge in the near future. The coin could take a lot of different forms, including being tied to traditional fiat currencies (much like Facebook’s proposed Libra), system-building concepts (like Ethereum), or something more along the lines of what Bitcoin offers. Time will tell, but we think that if a crypto coin does come out of the Burning Man stratosphere it will be definitely worth checking out as it will likely be the brainchild of some of the biggest names in the business.