Technology and nature are two things which everyone thought would never come together. But, in today’s age never say never. Blockchain, the technology which until now was only being used to maintain a digital ledger is now being employed to give life to a whole new species. Yes, a brand new species.
A new project currently in the works aims to blur the existing lines between technology and nature, via a new species called Plantoid.
A Plantoid is basically a mass of welded metal and electronic components put together in an aesthetic way to look similar to an android version of a plant. This is what the species is in the physical world. When it comes to the digital world, it’s a piece of software living on blockchain that its creators have named as “soul.”
The main reason behind conceiving the whole design is to give birth to a design that reproduces itself via transactions made on the blockchain. Similar to the way flowers attract bees for procreation, Plantoid is programmed to do the same with humans.
The whole attractive Plantoid design is intended to catch human attention, and make them donate money via Bitcoin. The cash collected is then put to a constructive use of commissioning an artist to produce a new Plantoid. The entire process is automated with smart contracts.
For the uninitiated, a blockchain is an anonymous online ledger that makes use of a data structure to make the process of transaction an easier and simpler process. It provides users the ability to manipulate the ledger in a safe way without seeking the support of a third party. The technology has significantly helped digital currencies likes Ether and Bitcoin become viable currencies.
The goal of the Plantoid is to illustrate one of the most revolutionary—and yet still unexplored—aspects of blockchain technology. It illustrates the ability to create “blockchain-based lifeforms”, i.e. algorithmic entities that are:
capable of reproducing themselves,
through a combination of blockchain-based code and human interactions.
For instance, imagine having an automated farm, which doesn’t require human attention and intervention every step of the way.
The Plantoid can be considered as a distributed autonomous organization (DAO), a concept that could put blockchain to good use to fundamentally bring a change to the world we’re all living in right now. Though the project currently might seem a little too exploratory and experimental to many, but it does set a precedent for much more practical usage in the near future.
According to a statement given by its creator Primavera de Filippi to SingularityHub, “Plantoid is an attempt at using art to illustrate what I consider to be one of the most innovative and disruptive aspects of the blockchain — the ability to create autonomous entities which are completely independent and self-sufficient.” Filippi is a faculty associate at Harvard’s Berkman-Klein Center and the founder of Okhaos, the art collective which has taken the responsibility of the project.