Eink x Crypto | The merge of two industries

Hey there,

many folks in the eink community are also very passionate about the cryptocurrency sector. It guess it’s in the nature of our values. Both eink users as well as crypto users are in their nature early adopters. There are many angles where you could combine the both. Especially I could see crypto as a lever to boost the eink R&D and development. Let’s start with a few ideas:

#1 Display Digital Art on an Eink Display

There is an emerging community in the crypto currency space around the crypto collectibles and NFT community. The market has seen exponential growth in the past months. There has even been one art collection sold for 800k USD. So if you are digital art owner, you eventually want to “show off” your art. I think there will be need for a product such as an eink frame where you can display your digital art collection and some sort of qr code or some other proof (e.g. eth name address) that you own that piece of art. Imagine what great conversation starter this would be, if you have such a picture frame hanging in your flat or office.

#2 Funding Eink Hardware Development with Crypto Currencies

There has been some attempts to fund open source hardware with cryptocurrencies. There was an 158mln USD Initial Coin Offering to fund the development of an open source blockchain based smartphone the Sirin phone. They where issuing their own digital currency. While this attempt mostly failed, therey could be another try maybe along the lines of eink hardware. However the token economics (if you want to issue an token) need to be engineered carefully and in such a way that it can accrue value.

#3 Creating an ecoystem around focussed and healthy hardware/software based on eink technologies

There has been a lot of hype around “distraction free phones” as well as discussions around the social dilemma where big tech spys on us. I think this angle around health, privacy and focus could start a totally new device category. We have seen first attempts:

* Mudita Pure

* FreeWrite

* DevTerm - An Open Source Portable Terminal

The question now is, how do you jumpstart this new sort of ecoystem? And how do you integrate cryptocurrencies? Maybe you could have an open-source hardware device (e.g. notebook, phone) on which you build lots of “eink-friendly” software. It could jumpstart a new open source community. Eventually this would be owned and governed by everyone through a cryptocurrency. Software will cost some money in that specific currency. If you are using the system, you earn that currency as early adopter. There will be an alternative app store, if you want to list there you need to pay in that currency. I don’t know how this could exactly look like, but that’s something we need to figure out as an community.

However there will be a first transition phase where we would need to “translate” regular services such as Facebook, Gmail, Maps, etc. and make them friendly for our hardware/software at the first place to “convert” regular users. And make everything usable for them at the beginning. And then they start liking the new system so much that they don’t want to go back. The “iPhone-Moment” for eink so to speak.

#4 Smaller attempts

There has been other “smaller” attempts to combine the both with an Bitcoin price ticker on an eink display or a crypto wallet with an eink display. But let’s think big here.

What are your thoughts/ideas around merging the cryptocurrency sector with eink technology?

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Dear m10r,

that’s a fine opening post! The analysis on cryptocurrencies and eink both having a fanbase from early adopters and neophiles is a splendid point. Crypto users could certainly be a target audience for eInk marketing.

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I think funding an emerging industry with cryptocurrencies is a terrible idea. In fact, funding anything with them is bad. Good for the cryptocurrency, but bad for the thing you’re funding.

I don’t know about the majority of e-Ink users, but I’m not a “neophile”. I don’t jump around whenever sonething new comes out, in fact I’m very skeptical about novelty. For example, I don’t like new phones with notches, weird rounded screen corners, glass bodies prone to shattering and so on. All of those things are new, but that doesn’t make them good. They are terrible design decisions. When it comes to currencies, I think it’s not too hard to understand that a good currency is a stable currency. And cryptocurrencies are not designed to be stable. Quite the contrary, they’re designed to quickly rise in value (by mining) and stir a turmoil in the market. So early adopters can profit by mining a few coins and keeping them until they get some value from “neophiles” trying to use them. In other words, it’s a pyramid scheme except a little less harsh on the bottom layers. So no, thank you. The Bitcoin crises have affected me enough by raising hardware prices, I don’t want to get any more involved in that madness.


Some reddit comment:

Good observation. eInk users tend to read more. Better education tends to mean more knowledge of privacy and security issues.

There’s also another crossover trend. Part oft he draw for me is efficiency. I like to know that I can use my phone efficiently. I like it to be beautiful both inside and out. That means privacy, security and an efficient screen that doesn’t waste my time through LED addiction.

This is why librem, pinephone etc need an eink screen.

Dear Pauliunas—all the things you said, in the examples, were bad in my opinion from the get-go as well. I am a neophile or an early taker, however you want to put it, but bad is bad regardless of if it’s new or old. Perhaps OP should redefine us as early adopters rather than neophiles. I for one prefer old movies over modern movies but am receptive to innovations.

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