CoinSpice.io was recently able to fuse three of its most beloved interests into one project: peer-to-peer electronic cash, cryptocurrency education, and the work of comics legend Scott McCloud. Known as the ‘Marshall McLuhan of comics’ and the ‘Aristotle of comics’ for his ability to explain any concept via illustrated narratives, McCloud takes readers through an informative, funny, and beautiful webcomic to help explain one of the most important documents in modern human history, the Bitcoin White Paper.
Read the White Paper Comic by Scott McCloud.
Bitcoin White Paper Webcomic: Whitepaper.Coinspice.io
For those who have tried to explain Bitcoin, or the process of how cryptographic digital currency works, it can be very frustrating to find the right metaphor, the correct way to formulate the subject in another’s mind.
Is it simply just currency in a long line? Is it a tech problem finally solved? Is it a mathematical exercise to have found real world application? Are there implications beyond the tech?
It was on those notes CoinSpice.io flew to Los Angeles and redpilled comics legend, Scott McCloud. For three days, the team and McCloud fretted and dissected nine pages of carefully worded text, the pseudonymously authored, Bitcoin White Paper.
McCloud Groks Peer-to-Peer Cash
McCloud, an early voice and champion for micropayments on the web, is a surprisingly normal guy, interested in technology, a quick study. He rose to the challenge, and managed to produce a sublime webcomic that p2p cash evangelists will reference for many years to come.
McCloud describes the project as “exactly the kind of subject that I like to tackle. Something challenging and often misunderstood by the general public, but with far ranging implications. The kind of thing that can benefit from a visual treatment; creating spatial metaphors that help us get a grip on intangible or elusive processes and concepts.”
His reputation for helping folks understand the medium of comics was established back in 1993 with the publication of Understanding Comics. His subsequent updating of that idea came in 2000 with Reinventing Comics and more recently with 2006’s, Making Comics. He is frequently sought in the comics art world for lectures and appearances. In 2008, he created the famous Google Chrome webcomic.
Micropayments and Comics
Asked about how the Bitcoin White Paper webcomic was pitched to him, and some of the steps involved, McCloud details, “Of course, when I started, I had a lot of the same misconceptions as everybody else. Three days of intensive meetings with the CoinSpice.io founders got me up to speed on the structure of Satoshi’s original proposal and its implementation. With projects like this, learning the material is what matters most. To be effective, you need to visualize what you understand, not just illustrate text provided by someone else.”
Coincidentally, McCloud has an interest in micropayments, a subject he would draw upon to help better understand the importance of crypto in this regard. “I don’t have any formal training, really. Just a few battle scars from the early aughts when I was publicly urging the development of micropayment systems. I hopped on board with one such system (called BitPass, coincidentally) developed by a couple of sharp Stanford grads, but it couldn’t get enough traction in the long haul,” he recalled.
As for trying to use that background and directly move it to something like the Bitcoin White Paper, “Bitcoin is another animal entirely, but it certainly embodies some of the principles and values that we were shooting for in those early years. Crowdfunding too has been resuscitating the idea of the power of a less diluted currency in the hands of many, stripped of a lot of unnecessary infrastructure. We’ll see…,” McCloud noted.
The Bitcoin Webcomic
Anyone can reference the webcomic, and the purpose was to illuminate, staying away from inside baseball ecosystem polemics or politics. McCloud, 58, sets the Bitcoin White Paper webcomic as a grand adventure, a story, in generously drawn panels — wide, crisp, easy to follow.
Those who struggle to understand Bitcoin are placed in the image of youth, but not a doltish Simpson character or mouthy prankster. Instead, McCloud takes the noob seriously, and questions arise naturally, organically, as they for sure do with all earnest inquirers.
The answers come in profound forms, and the invention’s enigmatic creator or creators is or are pictured in various forms — a genius idea serving as a wink and inside joke as the narrative unfolds—the exact identity of the paper’s author, Satoshi Nakamoto is ultimately irrelevant.
Peer-to-peer Electronic Cash
Asked about his personal views on crypto and if he holds any, McCloud explained, “Only a little.” It does appear that comparing the two main versions of Bitcoin, Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), made an impression on McCloud though. True to the white paper itself, the cash-like functionality and payments goals of the Bitcoin project are emphasized throughout the webcomic with no mention of the recent albeit pervasive notion from the BTC leaders that “Bitcoin is not for payments” and instead “is a store of value”.
McCloud notes his “feelings about Bitcoin Cash generally have little to do with the market price. I’m interested in its status as electronic cash, so if it stabilizes eventually, it almost doesn’t matter if it stabilizes high or low. Near limitless divisibility is interesting that way.”
As Bitcoin Cash (BCH) continues to raise the bar for p2p web payments, the sky is the limit.
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