Not much here, so far mostly notes about the assets and currencies we have issued onto the

Horizon and Stellar


Galactic Milieu: approaching "seed round" stage?


I am Mark Metson of Digitalis Data Services, known on BitCoinTalk forum as "markm", controller of various "knotwork" domains starting with and thus known on many venues as user "knotwork".

My work in online gaming began on dialup BBS before the internet (TCP-IP) was invented.

I built "Digitalis D'ydii Cluster" for the Apple IIe before even getting into BBS systems.

Digitalis D'ydii Cluster was a 1.0E11 x 1.0E11 x 1.0E11 parsecs cube of space (due to Apple IIe floating point only supporting 11 digits of accuracy), which is large enough that if the observed in "real life" receding of galaxies aka expension of the universe had been implemented the galaxies at the edges would have been receding from the center at the speed of light or faster, thus it comprised a full "observable universe", but the whole thing resided on just one 800 megabytes or thereabouts Apple IIe floppy-disk. (The kind I liked to refer to as a crunchy rather than a floppy, being 3.5 inch brittle plastic thing rather than an "actually floppy" 5.5 inch or 5.25 inch or whatever the "true floppy" disks of the time were.

So I have been at this for quite some time.

The D'ydii Cluster was inspired by the "Traveler" roleplaying game, but magnified tech-levels by ten to allow steps between the points where a new tech became a laboratory possibility, so at the tech level it is discovered a tech has an efficiency of effectively zero but ten tech levels later, when the next tech is discovered, you are up at decent/normal efficiency, and beyond that asymtotically approaching 100% as you continue on and on to higher tech-level.

The D'ydii Cluster posed three problems / puzzles:

One, being akin to "Traveler" RPG it had no mechanism(s) for evolution of the culture, techlevel, etc of planets.

Two, being "compressed" onto a single disk by being generated using pseudorandom numbers derived from the co-ordinate system, it would have been infeasible in those days to actually evolve the states of the planets due to lack of any scalable database potentially able to contemplate storing info about each planet of each galaxy of each local group of each group of each cluster of each supercluster etc of galaxies.

Three, bitcoin being years into the then unknown and unknowable future, it did not seem feasible to have a universal currency, because nothing in a galaxy far far away seemed reasonably "valuable" until or unless it was transported to whoever might (once they could actually access/use it) consider it "valuable". Thus spaceships retained just one field for currency, which was zeroed on leaving starport, any not spent on cargo being left as a tip for the starport they were leaving, so that at arrival at next starsystem the currency field could be renamed to the name used there for their local currency, which would be obtained by sales of cargo.

One nice feature was the price lists could be displayed/printed using any item from the list as the denomination in which the value of all the others would be shown.

(Convenient for showing all prices in terms of fuel, for example, since fuel was one thing all starships knew they would need at all ports.)

When the internet came along, many of those ideas were carried forward, but meanwhile "Civ games" had come along, so I started building a "Civ I" type game using the Athena widget-set (for X-windows: I had migrated from Minix to Linux by the time I got involved with the Internet).

After a few years or so I noticed someone else was also working on a Civ-game for Linux: FreeCiv; and doing it better, too, I thought, so I stopped working on my Athena-widgets based one and decided to adopt FreeCiv.

Notice the heavy use of / emphasis on free open-source software all along, from Minix to Linux to FreeCiv etc; my Athena-widgets based Civ was also GNU licensed.

Once I stumbled upon bitcoin, back before "bitcoin pizza day", in the course of searching for software to enable a basic trading layer that only once it was up and running would have a transport layer added thus would simply trade items at one location for items at the same location or at other locations but only changing ownership not actually transporting any of the items, I realised that provided faster than light communications could not be blockaded the way transport between places could in principle be blockaded, it might begin to look feasible for places at a distance from one-another to use the same currency without necessarily having to be able to eventually "settle up" (reconcile) by actually moving stuff from wherever to the people wanting/needing/buying it or moving the customers to the goods or products.

Thus was born the Galactic Milieu: FreeCiv planets, using a "Galactic Ruleset" for FreeCiv to build Starships for transport between starsystems.

I modified the -testnet part of the bitcoin daemon program several times over, to make for various civilisations bitcoin daemons that, when fired up using the -testnet flag, implemented a currency for that civilisation.

Thus were born the United Kingdom Britcoin (UKB), Canadian Digital Notes (CDN), Martian BotCoins (MBC), United Nations Scrip (UNS), bitNickels (NKL), Galactic (aka General) Mining Corp (GMC) and Galactic (aka General) Retirement Funds (GRF).

The inspiration to make "bitcoin clones" came from the then newly invented NaMeCoin (NMC), so I also assumed NaMeCoin would be in use in the Milieu.

Because he saw (on BitCoinTalk forum) that I had experience making spinoffs of BiTCoin, someone hired me for 100 bitcoins (by that time trade-able on exchanges and worth about 5 or 6 bucks per bitcoin) to help them develop DeVCoin (DVC); we started initially with GRouPcoin (GRP) because his goal was to fund groups working on free open source projects. Once we had nailed down how exactly he (I guess he, but technically it could have been a person of any gender for all anyone knew as "he" was merely a bitcointalk username) wanted to structure his coin, we named it DeVCoin and he wanted to trash GRouPcoin. But in the course of testing many of my players had earned themselves some GRouPcoin, including by "mining" it, and if you are into RPG type gaming you surely know how players dislike losing items from their inventory so I kept GRouPcoin going.

Around that time "merged mining" came along, thanks to NaMeCoin, so we made DeVCoin merged-mine-able.

Also, NaMeCoin was not the only new spinoff coming along, and not the last one with merged mining ability either.

So before long I was merged-mining using a free open-source distributed pool software, merging bitcoin, namecoin, groupcoin, devcoin, ixcoin (IXC), i0coin (I0C), geistgeld (XGG), coiledcoin (CLC) and so on.

I also got into scrypt when TeneBriX (TBX) adopted it, and the second scrypt coin, FairBriX (FBX), then a guy who had the big advantage of working for a major platform, that let him promote his own scrypt based coin, the third of the scrypt coins, LiTeCoin (LTC) ignored TBX and FBX and promoted his own coin, LTC with advantages given by his place of employment, so that LiTeCoin took most attention away from TBX and FBX, leaving them as decent candidates for use in the Galactic Milieu.

UKB is the currency of the Brits, who seek to unite the English, the Cornish, the Welsh, the Scottish and maybe even (good luck with this part) the Irish into a united Britain. The Brits appear in the Crossfire-RPG interface and the CoffeeMUD interface as Britclan.

CDN is the currency of the Canucks. They too can be found in the Crossfire-RPG interface and in the CoffeeMUD interface, as the Canucks clan.

(Technically, in CoffeeMUD, there are various governance forms for clans, that use names other than clan, such as guild, fellowship, family, gang etc, so in CoffeeMUD neither Britclan nor the Canucks are actually of a type technically named a clan.)

MBC is the currency of the Martians, who supposedly (in-game backstory/legend) obtained blockchain technology from the Hackers (whose own currency is BiTCoin) and from whom the other civilisations that have blockchain technology supposedly obtained it.

NOTE that the Galactic Milieu is an alternate reality game ( See Alternate reality game - Wikipedia ); in-game, Earth is mostly assumed to be mythical, partly of course because look at the number of civilisations on Earth at the same time compared to how many FreeCiv could actually historically support: clearly Earth must be a myth as no "actual" planet in FreeCiv space could possibly have that many civilisations on it at once! :)

Earth is thus supposedly currently in a process of being prepared by the Milieu civilisations to become a potential member-planet of the galactic community of civilisations, and so called "Satoshi" introduced BiTCoin probably due not only to connections with the Hacker civilisation but also probably using Tor to conceal from Earthlings that the BiTCoin network actually has nodes in other starsystems, maybe even in other galaxies, via much much faster than light communications of some kind known to Hackers and probably even well beyond even what Martian technology could muster.

Rather than follow GRouPcoin into becoming merged-mined alongside bitcoin, UKB, CDN, MBC, UNS, GMC, GRF and NKL, having pre-mined all their coins up-front thus not having block subsidies to incentivise miners, migrated onto an Open Transactions server, then later onto HORIZON and Stellar platforms. When DMD comes out with its EVM-compatible DMDv4 it is expected they will also add that platform to their repertoire.

Because it is not always reasonable, especially in early stages of startup and development, to expect to have enough traders and arbitrageurs trading all currency-pairs to reasonably "discover" relative values by use of markets, a "treasuries" system was adopted whereby each currency has a "treasury" the total value of which can be divided by the number of coins minted to derive a value per coin. Thus was born the Latest Rates include-file, which Open Transactions shell-scripts used to automatically post buy and sell offers of all the main currencies in terms of each-other.

Open Transactions allowed scales of markets, so each currency had three scales, individual coin scale and two larger scales in which what was traded was batches or "lots" of 1000, 10,000 or 100,000 of a coin at a time, with the wholesale markets giving discounts so players could buy a large lot on one market and sell it as smaller lots on the smaller market(s).

HORIZON and Stellar do not have that "lots" feature, which is perhaps unfortunate or maybe not. Not sure.

A main top level wiki page about the Galactic Milieu is at

Historic tables and plots of values and suchlike are linked to from

Info pages about all the Milieu assets on HORIZON and Stellar are linked to from top level page

Thanks you for reading (assuming you actually did!), I needed to write a page like this anyway just not sure yet where to put it since my resume etc used to be part of my Graphic Ominiscient Device,, which along with the various other "knotwork sites" I no longer bother to host, not only because they are all found many times over in's wayback machine but also because I used a free open source webserver with its own custom "XML" markup, that later got commercialised so I long ago could no longer run a free open source version of it.