$3,914,000 Fireworks

Fireworks will be on display at Nullmart on December 28th at 12 midnight GMT, 4pm PST. A viewing platform will be added to the Giant Bonsai Tree. You will see the most expensive fireworks display ever in Liberty Minecraft. At nearly 12,000 rockets it might be a record for Survival Minecraft. Its so expensive for a reason: protect the integrity of our money. Let me tell you a story.

Liberty Minecraft’s first Beta test started in February 2016. I had a lot of goals. One was to provide a way for all players to safely buy and sell property. You can see this in our ChestShop system which lets players safely exchange every kind of item. At that time and until recently there was a problem. To safely exchange land players had to have enough “claimblocks from play.” It was an odd technical limitation. To provide a safe way for people to exchange land I decided to issue claimblocks from play.

I was never happy about this decision. In Liberty Minecraft claimblocks are Diamond money. That’s our money. Issuing claimblocks for playtime meant our players were receiving a Universal Basic Income. This was a well known problem. Effectively, $400 were issued for each hour of play. Our players accumulated 9785 hours of play during this time. On November 26th a solution was found, tested, and implemented. Players could trade their land safely without printing money. Universal basic income was terminated instantly – no tapering, no balance sheet reduction. Just the end.

What about all of that money which had been created from thin air? Just under $3,914,000 worth of claimblocks was created from nothing and was sloshing around in our economy, mostly in land claims. The only honest way I could come up with was to collect the money myself and destroy it to balance the books.

Our world is finite, so mining Diamonds becomes more difficult as people mine. Right now with all the best gear a good miner can expect to find roughly 150 Diamonds per hour. It’s a very high rate of pay; each diamond is $1000. At such prices food must cost thousands of dollars, right? I would have expected the same but in our capitalist, free market economy just one diamond can buy you 1.6 million carrots, 900 iron ingots, 5800 cooked steak, 25000 health potions, and so on. Every year people invent new ways to produce valuable items at lower prices. In fact, our players are so rich that eliminating a ‘stimulus program’ in our economy has only produced the smallest downturn in trade or production – the time that I spent mining instead of writing for Liberty Minecraft.

Claimblock prices remain an unfortunate exception to our free market. Claimblocks are fixed at $20 per block as a base cost to claim land as property. Players often trade land above this base price to capitalize on good locations or when selling profit making businesses. Having a fixed price for claimblocks in terms of Diamonds centralizes a decision about how much claimblocks are worth in terms of Diamonds. Spliting up a diamond by some fixed amount is one thing, but fixing the price of something else in terms of it is a mistake. If I find a way to provide a floating price for claimblocks then I will fix this mistake. For now it is a very difficult problem to tackle, but holding a constant price until a solution is found allows our economy to adjust and move on.

Mining diamonds is pretty boring after a while! I used the time to think. Audiobooks are also a brilliant invention. In any case, I finished mining 3914 diamonds on December 20th. The real cost was the 25 or so hours I spent to correct this problem.

On December 21st I turned the Diamonds into Fireworks, nearly 12,000 of them. Diamonds add the “Trail” effect to Fireworks.


I’m setting them off at Nullmart. It’s a good opportunity for me, there’s no question. Celebrating a solution to a difficult problem is in some measure a way to capitalize on a mistake. Getting it right is important, after all. It will be quite an impressive show! Hope to see you there.

Sincerely,

 

Nathan (aka NullCase)

 

Watch the fireworks here

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