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Author Topic: CRYPTOGLYPHS – A new way of imagining The Bitcoin Blockchain  (Read 221 times)
1Dq
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November 08, 2018, 04:58:57 PM
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Hello, it's been a while.

Since August I've been developing ways of visualising the Bitcoin Blockchain. I wanted to gather its basic pieces and principles and present this in a way that could be interpretable to a broad audience of people.
I struggled with getting such a complex system in two dimensions and keeping it visual, interesting, and fun. Then I intuitively connected it with the hieroglyphs of the ancient Egyptians and it soon connected together and made sense. I started working on my biggest crypto painting so far and finished it 6 weeks later.
Below is the blueprint of the painting and I chose the Bitcoin forum as the place to present it in detail. This forum is the origin of Bitcoin evolution, I got help and tips here and now I want to contribute my share.

The Purpose
I designed this painting to be fun, thorough and illustrative.
Primarily it can be used to explain how Bitcoin works, as the entire process of creating a new block is worked out in detail. Additional interpretation might be needed, but anyone with any knowledge can help or people can read my interpretation down below.
For those already into crypto it introduces a fresh way of visualizing Bitcoin's Blockchain with a lot of easter-eggy details. Most of used symbols mean nothing to ancient Egyptians and a lot to a contemporary internet user.  
Lastly it's purpose is for complete outsiders to ask themselves why someone would use that much time and energy to make a painting of fake Egyptian hieroglyphs, that are actually about a virtual currency? Is this really a thing?



1Dq, Cryptoglyphs, 2018, Acrylics on Canvas, 145x190cm (57˝x75˝)

Direct link to a 15,9MB 5142x3921 pix jpg: https://sha256art.com/img/Cryptoglyphs1/Cryptoglyphs.jpg


Content breakdown

The Gods
Ma'at (bottom left with wings) is the goddess of justice, law, and cosmic order.
Thoth (right of Ma'at, with birdlike head) is the god of writing and speech.
Seshat (below Thoth) is the goddess of mathematics, wisdom and is a record keeper.
Hathor (on the right side) is the goddess of many purposes and radiates maternal care to everybody. Miners are very fond of her.
Together they represent the necessary skills that Satoshi Nakamoto and his colleagues needed when they created Bitcoin.




The Miners
Left of Hathor are four groups of miners, representing mining pools. Except for subtle details they look similar to each other and this represents the variety of hardware difference and the power of individual pools.
They are the work force for everything going on below!




The transactions
On the top left and top right is a multitude of windows in which stylised characters are transferring various goods. The characters have unique outlooks as they represent public addresses that are randomly generated. The »goods« are all various things that have changed owners and are being stored in the blockchain.
The transactions that are most interesting to the miners (they have highest fees) are being gathered in two golden frames of cartouches. The Eye of Horus symbol in the bottom of both represents protection which is one of the basic purposes of the entire system.




Hashing
In the middle of the composition, the crypting occurs from top to bottom.
First off, all of the selected transactions are being processed, two by two into cryptographic hashes. The procedure is repeated until a single hash is attained. All gathered transactions are bound together via this system that is called the Merkle tree. This is visualised with a selection of 8 transactions on the top brackets. One line lower, they are spliced together and have attained properties from both transactions. This is just for visual purpose, as the hashes have no discernable similarities to actual transactions as they are at this point just limited sets of letters and numbers.
The last hash is the Merkle root and it is here represented by the image of a weird elephant head. This is the crucial »load« of the new block. Here I deformed the symbol of Djed pillar that Egyptians otherwise used to symbolize strength and stability.




The Blockchain
Starting from the top right corner we follow the chain of coloured rectangles framing the composition. It goes all the way left, then down, then right to the middle and up to the middle where it’s content is exposed in detail.


 
Rectangles have the same elements, but they vary in color. The outside frame hue represents the unique hash of every block which also connects it to the next block. This is why in every rectangle there is a stripe in the hue of the previous block. They all have a bigger bluish rectangle inside, that represents the »load« of the block. This »load« is produced by encrypting the following elements:
Hash of the previous block (seen as the sole image of the opened previous block)
Merkle root (the result of the above described process)
Timestamp (Time of block formation), index (consecutive number of block) and target (difficulty, described in the next paragraph)
Random number called Nonce, used to produce a target hash. The circle of snake represents infinity/rebirth and the signs inside are actual numbers that were used by the Egyptians.




Mining a new block
The chain we followed opens up in the middle, where we see its hash (illustrated as the winged thing with two flames). Here I visualized the narrative of creating a new block in the chain.
The system of Bitcoin itself sets the difficulty of producing a new block. The hash of the block, in order to be included to the system by other miners, needs to have a certain number of zeros as its initial digits (I illustrated the difficulty with the number of waves under the timestamp and block index symbols.). The more zeros, the harder it is to produce such a hash, as every single attempt produces a random set of symbols.
In the painting, finding the right hash is represented by a long list of attempts (here zeros are represented by the Egyptian symbol of Shen ring, that represented divinity). It ends on the bottom with the winning hash, that starts with the needed 5 Shen rings (I used the Eye of Horus here again representing the fair and divine system). On the right in the second row from below, the mining pool of miners that have guessed the right hash are being rewarded;  each of them with a golden bar.
Below the last hash is the content of the current block, every piece that has been described, spliced into a new sign - a symbolic visualization of its entire content. It is colored in orange and becomes the orange frame of the mini block below and the orange stripe of the next block to come to its right. Other blocks following are empty, we know they will exist, but we cannot as yet anticipate their content.






The Bonus
Besides the obvious and that already explained, there are many other details that add to the Bitcoin universe. There are entities that hoard large quantities of Bitcoin called »whales«. These are depicted as actual whales, but with human eyes.
Most people call the frustrating rising and dropping of the Bitcoin price the bull market (with the price going up) and the bear market (with the price going down). I've illustrated this phenomenon as a fight between two animal-like deities.
To their right is a graph of the Bitcoin price over the years, illustrated by the amount of plants on each time stage. Hovering on top of it is the symbol of the moon. It just had to be included somewhere.




The reign and tyranny in ancient Egypt was symbolized by two objects, the whip and the cane. I used both but turned them upside down, as the Bitcoin system represents the exact opposite of a centralised government.
Nowhere in the painting is the Bitcoin sign very obvious as I intentionally kept it and other giveaways relatively hidden. However, there is a big B in the sun disc between Hathor's horns, best seen from an angle!




There are many other details, gags and memes, especially in the numerous fake hieroglyphs. Like the god Thoth promoting the lightning network. Also, I have signed myself three times, just in case.
 
TLDR; I used the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs' aesthetics to depict how Bitcoin works under the hood. It's intended to be fun and helpful to people trying to understand cryptocurrencies in their broader sense. It also contains a shitload of contemporary jokes and memes well known in the world of cryptocurrencies.

As always, your comments are very welcome!

Co-creating the visual space of cryptocurrencies
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November 09, 2018, 01:09:40 PM
 #2

WOW! I really like the idea of this and it's clear that you've put a lot of work into making this piece of art.
With the description, it's quite interesting to see which existing Egyptian hieroglyphs you've used and adapted for this drawing.

I'd give you a bunch of merit, if I wasn't out already. Next month perhaps when it replenishes again.


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November 09, 2018, 01:12:07 PM
 #3

Amazing work you have done mate. You deserve a merit for sure.
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November 09, 2018, 01:56:06 PM
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Indeed, this is one piece of amazing art. I think you really capture everything and its "interesting visually". For sure you can call this your "labor of love",  Grin. I checked your gallery and it seems there's a bunch of interesting work of art as well pertaining not only to bitcoin but litecoin as well.

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November 12, 2018, 10:08:07 PM
 #5

Thanks everybody!
I hope this piece gets shared around the webs and gets interpreted.
And then reported back here so I can hear how well that went!  Smiley

Co-creating the visual space of cryptocurrencies
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November 13, 2018, 03:31:07 AM
 #6

You should move this to the Goods/Collectibles section if you really want to get this noticed Cheesy

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?board=217.0

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1Dq
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November 13, 2018, 08:30:10 AM
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I was pondering where to start this and settled on here, because this painting is a step in developing my project of visualizing blockchain.
Should I move it though? I would definitely like more people to see it.

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November 13, 2018, 12:17:14 PM
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I was pondering where to start this and settled on here, because this painting is a step in developing my project of visualizing blockchain.
Should I move it though? I would definitely like more people to see it.

I highly recommend it.
There are quite a few other crypto-artist that are in the collectibles section, and they use it in the same way as you intend to as a project update

Here are a few links to other artists/projects that have been there recently:

The Great Bitcoin Hatching by Kryptowerk:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2235169.0

Corrosive Creations BTC plates by Corrosive:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5065868.0

Stone Art by start the art:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5063957.0

Salvator Mundi paiting by Yatsan:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5062980.0

Go through the pages if you have some time and there are a bunch more good artist and projects!! Cheesy

PHYSIBIT, MANTIS CRYPTOS & CRYPTO QUILTS - The best places to shop for physical bitcoins and more!!
1Dq
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November 13, 2018, 02:03:48 PM
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I have my artist presentation thread in "service discussion", but I agree this will fit better in "collectibles". Thanks!

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November 13, 2018, 02:22:04 PM
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You should move this to the Goods/Collectibles section if you really want to get this noticed Cheesy

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?board=217.0

I'd agree.

A great piece, well thought out and executed.

Merited Smiley

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November 13, 2018, 02:41:40 PM
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Amazing piece, fantastic. Very creative, superb execution!

Is that an Andreas Antonopoulos head symbol @The transactions? On the right, 3rd symbol?  Cheesy Cheesy Awesome.

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November 13, 2018, 03:38:37 PM
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Yes, it is!  Cheesy

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November 13, 2018, 03:39:56 PM
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Very nice work. Props to you OP.
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November 13, 2018, 04:25:09 PM
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Wow! Truly amazing! Well done! Shocked

Regards,
Me

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November 13, 2018, 05:07:24 PM
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OK to print for my wall or you sell a print?

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November 13, 2018, 11:44:44 PM
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OK to print for my wall or you sell a print?
Sure, here's the link again in case you missed it:

Direct link to a 15,9MB 5142x3921 pix jpg: https://sha256art.com/img/Cryptoglyphs1/Cryptoglyphs.jpg

It's completely free. However, if anyone wants to show extra support, here's the cryptic way to reach me  Cool




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