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Decentralization Takes Shape

Many eons ago, in the year 12009 of the human era, the following words were pronounced:

"Announcing the first release of ₿itcoin, a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer network to prevent double-spending. It's completely decentralized with no server or central authority."

And just like that, an anonymous entity triggered a switch in collective mentality that would go on to shake the foundations of an entire planet.

Upon inception, the movement was governed by a clear ethos: raw, distilled decentralization in its purest form. Inventors, designers and software architects developed magnificent creations, thoughtfully painted with elegant strokes of 1s and 0s.

They called it web3.

The space became a fresh start for visionaries and believers of an egalitarian, transparent and fair system. A true blank slate for builders seeking new land untouched by mankind and its woes, without former inhabitants and long-entrenched societal ills. A tabula rasa for those who desired human connection in a new order unplagued by the ailments of the old world.

In essence: paradise.


Trouble in Paradise

Naturally, the promise of such idyllic existence quickly gathered general interest and attention. After years of enthusiastic exploration, ventures started popping up daily and things began moving fast. Really fast.

Some projects started drifting away from the original vision of inclusion and transparency and into a gold-rushed era of low-effort, cash-grab value propositions. Soon, it became apparent that a growing number of newcomers did not share at heart the spirit to build and become part of an important revolution anymore. There were individuals willing to employ any means—sometimes involving dishonesty and deceit—in a frivolous attempt to satiate an endless hunger for wealth and material gains.

Along with the maladies brought by self-interested agents, other important issues arose naturally from the quick pace of adoption. The intrinsic structure of blockchain presented a trilemma: it offered great promise in terms of security, decentralization, or scalability — but never all simultaneously. Time and again it seemed that even the most ingenious innovations ended up having to compromise on either of the three fundamental pillars. Blockchain found no way around it.

In other words, paradise seemed to have become utopia.


A New Dawn Awaits

Notwithstanding, isolated groups maintained an indomitable focus on making the original decentralized vision come to fruition. They were fully determined to see their goals through, and would not be deterred by any incessant series of hurdles along the way.

One of these teams happened to spot a dim—though increasingly bright—star in an otherwise pitch-black night sky. An iota of hope amidst a sea of insurmountable blockchain challenges. The only spark needed was a fresh perspective: if a one-dimensional chain of blocks is destined to clog up and lose its race with mass adoption, why not expand further beyond?

And so they gave a spin to the old ideals with a novel approach: a kind of three-dimensional blockchain structure, known as a DAG, which turned out to be unbelievably scalable by functioning in parallel, as opposed to the limiting sequential process from before.

Our group of rebellious creators would go on to call themselves ἱστα. They were tenaciously committed to forging the DAG into a permissionless consensus algorithm for the greater good, persevering through innumerable ups and downs, until a gem emerged.

The name? You may have heard of it.

The Tangle.


Foundations for Decentralized Economies

The powerful idea behind ἱστα and its Tangle began to slowly spread across the galaxies. As the bold and pioneering spirit of the early days had become somewhat faded over the years, many were still reluctant to accept the paradigm shift laid out by the Tangle innovation. Nonetheless, an increasing number of curious minds started to dare peek beyond the barriers of the known and realized the massive positive potential implications.

One good day in March 12021, two budding builders were hanging casually at a metaverse speakeasy, when they almost serendipitously had a flash of inspiration. The power of centralized authorities, "trusted" middlemen and gigantic merchant guilds had been blighting the world around them with hampering inefficiencies, frictions and corruption for eons. They realized that by leveraging the feeless nature of the Tangle, combined with its light-speed and hyper-scalable properties, they had a slim albeit important shot at halting the seemingly unstoppable rise of these authoritarian conglomerates and instead allow truly decentralized economies to flourish.

Once the idea took root in their minds, there was no turning back. These two fellow adventurers decided not to waste any time and started buidling in a relentless mission to contribute their piece to the original web3 ethos of pure, accessible and useful decentralization.

As a first order of business, our two founders were in need of assembling a crew who would be worthy of the arduous challenge ahead. Laying out their plans and ambitions, it did not take long to find companions who were willing, capable and unintimidated by the gargantuan endeavour that stood in front of them. Together, they set out to build the most essential tools for a prosperous and flourishing ecosystem of decentralized economies, which would truly return power to the hands of the people.

And thus, TangleSwap was born.