Is Monero, in any way, similar to Agar.io in the way it positions itself near its rivals/competitors?
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This was posted on Reddit by americanpegasus about a year ago:
In case you don't know, I adore Agar.io. This isn't just because it's literally globs of fun, but because it is one of the most elegant game-theory simulators ever created. In fact, I wouldn't even be surprised if the damn thing was secretly a DARPA experiment to gather data on competitive ecosystems.
Basically, for those who have never indulged, you begin as a small blob and can grow larger by eating other blobs and tiny dots that occasionally pop into existence. Feeding on the dots will grow you slowly, but if you eat another blob you will quickly add that player's mass to your own (and remove them from the game). A few advanced tricks let you take calculated gambles by splitting your blob up to attack others... Giving you a chance to quickly grow, but also making you temporarily vulnerable.
Agar As A General Game Simulator:
I believe that almost all successful strategies in competitive ecosystems have a number of startling similarities, including war, poker, the stock market, dating, and yes: the cryptocurrency 'wars'. For example, the way to win a poker game is also a fantastic way to win Agar.io as well: tight and defensive play until you see a lucrative opportunity - then apply a calculated amount of hyper-aggression... Or "tight aggressive strategy" as poker players call it.
What does this have to do with Monero? Well, I have noticed some striking similarities in almost all Agar games I've played. In fact, the situation is doubly remarkable because a typical snapshot of an Agar ecosystem distinctly resembles many other systems we see in our world.
A Usual Game Field:
Upon joining a room we will usually find that one blob dominates all other blobs. Most of the time there is a king blob that dwarfs all others. In the crypto space this would be bitcoin (currently). Now, there are frequently also strong second and third place blobs which can't stand toe to toe with the lead, but garner huge respect on their own. Occasionally there is a strong fourth place player as well, and rarely a strong viable fifth place.
In situations where all the top ten players are nearly equal in size, things rarely stay stable. There will be imminent conflict and upheaval, then the situation will soon revert to the standard model with a king blob and two or three "runners up" who respect the king while waiting to make their move. It is also likely that two titans may be vying for the throne while other players are left to dance around their feet.
When not making attacks on each other, the other players feed off the scraps and freebies. They joust among themselves and use the gravity of larger blob's mass to plan their ascent up the leader board. Until they enter the top ten, no one really gives a shit about them.
And one last takeaway point... Rarely does a king blob ever die a quiet death, or a death by a thousand cuts. Usually, when the king blob turns over the lead to another player it is a gruesome cataclysm, ignited by one crucial mistake too many. What follows is a brief but lucrative mania when smaller blobs all fight for the leftovers and a new dominant King soon emerges from the chaos.
We see this type of structure everywhere that humans have reign and compete amongst themselves.
Take a look at the richest and most powerful countries in the world, for a start. Who comes to mind? Well after the chaos of the early to mid 20th century, the United States quickly consumed everything in its path to become the new king blob, but look out! China is quite big itself and one crucial misstep by the US could mean there will be a new king blob in town.
In fact, look at the deaths of some of the big blobs... What happened when king blob USSR collapsed? A brief mania where individuals all vied for scraps in a heated social and political battle, and many small potatoes were much richer when the dust settled soon after.
Look at the largest companies in a given sector at any one time... Or the most popular sports in the USA... Or the most popular religions... Or political parties...
Again, sometimes there are two titans that spar with each other or a super giant that dwarfs the rest... Rarely do other models appear.
Applications to Cryptocurrency
This is the eventual fate (and current state) of the crypto space as well. Currently we have the king blob bitcoin happily gobbling up new value as it appears across a wide swathe of the cryptocurrency universe. Also, it tends to eat value buried in other coins as well, by way of those individuals cashing-in to bitcoin. Remember, when visualizing the crypto playfield, the blob don't represent personalities but collections of holders who all are of a similar mindset.
Let's consider the type of blockchain technology to be the strategy of the blob player in question: we can quickly see that it is highly unlikely that any of the alt coins using similar blockchains to bitcoin will ever capture a significant ranking. Why? That strategy has already succeeded wildly. It is unlikely to prevail again.
Litecoin is an excellent example of this, as we can see the value in litecoin being slowly eaten away by other 'strategies' since there's no practical room for the exact same playstyle at the top.
And Dogecoin? Well Dogecoin was a loose and aggressive player, quickly consuming many other players and taking large and frequent risks to explode to an unsustainable size... A strategy that can quickly get you into the top ten, but will rarely land you the #1 slot.
But the king blob never stays the king blob forever. It is always replaced, even if that takes a very long time to happen.
Monero is a superior strategy. It is playing a tight aggressive game and slowly acquiring the initial pellets that one must eat before making initial aggressive moves.
But those aggressive moves are coming, and the size of the Monero blob is directly promotional to the market cap of the coin. Also consider that the scope of our crypto universe is growing as well through new capital flowing into it... These are what the small pellets represent.
And another similarity shows up as well... Bitcoin as the large king blob is lumbering and slow. It can't change quickly and everything it does takes a massive amount of coordination to pull off. By contrast we are still very small and can rapidly shift direction and focus to respond to opportunities that don't even show up on bitcoin's radar.
Eventually Monero will be a giant too. When that happens we will also be lumbering and slow, and should be prepared to face 'big coin problems'.
I personally forsee the dual-giant scenario playing out in the short to medium term. Bitcoin and Monero will be the dueling giants of the crypto world; bitcoin will helplessly watch as Monero grows and grows, eventually exploding upward when the litecoin blob 'pops' and Monero consumes all the value that resides within it.
After this, the dueling giants of bitcoin and Monero are likely to persist for a while until a superior strategy comes along because they will realize their radically different playstyles compliment each other. The other players will be helpless to challenge their combined dominance.
I will leave it to the comments and the reader's imaginations to extend this metaphor to include how teamwork (planned and inadvertent) between blobs can shape and control the game space, and what other tantalizing insights into the future of cryptocurrency one can glean from this simulation.