Chicken or Egg
The full article was originally published by Chris Mueller on HelloIOTA. Read the full article here.
The “chicken or egg”, also known as the causality dilemma, has been around for millennia. Aristotle first raised the idea as a rhetorical question in 4th century B.C., an idea that would be thrust into the corpus of modern philosophy 400 years later by Plutarch’s The Symposiacs.
Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? It’s a metaphor for situations in which a distinct cause and effect are difficult to separate. Macrobius would later deal with this paradox in 5th century A.D. before the matter was seemingly put to bed by the origin story of Christianity, and then for good by the modern field of evolutionary biology.
No matter, the allegory claims a special relevance in the sphere of IOTA. Applied to IOTA: what must come first, the finished protocol or real-world adoption? Can we see adoption if the protocol isn’t in its final state?
Enlisting the likes of savvy businessmen, programmers, and even a PhD mathematician, IOTA was born into an environment of alternative distributed ledger technologies which were heavy on the technical while severely lacking applicability or proper business outreach. Said another way, almost every new project from 2015 onward was the classic “solution looking for a problem.”