Alice and Bob
To change the current centralized paradigm to a fully decentralized model, bridges will be necessary to help users make the transition. This is why we have built the Alexandria desktop client and web client such that they can either work with centralized, web-server-based gateways, or locally hosted and fully decentralized daemons. Both options provide the same core functionality and use the same shared data layer, and each option has a variety of incentives and tradeoffs. A third, hybrid option, is available for some processes, which employs Ethereum (or counterparty, etc) smart contracts.
The following is an overview of the ecosystem from the perspective of each user. Each function of our core stack has its own requirements, costs and incentives. A chart at the end of this document illustrates the range of options available to developers and end users via the Alexandria platform.
- 1 The Two Primary Parties:
- 2 Other kinds of Bobs:
- 3 Protocol Layer Service Providers:
- 4 Application Layer Service Providers:
- 5 Protocol & Application Layer Service Provider Backers
The Two Primary Parties:
Alice: The Artist
Alice wants to send a message to [Bob](#bob-the-bitcoin-user), because she makes her living as an independent artist and wants to reach a new audience. She is frustrated by current distribution channels, so she is considering releasing her new film through through Alexandria. She wants to test the platform, so she publishes a trailer of the film as an experiment. She opts to share the film trailer for free. She finds the publishing process easy to understand and is really happy with the high resolution quality and how smoothly it streams so she shares the content with her social media followers.
Bob: The Bitcoin User
Bob is an enthusiastic user of Bitcoin and likes to check out new use cases. He sees the `#bitcoin` tag on [Alice’s](#alice-the-artist) free film trailer and enjoys it so much he sends her a $1 tip right away. Then he discovers the “comment for micropayment” button and learns that he can leave a comment on the trailer that will stay with it forever. He wants to encourage [Alice](#alice-the-artist) to release the full film for Bitcoin too, so he comments “awesome, high quality streaming experience!” and sends a fraction of a penny to pay for the comment.
[Alice](#alice-the-artist) receives [Bob’s](#bob-the-bitcoin-user) tip as well as several others, so she decides to publish an original song from the film’s soundtrack. She sets the price at one cent per play or one dollar to purchase, sets the [retailer]() rate at 15% and the [promoter]() rate at 10%. She finds that because she is charging one dollar for the song, her cost to publish is also one dollar. She uses some of her recently received BTC to pay the publishing fee and her song is published with her specific pricing and distribution preferences.
Other kinds of Bobs:
Charlie: The Centralized Client User
Charlie likes convenience and technology, in that order. He hears that Alexandria is the new platform to find high quality content like 4k video and lossless FLAC audio for less than half the price of other services and decides to check it out. He didn’t previously have a reason to use Bitcoin, but he wants to listen to [Alice’s](#alice-the-artist) soundtrack song so he quickly signs up for a Coinbase account and installs Alexandria's Chrome [browser extension](). Since Charlie’s priority is convenience, he sets his Coinbase account to auto-fill once a month like a subscription, and his browser extension preferences to auto-pay for content below threshold prices he sets, so he does not see paywalls.
Dan: The Decentralized Client User
Dan wants to use decentralized technology whenever possible - he runs a full node of the Bitcoin blockchain, the Ethereum blockchain and Alexandria’s content index blockchain, Florincoin. Dan values trust and privacy, so he became an Alexandria user because he can search and browse the Alexandria content index as a database file on his own computer, making it impossible to spy on his activity. He also appreciates that he can easily send tips and payments using more privacy oriented tokens, especially because the system will automatically exchange them for the payment token each artist has asked to receive. Dan discovers [Alice’s](#alice-the-artist) film trailer and finds that the playback isn’t as smooth as it should be, but he learns that he can offer up a token bounty to ask other users to help seed the file and decides to do so, spending about $.50 to give the film trailer a base seeding level for a year. After a moment he reloads the film trailer and it instantly starts playing smoothly.
Edgar: The Ethereum Lite-client User
Edgar is an Ethereum fan and likes to use it whenever possible. He downloads the Alexandria Ethereum client which is as resource-light as [Charlie’s](#charlie-the-centralized-client-user) centralized client, but he considers it to be more trustworthy because he can pay the Ethereum network for cryptographic evidence that the content artifact hasn’t been altered.
Protocol Layer Service Providers:
Izzy: An Index Blockchain Miner
Izzy contributes proofs of work to the blockchain where [Alice’s](#alice-the-artist) content is published and [Bob](#bob-the-bitcoin-user) discovered it. As a blockchain miner, Izzy is already familiar with the various exchanges and markets, but she is always keeping an eye out for good “set it and forget it” solutions that will give her reliable revenues. She was testing Alexandria’s auto-trading system because it offers an average margin of 15% over costs. When [Alice](#alice-the-artist) needed tokens to publish her soundtrack song, Alexandria’s system auto traded the Bitcoin [Alice](#alice-the-artist) was holding with tokens Izzy had mined and was offering for sale. Not only did Izzy's Alexandria mining experiment result in a 15% margin over her costs, but she received an additional bonus because she happened to mine the block in which [Alice’s](#alice-the-artist) soundtrack song was published, so she also received the $1.00 fee [Alice](#alice-the-artist) paid. Izzy deems the experiment a success and increases her hash rate.
Sam: A Storage & Distribution Miner
Sam contributes to Alexandria in the form of disc storage space and bandwidth. His work is responsible for getting the content to the audience. When [Dan](#dan-the-decentralized-client-user) offered a token bounty to help [Alice’s](#alice-the-artist) film trailer play smoothly, Sam received some of the tokens and became one of the new seeders.
Application Layer Service Providers:
Pat: A Promoter
Pat is an influencer - she loves sharing on social media and she has a large following. She sees a post from her college roommate, [Alice](#alice-the-artist), about how she is independently selling her movie on Alexandria and becomes curious about the new platform. She learns about the promoters program, sees that [Alice](#alice-the-artist) is offering 10% to promoters and decides to give the program a try by sharing [Alice’s](#alice-the-artist) film. Pat starts a social media campaign, and the stars align such that Pat’s followers are the perfect fit for [Alice’s](#alice-the-artist) film, wildly increasing demand for it.
RadNewApp: A Retailer
RadNewApp is a recent startup with all kinds of buzz. Its founders chose to adopt Alexandria's open protocol as soon as they became aware of it and leveraged their deep understanding of content suggestion algorithms to become a major competitor with Alexandria. It's suggestion algorithm is used to put [Alice’s](#alice-the-artist) film in front of a large group of users who chose to purchase it, earning the company a 20% cut of the sales it facilitated on [Alice’s](#alice-the-artist) behalf.
Victor: The Verifier
Victor runs a full node of Alexandria’s content index blockchain and watches the Ethereum network for verification requests and then competes with other nodes in a gamification system to win payments for providing the requested verifications. Victor’s role provides [Edgar](#edgar-the-ethereum-user) a trustworthy but convenient lite client experience.
Protocol & Application Layer Service Provider Backers
Mike: The Market Maker
Mike is a passionate follower of decentralized technology, and is willing to assume some limited risk in exchange for the opportunity to serve as a market maker in the Alexandria ecosystem.
As the Alexandria ecosystem is getting started, Mike the market maker serves as the bridge between the production of the tokens by miners [Izzy](#izzy-an-index-blockchain-miner) and [Sam](#sam-a-storage-and-distribution-miner) and the demand for the tokens from artists like [Alice](#alice-the-artist) and users like [Bob](#bob-the-bitcoin-user). Mike pays [Izzy](#izzy-an-index-blockchain-miner) and [Sam](#sam-a-storage-and-distribution-miner) a mutually agreed upon market determined daily rate to rent their mining efforts, and then he holds the earned tokens until there is demand for them. His incentive is a reliable margin.
When [Pat’s](#pat-a-promoter) promoter work makes [Alice’s](#alice-the-artist) film go viral, other artists like [Alice](#alice-the-artist) recognize an enormous opportunity and rush to publish their work on Alexandria. When the demand for publishing tokens outpaces the newly mined supply, Mike offers publishing tokens he purchased on the open market to meet this demand. After the tokens are sold, a script then arbitrages the money he received to replace the tokens. His risk is that he may not be able to arbitrage the tokens back, but if he is successful he will make a significant daily return.