I consider blockchains to be of independent interest to biologists as the first example of a single-celled digital life form that embodies all 7 characteristics necessary to establish life.
1. Living things are composed of cells.
The blockchain consists of a number of cells called “blocks” that contain everything the organism needs for its survival. Survival is ensured by issuing incentives to humans for energy (necessary for metabolism), therefore blockchains are symbiotic digital organisms that are helpful to humans.
2. Living things have different levels of organisation.
Blocks allow the organism to adapt simple, reusable components to produce more complex behaviour. We are still learning the full role of these components and how they relate to the environment but progress appears promising. This is the subject of cryptobiology.
3. Living things use energy.
The cells or blocks use energy to survive but the form of that energy doesn’t matter. It so happens that the blockchain uses electricity as a source of energy to keep cells alive but a battery based on organic materials would work just as well.
4. Living things respond to their environment.
The blockchain regulates the production of individual cells based on available energy from the outside environment. This helps to protect the organism from outside attack, prevents starvation, resource exhaustion, and ensures the organism always has an appropriate store of energy available for its survival.
5. Living things grow.
The blockchain keeps new cells alive by the process of metabolism (or mining.) These cells ensure the organism grows and remains healthy. The blockchain has continued to grow and spread to our cluster farms over the years and shows no signs of stopping.
6. Living things reproduce.
The blockchain reproduces digitally and has had a number of mutations so far (hard forks.) Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution says that the process by which an organism evolves is natural selection which over time produces more adaptable off-spring.
For a digital life-form to survive for this long must be proof of its ability to reproduce. Indeed, digital life-forms are far more suited for reproduction than humans are as they can reproduce asexually and be transmitted at the speed of light to a host via high-speed computer networks.
7. Living things adapt to their environment.
The blockchain exists in a highly adversarial economic environment with many complex players. In cryptobiology, we study aspects of digital life algorithms, their behaviour, and their interaction with the physical environment. It is easy to prove that blockchains have undergo many complex changes since their introduction.
Multi-sig, p2sh, segwitness, and so on have made the organism more adaptable but the biggest reason behind the blockchain’s prolific spread comes from its ability to survive in highly adversarial economic environments where monetary planning has previously destroyed all such attempts at survival by less adapted organisms.
As you can see, a blockchain clearly exhibits all 7 qualities necessary to establish life. It is therefore the first digital organism. And that is how trolling is done in the blockchain space, kids. I rest my case.