Hello there Etheriumites,
I've followed projects like FreeNet, Tor, Diaspora, BitCoin, FreedomBox, etc. for a while. It's a shame more of the world doesn't grasp how things like public key cryptography, Shamir secret sharing, and cryptographic hashing are tools for construction. It's like a big cryptographic Home Depot...where you can get everything you need to build solid and fair structures.
(Most people don't want to hear about that. They'd prefer to go sleep on the dirt floors of the sprawling shanty-tent that Mark Zuckerburg built, hand over all their possessions to him, and watch whatever *he* feels like putting on the TV...)
I could talk about that all day. But I wanted to ask a fairly focused question about something that I don't understand as "foundational". And that is why a generalized system would embrace a distinguished currency unit vs. a distinguished protocol. In other words: can the problem currently being addressed by "ether" also be tackled in a distributed fashion?
Let's say I like to diversify my currency holdings. I have some GoogleCoin, issue some of my own HostileForkCoin, a bunch of others. And imagine that I want to use the grand unifying centralized computer network. But I don't want to need to ever be *required* to pass through Ether in an exchange to accomplish that; let's say I've found the exchange rate for Ether to be gouging. I'd like there to be an underlying trading mechanism agreed on by the system that can "barter on my behalf".
Barter is of course inefficient when dealing with physical goods, so standards of value arose. But as with other domains, the inconvenience that centralization was designed to address becomes tractable when applying computers. Just as packets can find their way through networks and bypass blocked routers, a potential impasse at the currency node of "Ether" could be routed around.
If I get the gist of the overview: then to be able to use a different basis you would have to do that on a forked Etherium network--and it would not communicate with the Ether-based one. (My guess is that is easy, right?) But then you start having lots and lots of Web-3.0-s. I'm very supportive of the idea of everyone being able to declare their value and effectively be their own currency/stock. But having the network itself splinter would seem to defeat the purpose - I don't want to have to keep alt-tabbing between incompatible Internets!
So there's my question...and I'm curious about the official answer. How might the role of Ether be replaced itself with something distributed? How might the computational overhead for doing this currency routing be accounted for, and how might it be implemented?