One way to think about Blockchain is as a graph of nodes talking to each other:
But nodes are meaningless without the users. A better mental model is to think about the nodes of this graph as of HODLers with the software necessary to play the game.
You literally need just 3 people to play this game – as long as all 3 are running compatible software, you’re good to have your own little economy. The social strength of the network comes from the HODLers, the players of the game – they have a lot of skin in the game, because they trust their wealth to the network, it’s basically a gambling game where players are betting on the game to continue. They are not going to change their protocol – for example, to increase block size, which would make the game more vulnerable to attacks, – because each HODLer has to opt-in, no one can force anyone to update their software, so this happens only when real consensus is achieved.
The protocol is what’s important – as long as your protocol is compatible with mine, we are in the same boat. And for protocols, it’s a winner take all game. We don’t have multiple Internets, we don’t have multiple keyboard layouts for the same reason we are going to end up with just one Blockchain (capital B to indicate that it’s the Bitcoin’s blockchain): because everyone wants to be with the winners. Liquidity is what differentiates different assets. BTC is like lake Baikal compared to toy bathtubs of competing shitcoins.
My holidays wish: I wish more people I care about understand this before Bitcoin moons.