The Ethos of DeOS

bitcoin, deos, twitter, QKD, AI, strange loop, $I, cashtag, consciousness, knowledge and power, information, andrew desantis, mark wilcox, ethos of deos, information theory, communication

The Ethos of DeOS

What is DeOS?

If you’re deep into Bitcoin twitter, you’ve seen some interesting stuff. Meat-maximalists, butt-lickers, Lupe and his horses. But perhaps nothing is as strange and as interesting as @desantis and DeOS. But, what is DeOS? DeOS has a lot of gravity. It intrigues people. It pulls them in. Spend a moment scrolling through Andrew Desantis’ twitter feed, and you’ll likely find yourself waking up hours later down a deep rabbit hole. @desantis has a way of leaving breadcrumbs, little bits of information that help define DeOS or that give you the tools to better understand it. His feed jumps from information theory to quantum key distribution to “Snow Crash”, with plenty of Hip-Hop sprinkled in.

So, I’ve already gone a paragraph without saying what DeOS is. The truth is, I don’t really know WTF it is. Is it a protocol? An operating system? Vaporware? All I know for sure is that it intrigues the hell out of me, and has gotten me to question the nature of many things that I previously took for granted.

I’ve created this guide to consolidate some information and define the ethos of DeOS. First, we’ll start with an overview of what DeOS may become. Next, we’ll cover some basics: the key players and websites related to DeOS. Then, we’ll take a deep dive into the various topics and themes (what @desantis calls “antibodies”) that are intimately woven into DeOS. Finally, we’ll dig into the rules of DeOS which are starting to appear on twitter. At the end of this, hopefully we’ll have a better understanding of what DeOS is and what it could become. Worst case, we take a peek into some very interesting topics and have a little fun playing detective. So, let’s get started!


bitcoin, deos, desantis, wilcox, qkd, strange loop, xanadu, twitter, $twtr, $i, cashtags, nam-shubs, information theory, collaboration, decentralization, consciousness, history, rules, antibodies

The DeOS Mascot

DeOS has been described by Andrew as an operating system that is integrated with Bitcoin. Lately I view it more as a protocol that ties together Bitcoin and information systems, particularly twitter. DeOS is still evolving, but it may become many things:

  • An information system akin to Project Xanadu
  • A system for storing thoughts on a blockchain
  • A tool for incentivizing impressions/garnering attention
  • A tool for rewarding wide-area collaborations akin to the DARPA Network Challenge
  • An operating system w/ secure boot
  • A tool for Quantum Key Distribution
  • A Quantum Computer
  • An emergent AI

These functionalities are varied and ambitious. The information publicly available for each feature, and the technical maturity of each feature, vary greatly. The above list is my own speculation, but I’ll try and expand on each anticipated feature in this article. This will be a living-document that will be updated as more information surfaces, and as my understanding improves.

Before we dive into the individual features, let’s stay at a high level and talk about the people, websites, and ideas associated with DeOS.

The Key Players

desantis profo

Handsome Guy

If you’re like me, you likely heard about DeOS through one of Andrew’s interviews on World Crypto Network (1 2 3). From these interviews, it’s evident that DeOS is Andrew’s creation, and that he has a “swarm” working with him. It’s also clear that he works closely with Mark Wilcox of Nyriad.

Andrew Desantis – former software engineer at 21 Inc, former co-owner/editor/writer for Bitcoin Magazine, University of Alabama drop-out – @desantis

Mark Wilcox – Director of Strategy at Nyriad – @mwilcox

Following Andrew’s Twitter, it’s clear that twitter users (@urbanarson, @FluidFluxation, @startuployalist) are also closely involved, with collaboration over twitter and (a private slack linked on Mark’s profile).

Desantis/DeOS also post under the following accounts: (@deosorg, @deosmob, @deosrc, @deosbitcoin, @desantisinc, @acpbee1, @libdeos, @sigchain, @chainwiki, @deostv, @cartwheelsam, @btccomics)

Important Links

The @desantis twitter profile currently links to:

“” – (@deosorg on twitter)

“” – (@desantis on twitter)

The @desantis profile has previously linked to If you visit this website now, you’ll be greeted by an orange web of connections, with Conway’s “Game of Life” playing in the background. A lookup of this domain shows that the “Registrant Organization” is DeSantis Quantum Communications Holdings Corporation of Mississippi.

bitcoin, deos, twitter, QKD, AI, strange loop, $I, cashtag, consciousness, knowledge and power, information theory, communication has also been linked frequently by Andrew and Mark. The website previously had a beautiful visual that would branch out to something that looked like a human brain when you clicked it. I used the website (and photoshop) to make the following:


Satoshi Lives!

The website now holds only a countdown timer. No one knows quite what this countdown is for. It’s not the next Bitcoin halving date, which will be in about 624 days.  But if you look ahead, the timer brings you to 03 January 2020. It just so happens that 3 January 2009 was the birth of Bitcoin. Why is 03 January 2020 important and not 03 January 2019? Anybody’s guess.


Countdown on

A whois lookup of produces the following information:


21e8 whois lookup

DeOS code was previously posted to GitHub, though it looks like it has been removed. Andrew’s GitHub profile links to a post on his Medium account. This link is “The Tao of Programming”.

Andrew also previously created, a website that would track contributions from all programmers to the Bitcoin protocol. The link has since gone dead.



The “Theory of Everything” sure is purdy

If you found DeOS through twitter, it was likely through the hashtag #00000000000000000021e800c1e8df51b22c1588e5a624bea17e9faa34b2dc4a.  This was the hash of Bitcoin block #528249, found on 6/19/2018 @ 19:32:27. This number is significant because “21e8” has been connected with DeOS for a long time (see above).

Why 21e8? Well 21 has significance for Bitcoin, as 21 Million is the maximum supply of BTC that will ever be produced. “E8”, meanwhile is a theory that has been referred to as “An Exceptionally Simple Theory of Everything”, which proposes a controversial basis for a unified field theory. You may also consider that Andrew’s former company, 21 Inc, (now used the naming convention “21e6”. So, why now 21e8? e is a symbol used for scientific notation. 21 * 10^6 is 21 million. So, why the extra 2 zeros in 21e6? Perhaps its a reference to the extra two 0’s worth of difficulty in Satoshi’s first mined blocks? 21e8, #21e800. @FluidFluxation finds it downright Spooky.

Many writers (including me) did their best to explain (half tongue-in-cheek) the significance of this block header. Here are some other links: 1 2.

If you want to learn more about Satoshi’s added difficulty, check here.

wilcox tweet

The tweet heard ’round the world

The general idea is that if someone was specifically trying to produce this specific block hash, including the trailing zeroes (21e800), it would be an impressive feat.


Difficulty of creating vanity hashes

We won’t go further into the block header speculation here, but perhaps the most important takeaway is that this hashtag spread through twitter like a virus. Desantis commented on this on June 21st


@desantis’ impressions during the #21e8 phenomenon

If you were on Twitter that week, you would have been flooded by posts that included this hashtag. Some tied the hashtag to Satoshi, or time travel, or quantum computing. The important thing is that the hashtag generated impressions, and led many people down a rabbit hole – learning about cryptography, hashpower, and quantum mechanics. The hashtag was viral. Information propagated to hundreds of thousands of people, and many felt compelled to share it with others.




Snow Crash drawing from u/CWSaton on reddit

This leads us to a topic often covered in Andrew’s twitter posts: Nam-Shubs. The concept of the Nam-Shub was popularized in Neal Stephenson’s Book “Snow Crash”. The idea is that information can spread like viruses between humans, and that this information can be used to compel or control people. A basic example would be the spread of youtube videos, as this site does a good job explaining.

Don’t think there’s anything special about videos like “Gangnam Style” suddenly appearing everywhere? The video now has 3 BILLION views. I doubt a deeper meaning/purpose is hidden in that video, but it’s important to note the vitality of content in the internet age. The #21e8 hashtag had the effect of exposing many people to DeOS, quantum mechanics, information theory, etc. Why did people propagate this hashtag around twitter? Because they were interested. Why were they interested? Partly due to a mystical connection, partly because everyone else seemed interested. If an idea is important enough, remnants will be left in everyone’s minds.


Don’t pretend like you don’t know it

If nothing else, DeSantis and Wilcox are very effective at creating intrigue. They don’t say, “READ THIS BOOK!”, they leave breadcrumbs that entice you to explore a topic because you WANT to. Thinking about Nam-Shubs makes me re-think information entirely.

Information Theory

comm book

If this is too heavy for you, try “A Mind at Play” by Soni and Goodman

It is evident that Claude Shannon, the father of information theory, has had a huge influence on DeOS. Shannon’s breakthrough paper, “A Mathematical Theory of Communication” is one of the most important works in history. In this paper, Shannon helped establish the use of the “bit” in communication systems/computers, and introduced the concept of “information entropy”. DeSantis frequently quotes Shannon’s work, particularly the concept of entropy.

Entropy can be defined broadly as “the average rate of information produced by a stochastic source of data”. But, what is information? Information is surprisal. Surprisal is dependent on probability. If you were flipping a coin, for instance, you don’t know if heads or tails is coming next, but you know that it will be heads OR tails. Conducting two fair coin-toss is said to carry two-bits of entropy.

coin toss

Flipping 2 coins gives 4 possible outcomes. The information entropy in bits is the base-2 log of the number of possible outcomes.

Now consider a properly-constructed English sentence. The first letter of the sentence can be any of 26 English letters. Suppose the sentence were sampled from a giant database of sentences, then each letter would have an associated probability of being chosen to start the sentence, with a common letter like “T” being more likely than “X”. But, how about the end of a sentence?


We really don’t need to receive the last letter from the sender. We’re pretty damn sure it is going to be an “E”. This example, and the fact that English is a highly-repetitive language allow for crossword puzzles and compression.

The purpose of this half-assed explanation is to view information as surprise, and to consider how much information a communication system can handle. While tweets are limited to 280 characters, a user can also upload a picture. That picture can be a meme, a photograph, or any other symbol. The picture can also be what we call “static”, “snow”, or “noise”, a bunch of black and white dots that don’t seem to communicate any meaning, unless you have a way of decoding it.




So, we can send a lot more than 280 characters in a tweet. We can send an image of up to 15 MB. This image can be a bitmap of encoded information. We’re not doing anything that existing public key cryptography can’t do yet, but the pieces are starting to come together.

Economics and Information Theory


Knowledge and Power is a good book

George Gilder (@ScandalOfMoney) is another favorite of @desantis. It’s no surprise as Gilder is a huge fan of Claude Shannon. My biggest takeaway from Gilder is the following:

  • Wealth is not zero-sum. Total wealth in the world can be increased, but only through entrepreneurship.
  • Information is Surprisal, and Surprisal has value.
  • Companies require “low-entropy” channels in order to conduct business.

Point 1) is pretty common thinking in line with Many Austrian Economists. Peter Thiel also makes a strong case for this point in “Zero to One”.

Point 2) Is very much in line with Shannon’s work. DeSantis agrees with this point, and has stated on twitter that producing new, valuable information on DeOS will be incentivized. He has also stated that it will cost more to write something new (on DeOS/TWTR) than to quote the information that already exists. This could be why Andrew often quotes old tweets of his own instead of posting a new thread. Many in the “DeOS Mob” have been mimicking this format.

Point 3) Has large implications for global politics/government, but DeSantis views it more in terms of stable, predictable systems. DeSantis states in WCN interviews that almost all present computers contain BIOS/UEFI backdoors that completely compromise their security. Because of this, he has moved his DeOS BIOS/UEFI to Bitcoin. His secure boot environment and integrity of code now rely on Bitcoin.

It is impossible for a team to build a system if they can’t agree to certain rules, or if they don’t trust their foundation. When states are not agreed upon, there is confusion. When states are agreed upon, decentralized nodes can work together. DeSantis states that once he figured out how to securely boot, DeOS development really took off.

Andrew also states that he can now “run computations on-chain”. He notes that Bitcoin is actually Turing-Complete if you know how to use it correctly. This is a big statement considering that Bitcoin uses a simple scripting language that does not allow loops.

Let’s pull back a little and go back to point 2, incentivizing information, particularly “crowd-sourced” information gathering.

Incentivizing Collaboration

red balloon

I Miss Goldfinger

One of the most popular examples of decentralized collaboration is the DARPA Network Challenge. In the competition, teams had to locate ten red balloons placed throughout the United States and report their findings to DARPA. The first team to submit the location of all 10 8-foot, moored balloons would win $40K. The winning team came out of MIT, and they used a technique similar to multi-level marketing to recruit + reward participants. The takeaway? A decentralized group can yield powerful results when incentivized.

Desantis has played with this concept on twitter. First with a bug ID question:



Tips for tips

Then with the concept of AMBER alters:


Decentralized policing?

Decentralized collaboration is nothing new. Bird-watchers use an app called “eBird” to share rare-bird findings. Experts on reddit happily construct custom PC builds on PC Part Picker for no-fee (thanks u/Scall123!). There’s also incentivized systems like “Just Answer” where experts can be paid to answer questions, and prediction “Oracles” like Augur where the crowd can get paid for “predicting” the future.

In the digital age, information can flow freely across borders, but payments cannot. Want to pay an Afghani programmer to build your website? Good luck making that wire transfer. Many coders around the world take payment in Amazon gift cards, because they’re easier to transfer that U.S. dollars. They then sell these gift cards for cash or Bitcoin. Don’t believe me? How do you think works? For the same reason, intermediaries like fiverr have popped up to connect business owners and contractors. The talent is out there, willing and able to work, but we’re still figuring out how to connect.

Money used to be a physical thing. Then it became trust in a government. Now, money is information. Information flows freely across borders. Bitcoin is information. Bitcoin is communication of value, but level 0 Bitcoin protocol has its limitations. One goal of DeOS is to integrate Bitcoin and twitter, allowing for frictionless information and value transfer.

Incentivizing Twitter

DeOS has a following, usually referred to as the “DeOS mob”. Yea, it sounds like a cult. But so far the cult involves reading sci-fi and shitposting to twitter, so I’m not too worried.

The DeOS mob is always trying to get one step ahead of @desantis, interpreting his rules and building data structures on twitter as they see fit. Some users think that if they’re the first to post certain information to twitter that they’ll somehow be rewarded with DeOS in the future. I’m not 100% convinced of this, but I have been experimenting with twitter as a kind of file system.


/* 10-4 */

One example of this is my #books post and timeline. Below the #books post, I post various book titles and authors. Under each book, I post some of my favorite quotes and ideas from that book. Sure, I could do this on my website or on a google document, but there’s something cool about using twitter in this way. Twitter was meant to be stream of consciousness posting from celebrities, not a storage system, right? RIGHT?!

I nested the #books post under a @deosorg collection which is it’s own filing system of topics by letter.



Claiming #books was my magnum opus

Many other users “claimed” hashtags under the deos tree. It was actually a lot of fun to watch in real-time. As @desantis posted the “rules” for “claiming” a topic on twitter/DeOS, the DeOS mob scrambled to build these data structures. This is decentralized work that *may* end up being incentivized, who knows.

In addition, twitter actually has pretty powerful search features. One simple use-case for twitter search is to drop an emoji next to a tweet that you want to reference later. For instance, I post a book emoji as a reply to a tweet about a book I want to read. If I search “@bitconsultllc + ‘book emoji’” I can find all of the book posts that I bookmarked. Obviously this doesn’t work very well if the original tweets are deleted. So, creating some sort of permanence for these tweets may also play a role in the future. This is why systems like OtsProofBot exist. Mention @otsproofbot2 in a tweet, and your tweet will be saves and timestamped using the OpenTimestamps protocol. Cool, right?




Even if you haven’t checked out @desantis’ profile or @deosorg, you’ve likely run into cashtags. Cashtags are sometimes used on twitter to denote stocks, for instance talking about Amazon stock:



Desantis popularized using the cashtag $I.


At first glance, it seems he is talking about himself. However, after reading a few posts, it seems that the $I is a system. Is he referring to things that DeOS does or thinks? Or is he simply relating a cashtag to certain types of posts for some sort of data aggregation? It’s unclear. What is clear, however, is that people LOVE to mimic the $I cashtag in their own ways. Most tend to use it to represent something that a future AI system might think or do. Others use it to represent their own thought. My intuition tells me that the purpose is to use this cashtag to “tune” something.

word ops

For example, a bot can be built that takes $I posts as input and produces some sort of output, similar to how Archillect evolves to post pictures that its followers will likely find interesting. Regardless, when someone uses the cashtag $I, it’s usually clear that they’ve caught the “DeOS bug.”



Perhaps my favorite $I post is: “$I am a strange loop”. Who’s a strange loop? Desantis the human? DeOS the system? Consciousness in general?



Muh walled garden doe


Another DeOS “antibody” is Douglas Hofstadter’s book “I Am a Strange Loop”. From Wikipedia: “He demonstrates how the properties of self-referential systems, demonstrated most famously in Gödel’s incompleteness theorems, can be used to describe the unique properties of minds.”

Humanity is obsessed with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the concept of machines gaining consciousness. I’m not delusional enough to try and explain how AI may emerge from Bitcoin/twitter, but there are a few concepts that I want to touch on.

History of Human Thought

For the first time in human history, we have a (partial) worldstream. Every second, torrents of human thoughts are posted to platforms like twitter. If we’re able to preserve this information, then future historians will have a pretty good idea of what humans were thinking and feeling at certain times, and in response to certain events. Social media was a breakthrough, the first time in history that the “common man’s” thoughts could be collected and disseminated.

Very early civilizations left little to no artifacts. Others left artifacts, but no writing. Historians can conclude that wars were fought, homes were made, and can make some educated guesses as to the role of, say, money or heirlooms in society. However, historians are at a loss for what those people were thinking at the time. Was their government just? Were their citizens happy? optimistic?

Later civilizations started to write, and some recorded that writing on mediums that lasted through time. Early writing included mostly math/accounting, but writing eventually evolved into laws and much more. Even when writing became commonplace, and records were preserved, thoughtful pieces came mostly from rulers, scholars and intellectuals. There are very few records from “ordinary” people. Therefore, we can’t accurately judge “happiness” of the masses. We can take a ruler at his word, or accept a historian’s interpretation, but revisionist history is a bitch.

We now have access to incredible amount of human thoughts, as well as incredible computing power. Through machine learning, systems can learn from data, identify patterns, and make decisions with minimal human intervention. What would happen if all of your thoughts were documented and fed into a program? What if that program could communicate not only data (thoughts) but value (bitcoin)?

Bitcoin as a Quantum Computer

DeSantis states that Bitcoin case be used for quantum key distribution and quantum cryptography through the use of one-time-pads.

This is way over my head so here are some screenshots:


**trip key removed, waiting on desantis confirmation**


DeOS Rules

Recently, @desantis has started to define the “rules” of DeOS, similar to how the rules of Xanadu are presented.

xan rule

The Rules of Xanadu

Like most of his information, the rules have appeared in bits and pieces across Desantis’ many twitter profiles. Sometimes they’re taken down and reposted, and for some reason they’re all hand written in script.

Rules are currently posted to the @deosorg account.

In the future, I’ll be transcribing these rules into text, stay tuned.



Other Antibodies




More to Come

That’s it for the initial post. Stay tuned for updates and please email me ( or DM be (@bitconsultLLC) with your comments and information!

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