Well, it’s a pretty big day for NOR. Bittersweet in some ways, exciting in others.

To get to the news fast, as many of you are here for that first:

  • NOR is transitioning to a decentralized structure as a platform, token and all, in coming weeks
  • To support this, C9 is ceasing operations and it’s all going on the chain. 


So, leave it to me to make the very short long, but i’m excited about this and have a story to tell!

Our Own Eternal Returns

When I started down the road of NOR, the goal was always the same – to build a platform that got rid of all the middlemen, data brokers, and garbage incentives that were ruining my favorite recreational activity.

Crypto has always been wild, and the road was filled with a lot of total unknowns. We would spend months with a chain, testing and prototyping, but ultimately moving on when our idea would come to be incompatible or when incentives simply did not align.

It didn’t feel urgent for much of the time. It was a new space, and doing new things also meant we had the other side of challenges. Navigating the realities of being a U.S.-based company in this space. Consultants and lawyers and teams with experience on tax and law spent an amazing amount of time with us. We were fun to work on, and everyone loves blazing a trail.

Then, as crypto shifted along with the regulatory framework, our legal and tax advice did too. Instead of blazing a trail, there were now dead ends. By mid-2023 it became clear that our project simply didn’t fit any of the more familiar crypto spaces. What we were building was just too odd and complicated to get quick answers or for new investors to feel comfortable with those vagaries in a changed investment landscape.

Enter Holochain. Well, re-enter, I should say. David Atkinson and I had become fast friends years ago and chatted regularly. Despite the vagaries of crypto, it became clear to all of us we just needed to start building. Luckily, David and his team had been following NOR through my eyes for years, and they thought they had figured out how we might make everything we needed work.

We hit the ground running and in a short few months we went from internal proof of concept to working prototype of core backend features to launch. It was wonderful to be completely absorbed in development again, and the time zoomed by (if you exclude the excruciating time waiting for Faster to be approved by Steam, at least!). By the New Year the platform prototype was live and running.

The NOR Platform

While our Whitepaper outlines a massive collective economy with varying interests, goals, needs, and opportunities, the entire project actually hinged on getting the basics right. Faster was built explicitly to be the first of these tests – something to build elements around and ensure a smooth user flow but also data security for our users along with a functioning matchmaking system.

The biggest piece was our identity system. From the start we have said you will own your data, that we can’t control it. We should not have power over you. Definitely nothing custodial! Truly decentralized, players finally get to keep their data to themselves if they choose. This also means other platforms can use the service as they wish – it’s not a closed off ecosystem. It’s a digital you.

With that comes matchmaking, something that needed to be run by the platform. We couldn’t have matchmaking servers on a cloud service that can be DDOS’d or cheated. Instead our matchmaking system is fully  decentralized, and is informed solely by the login system. This was a big achievement, as, to our knowledge, matchmaking has never been done this way.

This means that our Metagame can be wholly decentralized, and emergent from your behaviors. Tournaments will be put together by Metagamers, and the players will be chosen directly – and the matchmaking is built in. It’s a complex system to build, but runs smoothly. 

It needs more though. And that’s where the next step comes in.

The N9ne

In coming weeks, further updates on the technology and mechanics behind the platform will be announced. We will be putting the power of choosing which games to integrate with NOR into the community’s hands, and handing governance rights to you, our community. All of you will have the right to fight and vote on the future of the platform. The magic of the Metameta game will be in all of our hands. 

It’s an exciting step for us here because the world of NOR will have more resources, possibilities, and stakeholders. This move will also finally alleviate any stresses or blockers we’ve found ourselves hitting.

Development isn’t slowing down but will be led externally. Our goals set for the near-term. However, what happens next is up to you. The community will determine features being added, areas of focus, games to be integrated. It’s time for the Platform to make the inevitable next step – full decentralization. 

It’s time for this thing to get kicked into gear. 

The End of C9(?)

So what does this mean when I say the end of C9? Well, it’s the end of the company as it exists. There is no need for a corporate structure for what’s left – fixing up Faster, getting the platform going with Tournaments, etc etc. These things are going to be taken on by the platform.

Really, I’m not an engineer. I’m not really a marketer anymore. Not even a producer. The project was built from my philosophy, but it hasn’t been mine for some time. It’s been ours. All of us. I serve NOR best when those who can build are building, and I can be the evangelist for PlayFi.

I’m not going anywhere, not really. Most of us aren’t going far. We’re just getting out of the way of the next phase of work. Thank you for your continued support. It’s been an amazing community to pull together and it will be an amazing community to be part of as this grows.

VERY soon you will be hearing more from the platform team, as they are moving quickly. Hit our discord – discord.gg/welcometonor for updates.

Finally, when this project started, I said the goal was to build a big boat that at some point I would push into the water to float on its own. Thanks to all of you, I’m able to do that. And together we can sail off and continue to build the future of decentralized gaming. 

 Brooks Brown

CEO Consortium9