The db era
#1
I'll say this at the start of the article for people who don't know... db stands for diamond block, which at one point was the currency on the server.

Before the db era
Before the db era, there was the government era. The Minister of Trade was yours truly, ChadDX. The reason I started trading was not for personal gain, but instead I figured that it would improve the server and bring people together. Also it would strengthen the power of the government, as those who were on the KOS list were also banned from trading.

At this time I was the main trader, and I'd buy/sell anything I could get my hands on. I figured that diamonds would be the best currency, and pegged them to the unbelievable rate of
1 dia = 16 lapiz = 16 gold = 64 iron.
Looking back I had no idea what I was doing, but I had to start somewhere.

I figured that unless you could buy god gear for diamonds, no one would care about the currency, so I created the account ReklysRekware and devoted my time to crafting god items to sell to other players. Believe it or not, I was selling a set of god armour for only 80 diamonds (or 96 with thorns III on the chestplate). Ordering from me involved telling me what you want by pm, then waiting like a week for me to actually make your stock (I always had orders backed up).

The db era begins
After a while the government fell, and I got bored of spending the majority of my time on the server crafting items for other players. Also 1.9 had just dropped so mending was available as an enchant to put on armour. I decided to raise my prices to 64db per set of armour (this time with mending) and brand it infinity (meaning lasts forever, always in stock). 
To my surprise, the original 6 sets I crafted sold out in about 24 hours. I decided to see how many diamonds I could mine in 1 hour with full hacks, and it turns out the amount was 128db, meaning that in the government era I'd been selling non-mending god armour for a mere 4 minutes of mining time!
I decided to double my prices, to 128db per set (1 hours mining).

The db era was the golden age of MineTexas Anarchy with 50-70 people on at peak times. There were multiple frats and groups vying for power, and the economy was not only functional, but vital for the politics and power.

The Trader frat is created
The server was busy and anarchic, and trading convention was that the buyer would always hand over the currency first. With new players not knowing who to trust, there was a need for a trading guild. Traders were peaceful players who could be relied upon to not scam and to always bring an echest. A key rule of the guild was that db would always be accepted as payment, further cementing trust in the db currency.

Atar makes spawn trade friendly
Atar could see how important the economy was becoming to the server so decided to make it easier to trade. He edited the spawn platform so that a player could drop down the centre and get directly to The End, and once in The End, you could do the same thing to get back to your base. This meant it took less than 30 seconds to /spawn and get home. I'd often do it even when near my base as it was quicker than walking back and almost as safe.

killgrave1124 takes over
With trading so prevalent and easy, it was only a matter of time before someone took over spawn. This person was killgrave1124, an enigmatic regular who kept their identity secret. Killgrave had devised a superior fighting strategy and was unbeatable for a while.

If someone asked to trade with me, I'd press tab to see if killgrave was online. If he was, I knew it was not safe to pass through spawn.

After taking over spawn, Killgrave decided to profit from it. He charged a toll of 5db to pass through without being killed, or 64db for a whole month of protection. I could often outmanoeuvre killgrave myself by due to timezones and my multiple accounts, but often I'd have to pay for my customer to pass through spawn to get to me.

Killgrave also made further db by holding auctions where he would sell the used gear he had acquired from killing other players.

Gold price ride
At the start of the db era, 1 diamond block would buy you 4 gold blocks. I sold gold but didn't like buying it... I had a gold farm so I didn't really need more. I often couldn't even be bothered to craft all my gold nuggets into gold blocks, meaning they would overflow my mob grinder and get incinerated. Then things started to change...
PVP really started to heat up, so demand for golden apples increased massively. Also more players had started making gold farms so there were not really enough mobs to go around everyone on the server. It caused so much lag that Atar cut the pigmen spawn rate in half. In a matter of weeks, gold had quadrupled in price and was worth exactly 1 db per gb.

Slime shortage
Gold was becoming hard to get, but slime became impossible. With all the mob farms being built, hostile mobs had pretty much stopped spawning. I sold a stack of slime balls for a chest of mending books, and that was a favour for a friend! Atar stepped in and made all the map slime chunks, but it remained hard to get until the dupe.

The db era ends
The 11/11 drop dupe brought the db era to an end. There had been a dupe earlier but it wasn't as powerful so the economy recovered. This time there was no way back. You could duplicate your entire inventory just by logging out and dropping your items.
Whereas before it meant something to have a chest of db, now it meant nothing. Not only did the economy die in the sense that it was not worth building factories to sell stuff to other players, but also PVP died and became a fairly 1-dimensional game of God Apples + End Crystals. A lot of regular players left the server around this time.

In the db era we were all technically poorer, but the wealth we had actually meant something so we felt richer.
"Complexity, is just a lot of Simplicity"
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#2
It is an era that will be missed.
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