Bitcoin Is Sedition
Ever since the venture capital scene started talking about Bitcoin back in 2013, one of the most frequently cited comments from them is that Bitcoin is interesting for the technology, not the currency. In fact, this mantra has become so common that it almost sounds… scripted.
What’s going on here?
Apparently millions of Bitcoin users around the globe never got the word that Bitcoin isn’t interesting as a currency. If Bitcoin wasn’t interesting as a currency, then why would the banking system need to go to such lengths to slow down the capital flight from the Dollar to Bitcoin by enacting restrictive Choke Point restrictions on both regular businesses and P2P trading?
The answer lies with the fate of the US Dollar. All government currencies have a finite life cycle, with an average lifespan of 27 years. The USD has lasted longer than most, but it will not be an exception. However, whether you’re talking about the Weimar Germany, or Argentina, or the USSR, or the USA, the death of a currency follows an known script. The most important part of this script is that the connected elites get out first and leave the rest of the population to be the bagholders.
The problem with Bitcoin is that goes off-script. The hoi polloi got into Bitcoin before the elites got into it, and Bitcoin contains none of the mechanisms via which they normally arbitrarily inflate the currency to enrich themselves. This is a problem if you’re part of the modern financial aristocracy. Something Must Be Done.
The VC community sprung into action to solve this problem for their political masters. First it started with Marc Andreessen promising to sanitize Bitcoin and rid it of its troublesome elements. As anyone familiar with the history of technology could have predicted, the community responded with an innovation backlash and doubled down on privacy technology.
Now, the rhetoric appears to be shifting. The “general banked public” doesn’t need Bitcoin. Perhaps they can be convinced to settle for a watered-down, neutered alternative. The strategy here is to continue to use underhanded techniques to slow down the flight into Bitcoin, while pumping money into Silicon Valley to create polished walled gardens that lure users away from being their own bank. If they are successful with this strategy, most individuals will never actually own Bitcoins themselves and will either accept crippled alternatives, or instead will leave them in the custody of bank-like entities which will be free to play all the fractional reserve games Wall Street loves so much.
“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” -Henry Ford
Unfortunately for the ruling classes, the cat is already out of the bag. Despite the vast propaganda apparatuses at their disposal, the average person has a greater understanding of finance and money than at any other time in history. That knowledge brings with it an understanding of exactly how and why they are being robbed.
The world in general is tired of the US empire, including its financial imperialism. The only people who stand to lose from a Bitcoin world are those the benefit from the status quo, and they are a very small minority.
No matter how much they try, it’s not possible to hide the revolutionary nature of Bitcoin. Ever since Bitcoin first began to creep into mainstream awareness, everyone talked about it as a potential threat to the fiat money system by asking the question, “could this someday replace the Dollar?” The fact that anyone bothered to ask the question at all indicates that everyone already understands we’re near the end game for the USD.
The game now takes the form of financial hot potato. The last one holding fiat loses, and the best way to not be that person is to convince other people that the game isn’t quite over yet. How long that strategy can work depends on how long and how well they can fool potential bagholders. Meanwhile, more people around the world wake up every day to the realization that Bitcoin is about more than money.
Bitcoin is an insurrection. Holding Bitcoins is a way for individuals to reject the legitimacy of the welfare-warfare state. Bitcoin is a vote of no-confidence aimed directly at the very concept of governance. Bitcoin is a clear and present danger to the perks, paychecks, and pensions of every government employee and retiree.
Unfortunately for the people who stand to lose from the rise of Bitcoin, these trends are unstoppable. Even if they manage to completely co-opt Bitcoin development, the global insurrection against the status quo will not simply evaporate. It will simply move on to a different venue and all the resources they put into neutering Bitcoin will be wasted.
For this reason, there’s no point in Bitcoin proponents to be shy about the ultimate endgame. In fact, it’s better for everyone to be completely open about Bitcoin being revolutionary in the manner of the French Revolution, not revolutionary in the manner of the iPod. The best possible strategy for the ruling classes is to abandon the Dollar and bring all their ill-gotten gains into the future Bitcoin world, and just accept that from now on won’t be able to so grotesquely tilt the playing field in their favour.
Due to the nature of the positive feedback loop involved, the more radicalized Bitcoin becomes, the faster and less painful the transition will become. So go forth and spread revolution.
thoughts on bitcoin and the future digital economy