Pantera Capital
May 27, 2016 · 9 min read

“And behold, He deigned to appear for a moment to the people, to the tortured, suffering people, sunk in iniquity, but loving Him like children.”

“Man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find someone quickly to whom he can hand over that gift of freedom.”

THE SECOND COMING, SATOSHI AND THE GRAND INQUISITOR

A parable, 99% lifted verbatim from…

THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV

By Fyodor Dostoevsky, as translated by Constance Garnett

[…and 1% from Bitcoin’s reality.]


He comes on the scene in my poem, but He says nothing, only appears and passes on. Fifteen centuries have passed since He promised to come in His glory, fifteen centuries since His prophet wrote, ‘Behold, I come quickly’; ‘Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, neither the Son, but the Father,’ as He Himself predicted on earth. But humanity awaits him with the same faith and with the same love. Oh, with greater faith, for it is [five years] since man has ceased to see signs from [Satoshi].

No signs from heaven come to-day to add to what the heart doth say.

There was nothing left but faith in what the heart doth say. It is true there were many miracles in those days. There were saints who performed miraculous cures; some holy people, according to their biographies, were visited by the Queen of Heaven herself. But the [block size increase haters] did not slumber, and doubts were already arising among men of the truth of these miracles. And just then there appeared…a terrible new heresy. ‘A huge star like to a torch’ that is, to a church ‘fell on the sources of the waters and they became bitter.’ These heretics began blasphemously denying miracles [and Distributing Denial of Service attacks]. But those who remained faithful were all the more ardent in their faith. The tears of humanity rose up to Him as before, awaited His coming, loved Him, hoped for Him, yearned to suffer and die for Him as before. And so many ages mankind had prayed with faith and fervour, ‘O [Satoshi] our God, hasten Thy coming’; so many ages called upon Him, that in His infinite mercy He deigned to come down to His servants. Before that day He had come down, He had visited some holy men, martyrs, and hermits, as is written in their lives. Among us, [Gavin Andresen], with absolute faith in the truth of his words, bore witness.

“And behold, He deigned to appear for a moment to the people, to the tortured, suffering people, sunk in iniquity, but loving Him like children. My story is laid in [Australia and thence London], in the most terrible time of the [Block Size] Inquisition, when fires were lighted every day to the glory of [the 1MB block size given unto us by Scripture], and ‘in the splendid auto da fé the wicked heretics [Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn] were burnt.’ Oh, of course, this was not the coming in which He will appear, according to His promise, at the end of time in all His heavenly glory, and which will be sudden ‘as lightning flashing from east to west.’ No, He visited His children only for a moment, and there where the flames were crackling round the heretics. In His infinite mercy He came once more among men in that human shape in which He walked among men for three years [five years] ago. He came down to the ‘hot pavements’ of the southern town in which on the day before almost a hundred heretics had, [1MB], been burnt by the Grand [Block Size] Inquisitors, in a magnificent [DDoS], in the presence of the king, the court, the knights, the cardinals, [the Core Devs,] the most charming ladies of the court, [miners,] and the whole population.

He stops at the steps of the Seville cathedral at the moment when the weeping mourners are bringing in a little open white coffin. In it lies a child of seven [months — Bitcoin XT — in it], the only daughter of [two] prominent citizens [Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn]. The dead child lies hidden in flowers. ‘He will raise your child,’ the crowd shouts to the weeping mother[s]. The priest, coming to meet the coffin, looks perplexed, and frowns, but the mother[s] of the dead [code] throws herself at His feet with a wail. ‘If it is Thou, raise my child!’ she cries, holding out her hands to Him. The procession halts, the [code] is laid on the steps at His feet. He looks with compassion, and His lips once more softly pronounce, ‘Maiden, arise! [Arise to 340 gigabytes!]

[The Block Size Inquisitor] holds out his finger and bids the guards take Him. And such is his power, so completely are the people cowed into submission and trembling obedience to him, that the crowd immediately makes way for the guards, and in the midst of deathlike silence they lay hands on Him and lead him away.

“’Is it Thou? Thou?’ but receiving no answer [– no new keys, no Genesis block signature, and for damn sure, no 1-million BTC movements –] he adds at once. ‘Don’t answer, be silent […and definitely no more 20-screenshot blogposts!] What canst Thou say, indeed? I know too well what Thou wouldst say. And Thou hast no right to add anything to what Thou hadst said of old [in “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”]. Why, then, art Thou come to hinder us? For Thou hast come to hinder us, and Thou knowest that. But dost thou know what will be to-morrow? I know not who Thou art and care not to know whether it is Thou or only a semblance of Him, but to-morrow I shall condemn Thee and burn Thee at the stake as the worst of heretics. And the very people who have to-day kissed Thy feet, to-morrow at the faintest sign from me will rush to heap up the embers of Thy fire.”

“And the Prisoner too is silent? Does He look at him and not say a word?”

“That’s inevitable in any case,” Ivan laughed again. “The old man has told Him He hasn’t the right to add anything to what He has said [in the immutable White Paper]. One may say it is the most fundamental feature of [Bitcoin], in my opinion at least. ‘All has been given by Thee to [Gavin],’ they say, ‘and all, therefore, is still in [Gavin]’s hands, and there is no need for Thee to come now at all. Thou must not meddle for the time, at least.’ That’s how they speak and write too the [block size haters], at any rate. I have read it myself in the works of their theologians. ‘Hast Thou the right to reveal to us one of the mysteries of that world from which Thou hast come [like the completely arbitrary selection of 1MB]?’ my old man asks Him, and answers the question for Him. ‘No, Thou hast not; that Thou mayest not add to what has been said of old, and mayest not take from men the freedom which Thou didst exalt when Thou wast on earth. Whatsoever Thou revealest anew will encroach on men’s freedom of faith; for it will be manifest as a miracle, and the freedom of their faith was dearer to Thee than anything in those days fifteen hundred years ago. Didst Thou not often say then, “I will make you free”? But now Thou hast seen these “free” men,’ the old man adds suddenly, with a pensive smile. ‘Yes, we’ve paid dearly for it,’ he goes on, looking sternly at Him, ‘but at last we have completed that work in Thy name. For fifteen [months] we have been wrestling with Thy freedom, but now it is ended and over for good. [XT is dead. Classic is dead. Unlimited stillborn.] Dost Thou not believe that it’s over for good? Thou lookest meekly at me and deignest not even to be wroth with me. But let me tell Thee that now, to-day, people are more persuaded than ever that they have perfect freedom, yet they have brought their freedom to us and laid it humbly at our feet. But that has been our doing. Was this what Thou didst? Was this Thy freedom?’”

“’The wise and dread spirit, the spirit of self-destruction and non-existence,’ the old man goes on, great spirit talked with Thee in the wilderness.

And yet if there has ever been on earth a real stupendous miracle, it took place on that day, [October 31, 2008]. The statement [“A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”] was itself the miracle. If it were possible to imagine simply for the sake of argument that those questions of the dread spirit [Jamie Dimon] had perished utterly from the books, and that we had to restore them and to invent them anew, and to do so had gathered together all the wise men of the earth rulers, chief priests, learned men, philosophers, poets, [cypherpunks] and had set them the task to invent [distributed ledgers again], such as would not only fit the occasion, but express in words, human phrases, the whole future history of the world and of humanity dost Thou believe that all the wisdom of the earth united could have invented anything in depth and force equal to [“Double-spending is prevented with a peer-to-peer network; no mint or other trusted parties; participants can be anonymous; new coins are made from proof-of-work. Any needed rules and incentives can be enforced with this consensus mechanism.”] From those alone, from the miracle of their statement, we can see that we have here to do not with the fleeting human intelligence, but with the absolute and eternal. For in those the whole subsequent history of [payments, ownership registry, storage of wealth, identity, IoT] is, as it were, brought together into one whole, and foretold, and in them are united all the unsolved historical contradictions of [the legacy financial system]. At the time it could not be so clear, since the future was unknown; but now that fifteen hundred years have passed, we see that everything in those questions was so justly divined and foretold, and has been so truly fulfilled, that nothing can be added to [the arbitrary block size picked in 2010].

They will raise against Thee, and with which they will destroy Thy temple [Bitcoin]. Where Thy temple stood will rise new buildings [Ripple, Ethereum, Chain]; the terrible tower of Babel will be built again, and though, like the one of old, it will not be finished, yet Thou mightest have prevented that new tower…for they will come back to us after a thousand years of agony with their tower. They will seek us again, hidden underground in the catacombs, for we shall be again persecuted and tortured. They will find us and cry to us, “Feed us [megabytes], for those who have promised us fire from heaven haven’t given it!” And then we shall finish building their tower, for he finishes the building who feeds them [real-time transaction confirmations]. And we alone shall feed them in Thy name, declaring falsely that it is in Thy name. Oh, never, never can they feed themselves without [more than 1MB]! No, science will give them [other blockchains] so long as they remain free. In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet, and say to us, “Make us your slaves, but feed us [block space].”

But man seeks to worship what is established beyond dispute [– like signing the freakin’ Genesis block!!!], so that all men would agree at once to worship it. For these pitiful creatures are concerned not only to find what one or the other can worship, but to find community of worship is the chief misery of every man individually and of all humanity from the beginning of time. For the sake of common worship they’ve slain each other with [personal, vindictive campaigns and DDoS attacks]. They have set up gods and challenged one another, “Put away your gods [XT, Classic, Unlimited] and come and worship ours, or we will kill you and your gods!” And so it will be to the end of the world, even when gods disappear from the earth.

When the Inquisitor ceased speaking he waited some time for his [Satoshi] to answer him. His silence weighed down upon him. The old man longed for him to say something, however bitter and terrible. But He suddenly approached the old man in silence and softly [blogged “I’m Sorry…And goodbye.”] That was all his answer. The old man shuddered. His lips moved. He went to the door, opened it, and said to Him: ‘Go, and come no more… come not at all, never, never!’ And he let Him out into the dark alleys of the town. [Craig Wright] went away.”

“And the old man?”

“The [Block Size] Inquisitors adhere to their idea [– artificially limiting the block size — even if it] destroys Thy temple [Bitcoin]. Where Thy temple stood will rise new buildings [Ripple, Etherium, Chain, DAH, et al]; the terrible tower of Babel will be built again….”

Dan Morehead San Francisco May 26, 2016

Pantera Capital

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