What is Bitcoin? And why should you care?
For both of these questions the interweb already provides hundreds, if not thousands of answers. At Tantra Labs we care deeply about Bitcoin and fostering growth in the Bitcoin ecosystem, and we love seeing all the amazing content emerging to help people become Bitcoiners.
There are many books, guides, videos, and podcasts out there that do a fantastic job of explaining the importance of Bitcoin. Jameson Lopp’s website is always an excellent place to start. Great books include Saifedean Ammous’ The Bitcoin Standard, basically anything from Andreas Antonopoulos (See The Internet of Money), Yan Pritzker’s Inventing Bitcoin, and even the Bitcoin Rabbi’s children’s book, Bitcoin Money. The Bitcoin podcast scene is large and growing too, and some of our favorites include Tales from the Crypt, the Stephan Livera Podcast, What Bitcoin Did, and Trace Mayer’s The Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast.
The problem with these resources, especially when recommending them to friends and family who might be new to Bitcoin, is that they are generally pretty specialized and not necessarily suited to pre-coiners or new-coiners. This problem pertains more to podcasts than books, as the books mentioned do a pretty great job of introducing their topics, but if you are a Bitcoiner trying to pitch Bitcoin to friends and family, it’s not always easy to know where to start.
So before you go and hand grandma a copy of Jimmy Song’s “Programming Bitcoin,” we thought we would help you out with a unique and hopefully humorous guide on how to pitch Bitcoin to various types of people.
In Parts 1 & 2, we highlighted various categories of people to whom you might pitch Bitcoin. In Part 3 we take a look at four more categories of pre-coiners:
Am I really going to make the case for Buddhist Bitcoiners? You bet I am.
You might not be aware, but there is such a thing as Buddhist Economics. And for those who think Buddhism is all about meditation and spirituality, there’s much more to it. Buddhism is in fact less a religion and more a means towards living a fulfilling life. It is about finding a balance in life, both in the material and spiritual worlds. Siddhartha Gautama didn’t reach enlightenment and become Buddha until after he found the Middle Path. Before doing so, he plumbed the depths of high time preference excess, and he immersed himself in the low time preference life of an ascetic monk. Neither of those worked. But what does Buddhist Economic theory have to do with Bitcoin? In his paper on the topic, Ven P. A. Payutto states “Buddhist economics aims to clear the confusion about what is harmful and what is beneficial in the range of human activities involving the production and consumption of goods and services, ultimately trying to make human beings ethically mature.” In short, Buddhist economic thought is less about production and output and more about the quality of life for workers.
This idea is manifested by Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness index. GNH has its critics, but given the history of our industrial societies and the rise of depression and unhappiness in the West and elsewhere, Buddhist economic thought is interesting to say the least. Although there are some doomsdayers in the Bitcoin community, many Bitcoiners staunchly believe that Bitcoin as sound money has the potential to bring about very positive societal change in the long term. Sound money promotes a low time preference way of thinking and acting. Lowered time preference today leads to a better tomorrow for everyone.
So you have a friend or family member who is Buddhist and you want to talk to them about Bitcoin? Talk to them about the potential to effect positive change via sound money. Tell them that Bitcoin can help them find the middle way between sound and easy money. In theory Buddhists may be less concerned with material wealth, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to live comfortably and provide for their families. Tell them that a portfolio consisting 99% cash and 1% bitcoin outperformed everything in the last 10 years. And if the Buddhists in your life are more concerned with giving than receiving, remind them of this: If you want others to be happy, give them bitcoin, but if you want to be happy, give others bitcoin.
A great way to do this is with GiveBitcoin, a new platform that I am advising that allows you to safely give bitcoin to friends and family. GiveBitcoin automatically timelocks that bitcoin for at least a year while also providing your newcoiners with educational materials to learn all about Bitcoin.
“And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16–17 KJV)
Whether you’re religious or not, the Bible does contain some oddly prescient passages. This one from the Book of Revelation could be interpreted to predict the government and tech company driven panopticon that is a distinct possibility in our near future. Whether it’s China’s social credit system or the ever growing invasion of privacy by companies like Google and Facebook, if we don’t act to protect our privacy, there won’t be any privacy left to protect. Bitcoin fixes this. To be fair, Bitcoin will hopefully fix this. Bitcoin is currently pseudonymous, coinjoining methods aren’t perfected yet, and there are various methods of linking Bitcoin transactions to careless or ignorant users. But privacy is a major concern for Bitcoin developers and many of us Bitcoiners are hopeful that developments like the Lightning Network, Taproot, and Schnorr signatures will help to bring us the privacy we so desperately need.
But back to Satosh- Jesus. When pitching Bitcoin to devout Christians, it’s best to appeal to their concern for their fellow humans. Remind them about the panopticon that is emerging and tell them how Bitcoin has the potential to return our privacy back to us. Tell them about its sound money characteristics and how, with a Bitcoin standard, governments would no longer be able to inflate away the savings of the poor, nor would they be able to continue printing money to fund violent wars overseas. Violence and inequality may be on the rise, but Bitcoin fixes this. And for those folks for whom charity is a big part of their lives, urge them to start dollar cost averaging bitcoin. If number go up, then so does the purchasing and donation power of that bitcoin.
As mentioned in the goldbugs section, some older folks find technology a bit difficult to wrap their heads around. But that doesn’t mean they don’t understand the need for a decentralized, censorship-resistant sound money. You just have to talk to them in a way that resonates. This category is called “The Jewish Grandmother,” but this pitch can just as easily be used for anyone who has lived through great tragedy, societal upheaval, a diaspora, and or hyperinflation and government confiscation of wealth. How many people have had to escape their home countries in the middle of the night, with nothing but the clothing on their backs? By creating a brain wallet and memorizing a mnemonic recovery, or seed phrase, it’s possible to escape in the middle of the night with the clothes on your back and the entirety of your wealth. No bills, jewels, or gold to hide from would be confiscators. Bitcoin fixes this.
Don’t even try.
The gospel of Keynes is strong with central bankers. They have bailouts in their blood. If you happen to find yourself in a conversation with a central banker maybe just comment on how interesting it is that we are living in a time with actively competing monetary systems. Then smile, walk away, and stack some more sats. Central bankers may be too far gone, but commercial bankers may not. If you do happen to find yourself in a conversation with an open-minded banker of any sort, you might try mentioning how banks could benefit from switching to bitcoin, albeit slowly. Bitcoin banks will exist, whether you like it or not, and the banks that recognize this sooner than later will benefit the most.
Thank you all for reading and I hope you found this amusing and hopefully a little helpful. Special thanks again to those who shared their thoughts and suggestions on this piece: Nik Bhatia, Bitcoin Tina, Phil Geiger, Gigi, Marc Weinstein, Brett Morrison, and Russell LaCour,
— Brekkie von Bitcoin, Creative Director at Tantra Labs
Stay tuned as we present more thought pieces and ongoing research!
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Author’s opinion only. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Tantra Labs Inc. or any other company. Examples of analysis performed within this article are only examples. They should not be utilized in real-world investment decisions as they are based only on very limited information. Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of Tantra or any company.
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