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Why You Can’t Define Bitcoin

Everyone ends up trying to define Bitcoin at some stage, and the prosaic descriptions of it are as varied as the people who come up with them. I put it to you that trying to define Bitcoin is pointless, and causes more trouble than the benefits of the understanding a definition may bring.

Imagine someone involved in software who has taken it upon him or herself to appear before regulators to define Bitcoin. They run a business that uses Bitcoin, in this case, a company that keeps track of cupcakes. When the regulator gruffly asks what Bitcoin is, without the sugar coating, this person says, “It is a way of keeping track of cake”.

This description is not wrong. Bitcoin can be use to keep track of who received what cake, but that’s like saying, “Tweezers are for picking your nose”. Yes they can be used for picking your nose but they can also be used for sorting rough diamonds.

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Since Bitcoin can be used for literally any purpose, it is entirely wrong that self appointed men and women try and force their private definitions on millions of other people. It’s totally unethical to tell other people what they can and cannot do with their software, and this is the direct end result of well meaning computer illiterates running to legislators to define Bitcoin.

The best of these people admit that they may be wrong, but that makes their crime even worse. They are appealing to authorities to regulate Bitcoin admitting that they don’t understand it fully; and of course, it’s certainly true that they can’t see the future, and have absolutely no idea what’s coming next.

You’re free to write whatever you want (unless its software apparently, then you need a license to do so in New York), to speculate and run thought experiments in public. All of that activity is very useful, and enjoyable. What is not at all useful is to try an definitively pin down Bitcoin using an analogy, that will be weaponised against everyone by thugs. You don’t need to go to the enemy to explain Bitcoin to him; his lack of understanding is an asset. Do you really want very powerful people who are about to be put out of business and who are in bed with the State to be given advance warning?

Are you really that stupid?

So what if the fossil class don’t understand Bitcoin? Who cares? How will that fossil class understanding Bitcoin help you discover and build your products? There is no way they are going to invest in your company because they don’t understand what you are doing, and if they did, they would understand that you are an existential threat to them, and they’ll dial it up to 11 to try and destroy you completely, and openly boast and threaten that this will happen.

Your best manœuvre is to be quiet, stop running to appear before committees and congress and regulators and work on your software and business model. This is how Skype managed to start a telephone company without any regulators bothering them. In case you didn't know, you are not making anyone feel safer when you talk about “disruption”; you make them feel and look stupid, and this is perceived as an open threat to them. Disruption is what happens in blizzards and hurricanes. It makes people frightened, and yet you explicitly say that disruption is coming, and speak in terms that are incomprehensible to them and make them feel uncomfortable.


Bitcoin is software. That means it is infinitely flexible, and can be used to do literally anything. Your narrow vision of what it will do, a person who admits that you may not understand it yourself, should not be the standard by which everyone has to conform; your ideas are your problem, not anyone else's.

As I said before, all of this is going to end up in court. Then the florid, image soaked descriptions of Bitcoin will be stripped away, and we will be left with the actual definition of Bitcoin, which is the correct one:


We will prove this categorically, and no judge will be able to say we are not correct, because we will prove it. Two judges have already handed down decisions pointing in this direction. The age of the do good “Bitcoin Analogizer” is coming to a welcome end. When it ends, all the pointless arguments will end, and the people pushing narratives will have to come up with some new narratives somewhere else.

But they’re good at that, so it won’t be a problem!

No one can stop you sending Bitcoin to this address. It is an act of defiance. ↴

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