Awesome article!
David Mulder
11

Hi David, co-author here. I will try to repeat your two statements and then answer them. Please correct me if I misunderstood anything:

Your first point was that that our essay could be understood as saying that Bitcoin holders were primarily involved for ideological reasons and not for the expectation of profits.

I would like to clarify, we completely agree (and maybe lazily thought it was a given) that almost everyone over the years held Bitcoin also with an expectation of profit. However everyone had in their mind a different expectation of why Bitcoin should increase in adoption and thus in price, and these expectations were the foundation for narratives to arise.

For example, people believed that Bitcoin would become valuable because it is a cheap payments network, and others because it can serve as digital gold or sound money. Every holder of Bitcoin is both trying to predict what other people will see in Bitcoin and what is technically and socially possible.

Your second point was that the “financialized Bitcoin” camp would be less ideologically involved in Bitcoin.

I think that your observation about buyers of a financialized Bitcoin are correct, but don’t go far enough. Where we predict the friction between this narrative and a “Private, fungible Bitcoin” to arise is especially with the sellers and overseers of a Financialized Bitcoin. Financialization of an asset, to me, means that it becomes more liquid and available but also that it becomes relevant enough so that governments around the world will start to excert control over it. It means that every exchange must have KYC/AML, it means that customers when spending have to provide source-of-funds for their UTXOs, it means that owners shall be divided from their private keys and so on. So I will argue that the “Financialized Bitcoin” crowd has some very important people behind it as well, who will try to shape Bitcoin maybe not on a technical, but a social and societal level, and they shouldn’t be underestimated.

Cheers