Why The Founding Fathers Would Love Bitcoin (And Blockchain)
With the recent wave of Facebook political activism, it’s likely you at least know what the Electoral College is, if not how it functions and why it was put in place. The recent election has left many Americans slightly pissed off about the outcome, purporting that Donald Trump should not be elected president since he did not win the popular vote and is therefore not representative of the nation as a whole.
Some people, even politicians, are going as far as calling for a removal of the Electoral College from the US Constitution. In fact, the discontent has reached the point that 3 million American citizens have signed a petition to the Electoral College to change their decision. However, in a bid to change the result of this election, these same people are inadvertently bashing the most genius check-and-balance on demagoguery that democracy has ever seen. In fact, although millions of Americans disapprove of the election results, this may be a sign that this check is actually working flawlessly as intended, 240 years later. *Insert Wikileaks Emails Here*
Let us begin with a review of the basics of the electoral college. First off, in case you’ve been living under a rock for the last 8 + years, or this is your first election, the Vice-President and President of the United States are NOT elected by a popular vote. Instead, they are elected by a body of 538 “electors” from all 50 states of America.
So why did the founders do this? To protect the sanctity of the network, just as with bitcoin we have miners who are the decentralized check-and-balance to the ingenious network created by Satoshi Nakamoto. In order for any transaction to be added to the blockchain, it needs to be verified and processed by the decentralized network of miners, who must come to a consensus to add a new block to a chain.
OK, at this point, we may actually have reason to believe that Satoshi Nakamoto and the Founding Fathers, are the same entity, time travelling from the future to save us from an impending doom, but enough of the conspiracy theories for now.
So why did the Founding Fathers and Satoshi Nakamoto include this stipulation into their respective Constitutions? Why did the Founding Fathers give the final decision for the most high position/office in America to the Electoral College? Why did Satoshi Nakamoto leave the decision making power up to the miners, and not the holders, of bitcoin? The answer comes down to the fact the neither the Founders nor Satoshi had any intention of creating a pure majority-rule democracy to govern their respective networks.
From careful study of history, the Founders (and presumably Satoshi) learned what most have forgotten, or never learned, today — pure democracies simply do not provide an even distribution of power. This is due to the fact that in a pure democracy, majorities can easily tyrannize the rest of a country, or network. The Founders wanted to avoid this at all costs, which is what led to the separation of our government into three branches — the executive, legislative, and judicial — along with the allotment of two state senators to every state, regardless of population, but also different numbers of representatives based entirely on population. It’s why a super-majority in Congress and ¾ of the states are needed to amend the Constitution. And it’s also why we have the beautiful, incredible, Electoral College.
Similarly, the Bitcoin Network is made up of multiple governing bodies, including miners, developers, and holders. Just as decision making power for electing the of the United States president goes to the Electoral College, governing power is evenly distributed amongst the Bitcoin Miners, in which a consensus of the network is required to make any pivotal decision, such as a fork in the bitcoin source code.
It is for these reasons, these stark similarities in fail safe provisions that these founders included into their networks, that I am thoroughly convinced the Founding Fathers and Satoshi Nakamoto would be besties if they existed in the same era.
Unfortunately, genius like this doesn’t just come around every decade, but thankfully it seems to come at just the right times. With financial tensions rising in the world, negative interest rates becoming a normality, bank runs in India, and citizens of India, China, Argentina, and many more flocking to safe haven assets such as precious metals and cryptocurrencies, it seems we are just about due for a complete transformation of the global financial ecosystem as we know it, and thankfully Bitcoin and blockchain technology will be there to save the day.