I read an incredible Tweet that spurred the writing of this post. It demonstrated perfectly how, like in the animation above, men’s understanding of Bitcoin is distorted by their prejudices, education, background and other reality warping factors.
This Tweet was posted by a talented developer, working on a piece of software that will completely disrupt how people buy goods in a global, encrypted, unregulated, “virtual swap meet” that is unprecedented and beyond the reach of the State. It will be beyond regulation once it is released, and it can never be withdrawn once it is on the internet, because it is an Open Source project, like BitTorrent.
The developer said that what he is doing should not be controlled by a self appointed committee because, “his software is code”. Bitcoin on the other hand, needs “better governance”.
This is ridiculous, obviously.
As I have said before many times, and each repetition is true and necessary, Bitcoin is text. Bitcoin is software (which is text). Bitcoin is not money (it is text) . It should not be regulated, and it does not need “governance”, and even if you concede that it did, that governance should not come from a monoculture of compliant, brainwashed Statists from a single country.
From the Beginning, Bitcoin has had waves of thinking propagating through its “community” like waves of fan’s hands travelling around a stadium. Some of this is beneficial, as what Bitcoin is is made more clear, and some of it is not beneficial. “Legitimacy” was one wave, where some were desperate to appear to be legitimate and steer “the conversation” and perception of Bitcoin away from the tiny fraction of users who were trading it to facilitate paying for forbidden goods.
Now we are at the end of another wave; the “Consensus” stadium wave. After nauseating and tiresome bickering lasting weeks, Bitcoin is firmly under the control of men who have its best interests at heart, and everyone is starting to realise that Bitcoin is not democratic and never will be. They are also starting to realise that everyone does not “have their say” in Bitcoin; only the powerful have a say, just as Mircea Popescu has been correctly stating for years.
Just as the “Consensus” wave is crashing onto the rocks of the eternal shore of reality, a new wave is gaining amplitude; the wave of Political Correctness inspired “Non Confrontation” where everyone is told they must conform to uniform standards of speech and etiquette when talking about Bitcoin. This wave too will reach the shore, crash into white foam, be absorbed by the sand, and fade away eventually.
Whatever memes, tropes, fads and other nonsense people come up with, all of them are meaningless in software, and all of them will eventually disappear, leaving the utility of Bitcoin as the only constant.
Just as the old browsers like Netscape Navigator, and the other tools like CUSeeMe have all been replaced and the companies that developed them vanished, the protocols underneath them and software principles remain intact. Instead of CUSeeMe you have Blab. Instead of Netscape Navigator you have Chrome. The internet culture that existed when these early apps were essential is also mostly vanished. Only a tiny remnant of users uses USENET to read news or share files any more. News is read from Twitter and files are shared from Kickass Torrents and other sites using BitTorrent.
The same will happen with Bitcoin and its “community”; which will eventually vanish into history, diluted by the millions of new users who have adopted it, and those who don’t even know they are using it, all of whom have absolutely no interest or need to talk incessantly about Bitcoin. There is no “Dollar community” or “Euro Community”. No one reads /r/dollar or /r/euro; there is no need for them, any more than there is a need for /r/hammer. If you want to bang a nail in, you use a hammer. It is not the centre of your life, or a cause célèbre. That is what Bitcoin will become.
That being said there is nothing at all wrong in people spending their time in whatever way they like on line. Users of CUSeeMe had many useful sessions where they made friends and at the very least, saved money on phone calls.
I say again. It is the software that matters, and nothing else. You can’t call for governance of other people’s software projects while you yourself run a super disruptive Open Source project that will change the entire world, and expect to be left entirely alone to do what you like, because you’re “special”. It simply is not rational. I have no doubt whatsoever that if a group of Statist men formed to steal the project I am talking about in order to cripple and de-decentralize it (by forking it and dismissing the original developers just as Bitcoin Classic tried and failed to do) those developers would not be happy about it at all, and would correctly argue that they, as the original developers with the correct and ethical vision should carry on as sole maintainers of the code base. Quite how these men have missed the direct parallel to the control of their own work is baffling.
Bitcoin, because it is mistaken for money, has attached to it all the illogical and fallacious thinking that is attached to money. Men see that the Dollar is managed by the Federal Reserve with its imposing Roman edifice, secret chamber, Popish head and the reverence poured on The Chairman’s office. They immediately make the leap of logic that because Bitcoin is money, that it needs a similar “Federal Reserve of Bitcoin” with “Proper Governance”, grave and intimidating men in suits, tall glass buildings, government tentacles in every side, and all the other trappings of big finance. They simply do not understand that Bitcoin is a revolution in every possible sense of that word.
Bitcoin is a revolution in how people send money, store data, bank, verify facts, trade shares and all the other things that Bitcoin can do, that we know about now, and that are yet to be invented. Why do these people think that the sclerotic and inferior governance systems and management styles of 20th Century corporations and the State are appropriate for Bitcoin? Because fundamentally, what Bitcoin is and what it represents has flown right over their heads, and the split in Bitcoin users between the the
“Bitcoin Coke” side and the true Bitcoin side is a very strong indicator of the philosophies and understanding of each camp. This is so true that you can predict the philosophy of the advocate by what side they have taken in this event. You can make up your own mind which side is right or wrong, and which side has a better understanding of why Bitcoin is important and how it should grow. That doesn't affect your ability to predict people’s position on this crucial matter, or that one side was soundly crushed in Hong Kong and beyond.
You can’t ask for governance of other people and the destruction of their software and private agreements but also want your software project and agreements to be immune from tampering. Double standards in a free society simply do not wash with rational men, and its the old idea of surveillance being needed for the elusive “other guy” who is ever present, unknown and lurking around the corner. The reasoning goes like this, “Mass surveillance is not appropriate for you and me, of course, we are OK. Its the bad people in society that we have to watch out for. That’s why we should all accept default blanket surveillance. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear!”. We've heard these woeful, wafer thin arguments over and over over the years; they were fallacious when they were first made, and they are still wrong in the age of Bitcoin.
In any case, all of this is moot. There is nothing anyone can do to stop Bitcoin. No rogue developer, venal venture capitalist, social media saprophyte or Bonk’s Revenge BitLicence wielding Crony Capitalist will stop Bitcoin. Just as excellent and breakthrough software like CUSeeMe is now a part of internet history, as are AOL, Hot Bot and many others, all companies that do not serve the market correctly or that are simply superseded are doomed to disappear. The Bitcoin protocol will remain, and continue to serve everyone when these bad actors are crushed to footnotes.
Send me Bitcoin. Right now. Thank you!↴