Welcome to the second edition of The Bitcoin Times.
This edition marks the first of its kind in being a collaborative writing effort, along with being the final edition of not only this year, but this decade.
What started off as a solution to me writing too much content for a talk I was giving in early 2019, ie; a 30min talk blew out to probably 4hrs of content, has now turned into a publication with a mission.
That mission is to produce rare, timeless Bitcoin content from the best minds in and around Bitcoin. This is the first step toward that mission, and I cannot wait to see where the path leads.
I know we are making history here, and when I think about the impact these texts will have on society in the short to medium term, and how people will one day look back on them, I couldn’t feel more proud to be doing this.
We are part of a revolution that’s greater in magnitude than any other before, and will for the first time, happen inside a period of a single human lifetime.
The Bitcoin Times will not be a “news” publication.
It’s not about “current affairs”, what Bitcoin’s price is, or when the Bitcoin ETF will be announced.
The Bitcoin Times will consist of long form, deeply thought out content, released twice per year, written by a maximum of 8 writers per edition, who are selected by invitation or application only.
There will be no “advertisements” other than a mention of the product that I helped found (Amber) because it’s thanks to Amber that the Bitcoin Times originally came to be.
Content will be focused on Bitcoin, and Bitcoin’s broad impact on society, math, money, science, game theory, markets, finance, sovereignty, space, life, philosophy, evolution, anthropology, history and more.
Online downloads will always be free, and we will soon be releasing a limited edition print run of each version that people from all around the world can purchase (for Bitcoin), and keep as collectibles.
My hope is that you learn an incredible amount from these essays, and that it changes your life for the better. I implore you to follow and support all of the brilliant minds who’ve put their time and effort into this content.
Their details will be at the end of their respective articles, and also in the references and resources section at the end of the publication.
It’s an honour to be writing alongside them, and it’s people like this which reinforce my belief that we’re surely on the right path.
Finally, you the reader, are as much a part of this revolution as we the writers, and anybody in the Bitcoin system is today. Together, we will change the world for the better.
Thankyou for being a part of that journey, and I look forward to crossing paths with you one day.
@AleksSvetski Editor in Chief The Bitcoin Times
So here we are. November 2019.
Just over a decade since Satoshi Nakamoto released Bitcoin, and right on the two decade cusp since the turn of the millennium — a time when the world thought Y2K was going to shut everything down and send us back to the stone age.
It’s been an incredible 2 decades.
We opened with the greatest stock market bubble in history; the dot-com boom, and closely followed it up with the bursting of that bubble; the dot-com bust, which so many people today point to in their Gartner hype-cycle charts.
We then saw the events of September 11,
2001 unfold — and whilst I’m not here to
discuss whether or not it was an inside job — it ‘conveniently’ set the world on a trajectory toward ever more draconian and surveillance-state-like policies, which would’ve had Huxley and Orwell rolling in their graves.
The first decade of the new millennium then saw the greatest financial engineering experiment
in history undertaken, with the proliferation
of cheap credit, new financial products, debt packaging, repackaging and leverage on leverage on leverage, all designed to hide risk, whilst generating obscene profit for no productive input.
This all would ultimately culminate into what would become the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression, now termed “The Global Financial Crisis”, or GFC, because the near systemic collapse sent shockwaves around the entire world.
The banks and central bankers alike managed to lever the financial system up with record debt (the word trillion became commonplace) — only to see it all pop at the end of 2007 and early 2008.
And it wasn’t just the bankers that pigged out. Almost everyone with access to a bank account and a McDonalds server’s salary decided they were professional “investors” and levered themselves up with 10 properties and 3 cars.
This peak mania blew up in everyone’s face — and rightly so — but the subsequent bail out of the banks (and effectively the state) by the taxpayer on the basis they were too big to fail, scarred the world like nothing before it.
And by taxpayer, I mean everyone. Every citizen, whether through the taxes we’re all aware of, or the hidden tax paid by us all via the devaluation of our money, ie; the unit through which we measure our time, energy and input into society, we all paid for it. Irrespective of whether or not we were involved, or not. Some of those in the game, had no skin in the game, and many of us not in the game by default had our skin in there.
The system absorbed and socialised the losses and in doing so, turned what may have been a benign tumour, into a malignant cancer which is today running rampant eating the decaying system from the inside.
But it wasn’t all bad.
While the bankers were performing feats of financial engineering, technologists were performing feats of software engineering that would lay the foundations for an incredible infrastructure inversion via mass, global connectivity, and the broad liberation of information.
We saw the entire world transform via that thing so many wrote off almost a decade earlier.
The emergence of the new tech giants, who built new products, services and platforms on this open, global information network called “the internet”, slowly by slowly, then all of a sudden, became the largest companies in the world.
It turned out the now-famous Gartner hype cycle almost perfectly represented the tech cycle from the dot com bust, through to the subsequent “take over”, where the FAANG or MAGA now account for over a quarter of the entire market capitalisation of the US stock market.
What a ride.
If the period between the dot com bubble and the GFC can be described as crazy, words don’t exist for the period since the GFC.
Since the bottoming out of the market in 2009, and the introduction of obscene monetary and fiscal stimuli by governments and central banks worldwide, we’ve seen the world change more than it perhaps has in the past 5 centuries.
The advent of one of the most revolutionary pieces of technology (the iPhone), coupled with 4G connectivity and the internet drove innovation to record levels, all amongst a backdrop of a decaying state and financial infrastructure, which when combined have resulted in some form of high time preference, dopamine driven, zombie society measured in terms of blind consumption and the never ending chase for yield at any cost.
Over the past decade, we’ve seen everything from
- The rise of social media
- The rise of China
- The fall of privacy
- Record levels of debt and never ending obscure forms of financial engineering.
- Record monetary and fiscal stimulus
- More capital sloshing around in a decaying system than ever before in history
- Stupid companies reaching $1bn valuations overnight
- The world trillion become a commonplace number
- Negative real interest rates, where you pay to keep your money in a bank!
- The rise of ridiculous leftist and collectivist movements
- A fight for the freedom of speech
- Fake news and empty media
- Record rent-seeking
- The rise of the surveillance state
- The live take-over of a free state by a communist state
- The corporate government complex
And sooooo much more.
It seems like excess is the flavour of the decade. And the excess is not a healthy one. It’s not abundance. It’s fake, wasteful, extravagent-to- hide-something type, excess.
Are we really that much more innovative all of a sudden? Or is it due to other distortions?
I would err to the latter, and so would the data on the following chart really sums it up:
As is this brilliant resource:
The ramifications of this excess make it feel at times that we live in a world where we spend our precious time:
- Complaining about things that don’t matter, whilst;
- Working in jobs we don’t like, to sell shit to people who don’t need it; so
- We can earn money we don’t respect; in order to
- Buy shit we don’t want, need or can even afford ourselves.
(I’ve been called cynical in the past…but I’m not sure why).
This is of course a gross generalisation of the state of things, but the fact that it’s true in alot of cases means there is something wrong.
I say it not to cause you to be depressed — there is so much good in the world too — It’s just that I want you to wake up.
This past decade has been a defining one in history.
The juxtaposition of technological advancement and a decaying state has set the stage for a revolution unlike any we’ve seen, read or heard about — and you’re right in the middle of it!
The internet was the opening act.
It laid the foundations for the global network we’re all now a part of and I believe it was the first step toward something so much larger, and something that very few people today understand the importance of.
During these crazy two decades, something profound happened.
Something more profound than the iPhone, the internet and the social network revolution combined.
The creation of a money for and of the people.
A money, designed to map as closely as possible to the only fixed quantities we know of in the universe, and the core building blocks of all society; energy and time.
A money that would one day become incorruptible, and be the catalyst for the greatest societal transformation yet.
Humanity’s Apex Invention.
The stake through the heart of the [current, decaying] state. The basis upon which we can re-design and re-imagine not only personal sovereignty, but collective society.
Austrian economists and the “natural economists” before them have been talking about an economic system that would function based on free markets and little to no government intervention, but they’ve never had a mechanism via which to separate the state from the resource through which markets and economies are measured.
Bitcoin is the separation of money and state.
10yrs in, and we’re already seeing the early signs.
In a world that’s so well connected, in which multiple technologies converge and further accelerate innovation, all against a backdrop of a decaying paradigm of “the state”, Bitcoin stands as a lightning rod, calling forth the best of us….
It’s essence is both the genesis and the progeny of the good we see in the world:
- The rise of the sovereign individual
- A resurgence of interest in personal privacy
- A resurgence of interest in private property
- Incredible technological innovation (in bits, and now atoms)
- Unprecedented connectivity
- The good food and good health movement
- Lowest rates of worldwide poverty
- Open source technology
- Technology enabled gig economy, with the ability to work when and how you want to
- The drive toward renewables and far more efficient energy sources
- A desire to once again reach for the stars, and of course;
- Free Money (in the true sense of the world). 2020 rolls around in just over a month.
What lies ahead will surely one of the most exciting times in human history.
I hope you’re prepared (as best as can be).
I hope you’ve got some Bitcoin.
I hope you join the ranks of those who’ve chosen to wake up.
I hope this publication helps you along that path.
Ladies & gentlemen…Welcome to a brave new world..
The Bitcoin Times Ed 2 is the collaborative work of 8 writers & 1 designer with the intent to educate, inspire and spread ideas on bitcoin.
Those individuals are:
Each section will be released on Medium as a free long form article, and the full, compiled version of the Bitcoin Times will be available for free at the link below. In 2020, we’ll release a limited edition hard cover collectible, for purchase, which you’ll be notified of by email if you download the free pdf.
If you found value in this or any of the other essays and articles, please support each of the contributors by sharing it out & following their work.
Download the full guide at:
(Soon to be updated to: https://bitcointimes.news)