“Even a billion dollars of capital cannot compete with a project having a soul.” – Vitalik Buterin
People often say Bitcoin is a religion. I figured it was because Bitcoiners can sometimes remind you of religious zealots, or televangelists. But maybe I’ve had it all wrong, and maybe it’s because I haven’t been looking at religion the right way.
For the first eighteen years of my life I attended church every Sunday. Not because I believed in God, but because my mom didn’t give me a choice. Still, I didn’t hate attending service, I just never had what they call faith, or ever considered myself saved.
But looking back it’s hard not to think about how much influence the church had on my upbringing, and what a profound impact growing up in that environment must have had on my world view.
Every Sunday I was fed a message of what it means to be honest, or courageous, or humble. Basically, I was taught about goodness and righteousness on a weekly basis. At church I was surrounded by adults who I saw to be upstanding members of the community. People who owned businesses and worked hard to support their families. In the church it was clear what was expected of you, how we were supposed to behave in the world while being encouraged to make use of our talents to become the best versions of ourselves.
The point I’m making is that religion is about more than just believing in the presence of a higher power. It’s about believing in a way of life and living the best life possible. What if Bitcoin is about the same thing?
I think the world is in the state it is today because for far too long we haven’t been focusing on the right problems. The same might be said of Bitcoin, because even as BTC is reaching new all time highs, the protocol itself has made little progress towards becoming electronic cash as described in the white paper. And for both Bitcoin and the world at large, I believe the problem that needs fixing is one and the same: the culture.
To me that is the soul of the project led by Bitcoin ABC (currently known as BCHA). We are focused on building a better culture where people who add value are rewarded, and those who don’t are ignored. A culture where we are encouraged to be honest with each other as well as ourselves. One where we assume good faith in others, and own up to our mistakes, correcting them whenever possible.
I believe the BCHA opportunity is enormous, and it is one that doesn’t come very often. I think that this project has the right technical roadmap, the right incentive model, and what’s needed now is to attract more like-minded people, not by selling them unrealistic fantasies, but by improving the culture, which starts by improving ourselves.