Like most people, I bought my first coins purely because of FOMO. I didn’t even really understand what I was buying, only that I didn’t want to regret not buying it. You might even say I hated Bitcoin in those days because I found it brought to surface all the things I didn’t like about myself. Like the need to feel like I have to keep up with everyone else, of wanting to compare my situation with another’s and wishing I’d bought earlier. If anything, Bitcoin was just an insurance policy, nothing more.
But then one day I made my first 0-conf transaction and it was like a light bulb went off. I thought I finally understood what this whole magic internet money thing was all about. It changed my whole perspective. I was suddenly all for banking the unbanked and bringing more economic freedom to the world. I saw myself as a true believer, someone who was convinced that cryptocurrencies could change everything.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that my love for fast and cheap transactions was merely an infatuation. I had yet to see the bigger picture of how Bitcoin can be so much more than just a new form of digital currency.
Sure, some version of Bitcoin has the chance of becoming the best money the world has ever seen, money that can’t be controlled by anyone, money that can be excellent at both being a store of value as well as a medium of exchange, but while all that is of the utmost importance, and as much as I want to see Bitcoin used in everyday commerce like many of you, for me that’s not why I really fell in love with this project.
As someone who has been through every major fork of Bitcoin, the last four years have been a learning experience to say the least. I’ve learned about blockchain technology, economics, and last but not least, sociology.
What many people probably don’t realize is that the Bitcoin project isn’t done. Far from it. The network is still nowhere near ready for prime time. It’s not like Satoshi released the first client and everything worked perfectly. More like he showed us all how to create electricity and left it up to everyone else to figure out how to actually turn it into something truly valuable.
For the past year I’ve been thinking a lot about our society and everything that’s wrong with it. I can’t help but see all the problems we’re faced with and how the pandemic has only exacerbated the situation. Everything seems to be falling apart. Our healthcare system, our supply chains and logistics, and if the failure of the electric grid in Texas this past week wasn’t bad enough, suddenly we’ve got stories of jet engines breaking apart and dropping debris out of the sky in multiple parts of the world.
To me all these problems are somewhat related. As a society, we’ve forgotten what it means to work hard and hold ourselves accountable. To take ownership of our work and be responsible for your actions. As a result, quality control has fallen by the wayside.
All most of us seem to care about today is getting our fair share. About not missing out on the next get rich quick opportunity. The whole Gamestop episode was a perfect example. If we’re being honest, it wasn’t about taking down hedge funds, it was mostly about cashing in at someone else’s expense, which is often the same attitude you see in crypto twitter.
You see this kind of mentality a lot in corporate America as well. Everyone’s thinking about themselves and about the here and now rather than what’s best for future of the company overall. Executives are often only interested in covering their own ass and what will be the easiest way to make their next bonus bigger than the year before. That’s what leads us to cut corners, or wanting to build hype rather than substance.
But I’m not here to judge, or only point out what’s wrong. The truth is I wouldn’t even bother writing these articles if not for the fact that for the first time in my life I feel like we have an opportunity to get things moving in the right direction again, and it’s all thanks to this grand experiment called Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is about technology, economics, and sociology all at once. And because of Bitcoin’s open source/permissionless nature, it allows us to run the experiment in any number of ways, each time tweaking some aspect of the project to find out what does and doesn’t work. Basically it’s evolution, and we’re all here hoping that at least one of these projects succeeds.
For me the project that is most likely to win will be the one that is constantly iterating and improving while also continuing to adapt to changing circumstances. This also includes being a project that instills a culture of rational optimism and attracts other rational optimists while rejecting those who offer nothing but criticisms and complaints.
And this is why I’ve fallen in love with Bitcoin. To me it isn’t just a framework for how a technology project can succeed, I’m hoping it’s a framework that can be applied to civilization as a whole. I honestly believe that Bitcoin has a chance to teach us how we should behave and what it takes to advance as a species. It’s about coming up with solutions that solve real problems, not just about telling others why something might not work, or being too afraid to act. The real beauty of Bitcoin isn’t just about hodling, or relying on someone else to put in the work. It’s about doing your part and paying your fair share. I believe that the Bitcoin project can only truly succeed by teaching us all that and more, of what it means to lead, and what it means to work together and help those you choose to follow.
I honestly have no idea if the BCHA project will succeed, but it is the evolutionary branch of Bitcoin that I’ve chosen to follow because I believe it’s the only version that aligns with everything I’ve just written about. It’s the only Bitcoin that allows each and every one of us to contribute even if all you do is buy and hold the coin. Because unlike BTC, or BCH, or BSV, when you buy BCHA you effectively become a shareholder in the network who is directly contributing capital to its future development, which is all made possible through the advent of the new coinbase rule that is only active on the BCHA chain.
The new coinbase rule is Bitcoin ABC’s Grasberg as they attempt to accomplish something everyone else thought was impossible.
Elon Musk recently tweeted that he thinks the most entertaining outcome is the most likely. Maybe he’s right, but for me, the outcome I want isn’t the one that’s most entertaining but the most heroic.