Isn’t it Time to Start acting Graciously?
The Bitcoin community lives in something of a bubble. I get it. It is a necessary prerequisite for any new movement, especially one which goes against the established grain in the most important area; money.
Any school of thought, whether it be Professor Milton Friedman’s Chicago School of Economics, or that motley crew on Bitcoin Twitter, need to incubate the culture that lies behind their movement, to guard that precious nugget of an idea, to keep the vision strong and to defend ideology from naysayers who would only detract from the vision.
You get what you think about, and if you focus on something like Bitcoin succeeding, and the path to get there, you eventually will. Just stay in alignment with your vision for the whole journey, and don’t be swayed. Martun Luther King had a dream. It was a good one. But eventually King started pushing very hard against those who he perceived as being an impediment to his dream coming to pass, and he got what he was thinking about.
So good job maximalists (in general, but also Bitcoin ones). The world needs you and will thank you for your single-mindedness, when you change the world for the better. You will probably get your thanks in heaven.
If it weren’t for the Bitcoin maximalists, Bitcoin wouldn’t have grown nearly as much as it has. Their determination and unwillingness to diverge from the ethos of Bitcoin is what pulls outsiders in. Fanatical? Perhaps. But here’s the thing. We’re all standing on the shoulders of giants. Badmouth Roger Ver if you want, but don’t forget he played his important part in the early days of Bitcoin, evangelising his heart out. You can deride him, but should you, really? I get you fratboys with your love of shitposting. But why not bless Roger for his contribution and leave him to his path. Remember Bitcoin is a voluntary phenomenon.
Religious fervour is essential if Bitcoin is going to become the money standard, and consume central bank fiat money for breakfast. Those who currently sit at the top of the tree have both money and power, and the Bitcoin boys and girls who want to topple them, will need to demonstrate the single-minded-focus of the businessman who builds up his multi-billion dollar empire from his garage.
They will attempt to proselytise others to the “true Bitcoin”. But I think the politics has muddied the waters. Bitcoin maximalists have found terms like ‘shitcoiner’ to distance themselves from those in the token economy which has sprung up in Bitcoin’s wake, to make it quite clear to onlookers that shitcoins are not Bitcoin, and never will be.
Despite turning 10 this year, and having a market dominance of two thirds at the time of writing, the name calling continues. How must this behaviour look to those newcomers to ‘magic internet money’.
I have sympathy for Bitcoin Maximalists. It feels good to belong to a movement that you strongly believe in. I also appreciate that many of you are not long ex-Upsilon Gamma Phi, but shouldn’t we be talking about what we want to achieve rather than talking about our alleged opponents? It didn’t work out so well for Hillary in 2016. Did Steve Jobs badmouth his opponents, or did he pour every ounce of his energy into making his vision a reality. He didn’t talk about his opponents, because he knew he was better than they were. And so it came to pass.
You may think that Bitcoin will be the One Crypto to Rule them All, but life just isn’t that binary. It’s for the same reason that not everyone drives around in BMWs, even thought they make really good cars. People have different tastes, and there will always be those with other ideas about the best course of action, and other entrenched ideas with greater momentum than yours. It’s the rich tapestry of life.
We will likely see the 80/20 rule at play. 20% of cryptocurrencies will make up 80% of the global wealth. Do you think the Chinese will be using Bitcoin, when their adotion of digital cash via Alipay and Wechat is so widespread? Possibly, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Chinese Government sanctioned a crypto project of their own. The west looks positively Neanderthal compared to the Chinese and their adoption of digital payment technologies.
Bitcoin exists in a marketplace of ideas, it is opt-in, free-market money. Nobody forces you to participate, you do so freely and of your own accord. It is hard to deny the network effect of Bitcoin.
If you meet someone with true faith in whatever creed they happen to believe, do you find them out on the streets preaching to the unconverted? Hardly. People with real conviction feel no need to convince any other of their position. It is those who shout the loudest, who fight battles and wage wars who feel insecure in their own beliefs and feel the need to gather numbers around them to bolster their feeling of inseurity. Take some time by yourself, clear your mind of outside influences and strengthen your resolve. Then return with a clear mind and a vision of what you want to achieve and spend your time thinking only of that.
Listen to Trace Mayer evangelise about Bitcoin. Does he badmouth other coins and leaders? Maybe to point out what he knows, but the lion’s share of his effort goes into talking about what he wants for the project which he favours, and in helping to educate and inform others of its merits.
Bitcoin is the winner. If Bitcoin doesn’t succeed at this stage then no crypto will. So why not let the other cryptocurrencies exist in peaceful harmony. There are plenty of bright young minds working on other projects, many of which will have benefit to society, and much of it is the testnet for code that will one day make its way into the Bitcoin core protocol, or on ramps for those who will ultimately come to see the benefit of Bitcoin as compared to the rest of the cryptospace. (hint: It’s about the people!)
Also, there will be scammers, but you can’t tell people, they need to get burned themselves before they learn their lesson. Ideally they won’t have put their life savings into which ever project folds, and we can all help them to avoid this from happening by focussing on educating, and by tempering calls ‘to the moon’. Let’s focus on getting scammers prosecuted and welcome those newbies into the Bitcoin fold without even a murmur about their previous misfortune.
We have just one shot at surpassing the Central Banking model, and the inequality, pain and suffering it has visited upon the world. This won’t happen because the government lets it, it will have no choice because adoption is so widespread that it would be political suicide to pull the plug.
If we want this thing called Bitcoin to be the big deal we know it can be in the world, we need to start acting like winners. We need to appreciate our fellow crypto-travellers; Vitalik, Roger, Jihan etc. Call out scams of course, but spend most of your time talking about what you want and why you want it, and stop acting like an insecure child in the playground reasserting your fragile ego by putting others down. There’s room for everyone in the marketplace of ideas. Let’s hear what they have to offer and acknowledge their contribution as beneficial, even if it shows us what we don’t want to happen, or paths we wouldn’t want to take.
The more Bitcoin Maximalists start behaving like grown ups (maybe when they reach the age of thirty or start having children?) the more mainstream Bitcoin adoption will become. If you are reading this, you are a Bitcoin ambassador, whether you like it or not. Before you open your mouth on Bitcoin Twitter, ask yourself what your grandmother would view of your behaviour and words, and adjust your inputs accordingly.
Act like the boss, and one day you will be.