Brian Armstrong – the CEO of Coinbase, one of the world’s largest and most popular cryptocurrency exchanges – has been having one heck of a week. The trading platform made its stock debut on the Nasdaq a few days ago, and things appear to really be taking off.
Brian Armstrong: No Hacks, No Regulation
Coinbase saw its stock trading for well over $300 per share. Given that the company is likely valued at more than $100 billion at this stage, this is small beans compared with what could potentially arrive in the future. The cryptocurrency space has grown to unprecedented levels over just the last year alone, but according to Armstrong, we are not quite where we need to be, and there are many issues to tackle.
In a recent interview, Armstrong was quick to point out what he feels are two big problem areas for the entire industry: regulation and cybersecurity. Regulation, he says, is a huge disadvantage to those who are looking to build the space and provide their innovation and abilities to an arena that has barely scratched the surface.
Regulation has been the talk of the town for some time. Politicians like Kevin McCarthy – a Republican from California and the House Minority Leader – claim that regulation is a must if the digital currency space is going to grow and expand the way it should. However, others – such as Armstrong – do not seem to agree. In his interview, he states:
We’re very excited and happy to play by the rules, and basically, we just ask that, hey! We want to be treated on the same level playing field with traditional financial services at the very least and not have any kind of punishment for being in the crypto space.
Right now, there are heavy proposals surrounding crypto regulation, and it is widely believed that these proposals infringe on people’s rights and do damage to the digital space. For example, it was recently suggested that all crypto exchanges be made to report the names and addresses of individuals who take part in crypto transactions exceeding $3,000.
The Space Needs Innovation
This proposal garnered criticism and negative attention from many crypto fans and analysts including Jack Dorsey, who said that the move would mean crime agencies would have a much harder time pinning down those who are engaged in illicit activity. He also said that the rule would potentially affect current privacy laws.
In addition, Armstrong was quick to say that cybersecurity was another major issue in the digital space, though this presents something of a conundrum in that there can be no serious fight against future crypto hacks unless appropriate regulation is set in place. Either way, it appears the crypto arena still has a way to go before things are fully settled, but it is still expanding like it never has before.
Bitcoin and its primary rival Ethereum have been spiking like crazy, but in truth, their price jumps can barely hold a candle to those of Dogecoin.
Dogecoin Is On the Rise
The currency has been something of an enigma over the past few years and has also seen its fair share of controversy. What is it designed for and who should be using it? These are only some of the many questions that both analysts and traders are likely asking themselves, and it is quite clear that nobody has definitive answers. Nobody really seems to know why they should love Dogecoin, and yet they do.
Perhaps it has something to do with the currency’s mascot. The portrait of the cute little Shiba Inu dog that has served as the face of the digital asset since it was first conceived has become a rather recognizable symbol for many lovers of digital assets. Perhaps this funny, furry little guy has become a bit of a comfort figure for many diehard crypto fans.
Dogecoin was first invented in the year 2013. Initially designed to be a joke, the currency has spiked to possess a valuation of more than $1 billion, and it has since jumped into serving as one of the world’s largest and most talked-about cryptocurrencies, though to be fair, the currency has never been more than a few cents. Right now, the asset has incurred another spike that has brought it up to a new all-time high of just over 14 cents after Elon Musk said he wanted to leave it on the moon, but this is still small beans compared with the $63,000 of bitcoin in recent days.
Now there is serious talk about Dogecoin potentially reaching one dollar by the end of 2021. Could this occur? Many analysts are debating back and forth about the prospects of the meme asset and how much larger it could be within the coming eight months.
YouTuber and Dogecoin inventor Ben Phillips recently showed love and support for his digital baby in a new interview, claiming:
I think [Dogecoin could reach] $1 this year. I am not joking. I see this coin doing some stupid moves.
Phillips was also quick to say that he is going to buy more Dogecoin soon given that the asset has spiked more than 10,000 percent in just the last six months alone. Right now, its market cap exceeds a whopping $30 billion.
Things Are Going to Maybe Get Nuts?
Alex Kuptsikevich – senior financial analyst at FX Pro – explains:
It is worth remembering that big capital prefers major cryptocurrencies, and its optimism may not extend to all other coins, which mostly attract retail demand. The interest in the meme coin should serve as a reminder that in the case of rapid correction, altcoins would face a selloff that would be much fiercer than that of the major coins.
Jim Cramer – legendary investor and host of “Mad Money” – has become a sudden bitcoin advocate, and claims he paid off his house using the asset.
Jim Cramer Is Now a BTC Fan
In the past, Cramer claims to have purchased quite a bit of the world’s number one digital currency when it was priced at around $12,000 per unit. Since then, he claims to have sold a large stake and raked in some heavy profit. He has used some of the funds to pay off his home, thereby clarifying that while bitcoin itself was not used to pay off the home, the money he made from BTC was.
In an interview, he said:
I paid off a mortgage yesterday with it. From the chart, I may be the only natural seller, but it was great to pay off a mortgage. It was like, kind of, phony money paying for real money. I now own a house – lock, stock and barrel – because I bought this currency… I’ve sold half all the way up.
While the news is certainly positive in many ways and moves bitcoin in the right direction, it is a bit disturbing to see that Cramer is still referring to bitcoin as “phony money” in his interview. It is unclear if he really feels this way or if he is simply trying to get under analysts’ skin and joking around. Either way, granted his words are heartfelt, his knowledge of bitcoin is likely still lagging.
To refer to bitcoin as a “phony” currency shows that the asset is not fully understood. BTC is now being used by several major institutions to purchase goods and services. PayPal and Tesla – billion-dollar firms – are among those companies that have agreed to allow customers to utilize BTC for this purpose, so are those enterprises “phony” as well?
Why would so many big names suddenly begin allowing bitcoin purchases if this were a phony currency? The fact that such large companies now view bitcoin in the same lens that they do both credit cards and fiat suggests that bitcoin is and always has been a currency or at least a bartering tool that can operate in a similar manner.
It Needs to Be Part of Every Portfolio
It is also odd that Cramer would refer to bitcoin in this way given that he has been strangely positive towards in the past. In February, for example, he praised bitcoin and claimed that it was almost irresponsible at this stage to ignore the asset and not have it be part of one’s portfolio. He claimed:
As a way to have a pastiche of things that you should use your cash with, I’m all for it. I think it’s almost irresponsible not to include [it].
At press time, bitcoin is trading for just over $61,000, meaning it has fallen slightly from its recent all-time high of more than $63K.
ADA price started a strong decline from well above the $1.350 level against the US Dollar.
The price is now well below the $1.300 support and the 55 simple moving average (4-hours).
There was a break below a key contracting triangle with support near $1.305 on the 4-hours chart (data feed via Bitfinex).
The price is likely to continue lower below the $1.100 and $1.050 support levels.
Cardano price is declining and trading well below $1.200 against the US Dollar, similar to bitcoin. ADA price could decline heavily if it fails to stay above $1.050.
Cardano Price Analysis
After forming a base above the $1.250 level, cardano price started a strong increase against the US Dollar. The ADA/USD pair broke many hurdles near $1.300 and $1.400 levels.
It even spiked above $1.500, but it failed to clear the $1.560. A high was formed near $1.560 and there was a sharp decline in the past few sessions. The price broke many supports near the $1.450 and $1.300 levels. There was also a break below a key contracting triangle with support near $1.305 on the 4-hours chart.
It is currently trading well below $1.300 and the 55 simple moving average (4-hours). It tested the $1.050 support and started a recovery wave. It climbed above the $1.150 and $1.220 levels.
There was a break above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the downward move from the $1.560 high to $1.056 low. However, the price is facing a strong resistance near the $1.300 and $1.308 levels. It failed to clear the 55 simple moving average (4-hours). The 50% Fib retracement level of the downward move from the $1.560 high to $1.056 low is also acting as a resistance.
It is sliding again and trading below $1.250. An immediate support is near the $1.100 level. The main support is near the $1.050 level. If there is a clear break below the $1.050 support, there is a risk of a sharp decline in the coming sessions.
Conversely, the price might start a fresh increase above the $1.250 resistance zone. The next key resistance is near the $1.308 level.
Cardano (ADA) Price
The chart indicates that ADA price is clearly struggling below the $1.300 and $1.250 levels. Overall, the price is likely to continue lower below the $1.100 and $1.050 support levels.
4 hours MACD – The MACD for ADA/USD is now gaining pace in the bearish zone.
4 hours RSI – The RSI for ADA/USD is now well below the 50 level.
Ethereum price started a fresh decline from well above $2,400 against the US Dollar.
ETH price is currently trading well below $2,275 and the 55 simple moving average (4-hours).
There was a break below a major contracting triangle with support near $2,275 on the 4-hours chart (data feed from Coinbase).
The pair is likely to find a strong buying interest near the $2,000 and $1,930 levels.
Ethereum price is correcting gains below $2,300 against the US Dollar. ETH/USD could decline heavily if there is a daily close below the $2,000 support zone.
Ethereum Price Analysis
There was an upside break in Ethereum above the $2,400 level against the US Dollar. However, ETH failed to test the $2,550 resistance zone. A high was formed near $2,548 before the price started a fresh decline.
The price broke many supports near the $2,300 and $2,275 levels. There was also a break below a major contracting triangle with support near $2,275 on the 4-hours chart. It is currently trading well below $2,275 and the 55 simple moving average (4-hours).
ETH tested the $2,000 support and started a recovery wave. It climbed above the $2,150 and $2,200 levels. There was a break above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the downward move from the $2,548 high to $2,000 low.
However, the price is facing a strong resistance near the $2,275 and $2,300 levels. It failed to clear the 55 simple moving average (4-hours). The 50% Fib retracement level of the downward move from the $2,548 high to $2,000 low is also acting as a resistance.
It is sliding again and trading below $2,150. An immediate support is near the $2,050 level. The main support is near the $2,000 level. If there is a daily close below the $2,000 level, there is a risk of a sharp decline in the coming sessions.
Conversely, the price might start a fresh increase above the $2,275 resistance zone. The next key resistance is near the $2,400 level.
Looking at the chart, Ethereum price is clearly trading well below the $2,300 level and the 55 simple moving average (4-hours). Overall, ether price is likely to find a strong buying interest near the $2,000 and $1,930 levels.
4 hours MACD – The MACD for ETH/USD is gaining momentum in the bearish zone.
4 hours RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for ETH/USD is now well below the 50 level.
Key Support Levels – $2,050, followed by the $2,000 zone.
Although I’ve been working my dream job here at Bitcoin Magazine since September 2017, I have only published one other article. I hope to write more after the conference, but for now, I will use this platform to shamelessly shill the fact that I am auctioning a painting with Scarce.City on April 20, 2021.
Scarce City is an amazing new project that has been paving the way for bitcoin fine art auctions. We have teamed up with them for the conference and I can’t wait to show everyone what we have planned. It is truly an honor to offer this painting for auction on a platform that has such an amazing vision for art and bitcoin.
The following is the description from the auction page:
This is an original painting created over the timespan of March 21, 2020, to April 16, 2021. It was painted as a personal project while working as the art director of BTC Inc. (Bitcoin Magazine, Bitcoin 2021 Conference). It has been hanging in the Nashville headquarters, where I have been working on it. It will be available at auction on April 20, 2021, only for bitcoin.
It is mostly acrylic paint and charcoal and ash, with one small piece of shredded paper on hand-stretched canvas.
I planned to leave it untitled, until that one small piece of shredded paper fell out of a bag and onto my table to reveal a simple message in all caps: FOR ALL.
I feel proud and fortunate to have my position here at Bitcoin Magazine. Having a solid understanding of Bitcoin is a necessity for all, and our mission is to advance this knowledge across the planet with the goal of hyperbitcoinization. The need to preserve an individual’s right to privacy (self-sovereignty) is paramount throughout this revolution and in perpetuity. The Guy Fawkes mask, to me, will always represent this right to self-sovereignty.
As we embark on this journey together to end fiat once and for all, we must not let privacy become a privilege but a self-evident right FOR ALL.
It is my privilege to auction this piece on Scarce City, a pioneer in bitcoin fine art auctions.
It has only been about ten weeks since Tesla – the electric car company developed by South African entrepreneur Elon Musk – first purchased more than $1.5 billion in BTC units, and already the purchase appears to be making a serious dent in the country’s finances. Thus far, the company has managed to rake in more than $1 billion in profit thanks to its newfound love of the world’s number one digital currency by market cap.
Tesla Is Raking in the Dough
Last February, the world was shocked when Tesla – a leading institutional firms – announced that it had purchased such a heavy amount of BTC. Elon Musk had claimed to like bitcoin in the past, though he seemed to jump back and forth and rarely made any serious moves in the crypto space, often being more friendly to Dogecoin than he was towards BTC. He changed his Twitter bio to #bitcoin, only to remove this just a few days later and replace it.
Musk had provided “loving words” towards BTC and crypto before, though nothing had ever been set in stone. Now, however, things appear to have really changed. Tesla has purchased quite a bit of bitcoin and is raking in the rewards.
In addition, Musk made it clear to investors and analysts alike that the company was eager to get its hands on more. Thus, customers could potentially utilize bitcoin in the future to purchase vehicles and other products through the company, just as though it were a fiat currency or a credit card. Tesla is now one of the companies that appears to be making the initial goals of bitcoin a reality, and the asset has moved up in price.
One of the big problems that comes with bitcoin is its volatility. Its vulnerability to price swings has caused many retailers and companies to get in the way of the asset’s dream to potentially serve as a method of payment. While bitcoin was designed to replace fiat currencies and credit cards and be used to buy goods and services, many retailers have said “no” and reverted to old methods to garner profit.
More Institutions Are Jumping In
However, Tesla is one of the few major institutions to now say that bitcoin can be used to purchase items. In addition, the company has announced that any bitcoin used to purchase cars in the future will not be converted into fiat. The firm will simply hold onto whatever digital units it garners and hold them in a separate account.
For the most part, these last eight months have seen several institutions suddenly begin to show real respect and love towards the world’s primary form of digital currency. Software firm MicroStrategy, for example, has outdone Tesla’s BTC buy and purchased more than $2 billion worth of the cryptocurrency at the time of writing.
For this episode of Bitcoin Magazine’s “Meet The Taco Plebs,” I was joined by The Littlest Bitcoin Boomer (@littlesthodler), an optimistic, sat-stacking pleb.
We started off this interview by going over The Littlest Bitcoin Boomer’s rabbit hole story, diving into what brought him to Bitcoin. Littlest shares he was going through a rough patch in his life, making bad decisions and being dishonest. Then he found Bitcoin, and his life did a complete 180. He shared how Bitcoin changed him and why Bitcoin reinforced good habits. He jumped onto Twitter to look for more discussion about Bitcoin, found the plebs and joined. I like to say that the taco plebs are like a pack of wolves. The wolves take care and look after each other, while defending against and attacking any threat that is present.
Littlest also shared some of his insights as to what’s going on over in Canada with the monthly $2,000 stimulus checks, and its “shaky liberal government.”
He then shared how he loves Bitcoin’s equality and why it’s great. He explained that everyone stacks the sats they deserve. It’s another form of proof of work, you put in the work to earn fiat (or bitcoin straight up) to then buy and HODL bitcoin. You get to choose how much effort you put into stacking, and no one has an advantage over you. Everyone plays by the same rules, and no one can change that. It is up to the individual now to stack as much as they want.
We go into how rules, not rulers, are what is important to Bitcoin. We discussed how Bitcoin levels the playing field and why I think the plebs are going to dominate in the future. Why? Because they are hardworking, smart and passionate individuals who do what’s best for ourselves and Bitcoin. This conversation got me really bullish, and I know it will make you bullish as well.
Below are some of Littlest’s most interesting thoughts shared during the interview. And be sure to check out the full episode for more.
How Did You Find Bitcoin And Fall Down The Rabbit Hole?
The short version is, a series of poor life choices put me on a path a few years back that I slowly came to realize wasn’t going to get my life where I wanted it and wasn’t going to provide the life that my wife and kids deserve. Poor self-discipline and no financial knowledge put me on a path to ruin that started affecting my relationships that came to a head in 2018. I met with councilors (mental and financial) and got my spending under control and it was amazing how quickly my mental health turned around — things got better.
When I started to get ahead in life I started thinking about the future, which led me to learn more about bitcoin and some altcoins. I have always been into tech so I knew about bitcoin, but jumping into bitcoin Twitter and YouTube opened my eyes to how corrupt the fiat system was, and how if I didn’t put my money somewhere safe it wouldn’t matter if I turned my life around or not if my savings became worth $0. Like many, I did get into a few alts under that “get rich quick” mentality, but after a few months of podcasts, articles, etc., it was clear that the vision of bitcoin was vital, and it’s what made it special and different from the shitcoins.
I dumped my bags into bitcoin and have been a maximalist ever since. I was very lucky, but a number of people have told me it was strange that I got in during a bear market when the hype is low. What made a huge difference, and I can’t stress this enough, was the upcoming Halving. While I like the “NGU tech” memes as much as everyone else, the Halving events are the best time to learn about bitcoin from the outside, because the chatter is focused on the “why” of the Halving, and why these events make bitcoin the best money the world has ever known.
How Has Bitcoin Changed Your Life?
This is explained in a thread I did a couple of weeks back that seemed to really resonate with people. The biggest way that bitcoin has changed my life is simple — when you are hopeful for the future you can escape nihilism and become who you are supposed to be. Once I came to the conclusion that bitcoin was the only thing that is going to save us from corrupt governments and disastrous Federal bank policies and I had a stake in this revolution, it allowed me to continue focusing on myself and my relationships and kept me from relapsing back into bad habits that had threatened to destroy the life I wanted to have. When you have hope for the future, you work hard to make sure that the future is bright. That’s what bitcoin did for me.
What Is The Most Amazing Thing About Bitcoin To You?
Equality. You can reference 1,000 ways the fiat system is stacked against regular people. Call it the Cantillon effect, nepotism, elitism, whatever, even being lucky enough to be born into a middle class in a Western country, so many things about our system are stacked against us. With the hard cap of 21 million coins, regular people have a chance to become part of a system that doesn’t care if people were born millionaires, have a parent that is head of a central bank or are millionaire athletes. Grab your sats and HODL, and the deflationary rules of bitcoin will make sure your wealth grows.
What Are You Most Looking Forward To In The Bitcoin Space?
I am looking forward to new businesses and services built by people within the bitcoin space. Sure it’s cool that PayPal and Visa are getting into the game, but it’s by their old rules and their old assumptions coming from a fiat system. Companies like BTCPay, Fold, CryptoCloaks, Privacy Pros, BitPiggy and projects like the Lightning Network, are building their models around bitcoin and using it as a starting point. These are the companies that are going to be out ahead with strong community support and great models moving into the future. I guess my answer is: I am looking forward to more companies by bitcoiners, for bitcoiners.
What Is Your Price Prediction For The End Of 2021 And The End Of 2030?
Ah! How to answer this without being yelled at for being bearish?!?! Since the price flattened out a couple of weeks ago it has been moving from $73,000 to $75,000 here in Canada so I don’t see any way it doesn’t hit well above $100,000 in The Great White North by the end of 2021. As far as 2030 goes, I can honestly say I don’t care. It’s going to be some foolishly high “we told you so” number and we will all look back at these shitposting days on Twitter with fondness as we quietly smile at nocoiners spending thousands of dollars for a handful of sats.
Part 1 of a series discussing the shared values between Bitcoin and Jordan Peterson’s newest book, Beyond Order.
Rule I: Do Not Carelessly Denigrate Governments Or Bitcoin
A reimagination of Beyond Order by Jordan Peterson through the lens of Bitcoin.
This is part 1 of a 12-part series. In an imaginary Venn diagram of Bitcoin andBeyond Order, this writing would reflect the shared values contained in the center. All quotes are credited to Jordan Peterson. All reflections are inspired by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Loneliness and Confusion
Recall the first time you tried explaining how Bitcoin works. Remember, humbly, how much you didn’t know. Looking forward, the only way to make sense of profound subject matter is to discuss it openly and figure out what you don’t know. You will feel exposed, vulnerable, or embarrassed—good. That signal is your precursor to growth. Don’t waste that opportunity. Follow through by seeking the answers. Expose your ignorance through conversation. That takes courage, not stupidity. Blind spots will appear, illuminating your learning path. Rinse and repeat—it becomes cathartic.
Join the conversation on Twitter or Clubhouse to immerse yourself in the community. If you’re not sure whom to follow, I made this Twitter list, Bitcoin Starter Pack, to give you a head start.
Sanity As A Social Institution
“What we deem to be valuable and worthy of attention becomes part of the social contract…”
Bitcoin is a digital organism that maintains a decentralized consensus. This is valuable and worthy of attention because it is by far the cleanest known implementation with respect to governance and money. This is why it’s possible for Bitcoin to be the mutual money of enemies. Traditional organizations are structured in pyramid-shaped hierarchies. The shape of Bitcoin’s hierarchy is a three-circle Venn diagram representing nodes, miners, and developers. It’s fitting that Travis Kling chose the three-circleikigai, a Japanese concept that means “a reason for being,” as his brand. Bitcoin’s gravitas draws from the Borromean rings, an ancient mathematical pattern representing the sacred trinity, meaning “three are one.”
Systems of centralized trust are societal norms. America’s founding fathers knew the importance of weaving checks and balances through our power structure to decrease the possibility of corruption and tyranny. Our forefathers knew that dissipating centralized power would come at the cost of decision-making speed. This new social contract was an intentional design choice to benefit individuals. Bitcoin is a technological continuation of this American spirit, and this is why it is imperative to run a Bitcoin full node. Running a full node is the act of hoisting the flag, and it grants the owner full membership in the Bitcoin social contract.
Two quick-start full node services for the non-technical crowd are Umbrel and MyNode. The more adventurous can set up a node from scratch via Bitcoin Core. If you feel out of your league setting up something so in-depth, check out BTC Sessions’ node setup tutorials on YouTube.
The Point Of Pointing
“We compete for attention personally, socially, and economically. No currency has a value that exceeds attention.”
The internet we know today—the “internet of communication”—removes barriers to entry, enabling the best content creators to rise to the top of the attention economy based on merit. Bitcoin is the “internet of money” because it takes the shackles off of money. It gives everyone open access to a superior form of money that offers freedom and fairness. If you thought the internet of communication reshaped our lives, imagine what happens when the internet of money takes center stage.
“The words we employ are tools that structure our experience.”
Code is the language of programming. Bitcoin is code, an invisible product of imagination, that offers an upgrade path spanning the digital and physical worlds. Bitcoin’s proof-of-work (PoW) design connects the physical and digital worlds through energy input . PoW interlinks the digital world with the analog world for the first time, resulting in a transparent, verifiable trust network between these worlds. This digital trust tool has profoundly restructured our experience.
There is a voluminous amount of writing about Bitcoin by deep thinkers. These works are anchored to historical, biological, and mathematical fundamentals. The wisdom these writings offer has the capacity to meaningfully transform politics, economics, philosophy, and history. To ignorantly deny Bitcoin is to cling to an unbearable present because you fear the unknown potential that this technology offers the future.
“… there are unlimited problems… but there are a comparatively limited number of solutions that work practically, psychologically, and socially simultaneously.”
Bitcoin’s discovery of digital scarcity was a precious, one-time phenomenon. It offers a solution that works practically, psychologically, and socially for the greater human good. The Bitcoin network has operated uninterrupted for over 12 years, the highest uptime of any internet-based application ever created. The enigmatic origin story of Satoshi Nakamoto yields the timeless myth of Bitcoin’s “virgin birth.” The ability to achieve such enormous online and in-person Bitcoin communities with $0 marketing budget is the envy of any tech founder. Bitcoin combines digital scarcity, unprecedented reliability, and a remarkable narrative. It is the rare solution that applies to a spectrum of problems.
Although it is known as an online phenomenon, don’t miss the opportunity to connect with the physical side of Bitcoin. David Bailey, CEO of BTC, Inc., hosts Bitcoin 2021, the largest Bitcoin gathering in the world.
“Institutions have evolved to solve problems that must be solved for life to continue. They are by no means perfect—but making them better, rather than worse, is a tricky problem indeed.”
America was founded to solve the problem of religious freedom. The implementation at the social level separates church and state. America’s core tenets include liberty, individual sovereignty, and equality for all (amongst many others). At its core, Bitcoin is the continuation of these tenets. Separation of money from state deepens America’s core tenets on a global scale. Both America and Bitcoin aim to reduce conflicts of interest, reduce ease of corruption, thwart tyranny, and decentralize power. In the same spirit as America, Bitcoin solves a tricky problem without changing fundamentally American values. Neither governments nor Bitcoin are perfect, but only Bitcoin offers individuals and governments alike an upgrade path that works at scale.
“Piaget suspected… that games undertaken voluntarily will outcompete games imposed and played under threat of force, given that some energy that could be expended on the game itself… has to be wasted on enforcement.”
Ironically, Bitcoin soaks up “energy of last resort,” such as trapped energy. In other words, the highly competitive nature of Bitcoin mining means that only those with access to the cheapest energy survive. As counterintuitive as it sounds, Bitcoin actually helps at both ends of the energy spectrum. Bitcoin miners are a net positive for the adoption of green energy tech (sans government subsidies), and Bitcoin mining offers an application for trapped energy that could otherwise be wasted, which can be seen in Adam O.’s work on powering Bitcoin mining operations with gas flares.
Bitcoin is a 100% voluntary opt-in monetary system without the threat of force. Bitcoin mining does consume a massive amount of energy when posed as a single number , hash rate. However, this univariate analysis lacks depth to such a great extent that it misses the forest for the trees. Bitcoin mining is so competitive that it prices out inefficient, expensive energy markets and prices in the most efficient, lowest-cost energy inputs, such as green energy and trapped energy.
But isn’t Bitcoin mining still wasting energy on rule enforcement? Bitcoin miners sacrifice something valuable (energy) to ensure randomness in who gets to create the next block—a critical component of decentralization. Enforcement of the rules occurs at the level of full nodes. Relative to Piaget’s position, the distinction is that the energy expended in Bitcoin is 100% voluntarily committed to the fair play of the game itself—it is the carrot, not the stick. These qualities give it the best chance to unite the largest community on earth , the internet, from the bottom up.
The Utility Of The Fool
“The Fool… his strength is precisely his willingness to risk such a drop; to risk being once again at the bottom. No one unwilling to be a foolish beginner can learn… Jung regarded the Fool as the precursor to the Redeemer, the perfected individual.”
A pleb is the Bitcoin equivalent of the archetype of The Fool. In my book, Pleb_BitcoinTINA is the king of plebs. He’s the consummate Fool, and I call him this in the most loving, admirable spirit. He is incredibly knowledgeable, yet he humbles himself with the label of pleb rather than crowning himself a king. His brash approach on social media constantly puts him at risk of being wrong on a very public stage. Sticking your neck out as the Fool requires courage and bravery, with the aim of becoming the Redeemer. This is the way.
Bitcoin can be daunting to newcomers. Stay humble and be grateful that there are so many Bitcoin veterans like NVK and Jimmy Song who are accessible via Twitter, Clubhouse, and podcasts. Assume the spirit of the consummate pleb and know that you’ll never HODL alone.
The Necessity Of Equals
“It is good to be a beginner, but it is a good of a different sort to be an equal among equals. It is said, with much truth, that genuine communication can take place only between peers. This is because it is very difficult to move information up a hierarchy.”
The internet has become the domain of a two-headed dragon: fake news and censorship. Bad actors have manipulated big tech by reverse engineering tech’s highly tuned algorithms with fake news. This has turned the previous structures of order into highly flammable chaos. Tech giants are responding by wielding their centralized power to become the arbiters of the truth and censor speech. This chaos blurs the lines between what is true and what is not true, making it difficult to establish the correct information within a hierarchy. In an effort to restore order, censorship is employed, adding another dimension of complexity: who gets to be the arbiter of truth?
I do not have a solution for the above issue, although proposed solutions like Sphinx Chat offer a glimpse into how we may restore genuine conversation on the internet. Paul Itoi of Sphinx Chat has made the case that future generations will have a chilling response to free applications. Today, the vast majority of the internet is free, which invariably means that the product being sold is you. Sphinx Chat is a pay-to-play decentralized chat app that runs over the Lightning Network. Sending messages requires satoshi micropayments. Connecting to the user’s own node or using a shared node restores the balance of power by giving ownership and control to the user. The pay-to-play system makes it costly to spam the network, and node ownership makes conversations censorship-resistant, all without central authority. Sphinx Chat is not a silver bullet, but it does move us closer to genuine conversation between peers, which could help to restore order from chaos.
“The position of Top Dog, when occupied properly, has as one of its fundamental attractions the opportunity to identify deserving individuals at or near the beginning of their professional life, and provide them with the means of productive advancement.”
The deep works listed above rose to the top through peer validation and consistent effort. Thus, they constitute proof-of-work through high-quality content aimed at helping fellow Bitcoiners and newcomers level up. The internet may treat users as equals, but it is not free from hierarchy. The Top Dogs in Bitcoin earned their reputations by being reliable, trusted sources of desirable information. On the internet, Top Dog status can only be earned through competency. The plebs continuously validate our Top Dogs like nodes checking the validity of blocks submitted by miners. No one on the internet can coerce you into following them, and the same principle exists in Bitcoin. Because Top Dogs cannot purchase or coerce their positions, there are no popular tyrants on the internet or in Bitcoin (several have tried and failed).
Top Dogs are validated by the community through proof of competency (i.e., game recognizes game). The most competent community members are best positioned to lift others who are deserving. The competent are unlikely to promote anything that lacks merit, as it would risk damaging their hard-earned reputation and position in the hierarchy. Pomp, Preston Pysh, Pierre Rochard, Stephan Livera, and Marty Bent are a few Bitcoiners who act as positive templates. Plebs validate their continued quality, and in return, these Top Dogs continue delivering value to the community. This is a healthy hierarchy of advancement based on legitimacy and competency. Patience, my plebs—our time will come.
Social Institutions Are Necessary, But Insufficient
“The solutions of yesterday and today, upon which our current hierarchies depend, will not necessarily serve as solutions tomorrow. Thoughtless repetition of what sufficed in the past—or, worse, authoritarian insistence that all problems have been permanently solved—therefore means the introduction of great danger when changes in the broader world makes local change necessary.”
We’ve enjoyed an era of great prosperity and peace. This is a massive human achievement we often take for granted. Governments and institutions must be credited for sustaining an environment of orderliness that has nurtured this success. That said, we are at the point where the world is beginning to spin off its axis. Printing more money is the thoughtless repetition of what sufficed in the past. We are nearing the endgame and require a phase shift—a narrative call for heroic action.
We all agree that life is moving too fast, common sense is unraveling, inequality is rampant, and insane is becoming the norm. The trillions of dollars being printed alleviate immediate pain but accelerate foundational disintegration. Bitcoin offers a real solution to this chaos for which meaningful solutions are hard to come by. Its capacity to accurately store time and effort in the form of equitable money cannot be overlooked during this era of easy, infinite money creation. This offers a predictable, universally agreeable anchoring point that slows down time, reveals the truth, offers monetary equality, and restores sanity through transparency.
In our age of cynicism, it is easy to write off any solution that sounds too good to be true. But how do you know that Bitcoin is not the solution? If you cannot come up with a better alternative that aims for the long-term betterment of humanity, it may behoove you to suspend your skepticism and do your own research (DYOR). Bitcoin may just be the glass half full in a world running on empty.
The Necessity Of Balance
“A functional social institution… can utilize the conservative types to carefully implement processes of tried-and-true value, and the creative, liberal types to determine how what is old and out of date might be replaced by something new and more valuable. The balance between conservatism and originality might therefore be properly struck.”
Our tried-and-true institutions are gradually adopting Bitcoin. The list gets longer by the day and includes institutions like PayPal, Square, Visa, J.P. Morgan, and Goldman Sachs. This institutional adoption of Bitcoin, a creative new idea, is the balance being struck between the conservative and out-of-date and original, more valuable ideas.
“… begin with an expansion of conscious wisdom: the articulated realization that conservatism is good (with a set of associated dangers), and that creative transformation — even of the radical sort — is also good (with a set of associated dangers)… and of being able to recognize when the balance has swung too far in one direction.”
Bitcoin is a catalyst that can unite and expand our conscious wisdom. Change is coming, and we are collectively negotiating how to integrate the best aspects of our institutions with radical new ideas like Bitcoin. That said, the involvement of both parties ensures mutual, honest cooperation. This means calling out institutions if they attempt to co-opt or undermine Bitcoin. In fairness, this also means that institutions need to call out Bitcoiners who attempt to raze institutions under the false pretense that they are purely malevolent and have nothing good to offer whatsoever.
“Intelligent and cautious conservatism and careful and incisive change keep the world in order.”
This is the way.
Personality As Hierarchy And Capacity For Transformation
“How, then, is the personality that balances respect for social institutions and, equally, creative transformation to be understood? It is not so easy to determine… For that reason, we turn to stories.”
There was nothing easy about America’s achievement of independence from Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. Yet, the Declaration of Independence was generated by the conflict, and it contains foundational insights about democracy, religious freedom, and the separation of church and state. The words of that living document honor the best components of the United Kingdom’s governance model in addition to the desirable, new, creative elements that made the founding of America a bold transformative act. The Bitcoin story is 12 years old and has been anything but easy. The first 10 years represented its birth and survival, and the theme of the next decade will be its integration with and transformation of society.
“Great stories are about characters in action, and so they mirror the unconscious structures and processes that help us translate the intransigent world of facts into the sustainable, functional, reciprocal social world of values.”
America did not throw out the baby with the bathwater in writing the Declaration of Independence. In contrast, transformation through integration is what makes the American Revolution a great and complete story. Bitcoin’s “virgin birth” and the mysterious status of Satoshi Nakamoto are no coincidence. Bitcoin paid homage to gold by adopting its time-tested property of value, but it transformed the concept of gold by adding the ability to transport it anywhere instantly—teleportation. Bitcoin’s creation was therefore a mythological act of alchemy. How’s that for a great story?
This is a guest post by Nelson Chen. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
Recent comments from officials at two of the world’s largest central banks indicate growing acceptance that bitcoin is the future.
Last week, spokespeople from two of the world’s largest and most significant central banks, Robert Kaplan of the Federal Reserve and Lo Bi of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), provided insight into their views on Bitcoin and how the central banks currently think of the asset.
Kaplan, the current president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and prior member of the Federal Open Market Committee, had this to say during Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School’s Bitcoin Conference:
“Right now, it’s clear it’s a store of value… It obviously moves a lot in value, which could keep it from spreading too far as a medium of exchange and wide adoption, but that can change.”
Additionally, Bo, a deputy governor of the PBOC, had this to say at the Boao Forum for Asia regarding bitcoin and cryptocurrency assets.
“We believe that Bitcoin and stablecoins are encrypted assets,” said Li. “Encrypted assets are an investment option, not currency itself. It is an alternative investment, not currency itself. Therefore, we believe that crypto assets should play a major role in the future, either as an investment tool or as an alternative investment.”
The comments can be seen as strong statements of support from officials working at two of the largest central banks of the two dominant global superpowers. The dynamic becomes even more interesting as talk of game theoretic competition between China and the United States has picked up in recent weeks, with comments from technologist Peter Theil and U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy fanning the flame, for instance.
“[Bitcoin] is something that those who regulate, those who are in government that make policy, better start understanding what it means for the future because other countries are moving forward, especially China,” McCarthy said recently. “I do not want America to fall behind. I want the next century to be ours.”
It is obvious to those with an understanding of Bitcoin that there is great geopolitical significance in regards to nation states adopting it, and the comments over the weekend provide yet another interesting development in the acceptance of bitcoin as a monetary asset in the legacy financial system.