This is an opinion editorial by Andrew Keir, author of a daily newsletter, where he dives deep into the transformational nature of Bitcoin.
“Whenever we witness an act that we deem unjust and fail to act, we become complicit in injustice. Those who are repeatedly passive in the face of injustice quickly see their character corroded in the servility.” – Jullian Assange, “Conspiracy as Governance”, 2006
A profound irony exists when we live in a world that has become so deeply polarized and politicized. So much so that an immutable, apolitical system of rare – valuable – information has manifested.
As a protocol, Bitcoin is absolutely apolitical. He is indifferent to any belief or political ideology. He’s decidedly neutral, which is a stark contrast to almost everything else in this clown world. Bitcoin is neutral for race, religion, ethnicity, gender, height, hair color, skin color, eye color, body type, body shape, name, language, location, wealth or any other myriad identifying and distinguishing factors.
Bitcoin will process any transaction from any person and to any other person, independent of everything else. The only exception is if you violate network rules or pay the appropriate fees to process your transaction – which is essentially an open market offering to pay for block space scarcity. Assuming these two elements are met, your transaction will be processed.
Where the political paradox lies is in the very existence of Bitcoin. The fact that it has come true. Its existence implies that a cohort of individuals sought to create technology with the very properties of Bitcoin. While the protocol itself is apolitical, this act of creation is deeply political.
When someone really sees Bitcoin for the first time, many things about our current system are illuminated that were previously unseen. All of a sudden, you can’t see the world the way you used to. Prior to Bitcoin’s inception, we had no superior system or point of comparison, nothing that would highlight the broken characteristics of our system by providing an alternative perspective.
We now have something to compare with the current system. It would appear that the creation of Bitcoin was the recognition that having a monetary system – a network of value – that is centralized and allows for the weaponization of that network by those with administrative privileges against those without. (the users), is deeply flawed and immoral. This system of incentives that rewards people for playing political games, especially those who get closer to the center of that system by playing those games, disproportionately benefits those furthest from it. The zero-sum nature of the current design would seem to be another fundamental flaw in the core banking code, but perhaps for those who designed the system, it’s a feature? This dynamic of inequality is only accelerating over time as those at the center of the system continue to increase the supply of monetary units at the expense of a wide range of users on the network and eventually until to the disappearance of the network itself.
The very creation of this technology we call “Bitcoin” is perhaps the most important political act of all time. It is a technology diametrically opposed to the current system and to all that this current system represents. The idea that someone should be able to come between two human beings and their right to transact between them or that any entity or group should have that power over another? Bitcoin rejects this. That you should be required to identify yourself to access the value transfer network and be subject to surveillance and loss of privacy for this privilege? Bitcoin rejects this. That the imaginary boundaries formed by human tribes should impact our ability to transact with each other? Bitcoin rejects this. The current system asserts that the right to freely transact is not a basic human right. Bitcoin rejects this.
Bitcoin is a vote against the current system and the values that this current system has tried to install in the minds of many. It is, in its very essence, political.
The beauty of bitcoin is that it will never force you to use it like the current system does. He will never impose his power on you or anyone else. It will simply offer superior incentives. And no one can ever control the network, so no one can capture that power. Bitcoin is an immaculate incentive-designed system that allows the flow of pure informational clarity from any node in the network to any other. A system that belongs to no one. When no hierarchical structure exists and no imbalance in the distribution of this information offers one node power over another.
It is impossible not to be completely impressed by its existence and marvel at its very nature.
An apolitical monetary protocol for humanity born into a world so deeply entangled and confused by a captured system of political power, influence and violence. As Jullian Assange implied in the quote at the start, once an injustice is brought to our attention, we are offered a choice: are we going to be passive and become complicit in the injustice – and in the process find our character corroded into servility — or will we take the necessary steps to act and oppose such injustice by opting for the network of freedom that is Bitcoin?
I know which one gets my vote.
This is a guest post by Andrew Keir. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.