I’m currently on a flight from Newark to Oslo, Norway while making my trip to Riga, Latvia for the Baltic Honey Badger Conference hosted by HodlHodl. Please excuse me for any typos because I’m stuck in my seat like a sardine with my laptop screen halfway open because the lady in front of me is crammed all the way back.
I wanted to touch on something Pete Rizzo said on the What Bitcoin Did podcast recently that really stuck with me. He made it clear that bitcoin should tend to interest bitcoin and the fact that it is a much higher money and settlement network compared to the current monetary system by any objective measure rather than the world hoping to burn to the ground and bitcoin succeed as a result of fiat failure. This is the section for those interested.
It is interesting to think about the divisions between these two frameworks. For starters, I don’t think they are incompatible. It is clear from Satoshi’s writings that he believed that the current system was inherently flawed and doomed to failure due to the history of paper currency being controlled by central authorities who had the ability to print at will.
“The central bank should be trusted not to devalue currency, but the history of fiat currencies is littered with abuses of that trust.” – Satoshi Nakamoto, February 11, 2oo9
I don’t think it’s crazy to believe that Satoshi created bitcoin after realizing that the fiat system was doomed to fail. I’m sure he did. However, the only way he could produce a tool that would act as an effective escape hatch from a failing system was if he produced something that was 1) improving the step function on that system and 2) sufficient resistance to attacks from failure. A regime that doesn’t really want anyone to escape. Fortunately for us, that is exactly what Satoshi and those who came after him provided to help improve the protocol.
Thank God for Satoshi. We are standing on the edge of a cliff with unstoppable forces pushing us on a deadly journey into chaos and turmoil, and we have all been given the power to grab a glider that allows us to jump off a cliff and slide to safety. What Pete is asking is, “Should we focus on telling people as much as possible the unstoppable force that is about to drive us to certain death or the technology we can use to avoid that outcome?”
Personally, I think both tactics should be used. The only way to fix the problem is to acknowledge that it existed in the first place. This does the warning of the unstoppable force that is driving people to the edge of a cliff. Once people understand this power they can begin to look for and understand the solutions at their fingertips.
With that being said, I think Pete makes a very good point. Bitcoiners may be over-indexing towards highlighting the imminent failure of the cash-to-cash system while not indexing the step function improvements that bitcoin brings into the realm of cash, final settlement, and payments. Bitcoin is enabling things that were not possible before its launch. This is something that should be celebrated and highlighted as much as possible. In an ideal scenario, the death of the fiat order is postponed over many decades and during that time the tools and products built around the bitcoin network have proven to be much better than the current system that people naturally adopt en masse because they are. Simply better. This would be the perfect “quiet landing” you hear the Fed boobies talk about.
I pray that this is how things end up moving forward. However, it is hard to believe that the complex mistakes that unproductive central planners have made over many decades have not even come to mind. If one really believes in this, it is hard to knock it over for over-indexing on the side of doom while trying to warn others and point out the extreme insanity of the system.