Bitcoin is the rediscovery of money. It is money reconsidered. It is the removal of counterparty risk. It is the purest, fastest, soundest money, re-imagined from the ground up. It is computational proof of historical events, building up an incorruptible history without relying on trust.
Bitcoin is the realization that cryptography is not enough. It is the admission that trusted third parties are security holes. It is an impenetrable fortress of validation, telling the world that invalid blocks need not apply.
By reintroducing trust, be it via the linguistic attack that is proof-of-stake, or be it via the regulatory attack that is centralized exchanges and custodians, "crypto" is destroying everything that makes Satoshi's invention great in the first place.
Most people haven't understood yet that Bitcoin is different. It is not a company. It can't go bankrupt. It has no CEO that can be influenced, arrested, or corrupted. It is a force of nature, like the tide coming in and out, like the sun rising in the east. You can have an opinion on it, but your opinion won't influence it in any way. Every 10 minutes, Bitcoin re-asserts itself. Every 10 minutes, it cements a message in its timechain: "you shall not steal."
Bitcoin's monetary policy is set in time, not by decree. It can't be changed. It can't be argued with. It is unrelated to demand, unrelated to energy usage, and independent from politics.
The weak copies that we refer to as "shitcoins" are oblivious to the nature of Bitcoin. They are oblivious to the nature of money, even; believing that "your money has to work for you." Believing that money has to earn some sort of yield; that money itself should make a nominal profit.
No. Your money just has to work, period. Your money should be yours and yours alone, and it should not steal from you.
If your money requires permission to be spent, it is not your money. If your money has counterparty risk, it is not money—but credit. If your money steals from you, it is not your money—but a control and financing mechanism of your government. If your money requires identity, it is not money but a social credit score system.
Money has no yield.
Money has no counterparty risk.
Money is not credit.
Money does not need to "grow."
Money doesn't require identity.
Money has no memory.
"The whole point of money is to not know your customer," as an Italian comedian once said.
Bitcoin is an answer to the moral failings of fiat money and our fiat monetary institutions. "Crypto" is a reincarnation of these failing institutions, replacing the friendly faces of clean-shaven bankers with the shy smiles of unkempt teenagers. Some call it progress. I call it unethical.
Money is as important as it is invisible. The importance of money only comes to the forefront when money dies, something that, arguably, is happening at a global scale as I am typing these words.
We forgot what money is. We forgot the wisdom of old, the importance of honest weights and measures. We forgot that usury is a sin, that love of money for money's sake is the root of all evil. Consequently, we ignored the root of all monetary evil for far too long: the government monopoly on the issuance and control of money.
Money production is an ethical question. The printing of money is a moral failure, and shitcoinery is nothing but money printing hidden behind the veil of confusion, technobabble, and supposed innovation (or worse: altruism).
The immaculate conception, chronological issuance, and organic growth of bitcoin are what sets it apart. Its lack of counterparty risk is what makes it money. Its lack of leadership is what makes it decentralized. Its computational proof of the order of events is what makes it independently verifiable and irreversible. Its difficulty adjustment is what makes it an autopoietic system: capable of maintaining and reproducing itself.
All shitcoins will wither into irrelevance as a consequence of Bitcoin's continued existence. They will become irrelevant because the game of money is a game of liquidity and purchasing power, and in this game, only the strong survive.
The world is rearranging itself. It is rearranging itself because we have forgotten what money is. It is rearranging itself because the current incarnation of "money"—government-issued debt that steals from the poor and gives to the rich—is breaking. And while it is breaking, bitcoin will march on. Every 10 minutes, a new block is found. Every 10 minutes, Bitcoin reasserts itself. Every 10 minutes.
If you don’t hold your own keys, you don’t hold bitcoin—but IOUs. If you don’t run your own node, you have no say in Bitcoin—you are beholden to someone else’s idea of Bitcoin.
For bitcoin to be your money, you have to hold your own keys, and you have to verify with your own node. And with that, you too can rediscover money. You can rediscover what it means to have deep stability and autonomy. You can put in the work, and you can transform yourself into a sovereign individual.
You don't need to ask for anyone's permission. All you need is some curiosity—or a lot of pain. I hope for your sake that it is curiosity that will bring you to Bitcoin. Bitcoin can kindle curiosity—if you're ready for it. Shitcoins, custodians, and the fiat monetary system will bring the pain.
The choice is yours, and you have all the time in the world to make it. Because Bitcoin is, and that is enough. It is not hiding—but waiting. Out in the open, ready to be discovered. And with every soul that sees Bitcoin for what it is, a larger part of humanity will rediscover what money is.
- 2023-08-12 Nodesignal #134
on the question of What Bitcoin Is and What It Should Be, hosted by Jan-Paul (🇩🇪)
- Italian translation by Andrea
- German translation by Der Geier
- Bulgarian translation by Dimitar Morfov
- Spanish translation by Evariste Galois
- Italian translation by Federico Spitaleri
- English audio by Guy Swann
- German audio by Rob
- German translation by Simon Satoshi
- French translation by Sovereign Monk
Want to help? Add a translation!
Confused? Learn more about the V4V concept.