You’re Probably Not Ready for Bitcoin
Wednesday June 15, 2016
Most people who have bought some Bitcoin, or have been “involved” in the space, are not ready for the psychological change Bitcoin normally facilitates. This is very similar to the way Usenet users needed to acclimate newcomers to a proper level of netiquette. The problem in Bitcoin is most users don’t understand their limitations or entitlements, much like the classic millennial who doesn’t pay for music.
When you opt-in to Bitcoin, you opt-in to the consensus rules. You aren’t going to change the 21 million cap, you won’t change the difficulty algorithm, and you won’t change the inflation schedule. These are less like rules and more like the laws of physics in the realm of Bitcoin. The rest is anarchy.
It’s difficult to accept this new reality of freedom, because most people have yet to experience any freedom. It’s even more difficult to be responsible with this newfound freedom, much like the incoming university freshmen who party with their new freedom until they flunk out.
The number one argument for the so-called “big block” crowd, is the notion of “mass-adoption”. They envision a world, where everyone uses Bitcoin instead of traditional financial institutions, and somehow everything is magically fixed. What they ignore is the disruptiveness of Bitcoin to the current financial psychology derived from the so-called fiat world – true monetary freedom. Responsibility is a requisite for agency in Bitcoin. The logic here is if most of the people already in Bitcoin are not yet fully ready for it, then the people who enter in a wave of mass adoption will cause an Eternal September. This will inevitably limit everyone else’s freedom drastically, since the easy way to adoption was taken.
Here is a single question to help determine if you are ready for Bitcoin, or if you need to lurk more:
- You are getting bullied in school. One day the bully tries to steal your lunch money. What do you do?
If your answer to the above question is something like, “I’ll let him take the money and go tell the teacher or get an adult”, like every commercial in the United States tells you to do, you are not ready for Bitcoin. Big Brother isn’t here to protect you. As much as people want to be protected from bad-actors, a monopolized authority figure is not the solution. This opens the door to regulating Bitcoin on the protocol level. Lawsky’s (L0lsky) Bitlicense should convince you that the state isn’t here for your best interest. You have to look out for yourself.
We have been convinced to give up our freedom in exchange for protection, much like a mafia doesn’t burn down your shop as long as you pay for mafia insurance. Bitcoin has subverted the current authority over capital giving ordinary individuals their financial freedom back. As such we have to respect and accept the fact we must operate with higher standards in this new world.
The best thing for Bitcoin would be if everyone involved gave 150% (as a coach would say), to each and every contract they agree to. People ask, “Why would I ever want to use Bitcoin?” Well one day, when people are ready, the world of Bitcoin will be more honest, and trustworthy than any government regulated economy. This can only happen if each person involved adheres to diligent and trustworthy principles.