Despite its apolitical nature, Bitcoin needs our democracy to flourish as much as it needs Bitcoin to improve.
This is an article by Frank Kashner, founder of UnChainDemocracy.org.
“Politics” is often defined “an activity related to the governance of a country or other region, especially a debate or confrontation between individuals or political parties holding or seeking power”
Do you want Bitcoin to take over? Yes. However, the power of Bitcoin is different from the power of an individual or any economic or political entity. But we are still talking about power, as expressed through code design and implementation, proof of (power) work, the internet, exchanges, editorials, blogs, laws, courts, schools, and politicians. The blocksize wars experienced by was a conflict of political power that was ultimately won by those in favor of node decentralization. This article and the magazine itself are political actors in the struggle for future financial and political power.
Ultimately, financial freedom, Bitcoin is just one aspect of freedom. Another dimension of freedom for those living in the United States is the political rights outlined in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. As such, even our deeply flawed democracy is worth defending and expanding.
But many Bitcoin enthusiasts don’t seem to see it that way. Opined, perhaps, that our democracy is so flawed that it deserves to be abandonedBut I’m proposing that Bitcoin and democracy need each other and that dictatorships would be terrifying.
Bitcoin, forever caught in the stream of political power
A friend recently pointed out that our current political divide can be seen as one between those who value freedom and those who value equality. Like two lines, we in the Bitcoin community can find unity around a vision similar to what Bitcoin in democracy enables. But we also need to look at the relationship between Bitcoin and democracy and imagine the darker options. To live in a dictatorship that can confiscate our property and violate the rights of others.
In 1941, at a time of great political conflict, in his work Talking Columbia, Woody Guthrie famously sung“I don’t really like dictators, but I think the whole country should be run … with electricity!”
A revolutionary technology at the time, electrification (in some ways dissimilar to Bitcoin today) was a technology that was opposed and supported by various business stakeholders and politicians employed by them. bottom.You can still find it with a quick search Great Opposition to Electrification.
Like electricity, Bitcoin is and will continue to be caught up in the currents of financial and political power. That’s exactly the nature of Bitcoin’s size change. Consider what we’ve already seen: China bans Bitcoin, Canadian truck driver uses his BTC, El Salvador defies his IMF to make Bitcoin legal tender, Ukraine His BTC Rise, US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) GBTC ETF Application DeniedNigerians started using bitcoin and now have “Operation Chokepoint” SEC Blocks Bank Access For Bitcoin Companies.
These currents explain the existence of political freedom, a functioning democracy, and the legal status of Bitcoin. Notice the Human Rights Foundation with the arm that leads it. Using Bitcoin to Strengthen Political and Economic Freedomespecially in some of the worst dictatorships in the world.
Bitcoin is more fragile than we think
A list of Bitcoin’s basic properties includes decentralization, anti-vulnerability, protection against expropriation, incorruptible development system, proof-of-work security, and protection from the nodes that defend it. But I think we are naive about that strength.
Living in Western democracies, we tend to take for granted the rule of law that protects our property and our liberties. If you’ve lived in China, North Korea, Afghanistan, Turkey or Russia, you might not be so optimistic.
While Bitcoin will be an attractive Trojan horse for some of the rich and powerful (and increasing numbers), conflicting interests are pushing legislation that could force Bitcoin out of the empire’s financial gates. and policies may be created. Yes, it can work “underground”, but think about what that would be like.
Today, Bitcoin is small and those in power claim that mining is destroying the environment and that villains like Sam Bankman Freed are political operatives. They have clever ways of slowing and denying Bitcoin adoption.
Consider how an authoritarian government that uses the threat of prison or violence would treat bitcoin.as happened in Venezuela).
There are also other problems with what we consider to be the immutable nature of Bitcoin. Very few core developersand how will this affect the future of Bitcoin? Why are there so few nodes (about 16,000) What is Bitcoin’s percentage of total users? Why are government agencies stifling exchanges and spreading misinformation about the value and use of energy?
It is our democracy that allows Bitcoin supporters to support, lobby, broadcast, have businesses and go to court. But our democracy is under threat from corporate power, albeit weak, that does not like regulation and dictatorial power. I would expect them to defend a US dollar based system. To win, Bitcoin and democracy advocates need each other.
Some Bitcoin Arena broadcasters or their guests have declared that it is the management and political classes that have all the power. This is simply not true — see for example please give me. “Who will rule America?” William Donhoff, “Dark Money” by Jane Mayer, “Democracy in Chains” by Nancy McLean again “Shadow Network” by Ann NelsonThese are well-documented views of how those seeking to turn the United States into an authoritarian nation have great power and have advanced that agenda over the past fifty years.
In conclusion, Bitcoin needs democracy, and democracy needs Bitcoin. Both systems are dynamic and in constant flux, which complicates the task. It is this perspective that has helped me and others to persuade Bitcoin advocates to pay more constructive attention to our political system, and to help advocates of democracy pay more attention to the economic freedoms inherent in Bitcoin. I hope this helps you pay more attention.
This is a guest post by Frank Kashner. Opinions expressed are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect those of his BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.