Bitcoin & Lockdowns

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Evolving. From a luxury into a necessity

For some, Bitcoin has been and in many ways still is, a luxury.
For others, it’s been a necessity from the beginning, whether as a mechanism to store their wealth, or as a way to send & receive payments without being censored.

For the rest of us, it’s somewhere in between a luxury & a necessity.

In this short piece I’ll argue that as we progress forward in time, Bitcoin will become a necessity for all of us, across all of it’s dimensions (SoV, MoE, UoA) and if these moronic, draconian lockdowns have done anything, they’ve accelerated Bitcoin’s transformation from something some might “want” to something everyone will fundamentally “need”.

Freedom & Censorship Resistance

The current erosion of basic freedoms & liberties has not been seen to this extent (in the modern or western world at least), since the time of Communist East Germany, the Soviet USSR or perhaps even the German National Socialist Party (ie; Nazi’s) in mid century Europe.

I don’t say this with the intent of stirring up conspiracy theories or tinfoil hat memes. I say this simply with radical candour.

Just look at the way things are.
Who in the world would’ve guessed in 2019, that by 2020:

  • More than half the population of the world would’ve been placed under a mandated curfew for weeks or months on end.
  • Some would not be allowed to venture more than 5km away from their home.
  • You would require permission to visit friends, family & loved ones.
  • You would be told who you can & cannot spend time with
  • Cash would be refused by cash businesses like cafe’s, bars & restaurants.
  • You would be shamed for being a young, healthy individual walking around outside, getting sunlight & fresh air.
  • You would no longer be able to run your own business, attend social gatherings or go to your local church
  • If you ask a question, express a variant opinion or question the validity of the mainstream narrative, you’d be censored or cancelled.
  • You would not be able to travel anywhere without having swabs rammed up your nose & down your throat to test you for something for which you exhibit ZERO symptoms.
  • You’d be forced by non-medical personnel to wear ineffective, pointless masks that limit your intake of vital oxygen whilst recycling the CO2 you exhale.
  • Mother’s would be tazed by overweight ‘security guards’ at their child’s football game despite sitting 3m away from anybody else.
  • Police would charge in & arrest hairdressers for cutting someone’s hair as if they were hiding weapons of mass destruction
  • Police would choke you, beat you and even run you down with a car because you decided to walk down the street taking your health into your own hands.
  • Young children would be taken away from their parents, against their will, should the “government” presume you or they may have a virus for which you suffer from no symptoms, and your child has a 99.999% chance of not being affected by.

And all despite a torrent of contra-indicatory data such as that most recently published by the CDC outlining 94% of the roughly 200k deaths from Covid were actually co-morbidity cases in which a large majority were severe illnesses borne by the elderly:

The CDC itself caused a stir at the end of August by estimating that the virus directly caused only 6 percent, or now just over 11,000 of the 187,000 attributed deaths. Most of these deaths were in the elderly.
The remaining 94 percent died with and not exclusively of the coronavirus. These people also were on average elderly and had 2.6 other health problems. This implies a good fraction who succumbed had three or more comorbidities. In other words, most deaths attributed to the coronavirus were in very sick people.

Or the following:

Think about this the next time you‘re in the mood to defend a lockdown or another draconian mandate.

I could go on and on, but this isn’t an anti-corona/lockdown article.

Suffice it to say that the tyranny and rule of the majority our forefathers fought to prevent in the forms of communism and fascism in days gone by has reared its head again in the form of globalism, socialism and the sham that is “democracy”.

Here we are now, watching basic freedoms and the ability to think, speak and act for our own selves being repealed against the backdrop of a tone-deaf, double-speak message of “for your safety”.

Fiat Authority is Tyranny.

The arrogant, ignorant knee-jerk decisions made by uninformed statists who treat everyone like they’re a number on a spreadsheet are beyond criminal.

The ramifications of this lockdown will cause multiple orders of magnitude more social, environmental, mental, physical, familial, economic and psychological damage than any virus could ever have hoped to achieve, and the associated death toll (both directly and indirectly) will be extraordinary.

And this is why, contrary to what they’d like to have you believe, freedom is far more important than safety.

Blind submission to unfounded [fiat] authority is what they depend upon, and they’ll aim to have it whether by your ignorance or via the suppression & censorship of those who do speak up.

Therein lies the absolute necessity of a technology that can subvert censorship, centralised control and confiscation.

It’s the only way to maintain any hope for the future.

Freedom of speech & expression is fundamental, and the most fundamental form of expression is derived of your time & energy, which we measure with a tool called Money.

This is why Bitcoin Matters.
It protecting the freedom to think, to act, to labour, to speak and to choose.

Read more here:

Why Bitcoin Matters

The things many have warned about for years are happening.
We’re watching society can slip into tyranny, before our very eyes.

The only question remaining is whether you’re going to wake up or be woken up. Whether you’re going to do something about it or be complacent or complicit?

Curiosity and Pain

I jammed on a pod with Matt Odell and Marty Bent in June 2019, at the Bitcoin 2019 conference (see link below), and I mentioned a concept I’d come up with earlier that year, as a way to understand why people come to Bitcoin.

I call it the Pain to Curiosity Spectrum.

In short, I believe people enter, embrace, learn about or find themselves in & around Bitcoin for TWO primary reasons:

  1. Curiosity
  2. Pain

I’ve thought about a third, ie;

3. Greed

But perhaps that actually straddles the two key reasons because Greed is a biological mechanism that enhances survivability and (when in check) helps to feed pleasure and avoid pain…but I’ll save that discussion for a future article.

For now, let’s use the framework of Curiosity VS Pain.

In the ‘west’, and in places where society is still has a ‘veneer’ of stability, getting into Bitcoin really requires a level of curiosity not shared by many (the most common trait in the world today seems to be docility).

It requires that you’re courageous enough to question history, how society operates, the morality of compulsion, the state, the dangers of monopolies on violence, ethics and economics and much more.

You must be curious about such a broad range of topics that it’s no wonder so few individuals have come to Bitcoin early on, and why the majority will only follow. In fact, I’m so certain of this I’d make the prediction that:

The last 5 billion to adopt Bitcoin will likely take as long as the first 5 million did.

This differential, try as you may, will never change.

By definition, contrarians will always form a smaller percentage of the populace, and the herd will always follow.

It’s not that either is right or wrong, because they fundamentally need each other. The contrarian needs to be right enough that the herd will one day come, else he’s just a crazy recluse, whilst the herd need the contrarian to question the status quo and discover that which is yet to be broadly accepted.

The ONLY question that needs to be answered is whether you’re part of the contrarian group who was curios enough in the beginning, or the herd who came along when it was finally too painful.

Which group you’re in is dependent on how curious you choose to be, and what kind of pain you’re willing to enduer, because each have their unique forms of pain. The contrarian is called a Radical and must endure ridicule and walk a more lonely path less travelled to one day be redeemed, whilst the sheep in the herd will find shelter in numbers but will pay the higher price on the day of redemption.

One is conscious. The other less so.
Which will you choose?

Which brings me to my next point..

Want to VS Have to

Too many people are willing to coast through life, ignorant, blind, submissive and shallow, until they’re shocked into action by some external force.

I often say to people I know and people I meet: the real global pandemic is a severe lack of individual courage & curiosity.

Necessity is not only the mother of all invention, but it’s the grandmother of all change. For many people, their complacency results in them living a life trapped by what they ‘have’ to do, instead of living a life doing what they ‘want’ to do.

When circumstances change, they too are forced to change whether they like it or not, and unfortunately it often diminishes their prospects or limits their options resulting in another ‘have to’ which they don’t ‘want to’ do, be or have.

It’s the anticipation of these changes that sets people apart and the prerequisites for this preparedness are the curiosity and courage to think, ask, learn and act.

This is what I mean when I say people come to Bitcoin because of curiosity or pain, and why the former is a much more profound way because the choice was of your own volition.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule.
There is an element of randomness in life which none of us can remove, and no amount of preparation can protect you from. Some events unfortunately lead to death, disease, pain or loss that is no direct ‘fault’ of yours.

This is something you cannot change. Nature is perfect because it is irregular. Because has an element of randonmness.

There are also impositions by fiat authority which we find ourselves subjected to because of where we’re born, what age we’re born in and the society we grow up in.

In some ways, the latter is what the lockdowns and draconian over-reach by fiat authority in 2020 has been. I don’t think anyone was truly prepared for how quick things would devolve.

And although we cannot change those circumstances, some of us were better prepared because we had been curious enough to start the journey to sovereignty earlier on.

Many have been caught with their pants down and are now scrambling to figure out wtf to next.

Therein lies 2020’s silver lining:

A new wave of people coming to Bitcoin because their threshold for curiosity or pain has been crossed.

Whilst for some it’s been a cause to cry victim and beg for more of the same, for others it’s been a wake up call to think deeper.

This is why Bitcoin’s adoption will happen in waves.
People will get curious for different reasons and their pain thresholds all vary.

Their trigger to enter either because they want to or because they have to is different and is why the charts in the following section are worth more than the words on this page.

Bitcoin’s Transformation: Luxury → Necessity

Bitcoin’s global adoption will be correlated to Bitcoin’s necessity, will be correlated to its price, will be correlated to its liquidity, will be correlated to its supply cap and will be correlated to its issuance rate, hash rate and much more.

The following is my attempt at representing this visually.

Curves are approximations, for illustrative purposes. I’m not a quant. H/t Knut Svanholm for the Infinite/21m.

Some Bitcoiners want hyperbitcoinisation tomorrow, others want more time to accumulate and and then others like me are torn between (a) wanting a slower, smoother, less violent transition and (b) seeing a robust economic & private property rights system to hurry up and subvert/ collapse the existing corrupt one, I think the reality of the fact is that it’s all too connected.

There is no avoiding the mess, because Bitcoin did not emerge because what we have today is a just & sound societal system.

It emerged because “There is something rotten in the state of Denmark”.
The whole ponzi of a fiat system that’s persisted now for over a century, accelerating in 1971, has eroded everything from Private Property rights (the very cornerstone of civilisation), to Natural law, Money, philosophy, psychology, ethics, history, science, education, our health, our food, our families, the environment, our scarce resources, our personal agency & responsibility, our individuality and our very sanity.

Bitcoin is not just some “alternative currency”.
It’s the lifeboat we need because the corrupt and decaying edifice within which we live is going to fall apart under the weight of its own incompetence and divergence from nature & reality.

And as this point nears, Bitcoin’s necessity will increase.
As Bitcoin’s necessity increases, so too will the pain and turmoil associated.

The question is how long will it take?
Will it be spread out over a century, or will it take a decade?

Whatever the answer, Bitcoin’s price and total adoption will move in lockstep.
This I am almost certain of.

Savings Technology + Payments Technology

The age-old Bitcoin debate, which to-date sound minds have prevailed.

Of critical import in Bitcoin’s early formation is its total economic mass, so buy & hodl is necessary to ensure the uncensorable settlement guarantees are in place whilst the infrastructure for faster & more private payments are built.

Notwithstanding the ‘general progression’ of Bitcoin’s evolution, the fact that it embodies all the properties & functions of money (SoV, MoE, UoA) from day one means that different people from different areas around the world will move along that spectrum at a different pace, and for different reasons.

All move to the right as time marches on.

In the emerging world, it’s a necessity as both a Savings Technology and a Payments Technology.

In some places, the Unit of Account element is also becoming critical as they front run the transformation into a circular bitcoin economy.

In the first world, Bitcoin is not yet (broadly speaking) “a necessity”, but that’s changing faster every week with every new mandate from economic policy-destroyers and government goons.

It’s slowly becoming a necessity from a savings perspective first, and as the abomination that is KYC becomes more onerous & cash disappears, it will also become a necessity as a payments mechanism.

Life events will trigger to flight to Bitcoin for different reasons.

The beauty of Bitcoin is that it’s censorship resistant from a savings, payments and accounting perspective.

The unit and network are ready. They’re stable. They’re proven and they're verifiable at the level of the individual.

These ingredients are what’s required to absorb the influx of capital as it becomes more of a necessity across all of the dimensions important in wealth storage and management.

I’ll digress on a small (but relevant) note on KYC….

KYC defeats the purpose of Money.

Giacomo Zucco is one of the most authentic and intelligent people in Bitcoin. I’m not a groupie and he didn’t pay me to say that, but I’m just calling it as it is.

He wrote a brilliant 2 part series on Bitcoin & Privacy a while back, and one of the key take aways for me is this idea that Money is an invention that allows us to scale the complexity of society by abstracting away trust or the need to know who the person on the other side of the transaction is!

Money allows two parties who have NO IDEA who the other is, (nor cares to know), to trade their time, energy, resources and goods with one another.

That’s how complex, prosperous societies are built.
That’s how innovation spawns and new ideas can be bootstrapped.

This ridiculous “know your customer” phenomenon that’s emerged over the past 50yrs (and really accelerated over the last 10yrs) is antithetical not only to the ability for society to maintain a forward progression but is a violation of people’s natural freedoms, their privacy and their right to choose how to spend the wealth they’ve accumulated as a result of the time & energy the’ve traded for it.

It’s the basis for a draconian, authoritarian, big-brother-esque society and is another reason why Bitcoin will fundamentally become more of a necessity as we progress into the new decade.

As they remove cash, force people into negative interest rates and begin to introduce mechanisms where they can directly confiscate your wealth via their new “digital central bank dollars”, you’re going to have no choice but to find a way to protect your wealth.

Make no mistake about it either. This is not an “if”, but a “when”.
Care-taker societies (from democracy through to dictatorships) are fundamentally flawed because the “rulers” have no skin in the game. Their incentive is to sell the future in order to reap from the present, and they’ll do that at the expense of the environment, people’s wealth, people’s future and their children’s future.

That cannot change in a system that’s based on “public” law.

The clown show that is central banking, central planning and the state will continue to suffocate the very subjects they depend upon for their survival via more restrictions, more regulations and more arbitrary ‘laws’ they make up on a whim, all the while the Bitcoin Network continues to strengthen, the applications built upon it enhance and the total number of people holding it increases.

KYC, AML and CTF are just another set of acronyms that are anachronistic in the world we’re moving into and will only help to accelerate the paradigm shift as they tighten.

The Run of the Rich

A final note before I close this article out.

Watch what happens when all the rich people start getting scared

Fear is the precursor to pain.
It’s the evolutionary mechanism via which we attempt to avoid pain.

Wait until you see what happens when these people who’ve amassed large sums of wealth no longer trust the guarantees of the governments who were originally formed to protect them, and have now pointed their guns toward them ready to loot.

Whether their wealth was acquired by good, bad or indifferent means, it matters not. They’re all going to be looking for a way to protect it from the next looter.

This, combined with all the rest of us middle class & plebs looking to do the same will only result in a veritable stampede looking for a safe haven out of the reach of government tentacles.

And believe me, there’s a lot more of us than there is them.
So try as they might, they cannot stop it.

Conclusion

All catastrophes bear a silver lining.

The silver lining of 2020 is the acceleration of Bitcoin’s transformation from a luxury into a necessity.

This does not take away the criminality nor responsibility of the catastrophe, but it does help those of us who are able to think for ourselves focus our intent, energy and action toward making lemonade from the lemons.

Keep in mind the following:

Converging on Necessity

On a long enough time scale, the entire world will converge on Bitcoin because it’s a necessity. The human race cannot survive without it.

The alternatives are all totalitarian regimes, whether left or right, who will destroy themselves via their complete disregard and deviation from billions of years of natural law and natural evolution.

My somber, but solemn prediction is that it won’t be a smooth ride.
The next decade will likely be more tumultuous than anything we have ever read about or experienced, particularly as the ludicrous monetary, nationalist and bureaucratic experiments that have been running for the last century or two, reach their crescendo.

So HODL.

Hold On for Dear Life. To your bitcoin, to your sanity, to your curiosity and your courage.

These virtues will be what unite us on the path, and on the other side.

If you enjoyed this, give it the claps, share it around and use to perhaps talk some sense into someone you care about.

You can follow me on Twitter or here on Medium:

If you’re in Australia, you can start buying Bitcoin from Amber, which the company I helped found and whilst I may be bias, I believe is the best way t accumulate Bitcoin:

Amber - Bitcoin Made Easy.


Bitcoin & Lockdowns was originally published in Coinmonks on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.