An Open Letter to the Bitcoin 1%
Dear Bitcoin 1% early adopter,
A friend of mine recently sent me an article posted on P2P Foundation titled In the Bitcoin World, Half the Wealth Belongs to the 0.1 Percent. It was a collection of articles that focuses on allegations of inequality in the Bitcoin ecosystem. This made me think of all of you. Yes you, those who are often referred to as the Bitcoin early adopters. Some call you the Bitcoin 1% or even the 0.1 percent. After thinking about it, I realized how I am thankful for what you did. So I thought I should write you a short note with my acknowledgment.
First of all, I am thankful for what you didn’t do. You didn’t crash the economy in 2008 and didn’t bail out those banks. You didn’t devalue the currency to the detriment of the 99% with limitless money printing or fractional reserve lending. You didn’t bomb countries or plunder resources to accumulate wealth. You don’t charge exorbitant fees in extractive usury credit traps, or set up ongoing rent seeking and remittance exploitation of the most vulnerable population. You didn’t create an infrastructure of IMF debt peonage to engage in financial colonization of the third world.
I would like to also thank you for not supporting wars for oil and aiding drug trade in Afghanistan and South America. You didn’t kill or displace millions of people in resource-rich areas or operate the very profitable death machine known as the military industrial complex.
I acknowledge you for not being addicted to gambling with derivatives that are simply further tools of extraction from hard working people. You didn’t speculate with our tax money like Wall Street guys with high speed trading and you didn’t engage in mortgage defaults swaps that robbed hard working people of their life savings. With the 21M Bitcoin cap, I know you have not been engaged in printing at will while planning to get out before the crash, you know like the ponzi scheme called the U.S. dollar. Thank you for not spending money to buy politicians and then using this power to put people like Monsanto executives in the FDA and the Supreme Court. You didn’t do any of this to place yourself in a 1% position.
I have seen your brave acts of supporting innovation in cryptocurrency and its adoption. You took risks to shift away from the centrally organized world that creates massive inequality. You are the pioneers who charted a new world where there are no levers of control. For some of you, this move may have been from a pure self-driven incentive, but I also know some have consciously chosen to help create a world of distributed trust, where no one can control our exchange.
Sure, the old adage still applies: power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, as any type of money can theoretically become a form of power. Yet, so far I have not seen any evidence that you have taken that path. I observed your conscious action to avoid 51% attacks on the Bitcoin mining pool and some of you have worked to disperse concentration of power, to steward the blockchain as a network of decentralized trust. You had an opportunity to grab power for a short time and you have consistently chosen not to do so. You know that many of us are watching you on the blockchain and that your moves are transparent, unlike the 1% Goldman Sachs types.
I recognize your work of authenticating Bitcoin transactions to secure the system. The more mining happens, the stronger the system becomes. I know some of you are called geeks and fanatics for being innovators. You invested your bitcoin to help start-ups and with this, you opened up a tsunami of innovation. I have never seen a community as generous as the Bitcoin community; offering charity to the homeless and others in need and crowd funding to help artists and those who are abandoned and defunded by a rigged game of derisked capitalism.
I particularly thank Andreas Antonopoulos, the passionate technologist and astute spokesperson in the field of crypto-currencies. Andreas, I know you are not a so-called Bitcoin early adopter. But I include you here, because you showed us a real alternative to move away from a debt and fear based fiat to an asset based currency. You awakened my sense of indebtedness to my fellows and opened my eyes to those for whom I owe my existence. I now know as one who lives in the Western world – a world of privilege, that I am indebted to other six billion and have a responsibility for helping create an economy that includes and empowers everyone who would like to join it.
And last but not least, I thank Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, who is said to have the most bitcoin in the world. I don’t care who you are. But I would like you to know that I am very grateful. You gave humanity a gift of open source software; a simple protocol that empowers everyone equally. The full potential of this revolutionary technology of the blockchain will not yet be realized for years to come.
You know, Jimi Hendrix once said, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace”. Your commitment to innovation and this open source protocol showed me a possibility; a real hope that creativity can overcome the love of power and create an economy that circulates a currency of peace.
I have been thinking that if there is going to be a one percent, I would rather live with the world where wealth is in the hands of creative and innovative people like you. Instead of central banks and the state imposing exploitative currency with expert economists explaining to me what money is supposed to be, I now have the power to create my own currency and develop my own relationship to exchange of value and trust.
Early adoption is not over. We can all become adopters of this technology that acknowledges our common humanity. Bitcoin’s infinite divisibility makes it possible for everyone to share this wealth and expand our values. If we choose to apply our hearts, the network effect of giving eliminates the need for anyone to be poor. This network effect empowers everyone and has the potential to make the best of our humanity go viral. I am deeply grateful for being a part of this new decentralized global community and I salute all of you in this peer-to-peer culture we are creating together.
Image By CASASCIUS (CASASCIUS)