Bitcoin Magazine Edition
Contributors' Convictions: A Bitcoin Legacy Letter
By Sam & Bitcoin Magazine Contributors
Why spend scarce and irreplaceable time toward building and bettering Bitcoin?
What convinces us that Bitcoin is the exit strategy against the existing fiat scheme?
Who benefits from a decentralized, immutably hard monetary system?
These are inevitable inquiries we can expect from our children, grandchildren and future questioning generations. An earthling from 2100 will struggle to relate to our bygone era. A legacy letter allows oneself to establish an everlasting connection with future distant contemporaries so they may empathize with the present and gain wisdom from our generation’s missteps.
Legacy letters foster future reader introspection and provide a time capsule of lessons learned. History has been (and will always continue to be) our most reliable oracle. The ultimate low time preference investment we can make is in educating and preparing opportunities for our species moving forward.
What draws you to Bitcoin?
Your response is a reflection of what you perceive to be the cornerstone of Bitcoin’s philosophy. This is an open-ended question for any and all to contribute. Tweet @BitcoinMagazine your #BitcoinLegacy to define why you are adamant about financial and individual sovereignty in your own words!
In your response, you will unwittingly unveil your areas of expertise and specific interests across the blockchain spectrum. Some with technical backgrounds emphasize Bitcoin’s mathematically secured, open-source protocol. Persons with economic backgrounds might stress the importance of scarce money backed by proof of work. Others with political science backgrounds may underscore Bitcoin’s decentralized governance model. Persecuted groups facing human rights challenges would tout Bitcoin’s seizure resistance. Anyone with any background can provide insight as to how Bitcoin benefits them — yes, especially us plebs!
Compiled below are personal convictions from Bitcoin Magazine contributors as to what brings us all to invest finite time toward this monetary protest, and why we find Bitcoin to be the lifeblood of the future. It is normal to observe repetition of core thematic elements underlying Bitcoin’s fundamental ideology. No two responses will be the same, but all will be equal in their conviction of a common goal toward furthering Bitcoin’s mission.
The following responses are intended to be mulled over by future readers and ourselves as a reference point in time for our collective, but independently unique, perspectives. An informal ode to Bitcoin, if you will.
Now I will shut up and let the gang do the heavy lifting.
There are so many layers of depth to Bitcoin, but I'll focus on two. Firstly, for each individual, it's simply about sound money. We know how many bitcoin there will be in 10, 20 or 30 years’ time but can't say the same of the Federal Reserve's balance sheet.
See past the short-term volatility. View Bitcoin as an economic battery, fluctuating with adoption. In the long run, and in an increasingly chaotic world, it gives each participant the best chance of preserving value across time.
There is no better option.
On the broader macroeconomic level, it is Jeff Booth who, for me, is posing the ultimate question for our times:
"How is it possible to tackle climate change with an economic system that requires inflation?
Instead of embracing the technology gains that naturally bring deflation and broader based abundance, monetary policy (globally) is fighting it — keeping society on a treadmill of ever higher prices and needing more consumption and more production ... Forever."
Bitcoin fixes this, changing the mindset and reducing the time preference of every participant. I believe history will judge it as the most significant development of this century.
What binds my conviction in Bitcoin?
Plain and simple, the asymmetric advantage afforded to the individual. Free and open for anyone to opt-in, permissionless, neutral and borderless, with no barriers to entry, pre-qualifications, credentials or identifying documents necessary. The ability to instantly interact economically on a global scale that has been unleashed and decoupled from the central control of gatekeeping permission granters and legacy financial institutions.
Now the weaponization of money by the few against the many, wielded as an implement of tyranny and control, has been disrupted by a decentralized, unstoppable, peer-to-peer protocol. The rent-seeking, parasitic leeching that has siphoned generational wealth and value from the energy expended by hardworking individuals for centuries has been severed. The unwavering, impenetrable security enforced by the inflexible laws of mathematics that ensures no matter what regime changes or sweeping legislative actions are taken or however far the pendulum swings, it is only the will of the individual that can unlock the secrets they hold.
Seizure by force, confiscation through inflation, theft through taxation have no power against Bitcoin.
This once-in-a-civilization opportunity to separate money from State will be looked back upon as either the pivotal moment in human history when the global trend toward tyranny was thrown off course, or this moment will be covered up with PayPal and Mastercard stickers, masked and hidden in the history books as the greatest revolution that never happened. I am an advocate for freedom and empowering the individual, and with careful consideration, I have chosen the best tool for the task at hand.
There are few opportunities throughout history where a group of people can stand up for what they believe in and make a meaningful difference in the course of humankind. The discovery of Bitcoin is one of those times. By participating in the adoption and acceleration of the Bitcoin network by people around the world, I believe we can make a significant impact on the quality of life for humans in the decades and even centuries to come.
As a young person, I felt clear that I did not agree with the status quo. I always felt like an outsider but didn’t know why. Throughout my life, I experimented with opting out of the system by joining various subcultures to find my place in the world. While those circles offered a place of temporary companionship, it wasn’t until I found Bitcoin where I found a like-minded consortium of people from around the world who were committed to improving society as a whole.
Bitcoin is a catalyst that is perfectly primed to pave the way for a better future with the current set of circumstances on the global stage. Watching the world lose its collective mind over the last year and a half over a coronavirus only solidified my resolve.
Bitcoin is the rare occasion to enact change for the betterment of myself, my children and humanity as a whole.
The moment to make a difference is now.
DAWDU M. AMANTANAH
Bitcoin provides equilibrium of power from tyrants to the meek who shall inherit the Earth.
It is a silent protest creeping in, dissolving the constructs of corrupt politics, money and rulership over sovereignty. The unalterable record that is the Bitcoin network will allow wealth to remain in the hands of those that accumulate it for generations. Bitcoin, for me, is the paradigm shift that changed the way I look at economics, computer science, math, philosophy, political science, physics and history. Bitcoin is about using encrypted technology to build the decentralized world we want to live in unison. It is really about liberation.
Suppose I could impart wisdom on my children and grandchildren in regards to Bitcoin. There may be a time where acquiring bitcoin will not be like the days of old. Secure it. Educate yourself by doing your own research. Hold it over a long period. Then depart with it only to pass down to the next generation or only after great strain. Whatever you sell it for must have a significant impact on your quality of life or preserve the greater good in the world. If not, don’t.
In 2018, I was fortunate enough to have the funds to enjoy a gap year around Australia. While there, my funds were tight yet sufficient. One day, upon waking up in some lost city of the East Coast, I saw that €400 (~$450) had left my bank account, without my knowledge or permission. A sizable amount for 2018 backpacker me.
I was baffled and confused, I had no idea of who or for which reason my money had been taken from me, without even asking!
“The culprit?” you may ask.
As I would come to find out, my hometown city council.
They took my money for some fees I was supposed to have paid a while ago — which I thought were already paid for. As you can imagine, this violation of my private property struck me deep — very deep. I had discovered that my private property wasn't that private after all.
My lightbulb moment with Bitcoin was when I realized that this piece of technology could have helped me in Australia. That my bitcoin is MY BITCOIN, and nobody can steal my wealth. That only one person in the world can move them or use them: me.
I had, in that very moment, discovered what the truest form of private property was: bitcoin.
I have been a professional risk trader for over 30 years. Sitting in a risk chair is real life. It is not some cushy academic chair where theories are espoused. It is managing the savings and pensions of clients, friends and family — in real time, good markets and bad — and your livelihood and sanity are pressured daily.
In a risk chair, you are always looking for cheap insurance. An edge that will protect you and clients in the event of a risk bomb. I believe bitcoin to be the best insurance product I have ever studied. It is essentially credit insurance on a basket of fiat currencies. It is a hedge to the inevitable unraveling of fiat systems globally.
Bitcoin provides protection against central bank shenanigans.
It allows for a more comfortable risk chair. Bitcoin is hope for a sound money future. Bitcoin is a solution to the greedy boomers (I am a boomer) who have pulled forward the fiat riches that should be accruing to our kids.
Sincerely, Greg Foss. Proud husband and dad.
My day job has always been in the tech world, so the beautiful math and technology of Bitcoin feels like home. In my opinion, our life at its mathematical essence is a series of time and material transactions. Therefore, as a store of value and medium of exchange, a better money is a foundation for solutions to a lot of systematic problems in life. Outside of paid work, bitcoin is part of the answer to problems I’ve attempted to help with in the larger world:
Financial literacy and time preference of money.
Decision-making. Studies have shown that money issues severely affect decision-making and the ability to think and act well.
Mental health. One root cause is often financial security and/or job issues. (Caveat: Bitcoin can’t fix mental health and relationship issues.)
Physical health. Money affects access to and use of preventive and primary care.
Immigrant worker rights. Money affects health and welfare around employment.
As with disease, looking at root and underlying issues versus symptoms is most conducive to helping fix problems.
Money is an underlying causal agent for all of the above.
I love bitcoin because it is a better form of money and can help at fixing root causes.
The human mind is nature's greatest evolutionary leap. It enabled our species to out-compete all others and develop to otherwise unattainable heights. But after more than 100,000 years of undisputed dominion over the planet, the agricultural revolution brought about the need for more complex systems of societal organization.
Thus we encountered a new problem: delegated decision-making for the sake of large scale coordination. Otherwise known as government. There was simply no other way to coordinate thousands (and millions) of people around a singular purpose. Not without (by choice or force) a small group of people making decisions on behalf of the populace. It is, for example, the reason why we were able to build cathedrals that no hunter-gatherer tribe could ever conceive of.
However, it also gave rise to the old adage: Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Because even in today’s modern democracies, we must create power structures to make delegated decisions. How else does one coordinate millions of people into making hundreds of decisions on a daily basis? Enter Bitcoin.
What truly excited me about Bitcoin when I first encountered it was that, for the first time in human history, we had a working real-world example of a fully distributed societal coordination and consensus mechanism.
There is no one making decisions on behalf of anyone else, no power structures whatsoever.
And the rules could be changed if needed. Yet everyone followed those rules which proved to best serve the interest of the entire network.
In and of itself, Bitcoin cannot replace the role of government as we know it today. But what is truly exciting is that Bitcoin proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we don't necessarily need power structures to coordinate ourselves across an entire planet. Thus, we now have proof: If we choose to, we may be able to render impotent the human tendency toward corruption.
What really changed my outlook on life and the future was Bitcoin. But the reasoning for this had absolutely nothing to do with the wealth-generating aspects of it — it was what I saw could be done for society.
It has the power to change everything.
The manner in which bitcoin monetizes energy generation changes absolutely everything about the energy market today. Energy producers have a direct monetization option that incentivizes not only greater energy generation but also seeking out geographically stressed sources of energy. And bitcoin provides an incentive system that also allows this to be done with greater capability of automation — because there isn’t a need for the product to be transported for profits to be realized.
By bringing greater amounts of energy online, and skewing the supply and demand structure further to the supply side, costs of energy use can go down. This means that retrieving resources becomes cheaper, as well as the transportation of raw materials. This also means that the costs of production become cheaper from BOTH ends of the process — energy costs of operation go down as well as the direct costs of acquiring materials, which then results in greater profit margins for retailers.
BUT this also means that competition becomes cheaper, driving the cost of goods closer to zero as it will cost close to nothing for a competitor like Apple or Samsung to spin up a product that is comparable in quality. This also entails that any industry that utilizes technology (which is every industry) experiences diminishing costs. Meaning healthcare becomes cheaper, food becomes cheaper, automobiles, cleaning products … everything becomes cheaper to produce and driven even lower by free market competition.
What do I hope Bitcoin will accomplish?
It’s not the gains that make me hopeful, it’s the freedom and the movement. If you asked me this question a few years ago, I might have said whatever the next big price target was.
Bitcoin has a way of changing how you see things.
I always thought of Bitcoiners as traders and speculators before I got involved in the space, but I was quickly proven wrong. I’ve found that Bitcoiners care deeply about the world. We fight for financial sovereignty, for freedom and for the basic human right that is sound money. Bitcoin just happens to be the tool, but the movement is much greater than that.
It’s my hope that the Bitcoin community never strays from this ethos and I’m incredibly confident that won’t be the case.
The rise of the Austrian economics school of thought fermented a dedicated and rising cohort of devoted Bitcoiners over the past few years. These understandings of scarcity, mixed with salability across time and programmatic issuance, allowed a protocol of pure privacy and security held together by proof of work to take the world by storm in an effort to separate money and State.
Taproot has officially launched, and with this, we will see scalability with the addition of Schnorr signatures allowing for key aggregation, MAST saving computational resources by not needing to represent every unmet condition of a contract, and Tapscript allowing the Bitcoin script to be far more commanding and expressive in its usage. While this is a primitive summary of Taproot, its implications for the future remain immeasurable as the next generation of development begins.
Bitcoin holds conviction as the only solution to an irreparable system, and it’s still so early.
A world without Bitcoin will seem strange for a person in 2100, seemingly like wondering what the world was like without running hot water and electricity for a person of my era to wonder. But the truth of the matter is, the world in 2021 is malfunctioning badly compared to what humanity could achieve with bona fide sound money.
Sound money is twofold, firstly it is chosen by the market, and secondly, it is free from government intervention. This was simply not true in an era with government legal tender laws, bailout guarantees, capital gains tax laws, and various other banking and financial regulations. While this may seem arcane, the downstream impacts to society are enormous.
The world with cheap government debt is a world where the welfare state and warfare state are large and have strong cultural impacts on our world. Entrepreneurs engage in capital consumption and other negative sum behaviors that make our world poorer.
The ideas of freedom do matter, as backward progress is very much possible. In a few short years, the hysterical world in 2020 and 2021 systematically destroyed long held human rights protections.
Maintaining an open monetary standard and keeping it free from corruption, inflation and prejudice is vital.
It helps stop the abuse and makes the world a better place. Do cherish those values and freedoms.
ULRIC PATTILLO, III
Bitcoin is the quintessential solution for many.
For the laborer, unchecked monetary debasement is no more as Bitcoin defends the value of one's work accomplished.
For the investor, Bitcoin will gradually make highly leveraged fiat investment practices obsolete, making for a more stable future marketplace.
For the philosopher, the immutability of the Bitcoin ledger causes us to ask and even more assuredly answer the question, “What is Truth and what is its source?”
For the property owner, the security of cryptography provides certainty of ownership, void of any confiscation against one’s will.
For the citizen, government infringement in all facets of life becomes clearer when compared to Bitcoin’s role in a growing decentralized world.
Leaving a legacy of what you earned is materially valuable but leaving what you learned is intellectually invaluable. There is opportunity for all to leave lasting impressions regardless of economic or social background. It does not require fame, fortune, nor force to begin leaving a positive mark today — one that will stand the test of time.
Your response to this introspective exercise refines your philosophy on life that extends beyond ensuring generational wealth through bitcoin. Your words and actions form the foundation of your character, it’s never too soon nor too late to start defining your legacy. Realizing ideological priorities and what spurs you to achieve success will alter how you seek to live your life and be a net positive for your family and community.
Our generation’s unfinished business falls to you, incoming contemporaries. Today, we strive to make tomorrow worth pursuing. There is a sense of both calm and urgency within the community in the fact that Bitcoin is both unstoppable in nature and susceptible to fallible human nature, specifically, neglect.
Neglect of an opportunity that feels like a one-in-a-21-million chance to turn this fiat-lemon car around, diverting away from the highway to hyperinflationary hell. Neglect and complacent attitudes toward individual sovereignty are a double-trouble duo that is rampant in our current monetary and governmental institutions. The last thing humanity needs is to relapse, therefore, it is paramount now more than ever to continually remind our distant, future generations of the flaws of fiat and why we peacefully protest the incumbent system.
One step you can take today to leave a lasting imprint is defining what you value and the wisdom you can impart through writing a legacy letter to your future loved ones. The knowledge and satoshis you have stacked in this lifetime are worth sharing and your future kin will thank you.
What legacy will you leave?
The Bitcoin Magazine Contributor Team
This is a guest post by multiple Bitcoin Magazine Contributors.
Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.