David Zell is a co-founder of the Bitcoin Policy Institute and Director of Policy at BTC Inc. In this interview, we discuss fighting to make congress aware of Bitcoin’s social value, the strategic benefits of Bitcoin for the US and how our rights are being erased in a digital world and Bitcoin’s defence.
– – – –
On June 1st a letter in “Support of Responsible Fintech Policy” was sent to Congress. Purportedly from 1,500 “computer scientists, software engineers, and technologists”, it excoriated blockchain technology, stating it “has been a solution in search of a problem and has now latched onto concepts such as financial inclusion and data transparency to justify its existence.”
FUD in the media is one thing. Direct lobbying of congress using persuasive but purposefully misleading arguments is another. Coordinated attack vectors have affected Bitcoin at numerous stages of its evolution. These attacks are now focused on galvanizing the most powerful of external forces: persuading the US government Bitcoin is of no social value is arguably the most dangerous moment yet.
The battles over technical details have now become battles over ideas. And the constituency over which this battle is being fought has grown from an informed and knowledgeable clique of insiders to a less informed but more consequential clique of legislators.
But, just as the assaults on Bitcoin have become more political and trenchant, the defensive measures have witnessed significant maturation. Bitcoin has always had persuasive individuals. Now it has powerful institutions. Most importantly it has its own think tank, bringing together some of the most interesting and original voices within the industry.
In this new stage of Bitcoin’s development, we are lucky to have those who can see the battle that needs to be fought at the nation-state level. And we’re also lucky to have those who can develop arguments that are persuasive to those looking for the collective needs of wider society.