Craig Warmke is a philosopher and fellow at the Bitcoin Policy Institute. In this interview, we discuss the biases and pressures that distort opinions about Bitcoin, and a framework for enabling objective evaluation of Bitcoin’s value and risk to individuals and society.
– – – –
Bitcoin has proved itself to be the hardest money ever created at a time when the world’s monetary systems are under unprecedented stress. It also provides an array of unique utilities: it helps vulnerable people; disrupts rent-seeking exploitation and brings pluralism to money for ordinary people.
And yet, for the majority, Bitcoin is still funny internet money, or worse, a Ponzi scheme, criminal back channel and/or environmental disaster. Why are so many people still struggling to see what Bitcoiners see?
Hal Finney’s writings are uncannily prescient. One such example is ‘Politics vs Technology’: a short 1994 article about cypherpunk responses to the dangers of government overreach. Many believed solutions were to be found in coding new tools. Finney was less sure that technology in isolation would change the world. To him, active engagement is vital: “If we want freedom and privacy, we must persuade others that these are worth having. There are no shortcuts.”
If education is the magic bullet, how should we persuade those still on the sidelines? Craig Warmke has proposed a framework that enables people to strip away their unconscious bias, subjective viewpoints and peer group constraints. The critical characteristic of the framework is that it requires openness to all of Bitcoin’s tradeoffs; bias affects both sides of the debate.
It makes the approach a powerful educational weapon: each individual can see the issues through a new lens; and, because both sides are required to confront their partiality, the conversation can become honest and collaborative. It also enables a fair review of the hidden costs of wider Bitcoin adoption, so that Bitcoin’s case can be further strengthened.