Austin Hill is a cypherpunk & former Blockstream CEO. In this interview, we discuss the dangers of absolutism within Bitcoin’s community, building consensus in promoting freedom money, and advancing the human condition.
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The development and adoption of Bitcoin is predicated upon a reaction to the manifest failures of current economic and political structures. The associated need to defend Bitcoin from multiple attack vectors resulted in a protective maximalist ideology. The end result is that the current Bitcoin community is dominated by big personalities with firm and unyielding convictions.
Yet, maintaining an adoption curve mirroring that of the internet means proving the benefits of this innovative technology to everyone: the wider public, companies, and state-level institutions. This will require building consensus: coalescing around positive characteristics of the technology whilst working to ensure divergent opinions don’t overwhelm the debate.
As Bitcoin enters a more nuanced phase of maturation, a pragmatic approach to furthering its adoption and effective development may be required. Do battle-hardened Bitcoiners now need to become more politically flexible? Is it possible to find agreement with those who hold contradictory views? Is compromise possible whilst protecting Bitcoin’s unique innovation?