George Kaloudis is a senior research analyst and columnist for CoinDesk. In this interview, we discuss the validity of Bitcoin ideology. Can it replace governments? Does it promote individualism? Is Bitcoin’s distribution fair? Can Bitcoin fix the world? We unpick popular Bitcoin maxims to sift genuine slogans of change from the hyperbolic froth.
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Bitcoin maxims are powerful, persuasive and effective: “vires in numeris”, “don’t trust, verify”, “not your keys, not your coins”. These slogans have been the maximalist rallying cries used to champion and defend sound investment principles through many cycles. They have been, are, and will continue to be the bedrock supporting Bitcoin’s ongoing resilience. Meme theory works.
However, there are some maximalist mantras that are counterproductive. The “Bitcoin fixes this” slogan is perhaps the one that is more lazily applied than any other. Bitcoiners know that the genius of its design is that it can rectify long-standing weaknesses within the current fiat system. It can make banking fairer for all. Bitcoin, therefore, has the power to fix a lot within our society. But, it does not fix everything. Far from it.
The problem is that “Bitcoin fixes this” has been applied to all manner of issues, which are manifestly not fixed by the presence of Bitcoin. This causes the power of the original slogan to wane, and, calls people to question the validity of other maximalist propositions. Rather than act as an effective rallying cry, this slogan has become a signpost of hyperbolic froth.
It is therefore productive to go back to first principles and query what it is that Bitcoin actually fixes, or, helps to fix. And then, question the other assumptions that people make about Bitcoin. Whilst Bitcoin has tremendous potential to help create a new and fairer system, real change still requires human agency. Bitcoin will fix very little unless we all learn to work, interact and collaborate in new and sustainable ways. Bitcoin helps us fix this.