Bitcoin, Extropy, and Market Anarchy
Exponentially expanding hashing power. Fiat money pouring into Bitcoin startups and mining equipment. Digital economies flourishing despite massive QE and the artificial stabilization of the USD and other currencies. And Bitcoin’s in the middle of a period of relatively high inflation itself. And yet… it refuses to die. Bitcoin’s value may be low in terms of dollars and euros and yuan, but what it represents should not be underestimated:
- The sudden, technological leapfrogging of antiquated payment systems
- Unchecked divergence from centralized financial control structures
- A violent tear-away from Keynesian inertia (let them print themselves into bankruptcy, I say)
- A blossoming of new freedoms, empowering the Average Joe to hold his own money, secure his own stores of value, and hedge independently against insane-and-intentional inflation
Despite the price, all other metrics point to steady growth in adoption: New developers coming on all around the Bitcoin software ecosystem, new users getting wallets, new subscribers to reddit’s r/Bitcoin, and so on… Just since November 2013, we’ve seen 8,000% greater mining hashing power!
With all this growth and the increasingly positive attention that Bitcoin is getting, this stark contrast is becoming ever more tangible to people: On the one hand we have our antiquated financial world of centralized, opaque, fiat-based, runaway economies — and on the other — the limitless, novel, and programmable force of innovation that is Bitcoin. Its nature is decentralized, transparent, deflationary, and predictable. Its economics are sane. Its economics are modern (in that they are secure, convenient, fast, and unrestricted).
The free market, an open-source ecosystem of ideas, market anarchy, has produced this technological marvel.
Truly stunning is the notion that through this network — for the first time — not only will you and I be able to converse economically over great distances (and even from space) relatively instantaneously, but also will the devices we use be able to exchange malleable, programmable, and unforgeble assets between each other according to operational limits and supply-and-demand (i.e., machine-to-machine purchases).
The internet of things could grow out of this: one asset class, one identifier per device; one separate asset class and token for permissible actions and permissions for each device interaction. A unit as small as a satoshi serves as a class or identifier in the blockchain; ethereum, bitcoin sidechains, or some other “Bitcoin 2.0” layer encodes and manages and tracks it. When no longer needed, the sidechain is released, its original satoshi returned to the main pool of bitcoins.
Mutual exchange of assets, of value, facilitated by open-source, libertarian-inspired software. Opening before us is an agora, a counter-economic, apolitical, parallel construction, forged in the minds of early 90’s e-cash theorists. The Bitcoin Agora is simply the amalgamation of sovereign actors making independent transfers of wealth without permission. Voting to approve of taxpayer money reallocation is not a prerequisite (or a priority) for the agorists of Bitcoin. They will buy and claim and transfer property with any given and legitimately-earned coin they wish — for as long as they want — despite the legal and regulatory mandates of old-world nation states. The extropy, this synergy between open-source software and distributed, digital, programmable money is unprecedented. And we have only just begun to unlock its full potential.
Change is in the air.