I often talk about the financial implications of Bitcoin and how to see it playing out or the technical aspects of how the system works. Still, I hardly tackle the psychological and consumer behaviour aspect of the token. Something I think is even more important than the other two. If people don’t believe in the project and what it’s trying to do, no amount of technical superiority or financial incentive will get it to mainstream adoption.
Belief plays a massive part in adopting cryptocurrency; we who already here have had our catharsis. Some are still feeling it out, and hopefully, they’ll reach that point sooner rather than later; the sooner you do, the stronger your conviction, and so too your hands.
The value of Bitcoin is a perception
I am a massive Bitcoin bull, but I realise that all money is nothing but a thought abstraction, a way to handle the accounting of value and previous labour that was used to produce goods and services we humans need. We’re the only species on the planet that needs money to survive; give that a thought next time you debate what money is better.
I’ve listened to so many debates on what makes sound money, and they all make good points, but in the end, perfect money doesn’t matter. All that matters is that enough people believe they can give it to the next person in exchange for something else.
Bitcoin needed attributes like absorbing valuable resources like electricity, making it hard to acquire with the difficulty adjustment, and making it scarce with the hard cap to convince us that this is a monetary policy and savings technology worth using.
It’s not that it is superior to fiat money; it just allows for less tampering, and that in itself is an upgrade, which shows you how faulty the current system of money really is, that making it immutable was all it takes.
I think censorship and self custody and all the other attributes Bitcoin offers, like moving the real bearer asset, which is only information, is important, but again they don’t make Bitcoin an instant success; they are pieces to a long term puzzle that needs to fall into place.
Anything can be a tool or a weapon to humans
As we humans progress, we’ve seen some big changes; we saw the separation of church and state. That brought about the enlightenment, which leads to developments further down the line.
Developments like the industrial age, but also world wars. We, humans, are highly unpredictable, we call Bitcoin volatility, but we are volatile; Bitcoin only mirrors what we are as people.
We are scared, we learn, we change our minds, we are overly confident, we are tribal, and all of that manifest in different ways in society and the way we engage with each other and the world around us.
A lack of meaning
Earlier I mentioned the enlightenment that leads us down the path of science and, with it, a technology that unlocked so much of the human potential and our ability to problem solve at scale. We became gods in our eyes, feeling less need for religion as we unlocked more answers to the world around us. I grew up Catholic; I understand the attractions and trappings of that religion; perhaps it’s the same for other regions, I am not sure, I cannot say.
I am no religious nut, but I think religion is an extension of our need for meaning and tribalism. As we moved away from religion, society, to me, placed its faith in its ability to produce, we worship money, idols, political elite, we worship progress, and we draw lines around these things.
To me, it’s a sort of sub religion or faction.
The modern person ties a lot of their self worth to material possessions of the power of those they align with, and that’s ALL measured with money; in the end, money is the measurement of a lot of what we hold dear.
We hear it all the time from the religious folks, money is the root of all evil, but you’re always going to replace the belief system that usurps you.
Money is meaningless
I think many people are now starting to wake up to the meaninglessness of money; yes, we all need it live, but we can see that the system we chose has clearly reached its limits.
I am not saying money is a noble pursuit; money is just a tool. It has no morals to assign it any is foolish. In fact, we impose our will on money, which is why it’s so bastardised in the first place.
Since Adam and Eve (if you’re so inclined to believe) have we seen that humans cannot resist any form of temptation, which is why we have rules that cannot be broken. I am sure if gravity could be broken, we’d all choose to fly even if it was the most dangerous way to move around.
Same with money, which is why we need a rule we cannot break.
Someones got to enforce the rules
We require something less corruptable, something that can act as a measuring stick for value. Something we can tether ourselves to in this crazy world we find ourselves in. Bitcoin is by no means a perfect solution, but it’s a hail mary we’ve tossed into the ring to see if we can make sense of things.
To be an anchor to pull us out of the deep and give us some perspective to how far we’ve strayed through the manipulation of money.