A Conspiracy Theory of Bitcoin

I’m a paranoid person. I should probably stop smoking pot, but it’s hard to get much else these days. Has anything been written about COVID’s effect on the availability of street drugs?

Anyway, Bitcoin thrives on paranoia. And a popular paranoiac concern is that the government, or the CIA, is out to destroy Bitcoin.

Bitcoin people point to Segwit2x and blocksize battles as evidence of attempted coup. That’s how the CIA overthrows foreign regimes, right? Fund some dissident groups, amplify civil unrest, prop up a puppet leader and bomb them into the stone age. ¡Viva la colour revolución!

But it’s shortsighted to think that the CIA wants to destroy Bitcoin. Why divide and conquer when you can commandeer?

The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves. –Vladimir Lenin

Every society has dissidents, it’s human nature. Locking them up makes for bad PR; a smarter strategy is to hijack the message to further the objectives of the ruling class.

World peace and clean air were once anti-establishment goals. Hippie counterculture was a rejection of the military industrial complex. In the 1970s, oil interests promoted propaganda that transformed the message from “War is bad” to “Nukes are bad” to “Nuclear power is bad”, and we were all too stoned to notice. You can’t hug your children with nuclear arms, man.

California Governor Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown campaigned on clean energy, then closed the state’s nuclear power plants and reinforced dependence on foreign oil and gas to line his family’s pockets. It’s a testament to the power of propaganda that we still think of him as a climate leader1.

Railing against the establishment tends not to be a profitable venture, and eventually dissidents sell out and start shilling the message of their sponsors. That’s why child actress and propaganda vessel Greta Thunberg has gone from climate activism to protesting Nordstream to #FreeNavalny to backing the Farmers Protest in India.

Crypto anarchy is an easy message to hijack. Bitcoiners are the most economically rational humans in the world, by which I mean really effin’ greedy. We would sell our grandmothers if it meant stacking more sats.

Like Green Day selling Pepsi or Iggy Pop endorsing life insurance, Bitcoin will suffer feature creep to accommodate deep-pocketed investors. We want censorship-resistance, 21 million supply limit, privacy, fungibility, and renewable energy. Five demands, not one less!

And maybe Bitcoiners are ambivalent about renewable energy, but Elon Musk has so much money, and making him happy makes Number Go Up.

The message will transform from “Bitcoin is for everyone” to “Bitcoin is for everyone, as long as they agree to sustainability standards” to “Miners are private companies in a private council who can censor whomever they please, and if you don’t like it go start your own decentralized cryptocurrency!”

And that’s the conspiracy theory for today.

1. Jerry Brown’s father Pat Brown was governor before him, and passed “environmental” regulations to make the state dependent on Getty-owned oil leases after receiving bribes from Bill Newsom. Bill Newsom was attorney to J. Paul Getty. His grandson Gavin Newsom is the current governor of California, and Nancy Pelosi’s nephew. (source)

7 thoughts on “A Conspiracy Theory of Bitcoin

    1. The original dark ages idea of currency was chits that represented grain stored at harvest time in the communal grainery. The chits, pieces of colored paper sized to the amount of grain stored in the grainery, lost their value on a logarithmic scale as soon as they were issued. Tearing off a * bit * of paper from your chit was worth a share of what was left and people traded the bits for goods as quick as possible to avoid getting stuck with the chits when they became effectively worthless a the grain was given out for chits, spoilage, and mice insuring the eventual complete devaluation of the currency. Basically a spend now and stimulate the economy currency. The landlords quickly outlawed any currency that wasn’t issued by the king and required it to be a non deteriorating metal to hold value for hoarding wealth like they did with land, the diametrically opposite of stimulating the economy. A proper protest coin would lose its value over time in seasons and believe it or not could be issued to every account holder free of charge in weekly?/monthly? seasonal?/yearly? seasons to avoid losing all value. It could also lose value over time based on last transaction. Dispersing the lost value to the miners, maybe? The biggest financial fear of the wealthy hoarders is others accumulating wealth and their worst nightmare that was squashed during the dark ages was a currency that they were unable to hoard. I’d be onboard to create the first chits expiring currency platform. Could be lots fun spending bits like there is no tomorrow in a booming chit based economy where the goal is to spend as fast as possible.

      1. Very interesting. I’m trying to search for more info about this but coming up empty. Can you help me out with some sources? Thanks 🙂

        1. I believe it was an episode of Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast. I will have to do some research to find the episode or failing that the source I heard it from.

  1. Bitcoin miners are so financial driven AKA greedy that about 60% of the electricity used is green during the summer when the hydro power flows. Dams are the cheapest source of green electricity and the miners moved their data centers to where the power is cheaper a long time ago. A green win subverted by financial ignorance.

  2. > Railing against the establishment tends not to be a profitable venture

    This is generally true, but not for bitcoin since NGU makes it very profitable all by itself.

  3. Hi Elaine. I’m so happy I found your blog; I”m enjoying it, although I have to admit I’m very very new to these aspects of finance. But you gotta learn somehow.

    This post here made me think of the recent soft news (soft because I learned by finding a Youtube video of someone hacking apart the meeting about it) that the government is discussing getting more involved with Facebook’s Libra, and that this means Bitcoin might be put out somehow.

    Not expecting an answer. This is just a random convoluted thought.

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