That is an opinion editorial by Interstellar Bitcoin, a bitcoin pleb.
In a hypothetical world, think about we are attempting to cease Bitcoin. Why may we do it? How would we do it? What actions would we have to take? The place would this get us? To reply these questions, we first should speak about Bitcoin in a bit extra depth.
“If you realize each your self and your enemy, you’ll be able to win 100 battles and not using a single loss.” — Solar Tzu
Bitcoin is an thought. It’s expertise that gives property rights, rule of legislation, financial freedom, free markets and, finally, sound cash to the person.
Bitcoin is a hard and fast provide ledger, defining who owns what and enabling individuals to transact peer-to-peer. Its ledger is enforced by proof-of-work, a consensus mechanism that makes use of power in a manner that removes inefficiencies and creates abundance.
Essentially, Bitcoin is info and math, thus banning it will have large implications.
We’ve outlined what Bitcoin is. So why ban it?
Management over the power to print cash and the ensuing Cantillon impact. Management over what power utilization is “morally acceptable” and what’s not, equivalent to through “ESG” (environmental, social and governance) mandates. Management over a populace. Complete authoritarianism.
We’ve obtained some the reason why somebody may ban Bitcoin, however how would they do it?
Unfavorable tax standing for bitcoin.
Unfavorable regulation, ban using Bitcoin expertise (aka make math and data unlawful), web censorship.
Or: Promote centrally managed shitcoins that use proof-of-stake and banning proof-of-work. That is a substitute for attempt to subvert Bitcoin by selling software program that may be managed by insiders.
One other various: censoring Bitcoin blocks and community spamming. It is a direct assault on the Bitcoin community that harms usability.
Vitality shortages, web outages, meals shortages.
Mass genocide of Bitcoiners.
Assume It Can’t Occur?
Learn extra political concept and historical past. Leaders do no matter they should do to remain in energy. Don’t rule out power and meals shortages, both deliberately or brought on by fiat coverage mismanagement. Don’t rule out intentional concentrating on of Bitcoiners.
You will need to do not forget that Bitcoiners have deeply held beliefs, typically summarized as: Bitcoin is sweet for humanity and cash needs to be exterior the management of the state. Bitcoin’s thought of a fixed-cap provide goes in opposition to orthodox economics, political buildings and the established order.
Bitcoiners are burning the ships, and there’s no going again.
Solely El Salvador and the Central African Republic have made Bitcoin authorized tender. Most international locations are already at Stage One: unfavorable tax legal guidelines.
9 international locations, principally these which might be most authoritarian, have superior to Stage Two with a partial or full bitcoin ban : Algeria, Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, Nepal, Qatar and Tunisia.
Think about a world the place international G20 coordination fully banned bitcoin utilizing mass media to advertise propaganda in opposition to it. Adoption would sluggish in a single day. Nations would promise “stability” and “safety” if solely we’d implement one other measure or use their central financial institution digital foreign money (CBDC).
On the identical time, authorities might promote centrally managed proof-of-stake shitcoins to divide and conquer individuals in “crypto” who additionally maintain bitcoin. This is the reason it’s essential to be bitcoin-only.
This might be paired with a direct assault on the Bitcoin community by means of block censorship and community spamming.
An instance of block censorship was when Marathon Digital Holdings mined an OFAC-compliant block in 2021. Marathon solely included transactions they deemed “clear” or “compliant,” ignoring different transactions at their very own financial expense (Marathon stopped their try and censor transactions only some months later).
Equally, in 2017, the community withstood ongoing spam assaults by mining swimming pools to flood the community with low-value spam transactions, driving up community charges to push their bigger block agenda.
Now think about a state actor — with successfully limitless cash — closely subsidizing bitcoin miners who’re compliant and spamming the community. This might hurt bitcoin’s fungibility and value as cash.
Nonetheless, recreation concept is on Bitcoin’s facet. Ultimately, state actors will face growing issues to subsidize censorship and spam the community. Assuming attackers should print cash to fund the assault, this devalues their foreign money in opposition to bitcoin. It’s a short-term assault that would solely be efficient if paired with a ban, propaganda and different measures.
The community will stay usable. Individuals are keen to pay greater charges. There’ll all the time be miners who’re economically incentivized to incorporate any transaction.
If this didn’t assault didn’t work, international locations might then attempt creating additional uncertainty with energy shortages, web outages and meals shortages — Stage Three.
That is already occurring within the fiat world as a result of horrible fiat insurance policies.
Taken to the acute, some international locations with the best propaganda might even begin rounding up Bitcoiners — Stage 4. The federal government wouldn’t even must do something; residents would do it for them out of worry.
To some extent, the labeling of Bitcoiners is occurring already with overly burdensome know-your-customer (KYC) insurance policies. Regulated monetary establishments are required by legislation to maintain an in depth listing of non-public and monetary info (identify, handle, age, transaction quantity, bitcoin addresses, and many others.). This listing would make it trivial for the state to search out everybody who has ever traded, owned or used bitcoin through a centralized change.
Lastly, absolutely the worst choice: government-sanctioned killing (aka democide). This, and the lesser excessive of compelled imprisonment, can and does occur in historical past. A hypothetical democide of Bitcoiners would trigger irrevocable injury to humanity and finally bitcoin adoption.
Fortunately, bitcoin is info, with no bodily location. In all places and nowhere.
This poses a novel problem for banning bitcoin: geographic arbitrage.
As international locations crack down on bitcoin, the inducement for different international locations to undertake bitcoin as authorized tender grows.
“The plan is easy: because the world falls into tyranny, we’ll create a haven for freedom.” — Nayib Bukele, President of El Salvador
It is a excellent instance of recreation concept.
Two international locations banning bitcoin causes vital hurt to each.
Two international locations letting bitcoin exist causes each economies to thrive.
One nation defecting and banning bitcoin whereas the opposite does nothing, harms just one nation.
The distinctive Nash equilibrium in pure methods is down, proper (No ban, No ban).
What does this imply? Bitcoiners have an obligation to withstand immoral and unjust legal guidelines. This may require civil disobedience and/or getting into into politics to make sure we win. The subsequent greatest various is retreating to bitcoin-friendly geographies like El Salvador.
The query individuals fascinated about banning bitcoin must ask themselves is: are they keen to completely imprison and kill to do it? The one method to cease an thought is to bodily cease the individuals who maintain an thought. Think about George Orwell’s 1984 idea of doublethink.
It’s as much as the individuals to resolve which path they are going to select: freedom or tyranny.
So, how will we defend in opposition to these assaults?
- Shill to as many individuals as doable; the extra those that maintain bitcoin, the higher.
- Educate the significance of self-custody and operating your personal full node. There are nice sources by Bitcoin Journal and lots of others.
- Help bitcoin-only people, companies and international locations.
- Enhance the underlying community and scaling applied sciences. For instance, BIP324 (a bitcoin enchancment proposal for P2P encryption) and Layer 2s such because the Lightning Community.
- Construct resilient communities and round bitcoin economies.
- Change into a Bitcoiner who’s a beacon of hope in an abyss of darkness.
In conclusion, it’s doable to maim bitcoin adoption briefly, however at a punishing value: fascism on an enormous scale, not seen since WW2.
The important thing phrase right here is “adoption.” It’s not possible to kill the Bitcoin community, an thought of unstoppable sound cash.
This text was primarily based on a Twitter thread.
It is a visitor submit by Interstellar Bitcoin. Opinions expressed are totally their very own and don’t essentially replicate these of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Journal.
Supply: Bitcoin Journal