In the crypto space, and especially where that space overlaps with libertarian ideals, there is no shortage of talk about bitcoin being a hedge against the filthy fiat paradigm. It all sounds so brave and noble and resolute, but if one can't even buy a coffee for BTC anymore, or is too afraid to run afoul of even the smallest of the slimy swarm of regulations that have multiplied like cancer over the years -- what is even left of the original dream?
Permissionless spending, daily payments, and a newfound, paradigm-shattering freedom in finance is what first made bitcoin so invigorating. Call it the free market, capitalism, laissez-faire, agorism or Austrian econ. It really doesn't matter.
Before 'number go up' and 'I'm just waiting for Elon to make another Tweet,' there was actually this crazy idea that bitcoin could empower people to exit a broken and brutally violent financial system, and instead spend their money as they saw fit. In other words, bitcoin made it possible for the individual to no longer accept violent, arbitrary claims of ownership over their property, no matter who was making said claims.
This permissionless way of being isn't about 'breaking the law,' per se, or being antisocial. It's a simple, neutral protocol which upends everything by virtue of its existence. The original, inspiring excitement of "A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash [which] would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution."
There are many in bitcoin going apeshit over the rising price. It is indeed very exciting. It begs the question, though: how many of these people are willing to trade their coins face-to-face? How many are paying for daily expenses with crypto, or using it like cash to pay for jobs? Who is receiving it and spending it again and again in their local communities, engendering independence, financial sovereignty, and greater prosperity as the inflationary, broken fiat system is gradually left behind?
Sure the number can go up. And transaction fees can also become so high as to render something useless as far as the average, daily spender goes. "But BTC is digital gold," the protest echoes out. "It is meant to be saved, not spent!" Assuming this to be true, 'cashing out' itself for the average crypto holder on a large exchange can be a barely navigable quagmire of red tape and KYC suffocation these days. A tedious litany of identification, tax forms, and at the end of it all, the possibility that state agents might still find something wrong with how things were reported. In other words, it's scary, and most would rather stick with the perceived safety of what they know.
Bitcoin then, in many senses, has devolved into a warped and washed out caricature of its former self. To many these days it is just an advanced kind of gambling whose end goal is to simply make more fiat. To make a killing. And that is completely fine. But it's not the revolutionary aspect of crypto. The idea that crypto commandeered by the mighty fiat mafia can somehow overtake said mafia via its own regulatory devices, banks and governments makes zero sense. This takeover is only possible with two ingredients: mass adoption and permissionless action.
I wonder what these big social media braggarts would do if regulations became so severe that to trade in non-state-approved crypto were made a crime. With the global advent and rise of CBDCs it is not terribly hard to imagine. Many already painstakingly obey each and every bit of contradictory and arbitrary legal minutiae dribbled from the pens of bloated politicians, anyway.
What happens when power grids are commandeered by the state? Do these brave bitcoin folks have mesh networks set up, so they can continue to trade and thrive? Do they know what mesh networks are? It is entirely possible for the dollar to hyperinflate, and throw global markets into chaos. Do they think the orange coin's number will remain sky high if nobody can use it in daily commerce anymore? Whisky and bullets may well have more market value in such a stark scenario.
Some will say this type of thinking is silly doomsday catastrophizing, and fantasy, but it's important to remember that vaccine passports are being considered at the current time, and special "WELL" seals to designate clean, healthy businesses from 'dirty' non-covid-compliant ones. Churches are being invaded and shut down by cops. Free association of independent, individual human beings is being violently suppressed by the same groups ostensibly seeking to 'sensibly regulate' and 'adopt' crypto. Why would they give a damn about your financial freedom?
We are living in the age of peak state takeover, in other words. For bitcoin to have any true survival value at all, action is needed.
Most have seen the video. A series of dominoes is shown. The first is extremely tiny. The last is very huge. In between is a series of dominoes whose size gradually increases from the small starter all the way to the big, heavy one at the end. The small domino is pushed first. The dominoes then each topple over, one by one, until finally, even the big beast must succumb to the force of the momentum, and gravity brings it crashing to the floor. The lesson? Even a tiny domino, with the right action potential (a series of potentialities in favorable sequence or situation for a desired result), can topple something hugely larger than itself.
Could this work for bitcoin? Maybe. Maybe not. But there is no way to know without pushing that first tiny domino. And the act of exercising autonomy and freedom is always rewarding in and of itself, anyway. Right here, right now.
So pay your neighbors with BCH, buy your coffee, save those secret paper wallets, keep your profits, take tips that will never be recorded on paper and turned in to a violent extortion agency. There is indeed risk to all this. Life itself is risky. But what is the alternative? To simply shrug and acquiesce to this revolutionary idea fading into the dull gray background of just another fiat-based points system with a blockchain?
Delve into the sea of permissionless-ness. It's not about 'breaking the law.' It's about being free and standing for the unassailable logic behind peace, prosperity, and financial sovereignty (aka self-ownership). You are not a slave. You are a human being. There is dignity to that, and your money should reflect this dignity, not denigrate it.