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Satoshi Nation

Chris Campbell

Posted August 11, 2022

Chris Campbell

"Everyone wants to attack. Quit trying to attack. Let the game come to you. This is a war of attrition."
- Moneyball, Michael Lewis

Times they are a-changin’.

The biggest question in our circles isn’t whether or not the current status quo is dying.

That’s pretty obvious.

The biggest question is: “What’s going to replace it?”

Today, we look at crypto’s potential role.

Anxious For the End

Yesterday, you may recall, we talked about Martin Luther, the guy who basically spearheaded…

→ Self-publishing
→ Christian rock
→ Christmas tree decorations
→ The Reformation
→ The modern world

He had a few good ideas (and, by the way, a few really bad ones).

That’s all it takes to really change the world.

And, of course, timing. Timing is everything.

Luther’s time was anxious for the old world to end. It was also anxious for a new world to begin. That’s because the century leading up to the “Luther Moment” saw a slow creep of corruption in the cultural centers of power.

Luther seized the day and delivered his 95 Theses. Not only that, he created a powerful myth around himself.

Not entirely unlike a budding cultural powerhouse in our own time…

The Satoshi Moment

Our times are anxious for the old order to end, too.

That’s because a slow creep of corruption has also infected our centers of power — in our case, the entire global financial system — over the past 100 years.

While Luther nailed his 95 Theses, Satoshi Nakamoto first delivered his white paper to the new cultural gathering place: the Internet.

Ultimately, both Luther and Satoshi’s actions are framed as a disgust for the gluttonous status quo. They both saw what they believed to be elites acting for their own benefit at the expense of those they claim to serve.

And there are compelling similarities between the two figures.

A bit of trivia: Bitcoin’s first block is also called the Genesis block, which, by itself, is only vaguely Biblical. But the plot thickens: Satoshi mined the Genesis block and then, for whatever reason, waited six days to create the second block. Some say it was deliberate. He wanted Bitcoin to align with the Genesis tale, where the Earth was created in seven days.

(And now you know.)

Disintermediation

Big banks have gotten bigger and become more entrenched. Privacy exists until the next corporation suffers a hack. Credit card fraud is a common and daily occurrence. The banks ultimately decide what you can and cannot do with your money.

Satoshi believed he’d uncovered a solution.

Although Satoshi’s white paper was purely technical, devoid of revolutionary opinions, perhaps who he associated with — the cypherpunks — told you everything you need to know about his beliefs.

Like the cypherpunks, Luther believed that centralization of power was a great threat. He wished to see individuals find salvation for themselves, without the need for a middleman between the individual and the divine. Leveraging the printing press, Luther and his followers created an emergent, decentralized movement that created a separation between Church and State.

Similarly, the cypherpunks have held for decades that cryptography can have a similar impact on the current status quo. Beyond just allowing individuals to maintain privacy in the face of rising surveillance states, cryptography could also create a separation between State and Money, allowing for individuals to find financial salvation (and freedom) without the need of centrally-controlled banks.

Out of that movement, Bitcoin was born.

Truth At All Costs

Luther was big on truth.

He once wrote: “Peace if possible, truth at all costs.”

By his writings, we know that Satoshi operated under a similar ethos, informing the way he built Bitcoin.

He wrote: “Being open source means anyone can independently review the code. If it was closed source, nobody could verify the security. I think it’s essential for a program of this nature to be open source.”

Later, others came to call Bitcoin’s underlying tech a “truth machine,” where consensus is reached without requiring the trust of a third party.

“Peace if possible, truth at all costs.”

Cultural War of Attrition

Ultimately, Luther’s ideas won because they captured the culture first.

If crypto is to win, that’s the path it’ll take.

According to futurist Balaji Srinavasan, former CTO at Coinbase, there are three major cultural forces that will shape the future:

1.] Crypto Capital
2.] Woke Capital
3.] Communist Capital

These political blocs will be formed not in the traditional way, but through global networks.

Networks are taking the power role once reserved for God and the State. Balaji’s central argument is that cryptographic governance will allow decentralized voluntary relationships to transform into politically influential entities — what he calls a Network State.

“Bitcoin at $10,000 is an industry,” he said in an interview. “Bitcoin at $100,000 is a world power. Bitcoin at $1 million is a global government.”

If you have any doubt that a Network State is possible, says Balaji, consider that a group of pseudonymous individuals, initially publishing under pen names, founded a country called America.

Consider also that Israel began with a pamphlet, written by playwright Theodor Herzl.

Both examples are ideas that took hold of the culture first. Only then, did they become unstoppable.

The signs are already here that Crypto Capital could become a powerful cultural force in the coming years. Especially given that one of the most powerful indicators of cultural transformation is already happening: the SoHo Effect.

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