Who are the Bitcoin Advocates?

A Little Bit of Money

Thought Experiments on Cross-Border Payments - Of Couriers, Bankers, and Bitcoiners

Series 15: Who are the Bitcoin Advocates?

An Invention by a Group of Digital Privacy Activists

Ironically, there is a kind of cult surrounding the mysterious inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. The worship of Satoshi is apparent in Bitcoin forums. It is almost as if there is the desire for a strong fatherly figure, even though this omni-scientific idol might not even exist – at least as an individual. Incidentally, it is a denoting coincident that Nakamoto carries the same first name as Satoshi Tajiri, the Japanese video game designer best known as the creator of Pokémon. No matter what; Bitcoin is believed to be an invention of a loosely organized group of digital privacy activists. In reality, there is no single person to worship.

Fairytales for Bitcoiners

Allow me to examine Bitcoin`s origin myth from a purely psychological point of view a little bit further. So there is no home base in the land of Bitcoin. Crypto-Daddy is unknown, and no one has ever heard from Mommy. In this virtual fairytale, Hansel and Gretel are alone. The only people to talk to are the members of the Bitcoin community. Today’s financial system plays the role of the witch going after the “orphans in the storm.”

The Financial System is jinxed

For these wayward travelers, the only salvation is the return of their manga-style savior who could have arisen from a Japanese comic book. The magical hero helps in overcoming the evil powers of the witch that chase the innocent through the woods. Perhaps my oversubscription of this caricature contributes to understanding better why the Bitcoin community is so close-knit.  

A Fatherless Invention Run by a Community of Orphans

Psychoanalytically viewed, Bitcoin is a fatherless invention run by a community of orphans who trust machines more than “parental oversight.” It is not entirely clear to me if this analogy stems from the rebellious status of the Bitcoin community, or from the judgemental attitude of financial policy makers. My analysis begs the question, is there any underlying conflict going on among the stakeholders dealing with disruption because Bitcoin evangelists are defiant by nature, just like the establishment is reflexively obsessive and fearful?

Building Money for all the Digitally Connected People

The Bitcoin community believes that the world needs digital cash. Defining your space, conquering your homeland, having ideas and implementing them – these are the pathways to growth. Ultimately, coming up with your very own way of doing things is a sign of maturity. No need for mommy or daddy looking after you when you have your own place: start accepting the challenges of money in your life. Say goodbye to witches, monsters, and frighteningly paternalistic monetary regimes. Satoshi, rest in peace. The future of money is customized, and it's open to all who are digitally connected.

To be continued. Further Reading:

  • D. Roberts. “Who is Satoshi Nakamoto, Inventor of Bitcoin? It Doesn’t Matter.” Fortune Magazine, Dec. 9, 2015. http://fortune.com/2015/12/09/bitcoin-satoshi-identity/  
  • J. Schmid and A. Schmid. “Bitcoin - an introduction to the workings and a preliminary analysis and understanding of potential legal issues.” Research article, 2012.
  • E. Z. Yang. “Secure multiparty Bitcoin anonymization.” http://blog.ezyang.com/2012/07/ secure-multiparty-bitcoin-anonymization/, 2012.

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