The shared connection of the Bitcoin community
More than just a technology or an asset, bitcoin has become a focal point for individuals motivated by freedom.
Satoshi Nakamoto initially invented Bitcoin in 2009 as an alternative to traditional financial systems; like most of us he1 saw firsthand the disastrous impact that corrupt centralized institutions can have on the world through the 2008 financial crisis. Nakamoto recognized the need for a better system, which could separate itself from centralized powers and be the backbone of a truly free economy. He also understood that such a digital system should not depend on anyone, not even the creator / founder, to keep running.
Bitcoin was ultimately created as a solution: a decentralized, indiscriminate digital asset that relied on a distributed network of miners, rather than a centralized party. The Bitcoin network has proposed a new economy in which individuals are free to transact as they wish, without control, monitoring or tracking. Bitcoin was also the first practical application of blockchain technology, sparking a decentralized revolution that continues to this day, slowly freeing the technology of our world from centralization.
When Bitcoin was first released, it primarily caught the attention of the cypherpunk community, which was a collection of hackers and hobbyists interested in cryptography and private transactions free from government censorship. After a period of testing by this community of programmers, bitcoin was initially little more than an anonymous currency and became widely used to support illicit transactions in drugs and other paraphernalia. In fact, one of the first applications of bitcoin was Silk Road, a website that allowed users to purchase a variety of illegal products using currency.
However, over time, Satoshi’s true vision slowly came true. Bitcoin slowly began to become the center of a new decentralized economy and attracted many people who were just fed up with the economic state of the world. “Bitcoin holders” as they are now called were separated into two categories: those who treated bitcoin as an investment and those who truly believed in a decentralized future. While the former certainly helped bitcoin become mainstream, it was the latter that pushed bitcoin to be more than just digital currency. This article aims to provide several personal testimonies of the realization that ultimately comes when one moves from viewing bitcoin as an investment to viewing Bitcoin as a way of life.
I myself first heard about bitcoin on a snowy Christmas Eve about four years ago. My family was about to take an annual road trip to visit relatives, and I stopped by the local library to buy books for entertainment along the way. It was right after the famous “windfall” of 2017, when bitcoin and other digital assets first gained the attention of the general public due to massive price gains. Being a high school student interested in both technology and economics, the concept of a currency and financial ecosystem running entirely on the internet had always excited me. With a six hour trip ahead of me, I decided to take my chances and bought several books related to Bitcoin and its potential to disrupt the economy.
These books covered a wide variety of topics and viewpoints: some derided bitcoin as nothing more than a scam to avoid, others praised Bitcoin for providing the means to transact freely. without any authorization or oversight, and one delved into how Bitcoin represented one of the last hopes for independence in a world increasingly populated by watchdog states. This shot particularly caught my attention: I had become increasingly aware of the semi-authoritarian stance that governments and big business took against the average citizen, and though I barely knew it at the time. I felt that Bitcoin could be a part of a larger crypto movement that protected the average person from constant monitoring and control.
As I dove deeper and deeper into the Bitcoin rabbit hole, I slowly began to learn more about its history. I learned more about the philosophies of Satoshi, Hal Finney and others who were part of the first Bitcoin ecosystem. I also started to interact more with the wider blockchain community and met some of the nicest, smartest, and welcoming people in the world. Then after personally winning awards at the MIT Bitcoin Expo Hackathon 2021, I decided to work in blockchain full time and finally had the pleasure of being a part of the Bitcoin Magazine network of contributors. This is where I finally realized that Bitcoin was more than just software; it was a culture, a community of like-minded individuals who believed in the potential of Bitcoin to make the world a better place to live.
By interacting with the Bitcoin community, I had the pleasure of meeting Sam Cargo, a contributor of Bitcoin Magazine and a strong advocate of his potential to bring freedom into the lives of many people. The following is an abridged version of Sam’s personal story of getting into Bitcoin, and the lessons he learned along the way:
During the summers between semesters, I did an internship at an engineering company that presented two important opportunities that changed my life: I missed the first and I was blind, the second I got. seen and created. This first opportunity was to invest in bitcoin and start mining with another wiser intern who introduced me to the specter of blockchain in 2014. I thought he was an idiot and I couldn’t figure out how a computer extracts magic money from the Internet.
Effectively, provided you do your homework, bitcoin’s value proposition becomes sane and crystal clear. The second opportunity did not arise until several years later; after finally realizing the mystique of bitcoin, I resolutely put my skin in the game and hijack the bitcoin revenue. Although feeling late for the party, I sought to fully commit to furthering Bitcoin’s mission and recreating the opportunity that I sadly missed. Perhaps ironically, my main focus is the mining industry and how I can apply my current engineering career to mining that magical, sweet internet money.
By missing this first opportunity, I was forced to reflect on my personal biases and question the status quo of the current monetary regime. Considering our indoctrination into fiat as the norm, I find it makes a lot of sense to be skeptical of Bitcoin, as it violates the “too good to be true” rule of thumb when filtering. shit products. Bitcoin is truly a virtual elixir for many of today’s socio-economic illnesses, which is indeed hard to imagine, let alone believe.
While studying Bitcoin, we tend to fall in love with doing all they can to participate in the Bitcoin community; whether developing, mining, writing, learning … I first entered Bitcoin for the money, but stayed for the peaceful protest and the community. We are fortunate to witness the adoption of a revolutionary monetary system, entirely dictated by an apolitical protocol, bound by an immutable natural law.
Bitcoin is ultimately a family of people like Sam who believe in a decentralized future. It’s more than just currency or software; it is an economic movement, a kind of “protest” as Sam mentioned against the abuses that centralized powers have inflicted on the common man for generations. Over the past couple of years, the Bitcoin family has certainly grown, with more and more people subscribing to the belief that what was once a project mainly supported by a group of motley coders and cryptographers could one day be the coin. mistress of a decentralized economy.
This is a guest article by Archie Chaudhury. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
1. The name implies that Nakamoto was a man, although it could be anyone, or even a group of people.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.