In Defense of Bitcoin Maximalism

A blockchain is at its core a security technology - a technology that is fundamentally all about protecting people and helping them survive in such an unfriendly world. It is, like the Phial of Galadriel, "a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out". It is not a low-cost light, or a fluorescent hippie energy-efficient light, or a high-performance light. It is a light that sacrifices on all of those dimensions to optimize for one thing and one thing only: to be a light that does when it needs to do when you're facing the toughest challenge of your life and there is a friggin twenty foot spider staring at you in the face.

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The case for Bitcoin toxicity stems from Conquest's second law. In Robert Conquest's original formulation, the law says that "any organization not explicitly and constitutionally right-wing will sooner or later become left-wing". But really, this is just a special case of a much more general pattern, and one that in the modern age of relentlessly homogenizing and conformist social media is more relevant than ever:

If you want to retain an identity that is different from the mainstream, then you need a really strong culture that actively resists and fights assimilation into the mainstream every time it tries to assert its hegemony.

Blockchains are, as I mentioned above, very fundamentally and explicitly a counterculture movement that is trying to create and preserve something different from the mainstream. At a time when the world is splitting up into great power blocs that actively suppress social and economic interaction between them, blockchains are one of the very few things that can remain global. At a time when more and more people are reaching for censorship to defeat their short-term enemies, blockchains steadfastly continue to censor nothing.

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One could stand against all of these actors with a smiling face, politely telling the world why they "disagree with their priorities". But this is unrealistic: the bad actors will try hard to embed themselves into your community, and at that point it becomes psychologically hard to criticize them with the sufficient level of scorn that they truly require: the people you're criticizing are friends of your friends. And so any culture that values agreeableness will simply fold before the challenge, and let scammers roam freely through the wallets of innocent newbies.

What kind of culture won't fold? A culture that is willing and eager to tell both scammers on the inside and powerful opponents on the outside to go the way of the Russian warship.

In Defense of Bitcoin Maximalism by Vitalik Buterin (the whole article is worth reading)

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