As we see bitcoin adoption increase, we see government opposition against it wane. It's been 12 years now since Satoshi Nakamoto opened Pandora's box of financial freedom to the world, and the powers that be have been unable to close it, despite them trying very hard the first decade.
source: Wikimedia Commons
What's more, governments and banks are now slowly and tacitly admitting that they will just have to jump on this particular bandwagon, thereby granting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies more and more legitimacy. They just don't want to miss out on the best performing asset in human history. They've witnessed the price of bitcoin go up, and up, and up, overwhelmingly outperforming the very best of traditionally traded assets and stocks. Since greed and lust for power is what landed them on their lofty position at the very tippy-top of society in the first place, chances are that this is ALL they see. Number Go Up. Must Be good. Show them something shiny, and they just can't help themselves...
Let me pause here to say that, unfortunately, this also goes for a large group of regular people involved in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies; they too see them as a way to make a quick buck and have no interest whatsoever in the liberating potential represented by the underlying technology; how else can we explain the success of meme-coins like dogecoin, or something like Ripple? Anyhow, I can't blame anyone for having this mindset of course; it's what we've been led to believe is the right mindset. "Greed is good," is literally the most famous line from the most famous speech from one of the most famous movies about Wall Street traders, Oliver Stone's 1987 Wall Street.
Back to the story at hand: the Trojan Horse. The story of how the Greeks conquered the city of Troy is the quintessential example of how a shiny thing, a beautiful gift can become one's downfall. After laying siege on the city for ten years, Odysseus came up with the brilliant idea of the Trojan Horse. The Greeks built a giant wooden horse, and pretended to leave, sailing away in their ships, leaving behind only one soldier and the wooden horse. When the Trojans opened up the gates, the soldier explained that the horse was left behind as a gift, a tribute to Minerva, goddess of handicrafts, the professions, the arts, and, later, war. They pulled the horse into the city, despite warnings from Cassandra, daughter of the king of Troy; she warned the Trojans that accepting this gift would be the downfall of Troy, but she was ignored because the horse was so beautiful and impressive. A "Cassandra syndrome" still relates to a person whose valid warnings or concerns are disbelieved by others. That's us, who have been trying to convince our peers about the benefits of bitcoin and blockchain technology, but were dismissed as crazy nerds... It's also the origin of the saying "Beware of Danaos (Greeks) bearing gifts"... Of course, Cassandra was right. The Greeks sailed back under the cover of night, and the select Greek soldiers who were hidden inside the horse crept out at night to open up the gates, letting the rest of the Greek forces in...
The powerful entities, the governments, the multinationals, the hedge-funds, that now are about to fall over themselves to join us in the crypto-revolution, have finally, after a decade, accepted the gift of NGU, the shining promise of "Number Go Up." But doing that, they've let in the Trojan gift of FGU, Freedom Go Up. Or at least that's the hope. That by gifting more legitimacy to bitcoin, mainstream adaption will be given a significant boost. I for one believe this will happen, and in the below linked video the same is explained. But... And here's where I pull the rug from under this positive news... This process is explained as an alignment of human greed with increased individual empowerment and freedom. This is where I place some caution, as it is a further endorsement of the mindset that got us into the place where cryptocurrencies are necessary to claim back some of the freedoms we've lost under late stage capitalism. It's again a story of harnessing greed to achieve something that's universally good, which is the very same narrative used to promote capitalism. I don't believe that'll ever work, which why I've always said that cryptocurrencies alone, although they're a huge step in the right direction, will never solve humanity's biggest. Still, please watch the video, as it makes a couple of good points not mentioned in this post, like how this all relates to the introduction of the lightning network, among others.
Number go up: Bitcoin is a Trojan Horse | Alex Gladstein and Lex Fridman
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