Just like the fresh faces I met at my local meet-up last night, you’ve now heard of Bitcoin. Naturally, enough, you want to help the cause!
You listened to a podcast or two, you swallowed the pitch of the merchants and exchanges who say “Spend your coins to st-st-stimulate the Bitcoin economy!” Of course, these businesses want to keep you hungry and stupid, so why not toss 10,000 BTC on that pizza, have fun! and just replace the coins you spent (minus fees). Not like the merchant will turn around and either dump the coins back onto the exchangei for you to gobble up or else just hoard them like you shoulda done in the first place, right?
So, ya, if you have 1,000+ BTC and you feel like spending some, go for it.ii Have fun, you’ve earned it! But if you’re spending BTC instead of fiat and you actually have a choice between the two, get your head checked and read up on Gresham’s Law for chrissake.iii Don’t worry about helping Bitcoin by spending it. Bitcoin was just fine before merchants started accepting it (and before you’d ever heard of it) and it will be fine long after they stop. SDRsiv aren’t much use at the grocery store and neither is your house or your car. You don’t have to spend your wheelnuts and doorknobs for your cars and houses to be valuable, do you?
You’re more than welcome to still strike up a conversation about Bitcoin with the person next to you in line at the store, but you hardly have to show them “how easy and fun!” it is to pay with Bitcoin to do that. It’s not like they’re gonna dump their life savings into some investment scheme they heard from some random kid at the coffee shop anyways. If they did that every day, they’d already be penniless and of exactly zero value to you. If you want to “spread the word” why not talk to your rich uncle or parent? Someone outside your inner circle is of precisely no value to Bitcoin.
If you have any Bitcoin at all, Step 1 is securing your coins. Treat even your fractions of Bitcoin like they’re worth the moon and you’ll be justly rewarded. Don’t be the guy who threw away his HD with 4,500 BTC on it.
Step 2 only applies if you really want to “add value to Bitcoin,” so just… decide. This step includes two things: spending the next 6-12 months reading logs on #bitcoin-assets and getting in the WoT.v The logs won’t make a lick of sense at first, and you’ll probably be oh-so-offended within the first 30 lines or so, but if you can make it over that hump, and past your preconceptions about Bitcoin as a consumer technology that’s going to empower anonymity in Africa,vi you have at least a chance of understanding the space, if a smaller still chance of meaningfully contributing. If you can’t manage this, enjoy Reddit and your day job cuz that’s that’s all you fucking get.
In the interest of fairness and equality and all that jazz, the path charted above is the same for you as it was for me as it is for Nobel Prize winning economists as it is for American Idols as it is for the rest of the VC circus. It’s the fucking same for everyone. All of them. All of you.
Hilariously, VC’s (and their vast fan clubs) continue to pretend like they can just “start a business” and “build infrastructure” and “add value” outside of La Serenissima. No matter how much bezzleUSDvii they spend, this is patent nonsense. It ain’t gonna happen.
Which brings us to a recent Twittrepartee with kinda-Bitcoin-dev-ish-as-if-there-were-such-a-thing-guy Jeff Garzik:viii
Next year, VCs will spend a $billion! And then a $trillion the year after that! Not like their dollars could be used for anything useful, like sane computing environments or anything. It’s not like their money, as it lacks both vision and leadership, has any use at all. It’s not like they could buy an equivalent amount of Bitcoin with those useless piles of fiat. So why not keep pretending like they’re relevant and that all they have to do is “invest!” ? To which MP neatly points out:
Money works best for comparing like things. Like. Things. Money does not work to compare the unlike, or people who are not things (some people are things, and them being bought and sold like any other item, on the open market, is perfectly fine). So therefore, “money everything” isn’t a solution. There’s a reason the complete economic theory doesn’t simply read “Money. Moneymoneymoneymoneymoney moneymoneymoney!1″
It’s not just about money and certainly not about POS systems – it’s about knowledge and relationships.
So this brings us back to you! As ever, if you want to make a difference in this world, you’re going to need some training. You weren’t born with anything to offer and, if I still haven’t heard of you, you’ve not done anything in Bitcoin yet.ix If you still want to do something in Bitcoin, you’ll need to check your pretenses at the door and find a willing coach / mentor / master / lordx to guide you. Why? Because, we, your shepherds,
We can see far off into the distance. We can see a better world. We can take you there. To be happy, you don’t need more apps, you need to better use the tools already available. You don’t need more choice, you need better shepherds. You don’t need more rights, you need better laws.
Adding value isn’t hard.
Just apply within.
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- Completely opposing the fucktarded little “economic theory” you ignorantly borrowed from fiat finance, and depressing the price of Bitcoin rather than increasing it, as you hoped. Get your “hope” the fuck out of here and do the maths. [↩]
- Or rather than spending it, why not gamble with it and try to earn some more! Also fun and less consumerist! Might I recommend BitBet or War of Life? [↩]
- “During the period from 1792 to 1834 the United States maintained an exchange ratio between silver and gold of 15:1, while ratios in Europe ranged from 15.5:1 to 16.06:1. This made it profitable for owners of gold to sell their gold in the European market and take their silver to the United States mint. The effect was that gold was withdrawn from domestic American circulation; the “inferior” money had driven it out.” (via Britannica).
See, now fiat is infinite, like pogs, beanie babies, etc. Bitcoin ain’t. Figure out which one is worth holding on to and which one ain’t. The rest will sort itself out. [↩]
- “To deal with the inability of the existing system to create an adequate quantity of reserves without requiring the United States to run large deficits, a new kind of reserve called Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) was devised by the International Monetary Fund. Members of the Fund were to be allocated SDRs, year by year, in prearranged quantities to be used for the discharge of international indebtedness.” (via Britannica). [↩]
- The WoT entails PGP. This Guide will help you. [↩]
- Seriously, at the local meet-up last night, one fucking new dude had the gall to tell me that “Satoshi wanted Bitcoin to be democratic. He said so in his white paper. And therefore it should facilitate microtransactions for poor Africans and Filipinos.” As if Bitcoin’s existence and function were up for a bar room debate. And as if Satoshi didn’t mean “democracy” in the Ancient Greek sense, y’know? Not this watered-down socialist shit. [↩]
- “Money has two aspects, which are in fact unrelated. On one hand, money is the instrument of ensuring one’s survival. You need money to pay the rent, and you need money to bail your idiot kid out of jail. This is all money, and any living being’s natural tendency to acquire the means of life guarantees everyone will be forever trying to get money. How much of it ? A lot. How much is a lot ? Shut up and count, Bernie.
On the other hand, money is also the instrument of ensuring a group’s survival, so to speak, through allocating resources back and forth. This is substantially different from that, much like cooking and eating are entirely different professions. You wouldn’t trust a theatrical critic to write you a play, nor would you trust a playwright to get very far in the newspaper columns with his butthurt ideas, would you ? Same here!
- Regular readers will remember Garzik as the dude who wanted to put PGP in your web browser a few months ago. Not that anyone listened… [↩]
- Though perhaps you’ve already done several wrong things, in which case you’re more likely to be splattered with a rolled up copy of Contravex than anything else. [↩]
- Call us what you want, just don’t forget the “Sir.” [↩]