Bitcoin is the catalyst for peaceful anarchy and freedom. It was built as a reaction against corrupt governments and financial institutions. It was not solely created for the sake of improving financial technology. But some people adulterate this truth. In reality, Bitcoin was meant to function as a monetary weapon, as a cryptocurrency poised to undermine authority. Now it is whitewashed. It is seen as a polite and unassuming technology in order to appease politicians, banksters, and soccer moms. Its purpose is sometimes concealed in order to make the tech palatable to the unwashed masses and power elite. However, no one should forget or deny why the protocol was written.
The enigmatic creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, expressed the truth in his White Paper. He mentioned that Bitcoin was supposed to eliminate redundant middlemen and banks. The intent was to thwart corrupting influences and put money back into the hands of the people.
If anyone looks at history, they can see that the time cypherpunks started building Bitcoin was right after the financial crisis of 2007. The timing was not coincidental. It was initiated as a counter-offensive against political machinations, mass extortion, fiat inflation, and extensive banking fraud.
In October 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto unveiled the White Paper saying, “I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.” Although there is no direct reference to challenging government authority, the idea of being trustless contains anarchist sentiment.
Satoshi elaborated on this view in the White Paper:
“While the system works well enough for most transactions, it still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust based model. Completely non-reversible transactions are not really possible, since financial institutions cannot avoid mediating disputes. The cost of mediation increases transaction costs, limiting the minimum practical transaction size and cutting off the possibility for small casual transactions, and there is a broader cost in the loss of ability to make non-reversible payments for nonreversible services.”
Thus, Bitcoin was not strictly created as a better financial technology (although no one is denying that it is a superior form of currency with value and efficiency). Bitcoin was built as a trustless and borderless money. It was created to destroy centralized money control by governments and eliminate banking cartels. The historical roots of crypto-anarchy provide stronger evidence in defense of this claim.
The Crypto-Revolution Prior to Bitcoin
If one looks farther back than the White Paper, cypherpunks and early cryptologists already had a vision of what cryptography would accomplish.
Timothy May, one of the original crypto-anarchists, set the stage for the purpose of cryptocurrency systems and other encryption-based technologies. In 1994, he wrote “Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities,” where he explained the intended purpose of these technologies. He said:
“The combination of strong, unbreakable public key cryptography and virtual network communities in cyberspace will produce interesting and profound changes in the nature of economic and social systems. Crypto anarchy is the cyberspatial realization of anarcho-capitalism, transcending national boundaries and freeing individuals to make the economic arrangements they wish to make consensually.”
“Governments see their powers eroded by these technologies, and are taking various well-known steps to try to limit the use of strong crypto by their subjects. The U.S. has several well-publicized efforts, including the Clipper chip, the Digital Telephony wiretap law, and proposals for “voluntary” escrow of cryptographic keys. Cypherpunks and others expect these efforts to be bypassed. Technology has let the genie out of the bottle. Crypto anarchy is liberating individuals from coercion by their physical neighbors–who cannot know who they are on the Net–and from governments. For libertarians, strong crypto provides the means by which government will be avoided.”
It was this early incarnation of crypto-anarchy and anarcho-capitalism that spearheaded philosophical, social, and technological development in encryption protocols. These ideas led to the advancements designed to decentralize society and free people from the clutches of bureaucrats and banksters. Indeed, the crypto-revolutionaries anticipated the invention of Bitcoin, along with its features needed to incite peaceful anarchy (absence of coercive rulers, not chaos or destruction).
So what are these features?
Cryptocurrency Features Against Authority: Push vs. Pull
Bitcoin is decentralized, peer-to-peer money. This feature implies that Bitcoin does not have to be stored with third-party banks. Bitcoin is meant to be handled by the individual and used at his discretion. No other person should need to see or acquire that money unless the end-user allows it. This concept is called self-banking. It keeps money safe and prevents the user from dealing with the questionable practice of fractional reserve banking or direct seizure of funds, as the cypherpunks intended.
This aspect of the technology is also referred to as a “push system,” as opposed to a “pull system.” What this means is that people can only “push” money from within the wallet to others. No third party or person can “pull” money from an individual’s wallet. There are plenty of market reasons why this is a valuable function, but it is really useful for helping a user guard against malicious governments or banks. It means he has total control over funds. He does not have to worry about organizations tampering with his money.
Pseudo-Anonymity, Blockchain & Public-Key Cryptography
Another way Bitcoin prevents tampering is by employing pseudo-anonymity through public-key cryptography, which is an encryption method based on algorithms and hash functions. This is the basic idea: when a person spends money, their public-private key combination is decoded by the recipient’s public-private key. It is this form of encryption that prevents other people from interfering with the transaction or stealing the money. Public-key cryptography is the reason why governments cannot stop transactions on the blockchain.
But what is the blockchain?
It is a nearly impregnable public ledger based on a distributed, consensus network. It records all transactions ever made in Bitcoin. The technology is referred to as “pseudo-anonymous” because each transaction can still be tracked, but no one has to enter personal credentials or information in order to start a wallet. (There are ways to transact with more anonymity, but that is beyond the scope of this article).
The aforesaid method allows people to make transactions without government officials knowing their exact identity. It was supposed to be another layer of protection. However, this mechanism is not foolproof. The State has already employed the blockchain to track transactions and imprison people. This is part of how they claimed to prosecute Dread Pirate Roberts, AKA Ross Ulbricht. But even though the technology is not totally anonymous, it still grants more privacy than traditional banking.
All of these fundamental Bitcoin features allow people to dispense with the current system. However, this information does not answer how Bitcoin will stop the government from controlling money, or why it will help.
Why Keeping Money Away from Government is Good
Governments rely on money to subjugate the peasantry. Throughout the ages, politicians have conducted misdeeds, murdered, extorted, and hurt people because they have commandeered the money supply. They have held a monopoly on minting coins, managing a central bank, or writing laws telling people what money they should use and how to use it.
But the easiest way government leaders oppress people has been through minting and counterfeiting money—or printing it out of thin air. This is called inflation. When governments possess a central hold over money, they can inflate the currency in circulation without any consequences. If a normal person does the same thing, it is called “counterfeiting.” This is one reason why crypto-anarchists seek to free people from government, and one of the most important moral and financial reasons why government is unneeded.
Murray Rothbard in “What has Government Done to Our Money” elaborated:
“Counterfeiting is evidently but another name for inflation—both creating new “money” that is not standard gold or silver, and both functioning similarly. And now we see why governments are inherently inflationary: because inflation is a powerful and subtle means for government acquisition of the public’s resources, a painless and all the more dangerous form of taxation.”
Rothbard’s book gave a complete view of the history and use of money, and why governments take control of money to function. But this is also its weakness. It is where Bitcoin shines. Since Bitcoin uses all of the features mentioned; especially decentralization, it is the first currency that moves beyond the reach of government. Politicians cannot stop the blockchain or control Bitcoin. They can’t turn it off. This is a huge advancement, not only for technology but for the socio-political and moral progress of humankind.
The Technology of Liberation
Bitcoin and other blockchain technologies will continue liberating humanity and spurring progress. The technology was built for this. It was not meant to be a fluffy-bunny, novel form of money. It was geared to act as a monetary patriot, seeking to incite political change through crypto-anarchic means. It was constructed to do this because early crypto-anarchists recognized that money has been the epicenter of State power, and the State has likewise been the epicenter of evil.
Everyone should continuously remind each other of the aforesaid truths. It is because of Bitcoin that no one will ever have to grovel or genuflect at the feet of kings and tyrants. Therefore, Bitcoin’s purpose should not be rendered obsolete in the smokescreen of political correctness, kowtowing, and cowardice. The tool should be venerated. People should rejoice at its coming. No one should ever deny why the protocol was written. It is the first iteration of absolute freedom—the first hint of peaceful anarchy. So let it be known.
Images courtesy of twitter.com, notbeinggoverned.com, oroyfinanzas.com