Bursting the Bubble
I took some time off and stepped away from the Bitcoin social circle to see what I'm missing. I wrote a recap about my experiences and what I think we need to do better in the future.
Today’s post might be a weird one. I’m currently sitting in Kings Cross, writing in a beautiful setting, and I wanted to send the post out as quickly as possible. Therefore, there is no depth or particular motive behind it. Just my thoughts, learning from these past days, and what I hope we can do better in the future.
You may have noticed I’ve been quiet these past few weeks. Not only because I was traveling and enjoying my time in Europe but also because I think it’s healthy to step away from what you do every few months.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a Bitcoin enthusiast or involved with your favorite football team; at one point, you become blind and don’t realize you’re stuck in a bubble. Once you’re stuck, it’s pretty hard to get back out, or you end up identifying yourself in all matters with the topic at hand.
Think of my previous example with the football fans. Once someone becomes a hardcore fan, meaning they live and breathe whatever is happening on the pitch, they end up linking their personality to the team. If the team wins, they’re happy. If they lose, they’re sad; if someone dares to say something against them, they become angry.
I started noticing the same behavior in the Bitcoin community. Heck, I even started behaving like this. If someone dared to say something against Bitcoin, I immediately got angry and started defending it. Obviously, we’re all excited and want to contribute as much as possible. Whether that be writing a newsletter, coding, or running a meet-up, we should never lose our own identity.
That’s what makes the Bitcoin community so unique; we’re a bunch of enthusiasts, cypherpunks, and savers who want to prevail the value of their money into the next decades, or just everyday people who use Bitcoin to pay relatives on the other side of the world. I’ve rarely encountered such a diverse group of people with different interests and ideas.
However, if you look at Bitcoin, Twitter, or social media, you wouldn’t think this is the case. The overall theme is that everyone is super bullish, attacks everything 24/7, and is as toxic as possible. Granted, there are times when you can behave like this. Trolling has become part of the internet culture, and whether you’re a Bitcoiner or gamer, there are days where you like to take the piss out of somebody or something.
Unfortunately, very few people on Bitcoin Twitter actually do this. They’re either super obnoxious or part of a bigger circle jerk, where you encourage the same kind of people and don’t let anyone in unless they behave exactly the same as you do. Before taking my break, I used to know that we were part of a bubble, but I would never expect it to be this small.
Now, why am I saying this? Is it to offend some of you? Definitely not! I’m deliberately trying to find new avenues or places where we can improve Bitcoin. In my experience, too many Bitcoiners celebrate that we already won or that everyone not getting Bitcoin immediately is somehow dumb.
To be blunt, this is a pretty cocky attitude. It took all of us some time to understand Bitcoin. No one is perfect, and if you genuinely want to get everyone on board, you must acknowledge a few things.
Most people in the West don’t even know the amount of money left in their bank account, yet what they’re spending in a month. They’re happy to have a bank account or a support number to call. It will be a rocky and hard path to properly orange pill all of them and get them into self-custody. Therefore, I believe there will be some trade-offs for most people with something like a Bitcoin bank. And that’s OK for this kind of people who want such support. The trade-off is that they need to trust these institutions or companies. But that’s their choice.
Another angle is the acceptance of institutional interest in Bitcoin. It’s all the rage nowadays because the biggest asset managers have decided to take a closer look, which was inevitable as well because at one point, probably when Bitcoin’s volatility is ten times lower than today, these finance geniuses will be able to offer products to their customers and contribute to the ecosystem this way. Many people are furious because the ‘bank banisters’ are getting on board as well, all while they tweet out ten times a week how Bitcoin is for everyone. A bit ironic, isn’t it?
This is OK because people find Bitcoin through a series of self-study sessions, a friend’s message, or a wealth manager’s recommendation. Whatever the reason is, as soon as someone shows interest in Bitcoin and understands the advantages over other assets, they can’t be anything else but bullish. Who am I to judge how they got introduced to it?! If they end up in the Bitcoin ecosystem and they’re courageous enough to do it properly, aka holding your keys and verifying that you’re the sole owner of your coins, I’m happy.
This brings me to the most significant learning I had from this break. Yes, it’s essential to ensure that people understand why Bitcoin is unique and how they can hold it properly. But there are steps to this journey. It might take some trials with a big name like BlackRock or other Wall Street giants.
Or the person you orange pilled might not be a regular user with different needs. Think of a hedge fund manager who wants to build a Bitcoin product but is currently tied down by regulation and has to work with a custodian to hold some Bitcoin.
Whatever the reasoning is, accept it and try not to shove your opinion down their throats. Bitcoin is unique and allows us to use it within our realms of needs, whether fully custodial or not!
If I have to let go of my idealism for a short while to get people there, I’m actually okay. As long as they end up here and realize how Bitcoin is a massive upgrade to the existing financial system, I’m happy. If they don’t get it, that’s fine as well. Everyone gets Bitcoin at the price they deserve.
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