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A Short Note to the Bitcoin Community: This Is the Time


I’m not sure how much of the Bitcoin community I reach, but I think this is an important moment for us, and I want to get this out. Please pass it along if you see it as useful. Thanks.

Threat Over, Time to Get Busy

The Bitcoin XT effort seems to be over. I opposed it for two primary reasons:

  1. It was sold through fear. That always drives me away. Fear is our enemy.

  2. It smelled of Elite Capture. The people driving XT were hanging out with the elite crowd and saying things that made a lot of us twitch.

Be that as it may, those people seem to have pulled back; battle over for now.

Our problems, however, remain. Bitcoin does not possess God-given perfection; it’s a technology… and it needs to be upgraded. In fact, it may need to be upgraded several times. That’s just the way technology is, and it falls to us to handle it well or poorly. So, here’s my one, short message:

This is the time to improve Bitcoin without succumbing to Elite Capture.

I’m not going to tell you what upgrades are required. Those of you involved need to deduce those yourselves. What I will tell you is this: Bitcoin needs to scale, and it’s our turn to be the adults. (Here’s a lecture where I explain further.) We need to get ready for the future, and this is the right time for it.

To the Developers:

Now I’m going to give you some advice.

I am in no position to tell you anything, but I do have perspective. In other words, I’m older and have been involved with digital currencies and general internet radicalism longer. So, take this for what it’s worth, but please do consider it:

  1. Go back to your principles. Whatever it is that brought you here, go back to it. (Aristotle, Rothbard, the Gospels, the Torah, whatever.) Refocus yourself on the most fundamental factors.

  2. Reread the original cypherpunk documents. A Cypherpunk’s Manifesto, The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto, and The Cyphernomicon are what produced Bitcoin. Go back and re-familiarize yourself with them.

  3. Get into cooperation. Think about the stupidity and destructiveness of status and dominance. Think about the beauty of co-dominant relationships. Think about the beauty of synergy and brotherhood.

  4. Get going. Planning is how people end up going nowhere. Break your inertia and move. Nothing will ever change until you do.

  5. Keep your eyes on the prize. And that prize is a Bitcoin that remains true to its nature while becoming massively scalable. Ignore stupidities and slights; move to the goal. The world needs a robust Bitcoin, even though many people still don’t realize it. We’re the only people who can do it.

Thus ends my message, aside from this: Make your time on Earth matter; make your 90-year-old self proud.


Paul Rosenberg

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