29 Aug 2020
More than mildly, it annoys us that we have the tools to be truly sovereign and yet we continue to submit our ourselves, and our bitcoin, to centralised authorities.
“Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age”; yet KYC is demanded before we can trade.
“Not your keys, not your coins”; yet millions of bitcoin sit in the vaults of custodial exchanges and wallets.
For monetary liberty to be widespread it must be part of the social contract. We must come together to deploy decentralised systems that maintain Bitcoin’s promise of sovereignty. These tools already exist and they are improving.
Awakening Our Inner Apex Predator
“When Satoshi genetically engineered bitcoin, he spliced DNA from organisms that never survived (B-money, Hashcash, Bit gold). This gives bitcoin an incredible amount of survivability and fierceness. It makes it the apex predator of money.”
Billions of dollars in cryptocurrency is traded, lent and borrowed on platforms that have self-custody and no KYC. Billions of dollars in cryptocurrency but not bitcoin. This decentralised financial system is called DeFi. Many Bitcoiners deny, ignore and attack DeFi because it is an invention, a mutation, that occurred on Ethereum. This reflexive defensiveness ignores a fundamental truth about Bitcoin: If any technology can provide value for Bitcoin, Bitcoin will simply adopt it. A nuanced view of DeFi recognises that it is composed both of valuable decentralisation but also of cancerous ponzis and evolutionary dead-ends. We will adopt DeFi where it improves Bitcoin DID (Defense-in-Depth) and cauterise the rest.
Bitcoin maintains its sovereignty through technological, cryptographic means. First and foremost, private keys provide the only means of control and ownership. Second, and most famously, Proof of Work defends the network against attack.
Attackers, however, are not limited to attacking the cryptography or the hashpower in order to limit our sovereignty. They route around and seek any weak links. “Trusted third parties are security holes”. We increase the perimeter of defence by eliminating these trusted third parties.
Ethereum is Bitcoin’s Testnet
We will splice the DNA of DeFi into Bitcoin. We will increase Bitcoin’s defense perimeter. The tools already exist. Ethereum is our testnet. Let it provide the radioactive pool where mutations are many. Let us observe it as it moves fast and breaks things. We will adopt it’s best tools and learn to defend against its worst.
Rootstock, a Bitcoin sidechain, can be our CRISPR in this genetic adoption. We will splice the code from Ethereum dapps and improve upon them.
Cypherpunks write code, share code, review code and copy code. Sovereign individuals use this code. Like the X-men’s Rouge, Bitcoiners will absorb the superpowers of others. I have been working on a DeFi dapp for decentralised bitcoin trading and lending. Hopefully you will join me, or better yet, compete with me.
“Those who would give up Liberty, to purchase a little temporary convenience, will have neither Liberty nor convenience.” That will be our code.