Bitcoin 12th year: building tools for the future in the "chaotic era"

Author: Don Han

Source: Carbon Chain Value

Bitcoin represents a kind of courage. The chaos of the times often foreshadows problems that cannot be solved according to the existing rules, and reveals the irrationality of the existing order. Ordinary people suffer from it but there is nothing they can do. Only the warriors stare at these irrationalities and build tools to the new world.

01 Towards a chaotic world

On January 3, 2020, Iran's No. 2 figure, Supreme Leader of the "Holy City Brigade," Qassim Suleimani was killed by the US Army. Suleimani's importance to Iran can be regarded as Lin Biao in the Mao Zedong era of China or Trotsky in the Lenin era of the Soviet Union. The news of his death plunged the international situation into seriousness and high uncertainty. Affected by this news, the prices of gold and crude oil soared for a moment, even the bitcoin that had been in the doldrums for several months, and the price also rose by 4% that day.

It has been 29 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, and the world has changed from revolutionary narrative to economic development narrative. In these 29 years, we have lived or thought we were living in a world with an increasingly perfect world order. The world has a globally recognized core of leadership, and the world shares a common narrative perspective. Although this set of narrative views has different narrative versions in different countries, there is almost no difference in attitudes towards capitalism, consumerism, and economic growth. On the whole, the world is peaceful, and chaos only occurs locally.

However, in recent years, this sense of peace has been quietly changing, and it has become more apparent after Trump took office. It is needless to say that the various external blows suffered by China are global. Turbulence is like an infectious disease, which is spreading on all continents: Russia withered after the sanctions, war-torn Middle East, Europe hit by refugees … Every land seems to be under There are buried a very destructive mine. The maps, which are only locally turbulent, have been replaced by a global unease.

Accompanying this unease is a slowdown in global economic growth. After the 2008 financial crisis, the global economy was no longer able to recover as strong as before, but the gap between the rich and the poor has continued to widen. Contradictions between the lower and upper layers within a country, and conflicts of interest between countries (especially when one country wants to improve its own order and occupy another country's status) become increasingly prominent. Looking back on the past 29 years, years like that seem to be inaccessible.

02 11th Anniversary of the Bitcoin Genesis Block

January 3, 2020 has another significance, that is, the 11th anniversary of the birth of the Bitcoin Genesis Block. That is to say, since 2009, Bitcoin has been in operation for 11 years as an "ownerless thing." Compared to Sulaymani's death, this matter seemed insignificant. In fact, the whole day of January 3, except for a small number of people in the currency circle, mentioned this matter, there was almost no report from the mainstream media, let alone let others know. Throughout the discussions in the circle, most of them focused on the price of the currency, such as "successfully built the bottom" and so on.

But we have to talk about Bitcoin, especially in this increasingly chaotic era.

From 2017-2019, the digital currency circle has experienced a process from a surge in the price of a currency to a burst of bubbles. Inevitably, pitfalls and abductions occur endlessly. In this process, most of the wealth in the circle experienced a round of soaring and a round of cleaning, and people's hearts also fluctuated in the rise and fall of assets. An obvious perception is that from 2016 to 2017 (though the currency price was lower than now), some people still talked about the ideal of Bitcoin and the vision of the future world. By 2020, basically only the discussion of money is left.

The teasing of wealth has made people gradually escape the future fantasy of Bitcoin and all digital currencies, especially the imagination of the future organizational form and political structure. It's ridiculous that Bitcoin's fate is increasingly linked to politics.

Take the currency price that people in the circle are most concerned about as an example. At the eleventh anniversary of the creation of the genesis block on January 3, 2020, market sentiment was very low, and the price of bitcoin did not rise at the beginning but fell, and once fell below $ 6,900. After the news of Suleimani's assassination was announced, the price of Bitcoin followed the price of gold and eventually rose to more than $ 7,300.

Almost all people in the currency circle have pinned their hopes for the soaring price of bitcoin on halving production in May this year. However, halving production is a matter of stubbornness. In addition, it has been repeatedly mentioned and speculated. Even if it can bring rise, it is already digested by the market in advance. For example, since the beginning of June last year, the currency circle has been discussing the halving of the market this year, and it has been half a year now, but the market has not been boosted by this, but has become even more depressed. From this point of view, what matters is not the reduction in Bitcoin's selling pressure, but rather the motive and source of funds flowing in.

Previously, because the cryptocurrency plate was small, we could rely on the dealer to cooperate with violent control to increase the price of the currency. For example, the skyrocketing price of bitcoin in 2013 is inextricably linked to the manipulation of prices by cryptocurrency exchanges. This was verified in academia after Mentougou went bankrupt and its transaction data became public. The soaring Bitcoin in 2017 can be attributed to the large amount of deposits brought by the ICO and the violent increase of USDT by Tether. However, looking back at the moment, we do not have an exchange market that can be a strong market, nor can we repeat the ICO again (the IEO in 2019 will not make a fuss, it will soon pass), and even Tether has now encountered trouble. It can be said that the deposit of Bitcoin has become a big problem.

In the past, due to the strong control of the bitcoin market by people in the circle, the price of bitcoin was an internal game and had little correlation with the price movements of other risky assets. However, in the past two years, the price of bitcoin has been gradually affected by external political events and is highly related to geopolitical risk events. The Sino-U.S. Trade war in 2019 caused bitcoin prices to rise above $ 8,000 as an example. The Iranian incident has also caused bitcoin prices to rise. As a result, in a market where no hot spots can be found at present, and geopolitical risk events have become a factor that deserves special attention.

Leaving aside the currency price, from the long-term perspective of Bitcoin adoption, the fate of Bitcoin is also deeply influenced by the international political situation.

According to Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin should be a kind of "peer-to-peer electronic cash". In May 2010, an American practiced Satoshi Nakamoto's idea and bought a few pizzas with 10,000 bitcoins, setting a precedent for bitcoin payments. However, although the vision of the community that emphasized Bitcoin's payment function has been very loud since then, Bitcoin has not been widely used in the legal field of developed countries. The price of bitcoin soared sharply in 2013-2014, causing many merchants who have accepted bitcoin payment to endure bitterness and can only choose to give up; the terrible congestion of the bitcoin network in 2016-2017 made the payment experience a disaster.

On the contrary, with the decentralized performance, bitcoin has become a novelty in places like Iran. In 2018, Iran bypassed the US dollar control through bitcoin to obtain investment in the euro area (however, Swiss companies that transferred this investment were still subject to U.S. sanctions the following year). In addition, Iran not only added Bitcoin as the main method of international payment, but also established Bitcoin mining as a national industrial industry.

Under the hegemony of the U.S. dollar, the most suitable development soil for Bitcoin may not be the United States, but those countries that are subject to U.S. sanctions and lack of U.S. dollar trade with foreign countries. In these places, the advantages of Bitcoin decentralization have been fully realized, and made it a super-sovereign currency to some extent. In addition, in places where sovereign currencies are extremely unstable, Bitcoin also has room for its further development.

From this point of view, the unique nature of Bitcoin has allowed it to play some role in the international political arena, especially when the political situation is in chaos-sovereign states like Iran have begun to explore. However, due to serious privacy issues (Chainalysis has mastered 80% of user information on the Bitcoin chain), Bitcoin cannot yet become a true digital gold. The more serious problem is at the level of mechanism setting: after Bitcoin has been mined, how to continue to encourage miners to mine to maintain the security of the ledger? Will Bitcoin die? These are topics that the industry needs to care about and discuss.

03 Twelfth year: Where is the future going?

It has now been 11 years since the birth of the Bitcoin Genesis Block. Let's jump out of praise for Satoshi Nakamoto and the Bitcoin white paper, and for the future of Bitcoin, say something else.

Eleven years have passed, and we can ask ourselves, since the invention of Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto, what other new constructions and inventions in the digital currency world are as proud as Bitcoin? It can be said that there is almost no (Ethereum is a very influential, but currently not as good as Bitcoin). Apart from the fact that an invention like Bitcoin itself is difficult to replicate, more factors may lie in the different starting points for people to do things. For a long time, people have been indulged in the wealth myth brought by Bitcoin. Otherwise, it is the establishment of a project that gives the public a new wealth story and harvests the IQ tax. Otherwise, it becomes a leek in speculation and gambles in a highly speculative market. A bet of luck. However, it is harder for these people to see people like Satoshi Nakamoto who have the ambition to build tools to change the world.

We should realize that Bitcoin is not a product of the era of peace, peace and harmony. It may have been born even worse than when Suleimani was assassinated, when capitalism was in deep crisis around the world. Bitcoin has no investors, so it does not need to be accountable to any investors, and it does not promise anyone freedom of wealth. It does not follow a docile, common growth logic in real life; instead, its emergence points to a new way of life or a way of life-in the era of disorder in the capitalist world, after several generations of cryptopunk continued to struggle and finally A ghost emerging from the shell.

From the end of 2018 to the beginning of 2019, there was a wave of return to crypto punk in the currency circle. Unfortunately, most of the trends are not really returning to cryptopunk, but just using the shell of cryptopunk to package emerging projects. It's like selling Che Guevara on clothes, as if it was revolutionary; adding some members of the crypto-punk organization to the newly established project, or some cryptographers, people think this is the case. Even more password punk. However, when these project owners were sent to the market by the overwhelming bear market, they were eager to realize the money, and the exhausted leeks took a few bites and finally could not eat.

Is there any future in the currency circle? After these months of depression, everyone is playing drums. If we talk about "qiantu", there is no newly introduced capital, and there is no possibility of continuing to control the market with a strong control. "Qiantu" is relatively slim. If we talk about "the future", since the currency circle is indulged in the minutiae of technology and the myth of making wealth, the "future" has been relatively slim. Although many projects have made technical improvements, they have made significant retrogressions in design concepts. You know, as an asset, Bitcoin is not public, but as a system, Bitcoin is public, that is, decentralized; however, too many and too many project parties are basically the private property of a company. It is said that it is doing public chain, it is better to switch to the alliance chain directly.

If this industry really needs to exist, I am afraid we have to jump out of the currency circle and rethink the macro world. In my humble opinion, the circle always claims to make projects beyond Bitcoin, either on TPS or on market value, that is, on the myth of wealth creation. But few people know exactly how he wants to change the world, and what tools he can provide for such a world. The latter is exactly what we really need. Because, in terms of technology, the currency circle can never be a big Internet company; on making wealth, the currency in the currency circle is far less than the traditional circle. Only the latter cannot be provided by the Internet world (also they are unwilling and impossible to provide), nor can the traditional world have it. That's why Bitcoin has been born for 11 years, and we are still proud of it.

This time, we really need to return to the original intention of cryptopunk. In this era of increasingly turbulent political forces, and in an era in which technology has permeated and penetrated our lives, the social organization of Bitcoin and the spirit of constructing a future society are extremely valuable assets.

Finally, let us not forget what Satoshi Nakamoto engraved on the Bitcoin genesis block: "This is the second time the Minister of Finance has rescued the bank."