Bitcoiners have a unique ability to make it right with other Bitcoiners. This may not sound extraordinary at first glance, but this powerful interpersonal quality of direct connection is a hugely underestimated feature of the Bitcoin network. Especially in a world that is increasingly polarized and socially removed.
Outside of Bitcoin, the one thing people seem to agree on lately is that we are deeply divided. The practice of making premature assumptions about each other is at an all-time high. Whether we’re talking politics, economics, religion or coronavirus – we’ve largely become entrenched in predictable tribal talking points. It is common to categorically reject people based on superficial qualities such as their appearance, their tweets, and whether or not they wear a mask.
But when you start with Bitcoin, you can cut through all that noise. When you meet another Bitcoiner, the differences that exist between you are not threatening. For the first time in a while, an opposing opinion is actually interesting and deserves to be appointed. When Bitcoin is the common ground there are very few irreconcilable differences as there is a common ground of truth.
That certainly doesn’t mean that there are no disagreements or differences between Bitcoiners, it just means that we are less likely to cancel or fire another Bitcoiner because we don’t share our political beliefs, our chosen religion or our country of origin. Our shared mission is to build a better world through a fair monetary system that enables real freedom and strives for lasting peace. Few of people’s loyalties are as deep as Bitcoiners’ shared beliefs.
I experience this phenomenon every Thursday when my local bitcoin gathering gets together. Every time I chat with a new person who shows up The Orange County Bitcoin Network weekly meeting, my faith in humanity is growing. It’s not just that we find a fast connection, it’s that we can safely venture into just about any topic without worrying about how our opinion will be perceived. Even if we come across a passionate disagreement, and even if that disagreement is uncomfortable, we can always fall back on our deep belief that Bitcoin even resolves this. Our gathering has been consistently coming together for about a year, and some of these initial conversations have developed into true friendships between people who probably would never have gotten past the initial pleasantries in any other context. These examples have shown how bitcoin serves as a common foundation in casual bitcoin-focused environments, which I believe will become a strong foundation for building healthy, thriving communities.
More recently, I have experienced how powerful Bitcoin can be as a fundamental starting point for bringing people together to achieve a common goal. Over the past six months, I have collaborated with seven other Bitcoiners to co-author a book we just released. The final product, “Thank goodness for Bitcoin: the creation, corruption and redemption of money”, is undeniable proof of the collaborative advantage that Bitcoin users have based on our shared belief.
Bridging the biggest gaps
i met first Jimmy Song in 2019 through a conference I helped organize in LA called Bitcoin is_. We befriended logistics emails and stayed in touch long after the event came and went. We exchanged several notes on how our faith-based backgrounds shaped our perspective on Bitcoin and wondered if there were others like us who saw the many parallels between the two worlds.
But it was not always comfortable. Theologically, you could say we were at the other end of the spectrum. At one point I remember thinking that I should separate my respect for Jimmy as a Bitcoiner from my deep disagreements with him about Christianity, the Bible, and God. Like much of the world, I had formed my opinion of “people like him” from a very superficial understanding of who he really was as a human being. Not something I’m proud of, but an important part of the story.
Fortunately, unlike other scenarios where such profound disagreements would lead to insignificant dismissive behavior, Jimmy is a Bitcoiner, which was enough to keep my curiosity and my shocking prejudices in check. For the first time in some time, engaging in a conversation about faith with someone who had different views from mine exceeded usual frustration and was instead refreshing.
Within a few months, we began to more deliberately explore the ways in which belief and Bitcoin intersected. We gathered a few other Bitcoiner friends through Zoom and started a weekly book study. We started with “The Ethics of Money Production” by Jörg Guido Hülsmann and followed by “Honest Money” by Gary North.
These weekly Zoom conversations were always engaging and informative. Usually about eight of us showed up and sometimes we had fifteen. At the end of Fair Money, eight of the group’s remaining regulars decided to write a book together. We felt there was an opportunity to address the underlying issues raised in the two books we had read, while advocating Bitcoin as the solution. Six months and many more Zoom calls later, we published “Thank God For Bitcoin.”
I am extremely proud of the book itself and I hope it will be useful to all who read it, but I am just as impressed with how such a theologically and politically diverse group of authors came together and aligned with some pretty substantial ideas . Even more impressive is how we came closer as friends throughout the process.
Conservative Christians, progressive Christians and former Christians are represented among us. We have Evangelical Christians and Orthodox Christians. We eight come from both right and left political beliefs. In another context, you wouldn’t find us all in the same room voluntarily together. But regardless of that reality, we share the belief that Bitcoin is good for humanity, that its existence can somehow only be attributed to a good and benevolent God.
I will not speak on behalf of my co-authors, but I will say that the process of joining forces with such unlikely partners gives me hope that humanity can escape the polarizing constructs to which we are addicted. Bitcoiners have a renewed sense of vision and purpose for what can be, because we’ve tasted it.
Bitcoin is designed to attract people who naturally recognize the need to build a better society from the ground up. When we come together in any context, we have already let go of the old world and instead we are actively guiding a whole new paradigm.
This is a guest post from George Mekhail. The views expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.