I was recently featured towards the end of a Bitcoin Magazine piece that was a retrospective of the last decade of US persecution of cryptocurrency personalities. It started with the Ross Ulbricht case and moved forward through the past ten years of both his and others who have been targeted by the government.
I feel like it’s a worthy read and it’s certainly worth checking out. If only to get a better grounding in what the US government has been doing to crypto innovators and enthusiasts who have been pushing boundaries. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the article writer even questions what might have happened to Satoshi Nakamoto, had they not remained pseudonymous.
It raises the question of why? Is the government anti-innovation? I don’t know if there’s a clear answer to that – sometimes they are slow to adopt, but not always, sometimes there are times of high innovation and even entire sectors are subject to prolonged innovative funding such as the military-industrial complex.
This leads to questions such as: What does this government brand of innovation tend to feed? Does it tend to feed the “war machine?” Absolutely. Does it end up feeding entrenched power structures? Almost always.
Blockchain, however, feeds decentralization – which in turn feeds liberty and freedom with fewer guardrails protecting the entrenched power structures of society. I believe that this is why we are in the “now they fight us” stage of blockchain innovation. They realize that it’s too late to stop blockchain adoption and they now are trying to fence it in through various and sundry means.
Ultimately, though, I believe they will lose this battle.
Why? Well, the government has not unified its opposition. If you look at certain sectors of politics there’s a growing number of politicians that tend to support the blockchain lobby. Primarily because a larger number of them see it as a growing constituency even as the bureaucracy sees it as a threat.
The bigger reason that I believe that they will lose this battle is that blockchain is a poison pill. You see this pattern over and over through capitalism, where an industry believes if a little bit is good, therefore more must be better. Enterprise tech and fintech have seen modest to significant gains on the back of blockchains starting most notably when IBM bet the farm on AI and blockchain technology.
This has created a poison pill for large institutions where they planted the seed of their own decentralization.
If you enjoy liberty and innovation, it’s up to you and me to water and tend this garden so that it flourishes and grows.