It’s the year 2050 and I can now confirm that bitcoin has completely failed. Where are we? Well, bitcoin is currently trading at about 5,865,098 of what would have been the USD. I can confirm that the USD itself also didn’t make it (apparently money doesn’t grow on the Magic Money Tree) and sats are now the standard unit of account across the globe. New native currencies have sprung up and still circulate, but they are priced relative to bitcoin in which most international transactions are now done. The internet found its native currency and bitcoin won that battle easily. Bitcoin failed miserably. At least nocoiners are a thing of the past.
Volatility has come down significantly as would be expected of a currency that is now used by most of the people on the globe. Adoption has meant that price swings are largely a thing of the past except of course for the normal vicissitudes of the global economy. I bought some back in 2017 just before the second halving cycle peaked – man I felt like a god in those days. Still feel like one today. I never sold my bitcoin, in fact, I kept accumulating over the years in the true sense of sat stacking and HODL’ing (I still believed back then). I’m a very wealthy man today. I never sold bitcoin, but I did sell my soul. I’m extremely wealthy. Bitcoin failed miserably.
Today I live on the southern tip of Africa, in a region that used to be known as South Africa. That union collapsed along with its currency a pretty long time ago. Who’d have thought trying to herd a populace that speaks 11 different languages under one ruling government wouldn’t make it? I know I did, so I was prepared at least. I live in a small community of digital nomads, artisans, farmers, family, and friends. It’s very similar to the citadel idea that some of the earliest adopters of bitcoin ideals used to talk about, but we don’t call it that. We call it Free State. A homage to the Afrikaner pioneers of my past. It’s a peaceful existence, a good existence. I had to sell my soul to get here. Bitcoin failed miserably.
Bitcoin has a 2% inflation rate. At the moment. It changes along with the needs of the global economy and the whims of the global elite. Yes, the global elite are still here, they still decide when and how much money is called into existence. Bitcoin failed miserably. I’m very wealthy, at least. Proof-of-work is a thing of the past too, the bitcoin protocol is now proof-of-stake.
“What?” I hear you ask from the past.
“Yes.” I reply wealthily from the future.
“But bitcoin can’t be co-opted, the market would never accept a money like that?”
“The market did accept it.”
See, the market is all about who has the capital. You know who doesn’t have capital? The few obscure cypherpunks who want to free the world from monetary tyranny. You know who has capital? Wall Street. Yeah, Wall Street is still doing fine. Bitcoin failed miserably. Not that we ever tried to defeat them, we just wanted to make them less relevant. They’re still very relevant in 2050. It’s all pretty much exactly the same. In fact, the current financial system so much resembles the old one that I’m not even sure anything really changed.
Well, a few things did change for the better (from a state perspective at least). Cash is gone. Surveillance is strong. Any bitcoin that was used for nefarious reasons like political activism was swiftly blacklisted and excluded from the pool of capital controlled by Wall Street. You did coinjoins? Haha! you lost so much money. Idiot. You can’t play at the big boy table if you don’t follow the big boy table rules, you see. I sold my soul. I’m very wealthy now though.
Why would the market accept this bastardised version of bitcoin? Simple man, greed. You see, the weakness of bitcoin is not in the protocol. The protocol Satoshi released back in 2009 was pretty close to perfect. We changed a few things here and there, but overall, it was close to perfect. No, the problem with bitcoin was never the protocol. The problem was people. Greedy people. Like me. We were the weakest link. We sold our souls. We’re wealthy now.
Wall Street never attacked the protocol of bitcoin; they didn’t co-opt it on the ‘node’ level. They changed the narrative. They out-memed the maxis. They out-capital’d the maxis. Most maxis work on Wall Street now anyway. That’s what they did, they ever so slowly changed the story, so slowly no one even noticed. I did though, I was just happy to join. I’m wealthy now. I remember it changing back in the late 2020’s. Man, what a time that was. We were making so much money and we were sticking it to the man while we were doing it, it was glorious. The intellectual boners we all had form being proven right was only eclipsed by the monetary boners we got from all the money we were making.
I remember us cheering for every new corporation and hedge fund that bought bitcoin. “The institutions are coming” we kept yelling gleefully (read: greedily), and ultimately, naively. Those were the Michael J. Saylor days (what a cunt he turned out to be). But we were making so much money back then. I’m so wealthy today. But it started changing then. We lost control of the narrative. First, we lost the ESG battle. Apparently 70% of mining being done by otherwise wasted or renewable energy wasn’t as easy to sell as “bitcoin is boiling the ocean.” Plus, Wall Street was still big into selling ESG ETF’s back in those days. Fuck they made a killing on that (and the environment wasn’t helped much either). So, they ran with that while promoting bitcoin on the side. It’s all about the flow.
But we lost the battle. That’s what drove the POW/POS wars of the late 30’s. And they won. Why? Capital. You think the users of bitcoin decides what software to run? Wrong. It’s the users with the most capital that decides what software to run. Small difference. Big difference.
From there on in the war was really lost. It didn’t take long from there for inflation to be reintroduced into the system. A quick change of code and it was there. Some people shouted – fucking goldbugs. Nobody listened of course. I know I didn’t – too wealthy to listen. Surveillance we lost early on. Privacy was never really a tough one to get over the line. Only criminals use coinjoined coins anyway. Obviously. And now the state is super powerful. Or still super powerful. The elite is still there. Nothing really changed. Bitcoin failed miserably. And I’m wealthy. I get to stay in my little citadel because I am wealthy. I am the one percent. I am the elite. And it’s all so fucking empty.