What we've been hearing for years is —— Blockchain is the future , Bitcoin is not ; There will not be only one major cryptocurrency in the future of the world , Not even a few , But there are many cryptocurrencies —— The winning cryptocurrency will have strong leadership under a central control , So as to quickly adapt to the scale needs of users ; People will also say , Bitcoin is a “boomer coin（ Old currency ）”, Ethereum will soon keep up with it , Ethereum will be updated 、 More dynamic assets , It will attract a new wave of users , They don't care about strange liberal ideologies or “ Private property is inviolable ”, Shut out by toxic and anti-government mentality , They just want the blockchain DeFi Can play fast and 、 It works .
however , If this narrative is wrong , And bitcoin's biggest believer （Bitcoin Maximalist） Ideas 、 Habits and practices are actually very close to being correct ？ What if bitcoin is far more than an outdated stationery stone linked to the network effect ？ If bitcoin bigwigs actually understand deeply , They operate in a very hostile and uncertain world , There's something they need to fight for , And their actions 、 Personality and the concept of protocol design deeply reflect this fact ？ If we live in an honest cryptocurrency （ There are very few ） And the liar's cryptocurrency （ There are a lot of them ） In a world of , In order to prevent the former from turning to the latter , A certain degree of persistence （dose of intolerance） Is it actually necessary ？ This is the point I want to make in this article .
We live in a dangerous world , Protecting freedom is a serious matter
I hope this is more obvious than it was six weeks ago , At that time, many people still seriously thought that Vladimir - Putin is a misunderstood good man , He just wants to protect Russia , Turn Western civilization from “ Homosexuality （ NATO ）” Saved from the disaster of . But this view is still worth repeating . We live in a dangerous world , There are a lot of bad people who don't listen to compassion and rationality .
The core of blockchain is a security technology —— This technology is basically to protect people , Help them survive in such an unfriendly world . It's like the Lord of the rings Phia of Galadriel（ The vase Galadriel gave Frodo ） equally ,“ In this little bottle , Shining with the star of Ellen Deere , In my spring . When night falls , It will be brighter . When all the other lights go out , May it be your lamp in the dark ”. It's not a low-cost lamp , Nor is it a fluorescent Hippie energy-saving lamp , Or a high-performance lamp . It is a lamp that makes sacrifices in all these aspects , To optimize one thing , And there's only one thing ： When you face the toughest challenge of your life , There's a damn 20 When a foot long spider stares at your face , It's a light that lights up the road ahead of you .
Blockchain is blocked every day by people who have no or insufficient bank accounts 、 Activists 、 Sex worker 、 Refugees and many other groups use , These people are either not interested in profit seeking centralized financial institutions , Or there are enemies who don't want them to be served . They are used by many people as the main lifeline , Used to pay and store their savings .
And that's why , The public chain sacrificed a lot for security ：
- Blockchain requires each transaction to undergo thousands of independent verifications before it can be accepted .
- Unlike a centralized system that confirms transactions in hundreds of milliseconds , Blockchain requires users to wait 10 Seconds to 10 Minutes to be confirmed .
- Blockchain requires users to be fully responsible for authenticating themselves ： If you lose your private key , You lose your cryptocurrency .
- Blockchain sacrifices privacy , People need to be more crazy 、 More expensive technology To find privacy .
What are all these sacrifices for ？ To create a system that can survive in an unfriendly world , And really do it “ When all the other lights go out , May it be your lamp in the dark ”.
If blockchain wants to accomplish this task well , Two key factors are needed .（i） One Powerful 、 Defensible technology stack and （ii） One Powerful 、 Defensible culture . The key attribute of a powerful and defensible technology stack is the focus on simplicity and deep mathematical purity ：1 MB Block size of ,2100 Limit on the total amount of 10000 coins , And a simple proof mechanism of Nakamoto consensus , Even a high school student can understand . The rationality of protocol design must be easily proved decades or even centuries later ; Technology and parameters The choice must be a work of art .
The second element is uncompromising 、 A committed minimalist culture . This must be a culture that can persevere in defending itself , To resist corporate and government actors trying to incorporate ecosystems from the outside , And bad actors in the cryptocurrency field who try to use it to gain personal benefits , There are many such people .
Now? , What is the culture of bitcoin and Ethereum ？ ok , Let's ask Kevin Pham：
I don't think bitcoin is any different from the Ethereum community .
I don't believe this tweet is representative ？ ok , Let's ask again Kevin Pham：
The communities of bitcoin and Ethereum are exactly the same , Second parts .
Now you might say , It's just that Ethereum people are joking , Finally they understand what they are going to do , What are they dealing with . But do they have ？ Let's look at the founder of Ethereum Vitalik Buterin With whom .
Vitalik With scientific and technological elites in Beijing, China CEO We mingle Vitalik Met with Vladimir in Russia - Mr Putin Vitalik Met with the mayor of Jerusalem Nir BakratVitalik With the former president of Argentina Mauricio Macri handshake Vitalik With the former CEO of Google 、 Adviser to the U.S. Department of defense Eric Schmidt Say hello kindly Vitalik With Taiwan's digital minister Audrey Tang For the first time in many meetings
And this is only a small part of it . The direct question anyone who sees this should ask is ： What's the point of meeting all these people publicly ？ Some of these people are very respectable entrepreneurs and politicians , But others are actively involved in serious human rights violations ,Vitalik Of course, these activities are not supported . Don't Vitalik Be unaware of , Some of these people are killing each other geopolitically ？
Now? , Maybe he's just an idealist , I believe that talking with people will help to achieve world peace , It's Frederick - Douglas “ Unite with anyone to do the right thing , Instead of doing the wrong thing ” Followers of proverbs . But there is a simpler assumption ：Vitalik Is a playful global traveler and status seeker , He likes meeting important people very much , And feel respected . And it's not just Vitalik; image Consensys Such companies are also fully willing to cooperate with Saudi Arabia , The whole ecosystem is constantly trying to seek verification from mainstream people .
Now ask yourself a question ： When it's time , In fact, important things have happened on the blockchain —— It's actually an important thing that offends powerful people —— Which ecosystem would be more willing to give up , Refuse to censor them , No matter how much pressure is put on them ？ It's the ecosystem of global nomads who really care about being everyone's friend , Or those who shoot themselves AR15 And axe photos as a sideline of the human ecosystem ？
Money is not “ Just the first application ”, It is by far the most successful
Many hold “ Blockchain , Not bitcoin ” People with different views believe that , Cryptocurrency is the first application of blockchain , But this is a very boring application , The real potential of blockchain lies in bigger and more exciting things . Let's take a look at the Ethereum white paper Application list in ：
- Issue tokens
- Financial derivatives
- Stable currency
- Identity and reputation system
- Decentralized file storage
- Decentralized autonomous organizations （DAO）
- Point to point gambling
- Forecast market
Many of these categories have launched applications , And at least some users . What cryptocurrency people really value is giving “ Third world countries （Global South）” The rights of bank debtors . In these applications , Which countries in the third world really have a large number of users ？
The fact proved that , up to now , The most successful application of blockchain is to store wealth and pay .3% The Argentines Have cryptocurrency ,6% Nigerians and 12% The Ukrainians Also has cryptocurrency . up to now , The biggest example of the government using blockchain to accomplish something useful is the donation to the cryptocurrency of the Ukrainian government , If our statistics include contributions to non-governmental Ukraine related work , Ukraine has raised more than 1 Billion dollars .
What other applications today can be close to this practical 、 True adoption level ？ Perhaps the closest thing is ENS.DAO Is real , And it's growing , But there are too many today DAO In attracting people from rich developed countries to use , Their main interests are playing and using cartoon characters to meet their first world self-expression needs , Instead of building schools and hospitals and solving other real-world problems .
therefore , We can clearly see the two factions ：“ Blockchain ” send , The privilege of a wealthy country , They like to “ Beyond money and capitalism ” Send a signal of virtue , And couldn't help but feel sorry for “ Decentralized governance experiment ” Excited as a hobby ;“ The currency ” send , A highly diversified group of rich and poor people in many countries of the world, including third world countries , They are actually using the capitalist tool of a free and sovereign currency , Provide real value for today's mankind .
Focusing on becoming money will make money better
About why bitcoin doesn't support “ Rich and stateful （richly stateful）” Smart contract , A common misconception is that ： In order to reduce the chance of mistakes, bitcoin really attaches great importance to simplicity , Especially low technical complexity . therefore , It doesn't want to add more complex functions and opcodes , These functions and opcodes are necessary to support more complex smart contracts in Ethereum .
Of course , This misunderstanding is wrong . in fact , There are many ways to add rich statefulness to bitcoin ; Search the bitcoin chat profile for “ contract （covenants）” The word" , You can see many proposals under discussion , Many of these suggestions are surprisingly simple . The reason why these contracts are not added is not because bitcoin developers see the value of rich statefulness , Found that even a little more protocol complexity is intolerable . contrary , This is because bitcoin developers are worried about the system complexity that rich states may bring to the ecosystem The risk of ！
A recent paper by bitcoin researchers describes some methods of introducing contracts , In order to add some degree of rich statefulness to bitcoin
Ethereum and miners can extract value （MEV） The struggle of This is a good example of this problem in practice . In Ethereum , It's easy for developers to build some applications , Let the next person who interacts with some contracts get a considerable reward , This leads to a struggle between traders and miners , This greatly increases the risk of network centralization , And requires complex solutions . In bitcoin , It's hard to build this kind of application with systematic risk , This is largely because bitcoin lacks rich statefulness , And focus on simplicity （ nothing MEV） The use case , That is, just money .
Systemic risks can also occur in non-technical ways . Bitcoin is just money , That means bitcoin needs relatively few developers , This helps to reduce the number of developers who start asking for free money to print for themselves To establish the risk of new protocol functions . Bitcoin as a currency has reduced the number of core developers and increased functions to “ Keep up with the competition ” and “ Meet the needs of developers ” The pressure of the .
in many ways , The systemic impact is real , A currency cannot “ Facilitate ” An ecosystem of highly complex and risky decentralized applications , In some way, complexity is not raked down . Bitcoin is a safe choice . If Ethereum continues its second tier centric approach , that ETH As a currency, it may have some distance from the application ecosystem it enables , So as to obtain a certain degree of protection . On the other hand , The so-called high-performance tier 1 platform has no chance .
Generally speaking , The earliest project in an industry is the most “ real ” Of
Many industries and fields follow a similar pattern . First , Some new and exciting technologies have either been invented , Or it has been greatly improved by leaps and bounds , So that it can really be used in some aspects . At the beginning , The technology is still cumbersome , It's too risky , Almost no one will touch it as an investment , either “ Social proof ” It shows that people can use it to achieve success . therefore , The first people to participate will be idealists 、 Technology geeks and others who are really excited about technology and its potential to improve society .
However , Once the technology has fully proved itself , Ordinary people will follow —— In Internet Culture , This event is often called the eternal September （Eternal September）. These people are not just ordinary good people , They want to feel part of something exciting , And businessmen in suits , They began to search the ecosystem like hungry wolves , Find ways to make money —— And the army of venture capitalists is also eager to make their own money by supporting them . In extreme cases , A total liar came in , The blockchain they create has no redeemable social or technical value , It's basically a scam . But the reality is , from “ Altruistic idealists ” To “ A liar ” The boundaries of are actually coexisting . The longer an ecosystem lasts , The more difficult it is for any new project on the altruistic side of the system .
The philosophy and idealistic values of the blockchain industry are slowly replaced by short-term profit seeking values , A noisy representation is the increasing preset scale ： Developers of a cryptocurrency allocate funds to their own .
picture source ：Messari
Which blockchain communities deeply value self sovereignty 、 Privacy and decentralization , And make a big sacrifice to get it ？ Which blockchain communities just want to raise their market value , Make money for founders and investors ？ The chart above should be very clear .
Intolerance is a good thing
I have made it very clear in the above content , Why does bitcoin's status as the first cryptocurrency give it unique advantages , Any cryptocurrency created in the past five years is extremely difficult to replicate . But now we are talking about the biggest objection to the bitcoin belief culture ： Why is it so toxic ？
The case of believing that bitcoin is poisonous stems from conquist's second law . At Robert - In conquist's original statement , The law says ,“ Any right-wing organization without clear and constitutional provisions , Sooner or later, it will become the left wing ”. But actually , This is just a special case of a more general pattern , And in the modern era of relentless homogenization and obedience to social media , This model is more meaningful than ever .
If you want to keep a different identity from the mainstream , Then you need a really strong culture , Whenever it tries to assert its hegemony , Will actively resist and resist being assimilated into the mainstream .
As I mentioned above , Blockchain is fundamentally a very clear anti-cultural movement , It is trying to create and maintain something different from the mainstream . When the world is splitting into a group of great powers , When actively suppressing the social and economic interaction between them , Blockchain is one of the few things that can remain global . As more and more people reach out for censorship to defeat their short-term enemies , Blockchain continues to review what it is determined to do .
Answer “ A sensible adult ” Trying to tell you , in order to “ The mainstream ”, You have to be responsible for your “ extreme ” The only right way to compromise values . Because once you compromise once , You can't stop .
The blockchain community must also fight internal bad actors , Some bad actors include ：
- A liar , They make and sell projects that ultimately have no value （ Or worse , Very harmful ）, But insist on “ Cryptocurrency ” and “ De centralization ” The brand of （ And highly abstract ideas of humanism and friendship ） Legitimacy .
- Collaborationists , They openly and loudly signal the virtues of working with the government , And actively trying to convince The government uses coercive force against its competitors .
- Enterprisers , They try to use their own resources to take over the development of blockchain , And often promote the agreement to change in the direction of centralization .
One can oppose all these actors with a smile , Politely tell the world why they “ Disagree with their priorities ”. But it's not realistic ： Bad actors will try to infiltrate themselves into your community , At this point , Psychologically, it's hard to criticize them with enough contempt they really need ： Your friend is the one who criticizes you . therefore , Any emphasis on identity Our culture will be overwhelmed by challenges , So that the liar's hand can reach into the innocent novice's wallet at will .
What kind of culture will not be knocked down ？ A culture that is willing and eager to tell internal liars and powerful external opponents to take the road of Russian warships .
The bitcoin community's bizarre crusade against seed oil is right
Help a community maintain internal cohesion around its unique values , And avoid falling into the mainstream , A powerful bond tool is the strange faith and Crusade with a spirit similar to the core mission , Even if there is no direct relationship between them . Ideally , These Crusades should be at least partially correct , Poke the real blind spots or inconsistencies of mainstream values .
The bitcoin community is good at this . Their latest crusade is the war on seed oil , Oil extracted from plant seeds contains high concentrations of Omega 6 Fatty acids , Harmful to human health .
When the media commented on this bitcoin Crusade when , They will doubt the bitcoin community , But when “ honorable ” When technology companies deal with this problem , The media's attitude towards this topic is much better . This Crusade will help remind bitcoin owners , The mainstream media is fundamentally tribal and hypocritical , So the media is sharply trying to Slander cryptocurrency is mainly used for money laundering and terrorism , Should be treated with the same degree of ridicule .
Be a bitcoin maximalist
Bitcoin bigwigs are often derided by the media as both a dangerous and toxic right-wing cult , Another paper tiger , Once other cryptocurrencies enter and take over the highest network effect of bitcoin , It will disappear . But the reality is , The argument I described above for believing in bitcoin does not depend at all on the network effect . The network effect is really growing logarithmically , Not secondary ： Once a cryptocurrency “ Large enough ”, It has enough liquidity to operate , Multi cryptocurrency payment processors will easily add it to their collection . however , Claiming that bitcoin is an outdated stationery stone , Its value comes entirely from the botnet effect of walking , The argument that it takes only a little push to collapse is also completely wrong .
Encrypted assets like bitcoin have real cultural and structural advantages , This makes them powerful assets worth holding and using . Bitcoin is a good example of such assets , Although it is certainly not the only example ; Other respectable cryptocurrencies do exist , And bitcoin bigwigs are willing to support and use them . Believing in bitcoin is not just about bitcoin, but bitcoin ; contrary , It is a very real understanding , That is, most other cryptocurrency assets are scams , In order to protect novices and ensure that at least one corner of the field can continue to be a worthy corner to live in , A culture of intolerance is inevitable , It's also necessary .
Mislead ten novices to avoid an investment with good results , It's better than letting a novice be ruined by a liar .
Make your agreement too simple to be ten low value 、 Short attention gambling application service , It's better than making it too complex to serve the use case of the core sound currency that supports everything else .
Offend millions by actively supporting what you believe , It's better than trying to satisfy everyone and end up with nothing .
Be brave , Fight for your values , Be a bitcoin maximalist .