Bitcoin Magazine: FTX Shows Adoption vs. Speculation

This is an opinion editorial written by Brooks Lockett, who is a freelance writer and Bitcoiner who got caught up in the cryptocurrency craze in 2018.


I can't help but dream of the day when the number of people who put money away for the future will be greater than the number of people who gamble with their money. The saga of FTX has demonstrated to us that we are not even close to realizing that dream.

However, there is still hope for the future. This article makes an effort to determine the psychological forces that contributed to the recent crash of FTX and offers some insight into how we can create information that hooks newcomers directly onto the bitcoin standard and assists them in avoiding becoming entangled with the allure of altcoins.

The truth of the matter is that bitcoin does, on the surface level, act like a speculative investment at this point in time. The phrase "Number go up technology" (NGU) serves as the proverbial hook for the majority of newbies, including myself initially. People have a tendency to view bitcoin first as merely another asset, rather than as a unique network, before they realize it as such.

Although the entrance of more speculative traders into the market does bring Bitcoin to the attention of a wider mainstream audience, there is no assurance that this factor alone will result in any genuine and long-term adoption by the general public (i.e. long-term savers who understand the revolution and aptly keep their funds in self-custodied cold storage).

Trading is not in and of itself "evil," but it does entirely miss the far larger objective of bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a fresh set of technological, economic, and social abilities for individuals to acquire and utilize. Bitcoin represents a fundamental reorganization of the neuronal circuitry underlying our monetary system as a whole for society. The way that we as a society think about and interact with money is undergoing a transformation on the size of the Renaissance. And it's bad that we're still a long way from the general population understanding that concept.

The FTX is just one of several incidents in recent history that have cast light on this fundamental problem. At the time this article is being written, the global macroeconomic landscape is in a situation that is perpetually characterized by tripping from one episode of carnage to another. We are witnessing the overnight closure of key exchanges, the melting down of alternative cryptocurrencies, and an ever-growing avalanche of unfounded attacks from mainstream media.

The remaining 99% of Bitcoin users are the ones who will bear the brunt of the negative effects of the recent events, while the purist Bitcoin users who have their assets kept in cold storage watch these events as unhurt bystanders.

So, what exactly is going on around here? In my opinion, this results in a disadvantage, as a greater number of people than ever before are unable to identify the signal because they are becoming lost in the fog. We have a responsibility to educate people on how to successfully navigate the Bitcoin (not "crypto") rabbit hole, which contains an extraordinarily rich informational resource.

It is more accurate to think about Bitcoin as a field that you immerse yourself in and become an expert in rather than a stock in the technology industry that you buy and sell.

Unlike supposition, genuine skills:

- There is no requirement to time the market.

- Governments are unable to take possession of it.

Due to the high level of volatility, it is impossible to lose all of it in one afternoon.

We are unable to hand over the rug to you.

Proof-of-work sits at the molten center of what makes Bitcoin work and is where the action is (PoW).

Work is the operative word here. Just as miners can only guarantee that blocks are valid if they've expended a certain amount of computational power to produce them, the only way for individuals to succeed in Bitcoin is to forgo shortcuts in favor of genuine study and effort. Work is the operative word here.

Learning is a painful process. My initial attempt at putting together a hardware wallet was a slow and laborious process. The attempt, which needed a number of separate attempts on my part, was not something that came readily to me. The same thing happened when I was putting together my first Umbrel node, and it happened again when I was learning how to correctly back up seed phrases.

Despite the fact that the encounters were frustrating, they were ultimately responsible for the formation of new neural connections in my brain. And it was those brain connections that provided me with the wisdom to not let the volatility in the market frighten me.

Learning About Bitcoin Is the Antithesis of Using Fiat Currency
To get started with Bitcoin, you need neither a college degree nor any other kind of accreditation, nor any prior experience in technology or finance. It does not matter where you come from or how much education you have; anyone can participate. It makes no difference who you are, what color your skin is, where you've been or where you're going, or even where you've been.

Andreas Antonopolous, a speaker at the Blockchain Training Conference in 2016, used the term "superorganism" to refer to Bitcoin. He compared it to ant colonies, specifically Leafcutter Ant colonies. The brains of individual Leafcutters are made up of only about ten thousand neurons each. However, when taken as a whole, these individuals contribute to the formation of a sophisticated agricultural society.

A Culture That Focuses On Contributors Rather Than Extractors
Imagine that a huge cookie jar could hold all of the information that is currently known about Bitcoin. The vast majority of people will only only take cookies out of the cookie jar and never put any back. However, the most skilled Bitcoin users take the information they already possess, the lessons they've learned, and all of the wisdom they've gained, and find out entirely new ways to apply, expand upon, and create something new for the students who will come after them. Bitcoin as a body of information is a living, breathing organism that requires nourishment in order to thrive.

And being a developer is not a prerequisite for making contributions to Bitcoin in any way. People from all walks of life, including authors, artists, attorneys, filmmakers, and even oil firms, are applying their specialized training to advance the sector.

Marshall McLuhan, a philosopher who specializes in media, asserted in the 1960s that the technology we employ mold our thoughts. You can slowly restructure your mental meshwork relating to how money is supposed to function by experiencing sound money through the use of hardware wallets, assembling your own node, mining, or any other avenue you explore within Bitcoin. This can be done in any way you choose to engage with Bitcoin.

Now picture what occurs when this process is applied on a larger scale, when the ideas of sound money become ingrained in the identities of individuals.

According to the theory presented in Charles Duhigg's book "The Power of Habit," the origins of social movements can be traced back to "[t]he social habits of friendship and the strong relationships between intimate acquaintances." It spreads due to the routines of a community as well as the loose relationships that bind neighborhoods and clans together. And they continue to exist because the leaders of a movement instill in its participants new patterns of behavior that generate a renewed sense of identity and a sense of ownership.

This sense of ownership is becoming increasingly prevalent within the Bitcoin community, despite the fact that it is in direct competition with the glitzy and deceptive narratives of alternative cryptocurrencies.

Movements on this size make full use of the neuroplasticity that is already present in our brains. People have been saying for a very long time that by the time we reach adulthood, the majority of our brains have already been set in stone. But new findings from studies on the brain indicate that our brains actually retain their capacity for plasticity throughout our entire lifetimes and are able to retrain themselves on the fly.

The widely-held assumption that as we become older, our brains become less malleable and more set in their ways is debunked by a study published in Nature Communications in 2014. Takeo Watanabe, a professor at Brown University and one of the co-authors of the study, stated that we "maintain the ability to learn, visually at least, by changing white matter structure." Watanabe believes that the human brain is innately prepared to break old connections and build new ones.

And isn't that ultimately our task at hand: to destroy the connections we have with the fiat nerves and to build better ones?

Another interesting illustration can be found in Alan Turing's work "On Computable Numbers," which was published in 1936. The foresighted computer scientist properly predicted that digital computing devices would eventually replace every other media used for the processing of information. Since that time, digital bits and bytes have been used to create our maps, clocks, typewriters, calculators, telephones, radios, and televisions, and they are now being used to create our money.

In conclusion, when we make the commitment to become long-term students of Bitcoin, the world becomes available to us in a more complete manner. The practice of recovering your sovereignty can be summed up as the process of learning the ins and outs of the protocol and the ramifications it carries. The process of learning is relentless, inconvenient, taxing, and absolutely essential all at the same time. One last thought before I go: devoting some of your most valuable resources—namely, your time, energy, and mental capacity—to the exploration of this field will undoubtedly be one of the most fruitful uses of your time during the entirety of your existence.

Ojike Stella

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