The “digital fire” that is Bitcoin is an expression of fundamental natural phenomena in digital form.
Bitcoin is poised to exponentially transform the world as we currently know it. It is said that 100 years of technological and social advances will occur within the next ten years! This is not your father’s internet. Buckle up!
For those who don’t quite yet understand Bitcoin’s profound implications, my boomer peers especially, Bitcoin is not simply another incremental invention such as the fax machine or streaming video on the internet. Its consequential value is not simply like that of a new digital device or even another new FAANG company equivalent. As Michael Saylor, CEO of Microstrategy has suggested, Bitcoin’s emergence and rapid adoption are perhaps as impactful and culturally transformative as the ancient hominid’s discovery of fire itself. Indeed, Mr. Saylor now asserts that Bitcoin is in fact digital fire!
Similar to early man’s discovery of fire, Bitcoin fundamentally and dramatically shifts the trajectory of humanity’s future — for the better. Bitcoin holds the promise to de-industrialize the powerful centralization of the internet and promote disintermediated, peer-to-peer human engagement and commerce. To flourish in this quickly expanding decentralized emergent ecosystem, humans will have to disengage from our full dependencies upon the Federal Reserve Board and our corporate overlords, and cut our addictions to exogenous reward and validation systems programmed to keep us anxiously stressing whether we are accepted and approved by others. Instead, we must assume “radical personal responsibility,” and become intrinsically motivated to find meaning, purpose and value in what we love to do, while authentically engaging to explore the possible. In so doing we will each cultivate an internal locus of control and develop self-determination, the individual North Star guidance systems to our authentic engagement and expression in the world. However, this will not come easily. This individualized “sovereign mindset” of the people is the enemy, the nemesis, of the centralized design manufacturers of dependency and social control (I’m talking to you, Zuck and Google), and this is valuable (monetized) turf which they don’t want to give up.
This new decentralized, self-generative, self-motivated and self-sustained engagement we need to foment on a mass scale is basically what us old-timers once knew as free, unfettered play. Yet we don’t see too much of that these days. The self-generated authentic play of yesteryear has been gamified and monetized, suppressed or hijacked by many sources, particularly by centralized screen media and digital gaming design. Our brains and its inputs have been rewired and reprogrammed by centralized sources — and definitely not for the better.
According to recent neuroscience, play is a survival drive inspired at least in part through the hard-wired affective drive-mechanism of novelty seeking and curiosity. There is no creativity, recreation, and alas, RE-creation without play! And play we must if we are to co-create and creatively adapt to what is emerging these next ten years! So instead of feeding the beast of pervasive fear or escaping into hedonic addictions or limited group-think, let’s lighten up and be open to exploring things differently!
Satoshi Nakamoto did not “invent” Bitcoin by simply recombining or synthesizing existing technologies. Similar to our early ancestors who discovered the power of fire, and invented tools and applications which transformed human development exponentially, Satoshi discovered a phenomenon of nature which can now be expressed digitally.
“Nature to be commanded must be obeyed.” - Francis Bacon
In a nutshell (you will soon see why I said this), Satoshi discovered a store of time and value dematerialized as a digitized energetic transmission system some, like Michael Saylor, will argue is in fact digital fire. The pure and scarce digital energy of Bitcoin, according to Mr. Saylor, is the “apex” predator asset and network we need to “win.” While I am not the engineer Mr. Saylor is, and my woman’s mind plays in the realm of inductive nonlinear divergent thinking, perhaps I can propose another way some of us non-engineers can begin to understand Bitcoin: as “nature’s digital seed.”
I know this sounds a bit convoluted, but let’s carefully consider this concept using first principles thinking and evoke the analogous (those with engineering minds please bear with me).
“The seed” is nature’s basic design for a store of time and value. It holds within its wholeness the promise of dormant creation, of creativity. A seed from a fruit-bearing bush can be stored a long time, many years; sometimes hundreds if not thousands of years. And yet with loving care and adequate water and nutrition (proper inputs), the seed’s inherent stored value can be evoked and realized as a beautiful new fruit-bearing bush. However, Nature’s function and purpose don’t stop there. The seed not only serves as a “store of time and value” as a promised gift to the future, but concurrently serves as an intricate “time and value transmission system.” The mature bush that sprouted itself from one little seed lying dormant for many years fulfills its additional role in transmitting value and time by producing not simply one or two replacement seeds, but countless hundreds, if not thousands of fruits and seeds yearly, exponentially projecting creative added value into the future.
“Reality is made of circles but we see straight lines” - Peter Senge
Inspired by and attuned with nature’s biological patterns, and skills honed in encryption and programming, Satoshi discovered a digital store of time and value, a foundational proof-of-work base layer of fertile soil he called “Bitcoin.” And like the fruit seed fulfilling its biological function as a storage and transmission system for “time and value,” Bitcoin can now digitally store, transform and project “time and value” through its programmable transmission system as exponential creative potential.
Call it “proof-of-work” or “proof-of-play,” each of us can now choose how we define and store creative value in our life. For me, the playful creativity I have cultivated over my many years is now seeded in Bitcoin, stored on the immutable distributed public blockchain for many years to come.
Originally valued in fiat dollars as $362 per bitcoin back in 2016, when I die I will pass on my digitized creative seed to my children and family, and to the projects I wish to grow, flourish and outlive me. Or, if I want to, I could program the transfer of creative value 300 years into the future to be used in only certain ways. Mimicking the example of the seed becoming the bush which then replicates thousands of self-similar additional seeds, my bitcoin seed encapsulating my original time and the value of my creative engagement in this world will have exponentially grown in value, potential and applications. My heirs can take my programmable gift of scarce digital bitcoin and reconstitute it in the future in endless ways within their real lives, in their space colonizations, and in their decentralized augmented and virtual holographic metaverses — all new emergent worlds many boomers cannot even begin to fathom. Because Bitcoin stores and transports while growing exponentially in its inherent creative value and applications, and is scarce, decentralized and immutable, no other asset class and/or network comes close to Bitcoin’s creative potential now, or in 500 years.
You can argue Bitcoin is “fire” if you wish to place value on the purity of its thermodynamic digital energy. I choose to call Bitcoin “nature’s seed” because I place value in its exponential creative value potential. In either case, Bitcoin in all its current and countless future applications remains the creative outcome, the synthesis of the dialectic: the emergent creative value when the human analog plays with the decentralized digital. The bottom line is that Bitcoin is for everybody, engineer and artist, old and young. Just watch what happens when we tear down our mental and disciplinary silos, remove centralized intermediation, and recreate by playfully exploring the possible, the Bitcoin quantum potential … together!
This is a guest post by Kristen Cozad. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.