Wells Fargo and Bank of America’s Merrill Are Now Offering Spot Bitcoin ETFs To Clients

Wells Fargo and Bank of America’s Merrill Are Now Offering Spot Bitcoin ETFs To Clients

Bank of America Corp.’s Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo & Co.’s brokerage unit have begun offering access to exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that directly invest in Bitcoin, according to Bloomberg Law.

The move by these banks reflects the growing interest among investors in gaining exposure to Bitcoin. Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo are providing access to approved Bitcoin ETFs to select wealth management clients with brokerage accounts upon request, according to individuals familiar with the matter.

This development comes after spot Bitcoin ETFs had a record setting week in the US, with inflows of BlackRock's ETF hitting $612 million yesterday. The decision by Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo to offer these ETFs demonstrates their recognition of the increasing demand for Bitcoin investment options among their affluent clientele.

By providing access to Bitcoin ETFs, these banks are catering to the evolving investment preferences of their clients, who are seeking opportunities to diversify their portfolios and capitalize on the growth potential of Bitcoin. The availability of Bitcoin exposure through mainstream financial institutions like Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo further legitimizes the Bitcoin market and underscores its integration into traditional finance.

BlackRock’s Spot Bitcoin ETF To Start Trading in Brazil Tomorrow

BlackRock’s Spot Bitcoin ETF To Start Trading in Brazil Tomorrow

BlackRock's spot Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is poised to make its debut in Brazil tomorrow, according to a report from the largest financial market news platform in Brazil, InfoMoney. The launch follows the announcement by BlackRock that the Brazilian Depositary Receipts (BDRs) of its iShares Bitcoin Trust ETF (IBIT39) will begin trading on B3, Brazil's stock exchange, on Friday, according to the report.

“Our digital asset journey has been underpinned by the goal of providing high-quality access vehicles to investors,” said Karina Saade, president of BlackRock in Brazil. “IBIT39 is a natural progression of our efforts over many years and builds on the fundamental capabilities we have established so far in the digital asset market.”

IBIT39 will initially be available to qualified investors, with retail access expected to follow in the coming "weeks." The management fee for IBIT39 is set at 0.25%, with a one-year waiver and a reduction to 0.12% after reaching $5 billion in assets under management.

In the United States, where Bitcoin spot ETFs were cleared by regulators in January, BlackRock's Bitcoin ETF has emerged as the most popular option, accumulating over $9 billion in assets since launch. According to Bloomberg data, BlackRock's ETF attracted a record $612 million of inflows in a single day yesterday.

Despite the success of Bitcoin ETFs, Saade emphasized that BlackRock's launch in Brazil and the United States does not constitute an endorsement of Bitcoin itself but rather a recognition of its relevance as an asset class. “Our goal is to serve our customers with safe and transparent products. We have no recommendation or any expectations regarding Bitcoin itself,” Saade explained.

EIA Emergency Survey Preliminary Injuction Hearing Canceled Yesterday

EIA Emergency Survey Preliminary Injuction Hearing Canceled Yesterday

Yesterday we were supposed to have a hearing on the preliminary injunction in the Texas Blockchain Council v. Department of Energy case. But, as often happens in litigation, things change quickly. Tuesday the judge entered an order canceling today's hearing based on the parties reaching an "agreement-in-principle" on the overall dispute. This agreement must be finalized and filed by Friday, March 1st.

Speculation time.

What could this mean? One element of the standard for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO), and a preliminary injunction, is that the party requesting it has to show that they are "likely to succeed on the merits." This means that the judge has to believe that, not only is success possible, but more likely than not. Here, the judge already agreed that "that Plaintiffs are likely to succeed in showing that the facts alleged by Defendants to support an emergency request fall far short of justifying such an action." And that the Government's action was arbitrary, capricious, or abused their discretion.

Losing the TRO, while not dispositive, is a big red flag. The Government does not like to lose, and once it has lost on this metric, it's very likely that they already know they will lose on the following motions: the preliminary injunction and the permanent injunction.

One problem there is discovery. As part of the process of proving the case, the Plaintiffs get to request internal communications and other materials that might show an abuse of discretion or undue influence. The Energy Information Administration has only used emergency data collection authority in a handful of actual emergencies, such as an emergency survey in response to the 2021 Colonial Pipeline Cyberattack.

Given the context of Senator Warren and the Biden Administration's continued attacks on Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining, is there any reason to believe that there aren't unflattering emails or communications showing undue influence between those offices and the EIA? What else could have caused a historically cautious and respected agency to suddenly put out such slipshod work as the EIA-862, which was then rubber stamped by the President's own Office of Management and Budget in clear technical violation of their internal standards?

It is not like this kind of undue influence hasn't happened before... look at Custodia Bank's lawsuit, for instance, where "perhaps the most stunning fact that would never have seen the light of day but for discovery is this: in the wake of FTX’s collapse and a mysterious briefing to Vice-Chair Barr concerning Custodia’s membership and master account applications, Board staff edited and rewrote key parts of an internal Kansas City Fed memo … Discovery reveals that the Board was deeply intertwined in the outcome of Custodia’s master account request. That level of involvement is not consistent with the notion of unfettered Reserve Bank discretion." Page 54 of Custodia's December 22, 2023 Brief for Judgment as a Matter of Law.

While we await more information, it seems clear that any voluntary concession by the Government here reveals some combination of realization that they exhibited either manifest incompetence, or that discovery would bear out significant undue influence on the process.

This is a guest post by Colin Crossman. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

Edward Snowden Anticipates Government Acquisition of Bitcoin in 2024

Edward Snowden Anticipates Government Acquisition of Bitcoin in 2024

Renowned whistleblower Edward Snowden has made a bold prediction on X today, suggesting that a national government will enter the Bitcoin market this year by purchasing BTC.

"Prediction: A national government will be revealed this year to have been buying Bitcoin—the modern replacement for monetary gold—without having disclosed that fact publicly," Snowden stated.

Snowden's prediction comes amid increasing institutional, retail, and nation state interest in Bitcoin, with several major corporations and investment firms allocating significant resources to the asset. While Snowden did not specify which government he believes will make the purchase, the prospect of a second national government acquiring Bitcoin and making it legal tender, like El Salvador did in 2021, would represent another huge milestone for Bitcoin.

Earlier today, El Salvador President Nayib Bukele commented on Bitcoin's recent price increase, stating "When Bitcoin’s market price was low, they wrote literally thousands of articles about our supposed losses. Now that Bitcoin’s market price is way up, if we were to sell, we would make a profit of over 40% (just from the market purchases), and our main source of BTC is now our citizenship program. We won’t sell, or course; at the end 1 BTC = 1 BTC (this was true when the market price was low and it’s true now); but it’s very telling that the authors of those hit pieces, the “analysts”, the “experts”, the “journalists”, are totally silent now."

El Salvador's bet on Bitcoin has appeared to pay off, not just from the perspective of their BTC investments increasing in value, but also from attracting large amounts of tourism from Bitcoiners and investment in the country. Other countries may be taking notice of what Bitcoin has done for El Salvador, and may want the same.

As Snowden's prediction garners attention, it underscores the growing mainstream recognition of Bitcoin's role in the global economy and its potential to reshape traditional financial systems.

Coinbase Crashes Following Bitcoin Pump, CEO Cites 'Large Surge Of Traffic"

Coinbase Crashes Following Bitcoin Pump, CEO Cites 'Large Surge Of Traffic"

Coinbase, one of the leading Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges, experienced a significant outage today as Bitcoin's price soared, leaving many users accounts malfunctioning. The disruption occurred amid a sharp increase in trading activity following Bitcoin's surge in price, which briefly surpassed $64,000.

Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong attributed the outage to a "large surge of traffic" overwhelming the exchange's infrastructure. The sudden influx of users attempting to buy, sell, or trade Bitcoin overwhelmed Coinbase's servers, leading to connectivity issues for many customers.

"We are aware that some users may see a zero balance across their Coinbase accounts & may experience errors in buying or selling," Coinbase stated. "Our team is investigating this & will provide an update shortly. Your assets are safe."

Following the outage, Bitcoin sharply declined in price from ~$64,000 to ~$59,500, wiping out most of the gains Bitcoin had made today. Coinbase has experienced similar outages in the past during periods of intense market volatility, prompting criticism from users and industry observers.

Despite the temporary disruption, Bitcoin's price appears to have remained resilient, as it is now back above $60,700 at the time of writing, continuing its upward trajectory amid growing institutional adoption and investor interest.

As Coinbase works to restore normal operations, the incident serves as a reminder of the challenges associated with managing large-scale Bitcoin exchanges and the importance of robust infrastructure to ensure uninterrupted service for users.

The Sabotage of Bitcoin

The Sabotage of Bitcoin

“Government agents are not active in Bitcoin developer and influencer circles.”

As the war for global monetary supremacy wages on, you have to assume that the state is actively operating information warfare. This means that the state is operating and acting in order to preserve and expand it’s own power. For that reason, it is sane and reasonable to assume that state operators are in the trenches of Bitcoin attempting to influence public perception, developer activity, and overall bitcoin adoption. If you think this is not happening then you are naive or you’re incentivized to act against bitcoin in a different way. The sabotage of Bitcoin is not some tin foil hat conspiracy, the sabotage of Bitcoin is actively playing out in real time, but the big question is where the sabotage is taking place and what can you do to identify and act to counter the sabotage?

So let’s zoom into Bitcoin of today, where conversation is happening around the future of Bitcoin in regards to dealing with Ordinals, or spam (if you are part of that camp)1. The rise of Ordinals last year and the pressure they have caused on blockspace demand has surfaced new rivalries within the bitcoin maximalist community as memetic warfare is waged on what bitcoin is and how it should be used. The purpose of this article is not to make a political stand in this fight, but to point out places in Bitcoin that are prone to sabotage and where active sabotage campaigns might be actively waged. Seeing this division in a once divided front is enough to make one pause and consider what external forces are at work.

Bitcoin’s Power Balance

As we consider the infighting happening within Bitcoin, it is important to understand the different parties within bitcoin and how each of the powers balance each other out. In 2019, Nic Carter illustrated Bitcoin’s Power Balance Model. This model shows the key roles in Bitcoin and the relationship between each one. You can see the circular feedback loop between Miners -> Devs -> Economic Nodes. In a vacuum these three roles would perpetually pump each other with nothing to keep them in check. At the heart of the model are the Users who keep Devs and Economic nodes in check.

Bitcoin’s Power Balance Model by Nic Carter source.

The one factor in the power model that touches each of the player in the model is the software of code. The software touches each of the roles in one way or another and this is probably the largest threat vector to all of Bitcoin. The simple activity of running code is how Bitcoin is eating the monetary world, so it is probably worth understanding the development process.

Bitcoin Development Process

Let’s now dig into the Bitcoin development process. As you know, making changes to Bitcoin is a slow and deliberate process. This is a big change from the “move fast and break things” mentality of Silicon Valley. Many argue that this slow methodical process is actually one of Bitcoin’s greatest strengths. In 2011, Gwern published “Bitcoin Is Worse Is Better” where he says “However, in an example of ‘Worse is Better’, the ugly inefficient prototype of Bitcoin successfully created a secure decentralized digital currency, which can wait indefinitely for success, and this was enough to eventually lead to adoption, improvement, and growth into a secure global digital currency.” This ugly inefficient code has gotten us here today, 15 years later, and in that time the slow methodical approach to Bitcoin development has been and will probably continue to be a part of the developer ethos.

The development process has even been formally documented in BIP 2 (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal). Here are the general steps in the BIP activation process:

  1. Drafting the BIP: The first step is to draft a BIP following the template outlined in BIP2. This includes writing a detailed document or white paper that outlines the proposed changes. The BIP should be comprehensive, covering motivation, technical specifications, and rationale.
  2. Discussion and Feedback: Once the BIP is drafted, it’s shared with the Bitcoin community for discussion and feedback and usually happens on platforms like the Bitcoin Dev mailing list, GitHub, and even Twitter. The purpose is to solicit feedback, refine the proposal, and begin to build consensus around it.
  3. Assigning a BIP Number: If the BIP is deemed to have potential and is unique, it’s assigned a BIP number by a BIP editor. This is a formal acknowledgment that the BIP is under consideration.
  4. Formal Review: After the BIP is assigned a number, it enters a formal review phase. During this time, the BIP is scrutinized for technical soundness, feasibility, and compatibility with the Bitcoin protocol. This is where the devs try to break the bip and poke holes in the proposal.
  5. Revisions: Based on feedback and review, the BIP may undergo several revisions.
  6. Implementation: Once consensus is reached, the BIP is implemented in the Bitcoin Core codebase. This step involves actual coding and rigorous testing to ensure that the changes work as intended without introducing new vulnerabilities.
  7. Reaching Consensus: For a BIP to move forward, it needs to reach consensus among the Bitcoin development community. This is often the most challenging part, as Bitcoin’s decentralized nature means that a wide range of stakeholders (developers, miners, users, etc.) need to agree on the change.
  8. Deployment: After implementation & consensus, the new version of Bitcoin Core including the BIP is released. Depending on the nature of the BIP, it might require a majority of miners or nodes to upgrade to the new version for the changes to take full effect.
  9. Activation: Finally, once the required threshold of network participants has adopted the new version, the changes proposed in the BIP are activated on the Bitcoin network.

Reading through this is incredibly helpful in understanding how change happens to Bitcoin. The problem I see is where are the single point of failures in this process and who the gatekeepers2 are for each step. Conversations happening in channels now are surfacing weak points or non documented parts of the development cycle. For example, Bitcoin Inquisition. This is the in space between steps 2 and 3.

Bitcoin Inquisition

Bitcoin Inquisition is a non-documented part of the Bitcoin development process. It was proposed by and administered by AJ Towns in 2022. Here is a very brief summary of why and what it is.

“I think the weakest link in that [bitcoin development] loop is the first one: what if we did activate soft forks on the default signet prior to the code being merged into core? To that end, I’m proposing a fork of core that I’m calling “bitcoin-inquisition”, with the idea that it branches from stable releases of core and adds support for proposed changes to consensus (CTV, ANYPREVOUT, TLUV, OP_CAT, etc…) and potentially also relay policy (relay changes are often implied by consensus changes, but also potentially things like package relay).”

– AJ Towns on Bitcoin Inquisition

The reality is that the Bitcoin Inquisition is live and well. AJ runs a special separate fork of Bitcoin core and acts as the sole admin for testing BIP’s. This is not documented in BIP-2, but has just been accepted as process by core devs. This is a curious development of how tribal devs can make changes how they see fit, without documentation.

The Bitcoin Sabotage

At this point we’ve run through the roles in Bitcoin, the steps in the development process, and even identified a glaring hole in the development process. Let’s now dig into what is sabotage.

Sabotage. (noun) /ˈsæb.ə.tɑːʒ/

Definition: The deliberate destruction, damage, or obstruction of something, typically for political or military advantage. Sabotage is often carried out covertly and with the intention of hindering operations, activities, or plans of an opponent or competitor.

Verb Form: Sabotage (sabotaging, sabotaged)

Usage in a Sentence: “The bridge collapse was found to be the result of sabotage by enemy agents.”

For purpose of this article, let’s frame sabotage specifically in relation to Bitcoin Sabotage. Bitcoin Sabotage is the deliberate destruction of Bitcoin, or obstruction of Bitcoin development or adoption, for political advantage. This is the frame. This is what we are up against. With that in mind let’s now dig into how sabotage is waged. Conveniently our very own CIA is masters at sabotage and have been waging sabotage tactics in warfare for over a century.

Simple Sabotage Field Manual

In the 1940’s, the CIA shipped a field manual called Simple Sabotage Field Manual. The purpose of this was to distribute to operators a practical manual on how to conduct sabotage operations behind enemy lines. While this manual is 80 years old, it reveals some classical tactics in the art of sabotage.

Click here to download your Spook handbook today!

This “Simple Sabotage” is a unique look at how sly the military is when it comes to unconventional warfare. This manual was developed in the 1940’s and you have to wonder how many more hours and resources have gone into modernizing this same document and other classified operators manuals. For purpose of this article, we will examine the Specific Suggestions for Sabotage sections focused on Organizations and Conferences & Managers and Supervisors.

  1. Organizations and Conferences
    1. Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit short-cuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.
    2. Make “speeches,” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length., Illustrate your points by long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Never hesitate to make a few appropriate patriotic” comments.
    3. When possible, refer all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committees as large as possible – never less than five.
    4. Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.
    5. Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.
    6. Refer back to matters decided upon at the last meeting and attempt to re-open the question of the advisability of that decision.
    7. Advocate “caution.” Be unreasonable” and urge your fellow-conferees to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on.
    8. Be worried about the propriety of any decision – raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated Hes within the jurisdiction of the group 01’whether it might conflict with the policy of some higher echelon.

When I read Section A. Organizations and Conferences, I can’t help but think that Bitcoin development is being sabotaged, but I am a naive outsider. I am also a noticer. If I was going to sabotage Bitcoin, this field manual could easily be deployed from within developer circles. If you were a state operator with developing skills, it is reasonable to believe you could begin participating in code review process and make in roads and start having authority in matters.

Let’s outline sabotage tactics state operators could be executing:

  • Miners – in the great blocksize wars, some large mining pools signaled with the Big Blockers. This was an attack on Bitcoin, but it demonstrates a specific action that Mining Pool operators could carry out in order to sabotage Bitcoin. While this DID NOT work in breaking Bitcoin, we learned that Users are at the heart of Bitcoin. A bigger problem could be if large pool operators were acting in coordination with other roles.
  • Devs – this is perhaps the biggest vector for sabotage attack. As we see more value soaked up by Bitcoin, it will become a bigger target for state actors. That means we will have state operators submitting pull requests and participating in the development process. Based on the Simple Sabotage Field Manual, operators could easily carry out many of the tactics outlined above. We are already seeing very divisive positions from developers on how bitcoin should be, so you must wonder who is the operator.
  • Users – since users give feedback to developers, you would assume that giving bad feedback could lead to developers building something that is not in bitcoins best interest. Or users could socially attack developers into doing certain things. Right now we are seeing meme warfare being waged within the maximalist community, and it can’t all be organic discourse. Users infighting can lead to maldevelopment. Also, what happens if a group of bad actors in the users and developers camps are aligned. Or what if users coordinate to influence certain developers?
  • Economic Nodes – they choose what transactions make it to miners via the code they run. Users tell them what code to run because users spend money with them. Economic nodes could sabotage by supporting old code, or malicious sabotaged code.

In wrapping up this piece, the complex dynamics between miners, devs, users, and economic nodes within Bitcoin creates a ripe battle ground for meme warfare and Bitcoin Sabotage. The Bitcoin development process is without flaws and as outlined in the CIA’s Simple Sabotage Field Manual, there are many simple to deploy tactics that could be used to sabotage Bitcoin. This should serve as a sobering reality that Bitcoin is under attack and you should act accordingly.

The responsibility is on you, humble frog, to keep your head on a swivel. You must stay aware and call out bullshit. Whether it is combating gaslighting, carrying out ethical trolling, or reviewing code, all these actions count and help preserve our only realistic shot at a more free future. The survival and flourishing of Bitcoin depend not just on NGU and its technological robustness but equally on the collective vigilance the users. As we navigate these uncertain times, let us be guided commitment to cypherpunk ethos, critical thinking, and unwavering support for the core principles that underpin Bitcoin which is freedom. In doing this, we might have a chance at winning the game of Bitcoin Sabotage and defeating our enemy, the state.

Bitcoin Surpasses $61,000 As New All Time High Approaches

Bitcoin Surpasses $61,000 As New All Time High Approaches

Bitcoin surged past the $61,000 mark today, edging closer to a new all-time high as spot Bitcoin ETF inflows and investor enthusiasm continues to drive up prices. The milestone comes amid increasing interest in the Bitcoin market and growing adoption by institutional investors.

The latest rally in Bitcoin's price reflects ongoing bullish sentiment among investors, fueled by factors such as increasing institutional adoption via spot Bitcoin ETFs, inflationary concerns, and growing mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin. This week in particular has been a record breaking week for the Bitcoin ETFs. Yesterday, BlackRock's ETF took in over $520 million in inflows, which Bloomberg Senior ETF Analyst Eric Balchunas noted it was "the biggest haul for a BTC ETF ever." BlackRock's ETF has done around $1.3 billion in trading volume on each of the last two days.

Yesterday, spot Bitcoin ETFs purchased 10,050 BTC currently worth $615 million. To put into context how much this is, the amount of new Bitcoin created by miners yesterday was only ~900 BTC. The ETFs appear to be buying up all the available BTC on the market, driving up the price. It is important to note that Bitcoin's fourth halving is approaching, where the mining reward for creating new bitcoin will be cut in half from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC per block.

Bitcoin has been on a steady upward trend since the beginning of the year, with its price nearly doubling from the start of 2024. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is less than $9,000 away from a new all time high. And with inflows for the Bitcoin ETFs showing no signs of slowing down, and with the halving coming, many market participants are wondering if Bitcoin will hit a new all time high before the halving for the first time ever.

Second EIA Survey Extension Being Pushed With Open Comment Period

Second EIA Survey Extension Being Pushed With Open Comment Period

The current EIA Emergency Cryptocurrency Mining Facilities survey held by injunction would require monthly reporting of information from mining facility operators through July 31, 2024. This survey would require the collection of information such as the power price with the power provider, the amount of electricity available under their purchase agreement, the amount of power actually drawn, as well as detailed information on mining hardware such as unit count, hashrate, power draw, and age of mining hardware.

It is spectacular news that this survey has been temporarily halted by Federal District Judge Alan Alright in Waco, Texas, but the final outcome of this lawsuit is still undecided. The next hearing will be tomorrow. It is, in my amateur opinion, very likely that the emergency survey will be permanently halted due to failures to properly follow procedure in the process of moving forward with the survey under emergency grounds.

That would be a spectacular win for the ecosystem, and definitely give miners and the rest of us some time to rally and prepare for other regulatory concerns developing in the ecosystem, but if the case is ultimately decided in that direction it does not mean we are out of the woods yet.

In parallel to the emergency survey, the EIA is looking for a 3 year extension to the data collection requirements under the conventional process with an open comment period. This extension would make no changes to the information requested, or the penalties involved with non-compliance. Regardless of the outcome of the trial in Waco this extension is not part of the emergency survey authorization, and in the process of facilitating the public comment period to my knowledge is not subject to decisions based on the failure to properly follow procedure in initiating the emergency survey. This is still going to happen.

The public comment period is open until April 9, 2024. Comments can be submitted through the Federal Register system here, or by email to Glenn McGrath at

I highly encourage you to submit comments, especially if you run any scale of commercial mining operation.

Numerous issues exist with the rationalization, but a few large ones include:

  • What relevance off-grid mining operations have to the purpose of this survey, commercial or otherwise, given their operations have no impact on power prices or grid stability being completely disconnected from the power grid.
  • What risks might exist for private operations not required to publicly disclose information about hashrate inventory or power consumption in disclosing information about their business operations.
  • What merit concerns about grid stability might have overall given the growth and prominence of curtailment strategies and capabilities, as demonstrated in Texas during winter storm Elliot.
  • The fact that the survey followed a prolonged period of overtly hostile messaging from the current Executive Administration using a very questionable basis for justification.
  • The burden this could pose on larger mining operations in regularly complying and maintaining the information necessary to comply with the survey.
  • Why the GPS coordinates of mining facilities are necessary, given the concern is regarding power grid stability and the electrical suppliers are already required information under the survey.

Remember to be respectful, concise, but to the point in any comments. If your intent is simply to meme or make deriding comments towards the agency, this is in no way helpful or constructive. Comments must be submitted by April 9, 2024.

From Dungeons to Bitcoin Billions: Navigating the Ethical Labyrinth of Tim Draper and Ross Ulbricht

From Dungeons to Bitcoin Billions: Navigating the Ethical Labyrinth of Tim Draper and Ross Ulbricht

The intertwining stories of Tim Draper, a venture capitalist with an unyielding belief in Bitcoin, and Ross Ulbricht, the infamous creator of the Silk Road, present a compelling exploration of ethics, empathy, and the unpredictable nature of the cryptocurrency market. This narrative delves deep into the moral quandaries posed by their unique circumstances, offering a nuanced examination of the implications of their actions and the broader societal and ethical considerations they invoke.

Tim Draper: A Testament to Resilience and Vision

Tim Draper's foray into the world of Bitcoin was marked by significant adversity before his noteworthy purchase of the bitcoins associated with Ross Ulbricht. Draper was among the many who experienced loss due to the infamous collapse of the Mt. Gox exchange, a calamity that vaporized an enormous fortune belonging to thousands of investors. Draper personally lost around 40,000 Bitcoins, equivalent to roughly $250,000 at the time.

This setback, however, did not deter his enthusiasm for Bitcoin. Instead, it set the stage for his future actions and reinforced his reputation as a staunch believer in Bitcoin's transformative power. His decision to subsequently purchase 30,000 bitcoins at a U.S. Marshals Service auction in 2014 for $19 million —bitcoins that were once part of the Silk Road's assets (confiscated from Ross) —was not just a financial investment but a bold statement of his unwavering confidence in Bitcoin's future. With Bitcoin's value skyrocketing, Draper's haul is now valued at an eye-watering $1.286 billion—a staggering 6669% increase. It's the kind of financial windfall that could make Scrooge McDuck do a double-take.

Ross Ulbricht: The Controversial Figure Behind Silk Road

Ross Ulbricht's journey from an ambitious entrepreneur to a convicted felon serves as a stark counterpoint to Draper's narrative. As the mastermind behind the Silk Road, Ulbricht facilitated a platform that revolutionized illicit trade on the dark web. His subsequent arrest and life sentence without parole sparked a debate that transcends legal boundaries, raising questions about innovation, freedom, and the harshness of his punishment. Ulbricht's case has garnered widespread attention, with many advocating for clemency, highlighting the complexity of his legacy.

The Numbers Game

With Ulbricht's Silk Road having processed an estimated $9 billion in transactions, and Draper's investment ballooning to over a billion dollars, the question of financial restitution or support becomes not just philosophical, but glaringly tangible. Ulbricht's personal Bitcoin stash at the time of his arrest was estimated at 144,000 bitcoins, valued at around $25 million in 2013. Today, the worth of such a hoard would be astronomical, further complicating the moral calculus.

Shared Experiences and Unspoken Bonds

The parallel paths of Draper and Ulbricht converge at a point of mutual loss and resilience. Draper's financial setback at Mt. Gox mirrors Ulbricht's loss of his bitcoin stash, confiscated and auctioned by the government. This symmetry suggests a shared understanding of the volatile nature of Bitcoin and the impact of unforeseen events. Draper's public support for Ulbricht, encapsulated in his passionate advocacy for Ulbricht's release, hints at a deeper connection, possibly fueled by their intertwined fates in the Bitcoin realm.

Draper's vocal support for Ulbricht adds layers to this complex tale. In 2019, Draper once passionately advocated for Ulbricht's release: "Free Ross, baby! Why put these really extraordinary people in jail? We need entrepreneurs like that guy. Get him out of jail...We need their energy and their minds and their force...I’m sure he’s done enough time. Get him out.". This sentiment highlights a peculiar juxtaposition: a successful investor benefiting significantly from assets once belonging to a now-incarcerated entrepreneur.

The Moral and Ethical Implications

This narrative prompts a reevaluation of the ethical dimensions of cryptocurrency investment and the responsibilities it may entail. Draper's significant profit from the bitcoins associated with Ulbricht's downfall—now valued at a staggering 6669% increase—raises important questions about the redistribution of wealth and the concept of moral obligation. The notion of "moral luck," which considers the role of external factors in moral judgments, is particularly relevant, highlighting the arbitrariness of fortune and misfortune in the digital age.

A Call for Reflective Action

The ethical labyrinth surrounding Draper and Ulbricht's stories invites us to ponder the nature of empathy, justice, and the potential for philanthropy in the context of digital wealth. Draper's potential financial support for Ulbricht's campaign could serve as a powerful gesture of solidarity and a reflection of the nuanced interplay between success and social responsibility in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

The Call for Clemency

Ulbricht's plight has not gone unnoticed. His petition for clemency has attracted over half a million signatures on, becoming the largest clemency petition to the President. Figures like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a 2024 Presidential Candidate, have pledged to investigate Ulbricht's case, stating, "I will immediately investigate this case when I become president and if I find that Ross Ulbricht was punished as an example, then I will give him clemency. That is not consistent with American justice and it’s wrong."

A Moral Investment?

In the end, the call for Draper to contribute to Ulbricht's legal fund or campaign for his release transcends mere financial assistance; it touches upon the very ethos of the tech and blockchain communities. Should Draper, who has profited immensely from an asset once belonging to Ulbricht, feel morally compelled to aid his cause? It's a question that dances on the edge of ethical investment and philanthropy, teasing the boundaries between profit, justice, and redemption.

A Question of Ethics

As we delve into the complexities of this tale, we must consider our own perspectives on the ethical obligations of those who profit in the realm of digital currency. Should Tim Draper be morally compelled to contribute to the Free Ross campaign, recognizing the shared history and potential for positive impact? How do we quantify fairness in such a situation, and what might a fair contribution look like—perhaps 1% of Draper's gains, or is there another metric that better balances the scales of justice and empathy?

This discussion transcends the individual stories of Draper and Ulbricht, touching on broader themes of technological innovation, legal reform, and the moral considerations that emerge at the intersection of digital wealth and human rights. What are your thoughts on this ethical conundrum? How should we navigate these complex moral landscapes, and what does this saga teach us about the responsibilities that come with significant financial power in the digital age?

Layer 2 Is Not A Magic Incantation

Layer 2 Is Not A Magic Incantation

A common chant from many in this space these days in response to any discussion of changes to the Bitcoin protocol is “Don’t mess with Layer 1! You can just build it on Layer 2!” This seems like a very logical thing to do, right? Why risk the security and stability of L1 when you can just build on top of it? The problem is this fundamentally fails to understand the relationship between Layer 1 and Layer 2.

An L2 protocol is an extension of the L1. Everything that an L2 is designed to do must ultimately reduce down to what the L1 is capable of. The blanket statement of “just do it on L2!” obfuscates numerous implicit realities of what can or can’t be done on an L2 given the current state of the base layer. For instance, imagine trying to build the Lightning Network without the existence of multisignature scripts. You couldn’t. It wouldn’t be possible to share control between more than one person, and the whole concept of a payment channel wouldn’t be possible.

The Evolution of Payment Channels

The entire reason that payment channels can exist in the first place is because of the fact that L1 of Bitcoin supports the ability for multiple people to share control of a UTXO with a multisig script. What is possible on a L2 is inherently constrained by what is possible on L1; yes, of course it is possible to do things on L2 that aren’t possible on L1, but the ultimately limiting factor of what you can do off-chain is what is possible on-chain. Faster payment confirmation in a payment channel is only possible because on-chain custody can be shared between multiple people.

Even that isn’t enough for a safe payment channel though. The original payment channel had a pre-signed transaction using an nLocktime timelock that gives the funder their money back after so many blocks, and only supported payment channels in one direction. Transaction malleability made these original payment channels unsafe to use. If the funding transaction was malleated by someone before confirming, then the refund transaction would become invalidated and the funder would have no way to claim their money back. The other party in the channel could effectively hold their money hostage.

CHECKLOCKTIMEVERIFY, the absolute timelock opcode, was the solution. CLTV allows you to make a coin unspendable until a certain blockheight or time in the future. This, in combination with the ability to make scripts that can be spent in multiple ways, allowed the multisig UTXO to have a script path where the funder could spend all of the funds themselves after a timelock. This guaranteed the funder would be able to claim the money back in a worst case scenario even if the funding transaction was malleated. The channel could still only facilitate one-way payments though.

In order to facilitate two-way payments, a proper solution to transaction malleability was necessary. This was a huge motivator for Segregated Witness. A timelock is all that was necessary for a one way channel because the money only increased in one direction. The only risk to the sender was that the other party would never claim what they have already been sent on-chain, leaving the rest of the sender’s money trapped. The timelock refund both gave the receiver the incentive to claim funds on-chain before the timelock, when they would lose all the funds they had already been sent, and the sender a worst-case recourse in case something happened to permanently knock the receiver offline. Script does not support enforcing certain amounts to certain future scripts, so a pre-signed transaction is the only viable initial refund mechanism if payments are to flow in both directions. This reopened the risk of funds being held hostage.

With the upgrade to Segwit, this problem was solved. In place of the timelock refund incentivizing honest behavior, the penalty key was introduced. Because the funds in a two-way channel can flow back and forth in each direction there will inevitably be a case where both sides had more money in a prior state of the channel than the current one. By establishing a branch in each channel state’s pre-signed transaction using a penalty key, users can exchange these after signing the new state and know if the other party tries to use an old transaction they can claim 100% of the funds in the channel. Timelocks are used to guarantee the normal spending path where users take their respective balances isn’t valid for a time to give channel parties the chance to use the penalty key if necessary. There’s a problem with this though, using CLTV means that at some point in the future the channel has to close or else the timelock will expire and you no longer have that safety period to penalize the dishonest party.

Bi-directional payment channels also needed CHECKSEQUENCEVERIFY, or relative timelocks, in order to solve this issue. Unlike CLTV, which specifies a specific time or blockheight in the future, CSV specifies a relative length of time or number of blocks from the time or block that the UTXO using CSV in the script is confirmed in the blockchain. This allowed the safety period to function for penalty key use without requiring channels having to close on-chain at a pre-decided time.

Even this does not give us the Lightning Network though. There is still no way to actually route a payment across multiple payment channels. They can conduct payments in both directions, but only between the two people involved in the channel. In order to route payments across multiple channels you need, you guessed it, other functionality from the L1. Hash Time Locked Contracts are how this is accomplished, and they require both CLTV as well as hashlocks. Hashlocks require providing the preimage to a hash in order to spend the coins. It’s like a signature, except you actually just reveal the “private key” instead of signing with it. This allows the receiver in a Lightning payment to provide a hashlock, and every intermediate channel between sender and receiver create a script that allows spending immediately with the hash preimage, or refunding the money backwards after a timelock. If the receiver reveals the hashlock, everyone can claim the money for forwarding the payment, if not, then the money can be claimed backwards and reversed without finalizing it.

So the Lightning Network as it exists today depends entirely on five functionalities being possible on the base layer of Bitcoin. Multisignature scripts, absolute timelocks, relative timelocks, Segregated Witness, and hashlocks. Without any one of these features existing on L1, Lightning as we know it today would not be a possible L2 we could construct. Its existence as an L2 is entirely dependent on L1’s capability to do certain things. So if one were to, in a world with a Bitcoin that did not support hashlocks, timelocks in script, and no malleability fix, simply go “Just build a bidirectional multi-hop payment channel system on Layer 2! We shouldn’t be messing around with Layer 1” it would be a completely incoherent statement.

The Catch

That said, strictly technically speaking, it still would have been possible to build that bidirectional multi-hop payment channel system in that world without those three features on L1. At a massive cost in terms of introducing trust in other people to not steal your money when they are capable of doing so. A federated sidechain. Everyone could have just set up a federated chain like Liquid or Rootstock and added those features to the sidechain, building the Lightning Network there instead of on the mainchain. The problem with that is, it’s not the same thing. On a technical level the network would function exactly the same, but no one using it would actually have the same degree of control over their coins.

When they closed out a Lightning channel it would settle on a sidechain backed by a federation, i.e. it would just be an accounting entry on top of someone else’s multisig wallet where you have no ability to control those coins on L1. You just have to trust the distributed group operating the federation to not rug everyone. Even drivechains (which ironically itself requires new L1 functionality to be done) is just another form of federation at the end of the day, with some extra restrictions added to the withdrawal process. The federation is just miners instead of people holding private keys.

This is the implicit reality, whether they understand it or not, underlying the reaction “just build it on L2!” whenever someone is discussing improvements to L1. There is the scope of what is already possible to build on L2, which is rather limited and restricted by its own scaling limitations, and then there is the scope of what is not already possible. Everything falling into the latter category is impossible to build without interjecting some trusted entity or group of entities that ultimately is in control of users’ funds for them.

What’s the Point?

“Layer 2” is not a magic incantation. You can’t just wave a magic wand and chant the words, and anything and everything becomes magically possible. There are strict inescapable limitations of what an L2 can accomplish, and those limitations are what the L1 can accomplish. This is just an inherent fact of engineering reality when looking at a system like Bitcoin. You can’t escape it in any way except by degrading the trust assumptions more and more the more flexible of an L2 you build beyond the capabilities of L1.

So when discussions around these issues occur, such as what improvements can be made to L1, two things are of utmost importance. First, those improvements to L1 are almost entirely centered around enabling the construction of more flexible and scalable L2s. Secondly, L2s cannot magically enable everything. L2s have their own limitations based on those of the L1, and to have a discussion regarding changes to L1 without acknowledging the only way around those limitations is to introduce trusted entities is not an honest conversation.

It’s time to start acknowledging reality if we are going to discuss what to do with Bitcoin going forward, otherwise nothing is happening but denial of reality and gaslighting. And that is not productive. 

Braiins Becomes First Mining Pool To Introduce Lightning Payouts

Braiins Becomes First Mining Pool To Introduce Lightning Payouts

Braiins, a leading mining pool in the Bitcoin industry, has made a significant stride by becoming the first mining pool to introduce Lightning payouts. This pioneering move marks a notable advancement in the integration of the Lightning Network (LN) within the mining sector.

"Our decision to integrate the Lightning Network comes from a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the mining community," stated Kristian Csepcsar, Chief of Propaganda at Braiins. "We also found from internal research with the mining community that LN was a highly requested feature; miners really love experimenting with cutting-edge technology, and in this case, Lightning could also improve their privacy by avoiding address reuse and enabling them to take advantage of all the Lightning features like lower fees and no permanent information on the blockchain."

The Lightning Network, a second-layer solution for faster and cheaper Bitcoin transactions, has been increasingly adopted across various sectors within the Bitcoin space. By implementing Lightning payouts, Braiins aims to enhance the efficiency and speed of payments for its miners.

With Lightning payouts, miners can receive their rewards swiftly and seamlessly, avoiding the delays and congestion often associated with traditional on-chain transactions. This innovation not only benefits miners by providing them with quicker access to their earnings but also contributes to the overall scalability and usability of the Bitcoin network.

"We believe that we've made a step forward for Lightning adoption; the more users and bitcoiners use Lightning, the more stable and reliable the network will become," Csepcsar continued. "As the first mining pool in history, we really love the dear old on-chain bitcoin, but we think that Lightning could really benefit miners and also improve the health of the blockchain by avoiding clogging it up with tiny payout UTXOs." 

By pioneering Lightning payouts, Braiins sets a precedent for other mining pools to follow suit, potentially catalyzing broader adoption of Lightning Network solutions across the mining industry. While the public release is expected to go live within the coming weeks, interested miners can request access to this new feature via Braiin's support desk here.

"We are really bullish about Lightning and think we are only at the beginning," Csepcsar said. "We're happy to have deployed one more node to the network!"


The Catalyst That Could 'Standardize' Bitcoin

Today in my series called “things people following Bitcoin for the last 13 years have already figured out but I’m presenting as a brand new epiphany”, I wanted to write about a revelation about Bitcoin's adoption, standardization, and normalization I had this past week. While thinking about what it would take for Bitcoin to receive a massive adoption push in the United States, I was able to think of one such scenario that may not be very far off.

And contrary to what you think, it doesn’t have anything to do with regulation, taxation, accounting standards, or any of the things that are mistakenly talked about as the ebb and flow of Bitcoin adoption on a daily basis. As I learned firsthand while finally doing some research on Bitcoin over the last month, none of those things truly matter. The decentralized nature of the network necessitates that it doesn’t need any of those things to flourish. I noted this in my article last week called “Why I Bitcoin.”

But what I also noted in the same article was that Bitcoin will survive if the people want it to survive. For those who understand the network, they understand that ~20,000 global nodes mean that the network is going to stay up regardless of which politician, jurisdiction, or regulatory agency around the world tries to stand in its way. This is part of the elegance of the network.

And still, having realized that, I think to myself, “What is going to accelerate that adoption so much that we move from now—a point of almost no return for Bitcoin—to a significant point of serious escape velocity?” The answer was right underneath my nose.

When I wrote the title to my article last week called “Why I Bitcoin,” it was just one of those titles that came to me instinctively. Sometimes I spend hours trying to figure out which title is going to be the catchiest, and other times, like with this article, I have the title set out beforehand because it is very clear what I want to say.

But I was walking around over the weekend and wondering where I had heard that phrase before.

Suddenly, it came to me. In one of my favorite comedy skits, a group of Philadelphia improv comedians went to the Occupy protests that occurred as a result of the 2008 economic crash. In more than one spot, there are signs that say “Why I Occupy.” In fact, this was basically the namesake of part of the Occupy movement. I remember that was the source for quite a bit of the pissed-off populace at the time; they thought whatever ideology was on that website was their particular brand of solution to the financial crisis.

It was only after remembering that, that I thought in the next major financial crisis, people really are going to have a legitimate exit ramp from the system. Bitcoin is that exit ramp. It’s the thing that people involved in the GameStop frenzy were so desperately looking for, whether they knew it or not, but couldn’t find.

While the GameStop fiasco was taking place, I remember thinking to myself that there were too many people who were pissed off but didn’t have any idea what they were angry about. In chat rooms and on social media, everybody was catching blame but the Federal Reserve. These people were pissed off because they felt like they were getting gypped: they were reacting, whether they knew it or not, to the widening of the inequality gap while they were struggling to make ends meet.

But what they didn’t know was that this wasn’t the fault of Ken Griffin, Citadel, or short sellers; rather, it was the fault of the Federal Reserve.

Nowadays, it’s becoming clearer as the Fed shoehorns that inequality gap even wider. It’s clearer because inflation is a mainstream story and a phenomenon that people can understand. Even if they don’t know why inflation is happening, most people have a semblance of understanding that it has to do with the Fed blowing out the money supply over the last four years and then, to add insult to injury, lying to the public about inflation being transitory.

And those who hoped to repeat GameStop's success with names like AMC now know that toxic management and a loss-making business can very easily take the air out of any momentum in any type of short, or FOMO, squeeze in any one equity. And they also know that brokerages and regulators can prevent them from transacting in it anytime they damn well please.

During the next major financial crisis, which, in my opinion, isn’t that far away, the same group of pissed-off “have nots” will hopefully direct more of the blame where it belongs: monetary policy. After all, inflation is a brutal tax on the people who can’t afford it and is all but meaningless for the super-rich. And, the super-rich get super richer as a result of quantitative easing and money printing, which directs a disproportionate amount of relief to the stock, bonds and housing market: assets that rich people have that lower-income people do not have.

I would often ask during the Fed money printing over Covid, that if the Fed wanted to print $5 trillion, why wouldn’t they just divide it up evenly amongst all people in the United States and cut us all a check? After all, $5 trillion divided by 300 million people is about $16,500 per person. Putting systemic reasoning aside, this is a fairly simple straightforward question. If you want to stimulate the economy by spraying money all over the place, why not do it equally amongst all of its citizens, instead of playing favorites?

But that isn’t what happened in 2008, and it’s not going to be what happens during the next financial crisis.

What I do think will happen, however, is a new group of “have nots” and economic renegades will be exponentially more informed about how monetary police works, not just as a result of the GameStop fiasco, but also as a new, younger generation has familiarized themselves with the ideological case for Bitcoin. Before I even took to Bitcoin, one of the things I liked about it was the idea that it was forcing a younger generation to understand Austrian economics in a world where we have all but overused and beaten to death our modern monetary theory privileges. Armed with this new knowledge, an entire new generation of pissed-off, regular people will once again bear the cost of socialized losses from nefarious, toxic companies who privatized their profits. And this will be within an inflationary crisis still fresh in their minds. This time there will be no question about who is eroding the purchasing power and the wealth that they have worked for through taxation and inflation.

Which brings me to my point: Bitcoin could very well be the exit ramp that millions of angry people look towards in such a situation.

Unlike with GameStop, Bitcoin actually does have the chance to affect major change because the network's success is tethered to how large it grows. This means that with every single person who decides to own, or educate themselves about, Bitcoin, they become part of a self-fulfilling prophecy of the network's success. And, of course, the ideology behind the success of the network is firmly rooted in empowering people just like them: the people who are tired of having what little they earn silently whisked away from them by the dark inflationary financial machinery of the night.

Many people who participated in the GameStop frenzy, including the “apes” over at Reddit’s Wall Street Bets and millions of other retail traders, will be forced to realize that Bitcoin has all of the positives of what they sought to achieve in the past without the negatives. There is no management to mess it up, there is no counterparty to dilute them, there is no one to turn off the buy button and there is essentially no governing or regulatory body to prevent the network from being a success if the people want it to be one. It becomes the digital freedom that all of these people sought out during the last financial crisis but had no effective way to manifest.

2008 was yet another echo of what has become par for the course on Wall Street: every time things get catastrophic, the public bears the cost, gets pissed off and brandishes the torches. But then it eventually blows over and people go about their business.

“I’m starting to feel a little better about this whole thing,” John Tuld says at the end of Margin Call, signifying that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Bankers and politicians have been relying on this pattern to play out the way it has in the past in order for them to continue to perpetuate the same scheme they’ve been part of for decades. It is, in essence, what enables the miscarriage of justice of everyday Americans bearing the cost of failures of the ultra-rich.

And so, the next time this happens, the investing public could legitimately have a chance to break that cycle for the first time in half a century by adopting Bitcoin. It has a chance to opt them out of the system that they have railed against. Capital flows into Bitcoin and out of traditional financial assets will send a message to major financial institutions who only respond to the opportunity to make fees (see their newfound obsession with Bitcoin now that there’s ETFs for reference). At the same time these flows could add to the self-fulfilling prophecy of the network becoming a success, due to its redundancy essentially serving as the barometer for the health of the network.

It is by no means guaranteed, but if the system ever goes belly up again, and the average person is looking for a true weapon to fight the system – and one that is literally programmed to be the technological braille of the phrases “there’s safety in numbers” and “power to the people,” Bitcoin could shine through and open an epoch for itself that be seen in the future as its adoption Renaissance.

This is a guest post by Quoth the Raven. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.



Today at 11:30a in Waco, Texas, the Texas Blockchain Council and Riot Platforms, Inc., asked a Federal District Judge Alan Albright for a temporary restraining order blocking the Energy Information Administration from enforcing their "emergency" survey.

At that hearing, the attorneys for the Government offered a voluntary declaration by EIA Administrator DeCarolis, offering a four-week pause on enforcement and collection. Judge Albright, recognizing that the Government's offer here was little more than an empty promise without some sort of enforcement mechanism, directed the Government to work with the Plaintiffs to craft a negotiated order that would fully bind the Government to:

  1. Take down the survey for the agreed four-week period;
  2. Provide notice that anyone who hasn't yet complied, that they don't need to comply right now; and
  3. Provide an affirmation that any information which has been received so far, or which is received in the interim, shall be sequestered and not utilized by the Agency.

Also, this order will be National in scope, so every miner in the US is covered.

If the Government can't reach an agreement by 3pm Central today, the Judge indicated that he would issue a Temporary Restraining Order with the same effect as the above, but would accelerate the timetable to the permanent injunction hearing.

We'll know more in a few hours when the final order is entered, but it looks like for now at least, the EIA has been stalled in their (allegedly illegal) "emergency" data collection.

Here is a link to the case files.

This is a guest post by Colin Crossman. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

New Freelance Marketplace Launches Where Users Get Paid In Bitcoin

New Freelance Marketplace Launches Where Users Get Paid In Bitcoin

A new development in the freelance industry has emerged with the launch of Plebwork, a dedicated marketplace where freelancers can earn Bitcoin for their work, according to a press release sent to Bitcoin Magazine. Launched today, Plebwork offers a unique platform for freelancers to connect with Bitcoin companies and receive payment directly into their Bitcoin wallets.

Unlike traditional freelance platforms, Plebwork caters specifically to the Bitcoin community, providing a space where freelancers with expertise in Bitcoin-related skills can find part-time jobs with businesses operating in the Bitcoin space. Likewise, businesses seeking qualified part-time talent can access a pool of freelancers who possess in-depth knowledge of Bitcoin.

“We’re building a marketplace for bitcoiners to work together,” said Thibaud, a representative from Plebwork. “Whether working on Bitcoin wallet inheritance, educating individuals, or making Lightning easier, it requires a ton of people to work together in trying new things. We hope Plebwork can help bitcoiners do that while earning more bitcoin by building on Bitcoin.”

The launch of Plebwork aims to address a significant gap in the market, as many Bitcoin businesses have previously relied on general-purpose freelance platforms that may not cater to their specific needs. By offering a dedicated marketplace for Bitcoin-related projects, Plebwork hopes to streamline the process of finding and hiring freelancers while promoting the adoption of Bitcoin as a means of payment for freelance work.

Plebwork is currently available in early access, allowing freelancers to list their profiles for free. Clients seeking to post jobs can request invitations and have their profiles verified to ensure they are Bitcoin-only businesses. With features like built-in invoicing and payment processing using BTCPay Server, Plebwork intends to offer a seamless platform for freelancers to earn bitcoin while contributing to the growth of the ecosystem.

Scaling Liberty: Bitcoin's Tension Between Ideology and Adoption

Scaling Liberty: Bitcoin's Tension Between Ideology and Adoption

Since its inception over 15 years ago, Bitcoin has captured the imagination of libertarians, anarchists, and a variety of other advocates of individual liberty and financial sovereignty. To them, Bitcoin represented a revolutionary challenge to State-controlled money and authority. As such, it has come to symbolize a disruptive shift toward greater freedom and autonomy for individuals in modern society.

Yet as Bitcoin gains mainstream traction, there are more and more signs it may be shedding its revolutionary roots. The exponential growth in users and market value has corresponded with a dilution of the liberty-oriented ethos that initially defined the technology. In a future hyperbitcoinized world, will Bitcoin still embody the libertarian ideals that sparked so much excitement among its early adherents? Or will it become just another compliant financial asset absorbed into the existing global monetary order?

This question goes beyond philosophical debates around crypto-anarchism and speaks to tangible decisions developers, miners, and users will be confronted with in Bitcoin's next decade. Hard tradeoffs between the cypherpunk vision of total financial freedom and necessary compromises for scalability lie ahead. Navigating these choices will determine whether Bitcoin realizes its disruptive potential or succumbs to the governmental forces it originally sought to circumvent.

In contemporary society, adopting the libertarian mindset is often deemed radical in contrast to mainstream allowable opinion—a perspective acknowledged by many within the libertarian community. The prevailing challenge lies in the pervasive acceptance of the superstition of statism, an entrenched belief system that liberty advocates conscientiously confront. Despite the formidable nature of this challenge, many libertarians remain committed to advancing liberty through diverse and strategic initiatives. Their collective efforts aim not only to challenge the status quo but also to instigate a profound shift in societal attitudes toward liberty.

The struggle against the prevailing acceptance of statism is an ongoing journey, and as dedicated advocates, they recognize the need for multifaceted approaches. From engaging in public discourse to fostering educational initiatives, their endeavors are rooted in the conviction that the principles of liberty are essential for a flourishing society. This commitment extends beyond ideological boundaries, encompassing a shared vision for a future where individual freedoms are valued and upheld.

As a liberty advocate, the discovery of Bitcoin marked a pivotal moment for me. As I began my journey down the rabbit hole, I couldn't help but feel an exhilarating excitement about the project. This cryptographic protocol offered a sly roundabout way to separate money from the State, providing a new practical way to advance liberty in our lifetime. Bitcoin embodied the principles of individual sovereignty and financial autonomy. It became a beacon for those seeking alternatives to the coercive centralized systems of the State.

The concept encapsulated in the meme "Bitcoin is a trojan horse for liberty" resonated deeply. It suggested that individuals, previously indifferent to the principles of liberty, might unknowingly embrace them while pursuing personal financial gains through Bitcoin. The idea that the "number go up" technology is, in essence, a covert "liberty go up technology" underscored the transformative potential of Bitcoin within the larger context of advancing individual freedoms and challenging traditional power structures. This aspect added another layer of significance to my appreciation of Bitcoin's role as a revolutionary force within the broader liberty movement.

Bitcoin has demonstrated its ability to empower individuals in bypassing authoritarian regimes. Organizations like the Human Rights Foundation and the Oslo Freedom Forum have effectively highlighted personal stories of how Bitcoin has positively transformed lives around the world. It has provided people with the ability to engage in transactions using currency free from government debasement and censorship. This sentiment reverberates within the Bitcoin community today, expressed through slogans such as "not your keys, not your coins," "be your own bank," and "we're separating money from the State!" There is a wealth of educational content dedicated to promoting these principles and emphasizing the increased freedom that comes with monetary sovereignty.

Additionally, Bitcoin enhances individual liberty by allowing individuals who are capable of saving the ability to store their value in a savings technology that is not subject to the government's Ponzi scheme of fiat money. Individuals can exchange in a currency that the government cannot censor, providing a secure and censorship-resistant medium for financial transactions. While these achievements are noteworthy and deserve recognition, there is an uncomfortable truth that often remains undiscussed or even ignored – the challenge of scaling the number of sovereign users on the network.

As you delve deeper into the world of Bitcoin, you'll gradually adopt a more technical perspective. While some find this understanding to be intuitive, others may face challenges. Nevertheless, you'll eventually confront the reality of blockchain scalability. Due to blocksize limitations, there exists a transactional throughput limit for each new block. The consensus solution embraced by the network was a layered scaling approach. Enter the Lightning Network, a second-layer solution designed to enhance the economic density of on-chain transactions. It enables two parties to engage in a multi-signature channel, facilitating a multitude of payments for each of the few required on-chain transactions, including opening, splicing, and closing of channels. Despite issues like liquidity management and online requirements, this engineering marvel significantly expands the network's transaction processing capabilities, almost without bounds. The only catch: Custodians will be necessary for the majority of users.

Despite the current implementation of the Lightning network, there is still a limitation on the number of sovereign users the network can accommodate. Despite improvements in payment scaling, the Bitcoin network can only support 10-100 million sovereign users who update lightning channels a few times a year—whether they are individuals, single custodians, or federated custodians implementing eCash systems. In a hyperbitcoinized world with over 8 billion people, it's easy to grasp the implications. The uncomfortable reality is that less than one percent of the global population will have the ability to use Bitcoin in a sovereign manner.

Achieving sovereignty with Bitcoin involves having exclusive control over a UTXO. Scaling the number of sovereign users on the network requires additional engineering efforts and consensus changes. It's essential to establish trust-minimized mechanisms for users to share a UTXO and address disputes over partial UTXO ownership without imposing excessive economic costs for resolution. There is currently ongoing discussion within pockets of the development community on how activating covenants could begin to address these issues, in particular how CTV can help scale Bitcoin as an initial building block for solutions to these sovereignty scaling problems.

The gravity of this issue and the urgency it carries harken back to the extent to which you truly value the principle of separating money from the State. We find ourselves at a pivotal juncture, pondering the course and significance of what a world fully immersed in hyperbitcoinization truly entails. Without intervention, we could find ourselves in a future where 99% of the population necessitates some form of custodianship to navigate the intricacies of the Bitcoin network.

This potential scenario raises a legitimate concern about the State potentially exerting control over the network in the future. The question of urgency becomes paramount. While I refrain from advocating reckless behavior and hasty implementation, there is a discernible sense that a metaphorical window of opportunity is closing in on us.

Reflecting on Bitcoin's history, it becomes evident that activating consensus changes to the network becomes progressively challenging as it expands. The growth of the network introduces complexities, making it exponentially more difficult to persuade an overwhelming majority to embrace a protocol upgrade unless there is an immense demand for such a change. This nuanced view highlights the need to carefully and promptly consider Bitcoin's evolving ecosystem dynamics.

My worry revolves around the pressing need for the majority of participants to genuinely value individual liberty, recognizing its significance in implementing crucial upgrades and addressing these prevalent scaling issues. Having ventured into the realm of Bitcoin from a libertarian standpoint, I'm painfully aware of the prevailing lack of regard for liberty among the majority in society. There's a genuine fear that Bitcoin, initially a cornerstone of the liberty movement, may gradually lose its essence and be relegated to just another financial asset—first gradually, then suddenly.

Confronting the present reality demands a pragmatic perspective, and acknowledging it for what it is rather than wishful thinking. To those who share the weight of my concerns, I passionately implore you to remain firmly grounded and unwavering in your commitment to championing individual liberty. Embrace, with genuine conviction, the pivotal role that Bitcoin plays in advancing this cause. The path ahead is formidable, requiring a united effort deeply connected to our collective purpose. Let's tackle the challenge of sovereignty scaling with authenticity, fully cognizant of the crucial work that lies ahead. Each of us possesses a unique and indispensable role in this organic endeavor—let's embrace it with authentic strength and unwavering determination.

This is a guest post by Michael Matulef. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

Marathon Launches Slipstream Tech Stack to Process Non-Standard Bitcoin Transactions

Marathon Launches Slipstream Tech Stack to Process Non-Standard Bitcoin Transactions

Marathon Digital Holdings, the largest publicly traded bitcoin miner by market capitalization, has launched Slipstream, a service for individuals to easily submit complex and non-standard transactions to the Bitcoin network. Slipstream is the first instance of a public bitcoin mining company facilitating direct transaction submission services, made possible by the fact that Marathon operates its own proprietary mining pool, Mara Pool.

According to a press release sent to Bitcoin Magazine, non-standard Bitcoin transactions are often excluded from submission to Bitcoin nodes’ mempools despite their adherence to consensus parameters. These transactions, such as those associated with Ordinals and inscriptions, were already possible, but Slipstream aims to facilitate this process with a user-friendly and formalized process for direct submission.

Marathon CEO Fred Thiel: “While direct transaction submission services exist, most are rudimentary. Slipstream provides sophisticated users with a simple, transparent, and trusted means of adding complex Bitcoin transactions to the blockchain, provided they adhere to Bitcoin’s protocol.”

Thiel also noted the importance of this venture to support innovation and experimentation on Bitcoin: “We believe Slipstream is mutually beneficial for the industry and for our organization, and we look forward to building on this announcement to further assist those who are building on Bitcoin.”

Oldest Football Club Bulgaria Adopts Bitcoin Lightning and Liquid Wallet In New Partnership

Oldest Football Club Bulgaria Adopts Bitcoin Lightning and Liquid Wallet In New Partnership

Bulgarian football club Botev Plovdiv, the oldest football club in Bulgaria, has taken another step towards embracing Bitcoin and accelerating grassroots adoption of the digital currency in a strategic partnership with JAN3, a leading technology company focused on expanding access to Bitcoin. Botev Plovdiv aims to become the premier Bitcoin-native sports club, according to a press release sent to Bitcoin Magazine.

“Bitcoin is central to our club's strategy,” stated Botev owner Anton Zingarevich. “We're inspired by the global success stories of Bitcoin adoption and are excited to bring this innovation to Botev, our fans, and the city of Plovdiv. JAN3's cutting-edge tools are instrumental in this journey.”

This collaboration introduces innovative measures to integrate Bitcoin into the club's operations and engage with its fan base. The AQUA Wallet, developed by JAN3, also introduces "Botev Mode," aiming to make transactions more accessible and efficient for fans and the local community.

JAN3 told Bitcoin Magazine that with the integration of their AQUA wallet, the idea is for the club to introduce discounts or even a cashback program for paying in bitcoin, and that "the club will also aim to educate Bulgarian fans that take an interest in Bitcoin, teaching them how to use it not only for team purchases but also integrate in their daily lives."

As part of the partnership, Botev Plovdiv's team jerseys will feature JAN3's logo. The integration of the AQUA wallet into the club's ecosystem marks a significant milestone in bridging the gap between professional sports and Bitcoin.

As part of the partnership, Botev Plovdiv's team jerseys will feature JAN3's logo. The integration of the AQUA wallet into the club's ecosystem marks another milestone in bridging the gap between professional sports and Bitcoin.

“Very few things in life are as universal as football and Bitcoin,” commented JAN3 CEO Samson Mow. “With this partnership we hope to bring Bitcoin closer to football, and the billions of football fans around the world closer to Bitcoin. We have already seen what Bitcoin can do for companies and countries, now imagine what it can do for your favorite team.”

This partnership between Botev Plovdiv FC and JAN3 sets the stage for more pioneering Bitcoin-focused initiatives, solidifying the club's status as a beacon for Bitcoin adoption and achieving greater success in UEFA competitions.


Why I Bitcoin

Readers of my blog know that I started dabbling in buying Bitcoin in late 2022.

In fact, it was the best performing asset out of any of the names I wrote that I was watching for 2023. Similarly, and not to give away the suspense, I added Bitcoin exposure once again to my list of 24 stocks I’m watching for 2024.

So, it may not have been that much of a surprise when my subscribers saw me on X yesterday proclaim that my days of disparaging Bitcoin were over. However, given that I have about 210,000 more Twitter followers than I do Substack subscribers, it is safe to say there were still plenty of people who were caught off guard by my mea culpa, and, somewhat alarmingly, even more people who were voraciously willing to immediately sing my praises and welcome me to the community.

As far as the welcome goes, all I can say is, I genuinely appreciate it. I’d be lying if I said that a large group of people proclaiming me to be making an intelligent decision didn’t make me somewhat nervous. However, as I said in my post on X yesterday, I know I am also surrounded by people who are much smarter than I am.

As I also said in my post yesterday, I have been watching people that I know are much smarter than I am, specifically those in the sound money community, sing the praises of having exposure to bitcoin for years now. For me, that was the hardest thing to ignore. I felt like if I was looking to people like Lawrence Lepard, Luke Gromen and Lyn Alden for their incredible insights on the broken monetary system, why couldn’t I at least try to take them semi-seriously when it came to their take on Bitcoin? I knew deep down there was work they had done and an understanding they had achieved with Bitcoin that I wasn’t close to, despite understanding some of the basics.

I started to get a taste of this understanding while listening to my friend Lawrence Lepard describe Bitcoin as an invention all its own on this December 2022 podcast – comparing it as a parallel to the Internet, instead of just another Internet software application. This video is queued up to the first moment I changed my thinking about Bitcoin - Larry’s explanation starts at 36:00:

He referred to it in this interview as “the invention of digital scarcity”. Honestly, I had no idea what that meant, and the idea of “digital scarcity” didn’t seem too novel to me. I just shrugged and thought, "If Bitcoin can do it, other cryptocurrencies can do the same." I asked myself, "How can something be scarce when it doesn’t exist tangibly and definitely didn’t exist 15 years ago?"

Of course, like a key uses multiple teeth in concert to open a physical lock, Bitcoin only started to make sense to me once I understood it in the context of how the network works - all of the teeth of the key (the ideology, the network, the cryptographic invention) line up together, helping unlock its understanding. First, I had to understand how the cryptography of Bitcoin worked and why it is essentially unhackable and about as secure as something can be for the time being. I did that by watching this video:

Next, I had to understand the system of checks and balances that the network creates to ensure the integrity of itself. Sure, I understood the idea of a decentralized ledger that everybody could check – that was relatively simple. What I didn’t really understand was how having a majority of the nodes on the network, running the same code, essentially kept Bitcoin sacrosanct for as long as people decided they wanted it to be. I had heard about forks in the network, but now I understood them. They are points in time where people thought they knew best and should rewrite Bitcoin code. The majority of nodes rejected those ideas, in doing so protected the sanctity of the original Bitcoin code.

Once I understood the cryptography and the security of the network, it then became self-evident that the larger the network gets and the more adoption it gets, the more secure and indestructible it becomes. The idea of people "banning it" or, as my one friend put it, “Satoshi just coming back to change the supply of coins whenever he wants” simply doesn’t hold much water once you understand how it works. If the people want the Bitcoin network, and they have power and an Internet connection, they’re going to get it. The network is like a slippery fish someone tries to hold onto — the harder you hold it and the more you try to control it, the quicker it slips from your grasp. If Canada bans it, it will drift to Mexico. If Mexico bans it, nodes will drift to Mauritius. If Mauritius bans it, nodes will drift to Russia. There’s always going to be somewhere on the globe – at least for the short to mid-term right now – that is going to embrace Bitcoin.

For me, it was only once I understood how the cryptography worked and how the network functioned together, in tandem, that I started to assign the all-important intrinsic value to Bitcoin. I was, and in some degree still am, in the camp that sees gold as having intrinsic value that Bitcoin does not, because of its commodity bid and far superior and longer record as a store of value. This is why, despite coming around to the idea of Bitcoin, my gold position is still larger than my Bitcoin position.

But Bitcoin advocates make compelling arguments when they point out that Bitcoin is easier to transport and easier to verify than gold. I always found myself stuck when somebody would ask me how I would take $1 billion worth of gold over the border. You just can’t. With Bitcoin, you just can. Even as exchanges are subjected to more AML and KYC regulation, the Bitcoin itself still remains an offramp from having your wealth centralized. The idea, coupled with the transmissibility and the ability to verify it anywhere in the world at any time with just an internet connection and power really do make it truly unlike anything that has ever existed before.

For me, as I said in my tweet thread yesterday, I couldn’t always figure out exactly what I was buying when I was buying Bitcoin. I’ve had to talk myself into understanding it by describing to myself it as purchasing a spot on a bedrock decentralized ledger with the highest adoption worldwide, that will potentially - not definitively - serve as the foundation for a new way to think about money. In other words, it’s as much reserving a spot on the ledger as it is an investment in the invention of Bitcoin itself. It’s a really big idea — and my brain is really small — which is why it has taken me this long to wrap my head around it. But, as they say, “once you see it, you can’t unsee it”.

And, like any other investment I make in something new that has not been fully adopted, I accept the fact that there are significant risks, and that the value of Bitcoin could go much lower, or eventually, to zero. The thing is, I just don’t see that happening anytime soon. Even in a worst-case scenario where Bitcoin doesn’t make it 100 years from now, I think its adoption over the next 5 to 10 years is already a foregone conclusion.

Specifically, listening to Michael Saylor helped open my eyes to the fact that I was buying digital property. This interview was a lengthy, comprehensive listen that I enjoyed. Whether Saylor turns out to be Bitcoin Jesus or the most misguided person in history, it’s tough to argue that he’s not exceptionally intelligent and well spoken:

This is another another lengthy, complex interview I listened to in full and at length, which helped me understand the web of all components working together that make up the Bitcoin ecosystem:

And so, when Saylor asks a question like, “How long do you think it’ll be before all cell phones and computers are bundled with Bitcoin wallets?” the answer to me simply seems to be obvious: it won’t be long. So, from an adoption standpoint, whether or not it is around 100 years from now is, for the most part, beside the point right now. It’s like the potential impact of quantum computing—I’ve heard both sides of that case and have pretty much acquiesced to the position that it’s a bridge we will have to cross when we get to it. And hey, if that reasoning is good enough for Janet Yellen watching our debt/GDP explode toward some unknown breaking point of no return for the dollar, it’s good enough for me.

But the fact that regulatory agencies have blessed Bitcoin by allowing the spot ETFs, and that I can go on Twitter and literally see commercials from super serious asset managers like Franklin Templeton and Fidelity, talking about Bitcoin as a sound money hedge, and a way to step outside of the central bank-run global monetary system, is stunning.

It’s funny how, once there are fees involved, people are happy to make what I always thought to be the morally just case for railing against central banks — the case that I have been waiting for people to publicly make for gold for a long time. Regardless, I don’t really care about your motivation when you’re making great points.

Just last week, I heard somebody say that all Bitcoin buyers are speculators, not people looking to seriously opt out of the monetary system as it exists today for the long term — and I simply don’t think that’s the truth. I think there are a lot of people out there, like me, that are just looking to diversify their way out of a broken fiat system, and Bitcoin is just one of several ways to do that.

There’s no doubt there are going to be innumerable speculators and traders. There’s no doubt there is going to be scammers and endless shitty altcoins. There’s no doubt there’s going to be fraud and money laundering, just as there is with US dollars and registered securities. But to say that’s all there is in Bitcoin is a mistake, in my opinion.

There only needs to be a small group of people who continually buy and hold going forward to eventually whittle away at and reduce the space on the ledger. If the network's collective hash rate or adoption was falling, that'd be a concern. But for now, it isn’t. And you can’t tell me that a country like El Salvador adopting bitcoin as legal tender is “speculation.” To me, that falls closer to “adoption.” There’s a big difference between a couple of kids in a chat room trying to daytrade shitcoins and some of the world’s largest asset managers, and even some nation-states making the case for parking their digital property spot on the ledger, while millions of people globally are buying bitcoin simply to own it. The notion that everybody involved is a scammer or is trying to get rich is, in my opinion, misguided. To me, there’s a massive difference between “trying to get rich quick” and “trying to preserve wealth over the long-term”. Regardless of what Bitcoin does, my motivation will always be the latter.

The price will continue to be volatile, but it’s also pretty easy to make a case for why it will go up. If I pay $200,000 for a house tomorrow and do nothing to it, and there is no increase demand for it, but the purchasing power of the dollar falls 99% over the next 50 years, the price in dollars is still going to go up. With bitcoin, there is the tailwind of global adoption, the benefit of a limited supply, and a growing ideological awakening that supports its moral and ethical existence.

It’s been funny, listening to podcasts about bitcoin for the last few months, because everybody starts their explanation by laying out the horrors of the fiat money system. I was lucky in the sense that I already understand how the money system is, like the tides, ebbing and flowing, naturally eroding away at people's purchasing power and transferring it to the state. This has been one of my long-held arguments for owning gold. As bitcoin continues to be adopted, it becomes a great reason for owning bitcoin, too, in my opinion. One thing I have always said about bitcoin is that I appreciate how much it has opened the eyes of people who normally would not have understood the horrors of modern monetary theory and global monetary policy.

What will be even cooler to witness, in my opinion, is the FOMO when, and if, the price once again breaches all-time highs. If bitcoin's price continues to perform well, asset managers who now have precisely no excuse not to buy bitcoin (since there are now spot ETFs that work within the system they are allowed to play in) will be inundated with calls from their clients wondering why they don't have any exposure to the asset, even if they don't understand it.

And this isn't GameStop, meaning that once price FOMO starts, there is no at-the-money equity offering to come in and dilute at higher prices. If a rush to grab "all you can eat" on the ledger starts in earnest, there will be no new supply magically coming out of nowhere to meet it. With bitcoin's total market cap still under $1 trillion, to me, it just seems to make sense that super-rich Middle Eastern countries will likely be the next to adopt it and put it on their sovereign balance sheets.

A lot of the podcasts I've listened to talk about nation-states that are mining bitcoin but won't talk about it. I believe this is happening. At some point, the lights are likely going to flip on globally and everybody's going to see what everybody else is holding. My guess is that some oil-rich countries in the Middle East, even if they see it as simply a call option with the potential to go to zero, will dabble in putting bitcoin on their sovereign balance sheets to try and diversify themselves and make a bet on the future of money. These people drive Bugattis to work and keep tigers as pets. To say that they don't have enough money to "speculate" on the potential future of money is laughable.

And then, once again, we fall back to the shuffle between bitcoin and the network, and how they fall into place and work in tandem together. The more major adoption it sees, the more secure it becomes, the more people want to invest in it, the more it becomes viable and mainstream. Bitcoin, to me, essentially looks like the open-source code equivalent to a self-fulfilling prophecy. The way it functions, as I said yesterday, essentially makes it a freedom-money virus. It has been unleashed, and it has become big enough that it is near impossible to stop over a short or even medium-term period of time. I thought Michael Saylor's analogies of the network essentially being a swarm of wasps was apt. How do you stop a swarm? You may kill one or two wasps, but at the end of the day, you're simply outnumbered. And with bitcoin, the ideology, plus the network, plus the redundancy, plus the fact that anybody can adopt it, nearly ensures that it is going to overpower its critics both in nodes and in computing horsepower.

I really look forward to doing more research on the network's potential uses and pathways for bitcoin adoption going forward. Don't get me wrong, I still consider bitcoin a risk asset in the sense that if adoption slows or regresses, the network becomes weaker. But the trajectory that we're on now doesn't suggest that is going to be the case anytime soon. There are also significant risks if core developers decide to make drastic changes or if quantum computing eventually makes the cryptography easier to crack. There's also a risk of major western countries trying to ban, regulate, or tax bitcoin to death, and there are simply tons of unknown risks that come with the ideological adoption of a brand-new standard.

My weighting in bitcoin is at a level where I am fine with losing it all. I expect the price to fall 90% at a time more than once going forward. As several people have said, if you’re worrying about it that much, your weighting is too big. I manage the risk on owning bitcoin like I do owning call options or walking into a casino. I won’t be surprised or devastated if and when I lose it all.

But for me, ideologically, what bitcoin sets out to solve simply makes sense. I look at things through an Austrian lens and truly believe the system and the global economy is broken. I'm always going to be a gold and silver bull, but to say that I'm advocating for a different monetary system and that there's no room for the ideological call option of bitcoin at that table, simply no longer makes sense to me now that I understand it better.

One thing I used to ridicule but won't anymore is the idea that bitcoin is digital freedom. The nice thing about being decentralized, and peer-to-peer is that while it may phase in and out in certain jurisdictions, bitcoin works if people want it to work. And, philosophically, I can’t think of too many things I’d rather bet on than giving power to the people.

This piece was originally published on Quoth the Raven's Substack here

This is a guest post by Quoth the Raven. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.