“If a thousand men were not to pay their tax-bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood. This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.”
-Henry David Thoreau,
In his 2013 Startup School talk, Balaji Srinivasan, the CEO of 21.co the bitcoin computer, proposes the idea of Silicon Valley’s Exit. It’s a brilliant talk and I highly recommend watching it. I have to wonder after watching it if he really eluding to is that Silicon Valley already is exiting?
Software has eaten the world alright, and bitcoin is the software of money. These are arguably some of the best investors in the world who specialize in high-tech, and they are the ones that are the most excited for bitcoin and digital currencies. They must know that bitcoin cannot be seized if the right precautions are taken. They understand that bitcoin and digital currencies are a very real and meaningful exit for capital from the current system. Not that Silicon Valley itself is going to outright secede from the union, and dump all of their money into digital currencies–Heaven’s no. They are simply going to build the tools so people can make that choice for themselves.
Nearly a billion dollars has been invested into the bitcoin ecosystem by VC firms, and that number is growing at a rapid pace. These investments are not direct investments in bitcoin itself, but into companies that are building the architecture around digital currencies–this is the dawn of digital banking. The banking system in desperate need of something to replace it, and bitcoin is just the thing to do it.
Both banking and finance are ripe for disruption and there are huge markets that digital currencies can realistically replace. Today remittance transactions can be done with bitcoin for practically nothing and can reduce consumer fraud to practically nothing. When you consider that remittance transaction are a $500 Billion dollar a year market and that merchants spend $3.5 billion a year in fraud cost each year these are just too big of markets to be ignored.
The opportunity here is just too good because this is a totally new market. Banking and finance have been a monopoly for a very long time, and when you smash monopolies, you create new markets. Digital currencies are trying to smash the largest and most powerful monopoly that has even been created: Fiat money.
To free capital from the chains that banks and government have wrapped them in is revolutionary in scope, and monumental in size–like the internet, but bigger.
Digital currencies will engage in Schumpeter’s creative destruction and eat the world of finance, banking, and eventually governments themselves. Ironically, Srinivasan and the team at Andreessen-Horowitz may be investing in the very architecture that is going to destroy their system of capitalism all together, and evolve it into a tool for something much greater than the small, oligarch system it is today.
This is the ultimate exit; the one where we build a new system of finance, economics, banking, and government itself to serve anyone with an internet connection. We can use this system to ensure that the violence they want to bring to our bodies can never be done, because they can never find out who we are, or where we keep our money.
Capital exit from fiat currencies and moving to a digital currency is not only an incredible profitable move–it is a righteous and just one too.
Digital currencies are not just an alternative new money, they are an implicit rejection of the current economy system. Anyone who wants to can organize their own capital strike can simply reject the economy system they have been forced into. Be it that you are tired of getting fucked by late fees at your bank, having ANY government steal your money to fund their wars, or you simply don’t trust having a bank account (as you should not), then bitcoin can help you fight back.
Bitcoin levels the playing field because people now have choice. You can use the bitcoin system to save and move money, or you can use the banking system.
Their system is one of 9-to-5 bullshit jobs, college tuition that is out of the reach of most Americans, and one where government-issued money WILL devalue by 33% over the next 20 years. This is a system that enslaves more people of color than at the peak of slavery in the US, while allowing for banksters to fund terrorist and get away with it. It is quite obvious that this system was not made to benefit you or me, but a very, very small, elite class of people. That is not a system I want anything to do with, and so I am walking away from it.
With bitcoin anyone can walk away from this system, and build something for themselves. Anyone can post an address online and sell their own items, labor, skills, or talents within a huge market that is totally independent of the State and banks.
Sure it’s risky, but you know what? It’s a hell of a lot better then giving your money, time, and labor to a system that is designed to impoverish you.
Opportunities are endless for anyone to join and to build what they want for themselves in the bitcoin ecosystem. The only promise I will give you is that the protocol will not lie–and that is enough to challenge their system of money that is built upon lies and theft.
Either our government has the power to right the wrong and unconstitutional actions this government has engaged in, or they are powerless to do so. In either case, they have proven themselves unfit to govern a people that call themselves free. The tools at are at your disposal, you are free to make the decision for yourself and join us with what we are building.
Either way, I don’t care what you do. What we are building cannot be stopped or denied, and it will change the world.
Next: Bitcoin’s People Problem