Bitcoin went live on January 3rd, 2009, which was 4,419 days ago, and it has been an exciting series of events ever since, but one thing I didn’t expect was how it would create an entire sub-culture.
“A lot of people automatically dismiss e-currency as a lost cause because of all the companies that failed since the 1990’s. I hope it’s obvious it was only the centrally controlled nature of those systems that doomed them. I think this is the first time we’re trying a decentralized, non-trust-based system.” ― Satoshi Nakamoto
It first occurred to me that there was a sub-culture in tech with crypto when I ran into a fellow techie in Florida wearing a dogecoin shirt - what a fashion statement, right? Conversations ensued, and I quickly learned we had a lot in common regarding technology, beliefs in philosophies, government, and we favored the same types of hardware and software. At the time, I was still new to cryptocurrencies and, more importantly, the culture-shock that was to come from getting involved with global communities online.
Years of isolation behind screens trying on different lifestyles as well as altering my attitude on topics such as my personal beliefs of philosophy and government led me to hate the system, but a side-effect from all that self-education, anger, and resilience that I did not anticipate was to begin plotting to create and implement a better one. Key ideas are now commonplace, and few can take credit for originating ideas as entire communities brought the heart of many of them to life or granted the idea for the software based on it to follow; there is no Napster story here; in crypto, it requires a community effort to succeed.
Now I see the popularity of crypto come to life in hit TV shows such as Mr Robot, where you see entire sub-cultures start pouring out into the streets and turn into a societal norm or trend instead of hiding in LAN centers and similar tech events. In the show, crypto is a way of life as inflation dominates the classic, failed markets like Germany of old for the "normies" in the streets trying to survive a world without fiat. The concept that our financial and governmental institutions are failing us is a prevalent belief among most people involved with cryptocurrencies - regardless of their backgrounds or which sides they lean towards.
Criminality with crypto is still expressed in other hit shows such as Ray Donovan, which shows we are far from removing criminality from crypto’s reputation as the first notion of Bitcoin being mentioned is for easy money laundering, which isn’t as easy as they made it out to be in the show, especially a year or more later when centralized exchanges are looking at crypto far more closely. Don’t forget I just told you that crypto was featured on two hit tv shows; I’ve mentioned this before in different contexts, but it is imperative to the crypto culture that it has hit mainstream media. I never saw that coming, but I won’t be surprised the next time it happens.
At the start, almost everyone I ever spoke to about Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Dogecoin (DOGE), or any of the other origin coins was a “hacker” in some form. “Hackers” come in various forms - white-hat (ethical hackers), blue-hat (revenge hackers), black-hat (most black-hats in crypto are scammers or worse), gray-hat (neither ethical nor unethical, often serves as entertainment), red hat (hacktivists and vigilantes), green-hat (educational learners) and script kiddies (wanna-be hackers - usually teenagers and young adults) by the millions followed, and with them, came all their friends and followers. Many of them were criminals and drug addicts who would do anything for money, which did not set a great precedent for crypto to legitimate investors.
More important people who aforementioned “hackers” tended to follow in forums were typically software developers with advanced mathematics and systems knowledge; I guess you could consider many of them ethical hackers, too. Think mathletes and coders, many of whom were multi-faceted and had skills in several areas. I feel these are the true ‘fathers’ of development and philosophy. Still, I can easily link beliefs shared between punk rock lovers, anarchists, vegans, and capitalists to those involved with cryptocurrencies. This phenomenon is commonplace in 2021 because there are far more people getting involved in crypto-related tech, low-level investing, and as the crypto community grew, its demographics grew exponentially.
Now, it’s hard to evaluate where the culture may end - in the cosmos? I could see Bitcoin or similar software such as EOS outliving humanity based on our current self-destruction rate and crypto’s current rate of increasing volume. Of course, all the fine paints in the world are useless if there are no artists, and the same things apply to crypto ideals. No people, no crypto!
A handful of people were there for the philosophy initially; we see far more of that in 2021 - I think people would be surprised as to how many techies are big into subjects such as philosophy, psychology, sociology, economics, etc. I love the focus I see on ideals, and the routine challenging of minds between various projects as things that apply to real-world markets and strategies are routinely employed. This topic came to mind because I realized in 2021, we have reached a “counter-culture” within the sub-culture fueled by cryptocurrency’s origins.
Some may debate this, but I would argue that the original cryptocurrency culture is vital to the future of crypto; where we are going is relevant to where we have been. Others are quick to turn crypto over to major corporations - but I heed caution. How decentralized can a currency be if we know which companies are buying the majority of it, especially in record volume? What if they begin to flip as we do as individuals; what will happen to any sense of stability? What kind of control does that grant the rich over systems of value that were intended to remain free from centralized banks?
Elon Musk is even “taking caution” as he talks about Bitcoin (BTC) for fear of easily influencing the market; at least, he was a few days ago. Musk is well known for trolling Dogecoin on Twitter routinely, so this shows concern for a real marketplace instead of Dogecoin, which was created literally as a meme.
I don’t like Musk because he named a DC powered car company after Nikola Tesla while proclaiming he was his idol (anyone who has Tesla for an idol knows this is asinine as Tesla would sue him if he were still alive). Still, I appreciate him not pulling a drunk doge tweet on Bitcoin; I question the validity of a market when one person talking can cause dramatic shifts in it without dispute.
(Update on Musk a day later: He purposely didn't mess with the market because he bought 1.5 billion dollars worth of BTC shortly after, hence BTC heading for "mars" which serves self-interest)
I am all for crypto in good legal standing, that is how I do it, and that’s how I hope to see it continue for everyone. But, there will be flex and tearing of forces. While some division is inevitable, I’ve seen former illegitimate people turn their lives around, decide to do things the right way, and then end up in some pretty cool work positions later on as a result of being involved with the initial criminal element; people can and do change.
Still, I wonder how heated the battle between the corporate counter-culture in crypto we’ve been introduced to will become once it faces the full wrath of people who do not want to see cryptocurrencies commercialized by the same institutions that failed us with banks, credit cards, and fiat.
My personal opinion is that we will see a split between centralized exchanges that support government-regulated (taxable) crypto-asset income and decentralized exchanges with DeFi projects going in the opposite direction. I believe we are seeing the beginning of this already through various forms of government intervention related to crypto worldwide.
Which will win, the systems that failed us or the ones created to correct flaws in the system; Satoshi already gave his vote; what is yours? Outside of that, one thing I’d love to hear about were your favorite times in cryptocurrency back in the day - throwback!
As always, comments, suggestions, and friendly debates are highly encouraged.
Stay smart & Stay safe.
I am not a certified financial, tax, or legal advisor, analyst, or planner. The above information should not be considered advice but as an opinion intended to share information and ideas for entertainment and independent research purposes. Cryptowriter and its writers are not responsible for any losses or damages incurred as a result of misinterpreting personal opinions for professional advice.
This article was originally published on Voice.com
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