Bitcoiners have a unique ability to hit it off right away with other Bitcoiners. This may not sound terribly on the surface, but this powerful interpersonal quality of instant connection is an underrated feature of the Bitcoin network. Especially in an increasingly polarized world and social distance.
Outside of Bitcoin, the only thing that humans seem to agree on lately is that we are deeply divided. The practice of making premature assumptions of each other is at an all-time high. Whether we’re talking about politics, economics, religion or coronavirus – we’re largely immersed in predictable tribal talking points. It is common to dismiss people categorically on the basis of superficial qualities such as their appearance, their tweets and whether or not they wear a mask.
But when you start with Bitcoin, you can cut through all that noise. When you meet another Bitcoiner, the differences that exist between you are non-threatening. For the first time in a while, contrary views are interesting and worth engaging with. When Bitcoin is the common ground, there are few arbitrary differences because there is a shared base of truth.
Sure, that doesn’t mean there are no disagreements or differences among Bitcoiners, it means we are less likely to cancel or dismiss another Bitcoiner for not sharing our political convictions, our chosen religion or our country of origin . Our shared mission is to build a better world through an honest financial system that enables true freedom and aims to facilitate sustainable peace. There is little loyalty among human beings that runs as deep as the shared conviction of Bitcoiners.
I experience this phenomenon every Thursday when my local bitcoin meeting comes together. Every time I chat with a new person who shows up to The Orange County Bitcoin Network’s weekly collection, my faith in humanity increases. Not only do we find a quick connection, but we can safely venture into almost any subject without having to worry about how our views will be ascertained. Even when we encounter passionate disagreement, and even if that disagreement is uncomfortable, we can always fall back on our deep conviction that Bitcoin even fixes this. Our meeting has been coming together constantly for about a year and some of these initial conversations have developed into real friendships among people who would probably not have succeeded in the initial wishes in any mutual other topic. These examples have shown how bitcoin acts as a common ground in bitcoin-focused casual environments, and I believe they are becoming a strong foundation for building healthy, thriving communities.
More recently, I have experienced how powerful Bitcoin can be as a basic starting point for bringing people together to achieve a common goal. Over the past six months, I’ve been working with seven other Bitcoiners to co-author a book we’ve just released. The end product, “Thank God for Bitcoin: Creation, Corruption and Redemption of Money,” is an undeniable testament to the cooperative advantage that Bitcoiners have by virtue of our shared conviction.
Bridging the Wider Gaps
I first met Jimmy Song in 2019 through a conference I helped organize in LA called Bitcoin is_. We struck up a friendship between emails regarding logistics and continued to stay in touch long after the event came and went. We exchanged several notes about how our faith-based backgrounds shaped our perspective on Bitcoin and wondered if there were others like us who saw the many similarities between the two worlds.
But he wasn’t always comfortable. Theologically, you could say we are at both ends of the spectrum. At one point I remember thinking that I would have to separate my respect for Jimmy as a Bitcoiner with my deep differences with him about Christianity, the Bible and God. Like much of the world, I had formed my view of “people like him” based on a very surface level understanding of who he really was as a man. Not something I’m proud of, but an important part of the story.
Thankfully, unlike other scenarios where such intense disagreements would lead to petty dismissal, Jimmy is a Bitcoiner, who was enough to keep track of my curiosity and knee-jerk prejudices. For the first time in a long time, engaging in a discussion about faith with someone who had different views than mine was more than the usual frustration and instead was refreshing.
Within a couple of months, we began to explore more deliberately the intersections of faith and Bitcoin. We gathered a few other Bitcoiner friends through Zoom and started a weekly book study. We started with “The Ethics of Money Production” by Jörg Guido Hülsmann and followed with “Honest Money” by Gary North.
These weekly Zoom chats were always engaging and informative. Typically, about eight of us showed up and sometimes we would welcome up to 15. At the end of “Honest Money,” eight of the group’s other managers decided to write a book together. We felt there was an opportunity to address the fundamental issues raised in the two books we had read while arguing for Bitcoin as the answer. Six months and many more Zoom calls later, we announced “Thank God for Bitcoin.”
I’m very proud of the book itself and hope it helps everyone who reads it, but the way that such a theologically and politically diverse group of writers came together and reconciled some pretty significant ideas. . More striking is how we have managed to grow closer together as friends throughout the process.
Amongst us are conservative Christians, progressive Christians and former Christians. We have Evangelical Christians and Orthodox Christians. The eight of us come from right-wing and left-leaning political convictions. In any other context, you wouldn’t find us all together in the same room voluntarily. But regardless of those realities, we share a conviction that Bitcoin is good for humanity, whose existence can only be attributed to a good and kind God.
I will not speak for my fellow authors, but I will say that the process of joining such unlikely partners gives me hope that humanity can escape the polarizing constructions to which we are addicted. Bitcoiners have a new sense of vision and purpose for what it may be because we tasted it.
Bitcoin is designed to attract people who recognize internally the need to build a better society from the bottom up. When we come together in any context, we have already released the old world and instead are actively involved in stewarding a brand new paradigm.
This is a guest post by George Mekhail. They are solely their own opinion and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.