The internet, which is the network we currently use for our Bitcoin needs, was supposed to be decentralized, verifiable and private. But after decades of choice of comfort, ease and speed, the internet today is pretty much centralized, with millions of websites and service information stored in a few data centers, all of which are served by a very limited number of regulated, or even state- owned providers.
All user data travels through a smaller number of cables and cell towers and is all identified, analyzed and allowed to go through most of the time, until now. Even the tools that are supposed to free us from part of this global surveillance have to rely on this over-regulated infrastructure that is vulnerable to attacks, seizures and censorship because of its centrality ( as desired by these tools themselves).
Some people believe that they can communicate, negotiate safely, privately and even anonymously on top of this vicious architecture because they use tools that are supposedly hiding or protecting them from being easily identifiable – they defend the idea that they will not be targeted or attacked individually, and that shutting down the internet in an entire region just to specifically disconnect them is too much; that government and other entities will not go that far to silence them.
Not only has this happened already – it’s happening more regularly. And the situation will only get worse because if the media we use to contact each other is within reach of those who want to censor or prevent whatever might undermine their power, they will undoubtedly do so.
2021 has only just begun and we are already seeing a glimpse of what lies ahead. From silencing targeted individuals, to obstructing communities, debugging apps and services, breaking and leaking centrally stored personally identifiable information (PII), raising fines for accessing the internet by other means beyond those scrutinized. by governments, and even full shut down of the internet in whole countries.
Filling Bitcoin Infrastructure Gaps
This all adds to what 2020 has shown us. But, Bitcoin users are not affected, right? Well, unfortunately that is not the case.
To be clear, we are all only allowed to use Bitcoin today. They know that we source hosted exchanges and wallets from the IP addresses of our homes and phones; they know that we seed the full Bitcoin blockchain to others, they know that we own a hardware wallet and that we check its balance daily (not just the price); they even know what we’re running behind that VPN or the immutable anonymity tool we use to buy banned items like banners and plastic straw online. We will only continue to be allowed to do what we do until they don’t want us to.
Fortunately Bitcoin has a way to fix its own lack of a resilient infrastructure by continuing to do what it has been doing for the past decade: coordinating, developing and implementing solutions voluntarily that fix every faulty piece of ‘ the internet that could be undermining Bitcoin’s Potential to become the private censorship-resistant and private cash we all need.
It all started with creating the hardest form of money ever made, solving problems that we thought were impossible before in an intuitive way.
Before Bitcoin itself fell into a lazy pool and chose a low time when looking for fast, effortless transactions (uncertain and scalable) by choosing to use IOUs instead of real, proof-of-work bitcoin with only digits stored in databases. of custodial services whose pile runs on top of the infrastructure of the few authorized service providers already mentioned – the reborn cypherpunks have reminded us through their ideas that if we really want unauthorized freedom, the we should not only encrypt our conversations and wait for enough confirmations, but also run our own hardware.
Thanks to them, we now have hardware wallets, because switching from central exchanges and hosted wallet services to light wallets was not enough. They are even now leading the efforts to bring open source secret elements to completely eliminate trusted parties from the equation. After it seemed we were losing the battle against mines, miners are now moving towards a more individual and sovereign way of consolidation. The few thousand full goals could easily be in the tens – or even hundreds of thousands in no time thanks to all the amazing tools being built to make running the program as easy as possible numbers, to run your own node, to run hardware.
But, what benefit can all these innovations and tools have for enhancing the individual’s freedom when it all runs on top of those who tend to be easily shut down, supervised, targeted and capture? What solution do Bitcoiners have to such an essential part of the pile needed for Bitcoin to exist? To thrive?
The answer is hardware; Bitcoiners run hardware.
Bitcoiners Run Hardware
The internet part (state-owned and private), their cables, towers and desire to keep all of them their users were always identified and located, tracked and kept under surveillance.
The solution to this Orwellian equipment can be summarized as “owning the cables,” or, even better, owning the wireless radio frequencies by contributing to a self-contained sovereign mesh network of hardware devices to build and provide access to Bitcoin network, communications. and data in a decentralized way, with no central servers and enough resilience to overcome any attempt to prevent us from exercising our rights to freedom of opinion, assembly and commerce.
Only open source software and open source hardware projects like Locha Mesh, aimed at developing custom-made mesh networking hardware with all this in mind, could potentially drive Bitcoin toward achieving its original plans.
Creating sustainable, resilient mesh networks that resist authoritarianism, each user will need to be his or her own means of accessing the network for transferring Bitcoin block data, transactions, messaging, using apps and accessing services. You’ll need a mobile-first, battery-based device, small enough to be carried around in a concealed manner, so low in energy consumption that it can last for days at a single charge or run on energy ‘ the sun using small panels, which are versatile enough to be customized for specific needs (longer range, stationary, attached to other hardware …) and open enough that anyone can emulate, just in case its production, distribution or even its use is also a risk to the organization. .
This way, each person can become a node inside a peer-to-peer Locha Mesh network, directing messages that find routes through hops to reach their destinations; offering services; and connect, negotiate and get paid in bitcoin for enabling others to exercise their rights in this crypto-anarchist, capitalist free market.
Bitcoiners not only need to learn the fundamentals of economics. Let’s open our eyes to the lies that keep the wheel moving toward capturing everyone’s freedom, learn the differences between custodial and non-custodial services, run the numbers, run the hardware, teach our children how to use a hardware wallet and teach our parents how to protect their wealth from inflation and state-induced deportation.
Let’s join the cypherpunks or become freakers; if that’s what it takes to be able to get truly unauthorized Bitcoin, so be it.
This is a guest post by Randy Brito. The views expressed are entirely of their own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.