Some people have a seemingly inbuilt propensity to gravitate towards a particular ideology. Much more so than others. Their constitution makes them that way, it can be argued. And through a series of events, some completely random, they join a group which is an apparently obvious and perfect fit for that individual. He or she, others would claim, was meant to be a part of this! On the other hand, other people begin life on a trajectory which could not be further from where they end up. Certain events, perhaps explained by some version of the butterfly effect, or otherwise, eventually bring them face to face with a strange new ideal or movement. That paradigm envelops them entirely. In time, they jettison their former worldview and embrace a new one, which eventually re-defines them as individuals.
Correspondingly, people’s journey into the Bitcoin community varies from person to person.
Yet whichever way one stumbles upon Bitcoin, one thing’s for sure: when you truly grasp Bitcoin, it changes you for good.
Next time your screen displays an individual’s headshot featuring laser eyes – a symbolic show of support for Bitcoin – know that they have undergone a metamorphosis. It goes something like this:
Before Bitcoin: Camels Of Fiat
Any individual living in our time, raised in a global system dominated by banks and centralised financial institutions, is programmed to think a particular way and to carry out a number of daily activities in a particular manner, using a particular set of tools and channels to manage their money. This individual abides by rules set by banks, which, in turn, have rules ultimately set by government(s).
The current system, whilst it has enabled global commerce and trade to progress, has disproportionately benefitted certain, very minute, segments of societies much more than others. It is intrinsically flawed and by design meant to concentrate power in the hands of the few.
Our reliance on intermediary financial institutions requires trust, which has been broken far too many times in the past and whose burden has fallen not on the banks themselves, which, though they have often been the main perpetrators of collapses, seemed to almost always obtain a lifeline, but the people.
Dealing with these financial institutions has invariably meant people have had to accept unnecessary transactions costs that are unnecessarily expensive.
Most people living in this current system of ours do so as camels, shouldering the weight and burden of the current financial system. And whilst some of us, by virtue of where we live and also the fortune of having won the lottery of life and being born in the ‘right’ country, have fewer weights to carry than others less fortunate, everyone to some extent carries superfluous weight around the ankles in a system designed like ours. Because, again, it is flawed.
Our current system is propped up by powerful pillars. Three imperatives rule this domain: to protect vast riches, belonging to elites; allow few people into the club, via various mechanisms including downward pulling controls such as debt; and to fly below the radar. But times are changing.
When Bitcoin first strikes a chord with a camel, and several encounters could be required for this to happen, it is a deeply moving and humbling experience. There are different paths that lead one to this event. For some, it may happen by stumbling upon Adam Back’s work, reading Balaji Srinivasan’s tweets or watching videos of Raoul Pal and his guests. For others, it can come from more esoteric sources, such as the enigmatic Peter of Bedford.
The mindset shift Bitcoin presents requires most people to pause. To take time to digest. And when this process begins, one thing is certain: it is rare for that person to imagine a future without Bitcoin.
Here, the metamorphosis begins. As the camel begins to remove the heavy load and burden it has long shouldered, it become lighter and lighter, eventually becoming free as a bird. The initiate begins the first phase of transformation. Enter the eagle.
The Vision Illuminated: Rising Eagle
An eagle soars high in the sky towards what some may call the Divinity. A point from which one is not only given a higher perspective but one that reflects our desire to achieve greater things beyond the confines of our every day world.
Similarly, a Londoner walking the street of the city can be forgiven for accepting grey, overcast weather as the norm. But when the airplane she or he is in rises above the clouds all that is to see is light and brightness.
That is how one feels when they first embrace Bitcoin. Boundaries melt away and the limits of what was once possible are pushed to new levels. Light enters.
The eagle more easily discerns trends from above. It sees everything. The growth of digitisation; adoption of mobile wallets; growing embrace of Bitcoin by people and institutions; raising and sharing money more easily and more cheaply; increasing speed of money movement; growing importance of secure payment channels; and more.
Faults and cracks with the current system are underlined and become more obvious. Potential solutions shine brighter.
The eagle now perceives all that is possible.
And after an individual has gained the freedom afforded by this new perspective they return back to the ground and begin to take action, which heralds the final metamorphosis. The becoming of the rooster.
A new dawn: The Rooster As A Disciple
The awakened one, whom we can call a Bitcoiner, is the end transformation and the beginning of a new life. Having realised what is possible through Bitcoin their sole aim now becomes to support Bitcoin and its community. To spread word of this new asset class far and wide. To highlight the hope it brings each new day to so many new people. To broadcast the prosperity it heralds, especially to those left behind by modern banking and financial institutions. But most importantly to defend the community at all costs.
The rooster crows to signal a new dawn and spread the prophecy.