The idea that Bitcoin is a sovereign...

Monday, 12 May, Year 6 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

... is not in any sense novel, as a theoretical construct. It is also not very much of an idea : every one year old enters into this world with the firm conviction that it - fleshy, flubbery worm devoid of any power, ability or knowledge - is nevertheless an independent, sovereign entity the world exists to serve.

The implementation of the idea that Bitcoin is a sovereign as a practical matter, however, is both novel and, at least so far, my owni.

To understand each other : it's not that I've written pieces about how in regards to satisfying the nonsensical fiat-law requirements, Bitcoin exchanges are on their own and Bitcoin does not careii. It's not that I've written pieces about how Bitcoin will survive anything and everything, anyone and everyoneiii ; it's not that I've plainly stated that in any dispute arising between people's hopes, desires and aspirations and the workings of Bitcoin, it is the people who will have to clip their hopes, reign in their desires and forget their aspirationsiv.

It's not that I've aptly employed metaphorae and historical reference to help the reader form the idea of Bitcoin's sovereignity and it's not that I've quite transparently warned the would-be enemies of sense and reasonv.

It's not the writing, it's not a matter of speech, all this. It's the doing, it's a matter of deeds.

It's that when confronted with the demands of an agency of the US Government, I made the recognition of Bitcoin's sovereignity a sine qua non condition of further dialogue. It's nothing else and nothing short of that : in order for any portion of the USG to discuss any matter with France or any portion thereof, the US must first recognise France as an equal.

Identically, exactly identically, in order for any portion of any one government to discuss any matter that has anything to do with Bitcoin, that government will have to recognise Bitcoin.vi As an equal, as a sovereign (not as a "country", nor as a "nation", both these concepts are meaningless gunk left over from dead historyvii).

It's that when confronted with fiat style claims I enforcedviii a strict Bitcoin interpretation of reality, come hell or high waterix. It's that I've put millions into fighting their various Goliaths in open fieldx, it's that I've tried (if failed) to create Bitcoin's very own legal system, it's that I've mostly succeeded imposing Bitcoin's own accounting scheme.

Because of such things, and plenty of other similar things, when small companies are confronted with the problem of a broken legal systemxi Bitcoin can make a very simple statement : MPEx doesn't recognise patent claims. Register your company on MPEx, as a Bitcoin corporation, you're immune to that gunk.

It's something.

Contrary to how it may appear to you, it's something very big, and very important. It's not merely change : it's fundamental change for the better principles. Something anyone can fight against, but something no one can ever win against. Even should everyone fight against it.

Viva la Disrupción, hoy y por siempre!

———
  1. That statement stands quite exactly as strong as all that : I am the only one who has done anything whatsoever on this score so far. And if you wish to disagree - that's great : find someone. Who ? Who have you got ? What did they do ? Not say, mind. Do.

    That aside, I wouldn't mind no longer being the only one, for sure, and I certainly don't mind bright young things that forge ahead on the strength of their purity of conviction. It's fun.

    Yet as far as the other side is concerned, that dark, ugly, filthy side : while you're derping about how you've "lobbyied" for Bitcoin, think of simple things : MP said Bitcoin is not a currency in 2012. Notwithstanding all your derpage, in 2014 this was confirmed by the supposed authorities you were supposedly lobbying, with your entirely self-supposed importance. What gives ?

    None of this to in any way diminish the simple and hopefully obvious fact that without Satoshi, this entire discussion would never have happened. So yes I am great for having had shoulders of giants to climb on. The point is : climb ye in turn on the shoulders of giants that are so you may be great in turn, instead of screaming in your own head / padded cell / desert, like a madman. We're not going for a collection of madmen over here, we're going for the greatest republic that ever was, that ever could be, with liberty and justice for all. []

  2. From 2012's The politics of Bitcoin :

    Whatever it may be called, this latter party cares not one whit for the difficulties of the exchanges, nor does it care that their hopes of creating fiat-businesses out of exploiting Bitcoins are pretty much quashed by even a cursory examination of some aspects of the legality of the matter. Sure, they had hoped to one day be listed on NYSE on the strength of their marginal position in this virtual but probably last currency, and make the bright original investors a pot of… well, not gold, anything but gold, some government scrip (which you may not spend and soon enough may not hold, either). Bully for them, but that’s a way of being part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    All that aside, the other party sees little of any import coming from their quarter : some minor benefit, possibly some minor hindrance. Overall, their relevancy is a temporary and self-limiting accident in the evolution of this thing.

    []

  3. From 2013's Stage n: Bitcoin exists :

    Unlike Bitcoin, both states collectively and the people making them up individually are entities, and as such they can do or not do things. One thing states can do is add Bitcoin to the list of their enemies. Another thing states can do is avoid populating their list of enemies with things that aren’t entities, for the very simple reason that nobody’s yet won the pissing in the wind and staying dry competition. One thing people can do is support states. Another thing people can do is not support states. In most cases this is statistically based on the list of enemies of each state, and their respective strength. For instance, not many people were supporting the American Confederacy a few years back.

    As far as experience shows, people don’t tend to support states that either stupidly or unwittingly include rules among their enemies. You can’t win a war against math, or against drugs, or against “social injustice”, or “kulaks”. Soon after the Soviet government moved its focus from entities to rules, it lost the support of the people. Soon after the other-Soviet government moved its focus from entities to rules, it also lost the support of the people. There weren’t that many people burning American flags in 1860, you know ? Why do you think not ? You can support a government killing Indians, or bison. You can’t support a government fighting chemical compounds.

    Seeing how that other-Soviet government is already widely engaged in a battle with the rules of the world it inhabits, it seems generally a waste of time to stop and consider what it does or doesn’t do, whom it classifies as what and all that jazz. Its days are numbered. The people currently supporting it are likely to - on average - survive longer than it.

    []

  4. From 2013's Bitcoin prices, Bitcoin inflexibility :

    There will certainly be psychological backlash, in the sense that consumers are trained from infancy to get what they want, and so the reaction to badmouth whatever ignores their precious will and desire is quite strong. Nevertheless, the pressure is unyielding : people holding Bitcoins have no practical incentive to get rid of them, and people trying to get rid of their increasingly worthless dollars have no recourse.

    []

  5. From this years' Georg Ritter von Flondor, and what his unhappy life can teach us :

    Now re-read that foregoing list, applying this mental substitution, and consider what the guy did. He was nice, right ? He even had the moral rectitude to stand against the forces of batshit crazy evil, for the sake of common decency and some semblance of sanity, right ?

    That didn’t count for nothing.

    What counted, for ten years of his life, and for all his wordly goods, was that he collaborated with the people we didn’t like, and he pestered us. Nevermind that it was perfectly legal at the time, and his legal duty at the time. Have you received periodic reports ? As much as merely receiving them, or merely forwarding them can easily put you, fifteen years later, into the special barehand miner divisions of a specially made Butugichag.

    Have you given orders to prevent revolutionary activity ? Have you supported measures of exploitation of the poor, and of enforcement of the old economic order and its mechanisms ? Tread lightly, my dear friends, because the shield you think is shielding you is mere dust, is mere smoke, is blowing away. Tread lightly, for better men could not step through the vazduh once what they imagined, what they thought, what they firmly believed to be solid ground ran off into the mists from under their very feet. Better men couldn’t, and neither can you.

    Tread lightly, because nothing is easier than

    s/communist/Bitcoin flondor.txt | gpg --clearsign

    Nothing in the world.

    From the official record of all Bitcoin things :

    mircea_popescu BOMBSHELL: Snowden downloaded entire roster of U.S. government - all names, home addresses and other personal info of **all** officials and gov't employees -- including law enforcement -- plus bankers, corporate boards of directors and more!
    mircea_popescu bwahaha
    KRS-One omg wow
    mircea_popescu next step : Bitcoin regulates the USG.
    mircea_popescu "Remember : we know where YOU live."

    And what was that heartbleed thing ?

    mircea_popescu If spending money solved problems the phoenician empire'd still be a thing. Nobody is denying a lot of smart people work for the NSA. Heck, a lot of smart people worked for Microsoft, and Alcatel, and whatever other pointless dinosaur. Adobe. That does not make Adobe smart. Not at all. For all the brilliant Russians living in the 70s, the USSR was dumb as rocks.
    bounce Yeah, but we're not talking NSA as a whole. We're talking the stuff that comes out of there in the form of algorithms

    mircea_popescu It's not clear why this reclassification'd be useful to your position.
    Apocalyptic "Best guess (last I heard) was that they're about five years ahead of the open community with the research" that may have been accurate a few years ago. I don't believe it's the case nowadays.

    mircea_popescu It was perhaps accurate in the 90s.
    Apocalyptic Sounds reasonable.

    mircea_popescu As the things stand right now, they never had an internal Bitcoin, and we wiped their heartbleed. And while we know what they don't know, they don't know what we know. Which... you know.

    []

  6. Obviously when confronted with such "impossible" standards, the powers that think they be would rather cut a deal with their own plants, the scam masquerading as "Bitcoin Foundation", the powerfully retarded rangers, whoever.

    The problem with this approach is that the plants have no mandate. They represent no one, they carry no weight, it's quite like negotiating with Taiwan and pretending to bind China. Pompous claims notwithstanding, nobody in China actually cares what Taiwan thinks on any topic.

    Meanwhile back at reality ranch, everything is impossible until it happens. What, was it impossible to have a black US president ? What exactly is impossible, a Thracian Emperor of Rome ? Mixed race marriage ? A world going about its business squarely disinterested in the opinions of the priesthood ? Nothing is ever impossible. []

  7. Inasmuch as death is involved, it makes little difference if the corpse became a corpse five minutes or five centuries ago : it's just as much a corpse. In this sense, the concepts of "country" and "nation" are exactly as dead as the concept of "augur". []
  8. That's the important part, the enforcing. Everyone can just take reservation. Holding to them is the thing. []
  9. As it happened, neither hell nor high water actually came. This is, of course, irrelevant, I will stick to this until the last man is shot, the last rock overturned, the last radionuclide spent. And after that. And forever. []
  10. An open field which said Goliaths still eschew, under the amusingly ridiculous pretense that it somehow doesn't exist. Because yeah, totally, that works.

    So there sits Buffett, pretending like he can't find Berkshire shorts while quietly pissing in a bag, and everyone wonders o woe, o where could we find a Berkshire bear to talk to. I dunno, folks. Certainly not up your butt, tho, you know ? []

  11. From Timothy B. Lee's How a rogue appeals court wrecked the patent system :

    Research would eventually find that by the turn of the century, patent litigation had become so expensive that the patent system was actually acting as a net disincentive to innovation outside of the pharmaceutical industry. The same researchers estimated that patent trolls cost the economy between $29 billion and $83 billion per year.

    [...]

    For example, when we interviewed Paul Michel, who served as the Federal Circuit's chief judge from 2004 to 2010, he didn't seem to understand the problems facing small software companies. "If software is less dependent on patents, fine then. Let software use patents less as they choose," he said, seemingly oblivious to the fact that software companies don't have the option to opt out of patent troll lawsuits.

    []

Category: Bitcoin
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11 Responses

  1. > MPEx doesn’t recognise patent claims.

    What about copyright?

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    2
    Mircea Popescu 
    Sunday, 18 May 2014

    That I don't know yet.

  3. Bitcoin isn't sovereign without privacy. We can post on this blog through Tor but I doubt we can do this on your irc chatroom, much like bitcoin-otc. So many websites with cryptocurrency stuff are behind the Great Flarewall (cloudflare). Perhaps you have Bitcoin confused with Ethereum; now with ring signatures and every imaginable elf cloaking magic in the works (see my name's link)! Although they don't seem to be developing Whisper at present.

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    4
    Mircea Popescu 
    Thursday, 21 January 2016

    There can be no sovereignity WITH privacy, the two are contrary notions. The surest sign of the slave that knows himself a slave is that he seeks anonimity.

  5. Mricea Popescu`s avatar
    5
    Mricea Popescu 
    Saturday, 23 January 2016

    ...ergo anonymity made him a slave?

    You had that incident with the SEC. I guess you must not be in their ("sovereign") jurisdiction but in any event Tor + ethereum contract would be a lot closer to sovereign than your little mom and pop operation could ever be.

  6. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    6
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 23 January 2016

    Yet here you are trying to pretend you're me.

    Grow up, ~be~ a man. Merely trying to look like one doesn't cut it, even at 15.

  7. Purple Popescu`s avatar
    7
    Purple Popescu 
    Monday, 1 February 2016

    I'm not seeing the contradiction. I'm wearing your outfit, how does it look on me? Men are forbidden in these lands, Sir. Unless all it means is having a trunk. We've gotten off the topic. Ladies have a higher tolerance for pain. That is the prerequisite for being a sovereign like the one they hung on a tree. You can feel all free and powerful when you are negotiating what medicine you can have. I think we aren't quite there yet but we are only a few autononmous agents away.

  8. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    8
    Mircea Popescu 
    Monday, 1 February 2016

    Are you from reddit ?

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