A Bitcoin OG Post

We’ll move to a new series of articles next Saturday, but in between, I’d like to give you a post from Bitcoin’s early days.

“OG,” for those not familiar, stands for Old Guard. Thus, Bitcoin OG refers to very early Bitcoiners.

This piece comes from those early days, no later than 2012, and posted by someone called the Old Radical. It’s fairly hard core, but not wrong.

I was a radical before most of you Bitcoin users were born. That doesn’t make me any better than you (hopefully I did a few things to make you better than myself), but it does give me a better perspective; time just works that way.

I’ve been watching the recent developments in the Bitcoin markets, and having seen this drama before (too many times), I thought I’d pass along a lesson. This will strike its target in some of you, but others of you are also likely to reject it, because it doesn’t match what you want to be true.

Here’s the lesson: Trying to go ‘legit’ will destroy the Bitcoin market.

For those of you who haven’t turned away, I’ll explain:

There’s nothing really wrong with Bitcoin itself. The developers are doing a nice job of addressing its problems and a heartening number of people have jumped up to create new tools and new services. No problem here.

The problem is that too many people in the Bitcoin market are thinking the old way.

Understand this: Bitcoin is a new thing – it is not compatible with the old financial system.

Bitcoin and state banking systems are born enemies: only one can survive. If you are imagining that they can peacefully coexist, you are fooling yourself.

Bitcoin exposes the fraud that is state banking. If you think that politicians and bankers will calmly allow it to take over a significant percentage of world financial flows, you’re in denial. States will come after Bitcoin, and hard. They have no choice. Their money can only exist if there are no competitors.

Alan Greenspan may have done a lot of bad things, but he is not stupid. And before his adventures at the Fed, he wrote this:

(Under a fiat system), there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation… If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold.

What gold was then, Bitcoin is now… times five.

So, let me try this again: Going legit gives the state a handle to grab you with. ‘Legit’ means registered and regulated, doesn’t it? You have to tell them your name, where you live, and where you put your money, right? It means that they can control you whenever they want to.

There are two big reasons why Bitcoin people are tempted to go ‘legit’:

  1. They want to get mega-rich fast, like Mark Zuckerberg.
  2. They have been trained to be obedient and can’t unlearn it. They are compelled to believe that the government is basically good. It must just be one bad politician or one bad law.

#2 is what destroyed e-gold, and it looks like #1 is what killed GLBSE. [GLBSE was, as I recall,  a stock exchange within the e-gold economy..]

Because of GLBSE, Bitcoin is now being regarded as a currency and states will start to regulate it as one. That means that they’ll attack the public exchangers and force everyone possible to comply with their rules.

So… it’s time to man-up, or to crumble.

(Interestingly, there is often a larger percentage of women that “man-up” than men.)

Will you have the guts to do the right thing when the pressure is on? If yes, I applaud and honor you. If not, here are a few cheap excuses to use (after all, who wants to admit conditioning or cowardice):

    • Without the rule of law, everything would fall apart.
    • Without regulation, criminals would destroy everything.
    • Yes, regulation is coercive, but along with it comes a certain amount of public benefit!
    • I got ripped off, and someone has to fix it!
    • If I can’t sue someone, they can get away with ripping me off!
    • We can’t get people to use Bitcoin unless it’s authorized.
    • We need approval or we will forever remain a tiny market.

A significant number of Bitcoin people will say these things (and others), but the real truth will be that they are scared, or are still hoping to get mega-rich, or just can’t rip the “government is our friend” meme out of their heads. But mostly it will be fear.

We all feel fear of course, but some of us are determined enough to do the right thing, even when we’re afraid.

So, here’s a final tip: If you run into someone who can feel the fear and still do the right thing, don’t let go of them.



Paul Rosenberg


3 thoughts on “A Bitcoin OG Post”

  1. True, very true. I remember writing about BTC in August 2010. That cover article appeared right after one of yours in DGC Magazine. https://en.calameo.com/read/000067897125b6609aec9 all the old copies are available online. Any OG looking to reminisce can find them on calameo. I can’t believe it was 12 years ago that issue came out.
    I’d much rather own gold today, than anything digital.

    1. Ah, lovely to see that again!

      BTC remains my #1, but who can argue with owning physical gold?


  2. Fabulous inspiration, Paul! Huge Thanks!

    Last night, I listened to Robert Breedlove’s latest “What is Money?” episode with Fedimint co-Founder CEO Obi Nwosu. https://whatismoneypodcast.com/episodes/regulated-bitcoin-vs-real-bitcoin-with-obi-nwosu-wim233

    Obi (along w/ other prominent people in Bitcoin) realizes we are now in the “and then they fight you” phase of Bitcoin’s rise. He is confident that Bitcoin is now strong enough – and has sufficiently powerful tech and people resources – to prevail in the conclusive battle that he believes will play out in 2023. He’s not saying there won’t be a pitched battle (and presumably more strife after the deciding battle), but that Bitcoin will, like the truth that it is, demonstrate to all the world that it is stronger.

    MIT grad student and US Space Force member Jason Lowery has articulated some very powerful arguments for why even enlightened people in government should (and some do) embrace Bitcoin (on its own terms, not any government-compromised facsimile). So we seem to have a few allies even in the ‘belly of the beast’. It’s now up to we who realize Bitcoin’s key role in this 21st century revolution for liberty for the entire world, to carry on the torch, and to encourage as many others as possible to join us – which will make everyone’s job easier.

    Thank you again for your signal, and long-standing contributions to the cause!

    will wohler

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