- Divisive arguments and hacking which seems to improve its resilience.
- Governments to keep inflating national currencies.
- Many, geographically diverse nodes to verify its transactions.
- Developers to spend wetware hours improving its codebase.
- Humans to spend energy to secure it.
The aliens conceit allows you to stop trying to mould Bitcoin into what you want it to be and just observe its effect on people. Bitcoin is incentivising people to delay consumption, learn about digital security, study the history of money, revisit Austrian Economics & consider Game Theory. The first Bitcoin users understood the proposition quickly because they had studied many of these topics before it was introduced. They were in many ways waiting for Bitcoin. The rest of us now immerse ourselves in an attempt to catch up.
Bitcoin rewards long term thinking and punishes short term speculation. Those who jumped in during the mania phases with the hope of rapid, risk free profits have been punished quickly. Those who researched, gradually added and held have been greatly rewarded. The Aliens might go as far as speculating that Bitcoin highlights what humans want vs what they need. Many people want 'a blockchain that can do everything', but maybe we need it to do one thing very well. Many people think that they want:
- Steady investment returns or a lottery win.
- To relax in luxury.
- To save the environment by not ‘wasting’ energy.
- To invest in Stocks, Bonds and FIAT because they are historically safe.
- Technology to leave their job alone.
And yet we know that humans thrive when they:
- Face and overcome difficult challenges.
- Delay gratification.
- Learn new things.
- Work with Technology.
- Undergo stress and recover.
Saifedean Ammous has mentioned that humans didn’t ask for Bitcoin but they may ultimately be thankful for its long term effect on them. When you start to accept that stressors will always be a factor as the protocol develops, you can start to enjoy the process of evolution. Gabriel D Vine is another advocate of this approach.
The experiment will run until it breaks or becomes increasingly unbreakable. When you start wishing bitcoin was less divisive, more ‘energy efficient’, less volatile etc. stop yourself and; Ask not what you want from bitcoin but what bitcoin wants from you.