From time to time, especially when the price is down, the crypto sphere will go into war against each other. Someone usually triggers war by saying controversial things. The hottest debates happen between Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) or Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Occasionally, we see Bitcoin SV (BSV) enters the debate. When I first got into crypto, I looked at Ethereum. Then I learned and bought Bitcoin. I see outrageous claims from both communities. With Ethereum, it’s a programmable Store of Value that will reinvent the world’s finance and save the bankless humans. With Bitcoin, it’s digital gold and money that will eventually replace all of the world’s money. The visions are grand. Both coins over promise and under deliver. I see Bitcoin remains a speculative asset and Ethereum is a crypto research project. The crypto space is plagued with scams.
The tit-for-tat arguments escalate quickly. Crypto communities sometimes feel like religions. Some people declare their religious zeal to their communities. Tuur Demeester, an influential Bitcoin analyst, recently released The Bitcoin Reformation paper. Reformation is a reference to the Western Christianity movement in the 16th century. There’re many ways to attach religious stories to Bitcoin.
Bitcoin was started by an anonymous programmer, Satoshi Nakamoto. He/she/they released the Bitcoin whitepaper, worked on the code for a few years, then disappeared. Up until this day, we don’t have a clear idea about Satoshi’s identity.
Satoshi’s identify and disappearance created mysteries around Bitcoin. There’s lots of room for interpretation. Some find similarities with the Christian Bible story of Jesus Immaculate Conception. Translating that story to Bitcoin, we can interpret Bitcoin as a gift from God. Satoshi was either God or His Messenger. Satoshi came to Earth to deliver Bitcoin. It is supposed to cure the financial ill in our society.
Bitcoin origin was attributed to a higher power. Its creation was perfect in both design and timing. Bitcoin is the start of a new chapter in human history. Bitcoin is an Immaculate Conception.
The story is powerful. It creates a strong narrative. Bitcoin is destined to have infinite value. First, it will become digital gold. Then it will conquer all of the world’s money. Bitcoin will destroy all the financial trickery that plagued human society.
When I first came to Bitcoin, I was baffled by its mysteries. Bitcoin’s religious interpretation is appealing. Perhaps, God did come to Earth and delivered Bitcoin to humanity. I dug deeper and learned more. I think there is another religious story around Bitcoin: the Original Sin. In this story, the Original Sin was committed by Satoshi. When he/she/they released the Bitcoin whitepaper, its title indicated Bitcoin as A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. As Satoshi worked on Bitcoin, its narrative changed to digital gold. Satoshi promised us digital cash. But he/she/they gave us digital gold.
When Satoshi disappeared, it is up to people to interpret the intention. The Bitcoin community remains attached to the digital gold narrative. Its supporters claim once Bitcoin reaches critical mass, it will become digital cash. The narrative is to become the Store of Value first, the Medium of Exchange later. However, some people took a scriptural interpretation of the Bitcoin whitepaper. They want Bitcoin to be digital cash. They forked to Bitcoin Cash with bigger block size. The idea is to make Bitcoin work for everyday transactions.
Satoshi wanted to reinvent money. To make the monetary incentive work, he may have inadvertently switched to digital gold. It’s a hack to get something to work for now. Then we can worry about making Bitcoin for everyone later. I think Original Sin is an interesting story. It explains why crypto is plagued with scams. They all have their origins in the confusion between digital cash and digital gold.
Bitcoin is an exciting study case for religion. It shows us how the intermingling of an Immaculate Conception and an Original Sin can be the origin of a new change. Religious stories can give us hints of solutions.
Humans squabbled over these conflicting claims for thousands of years. The conflicting stories were written to the Bible. Crypto communities continue to attack each other and make outrageous claims. I think the Bible also contains stories that can help us find a cure. Bitcoin may have started with an Immaculate Conception and an Original Sin. The world is full of contradiction. Whatever happened, we are here with cryptocurrencies. The problem is not ours. We can “baptize” ourselves and move forward. Without forgiveness, we can never make peace with others and with ourselves.