What if I told you the biggest innovation of the 21st century wouldn’t be Artificial General Intelligence, genetically engineering humans, or connecting our consciousness with a brain-computer interface to live forever, but instead… a digital chain of blocks. You probably wouldn’t believe me, and that’s why I’m not going to claim that! Instead, I’m going to … Continued
The blockchain space appeals to freethinkers, entrepreneurs, and visionaries. Many of these iconoclasts practice voluntaryism, although a philosophy which new entrants may have not heard about. This is because they entered into the ecosystem from the financial realm, and their sole focus has been on accumulating more wealth. This is a shame. The impetus for cypherpunks to build encrypted technologies arose from a spirit of sovereignty – not just moneymaking schemes.
What Is Voluntaryism?
Sovereignty denotes a yearning for absolute individual independence. It means many people involved in crypto prefer to live freely, without having to genuflect before someone who claims to rule them; before some king, politician, or governing apparatus. This is the crux of voluntaryism.
Voluntaryists believe all human relationships and interactions should be as consensual as far as possible. They place the notion of “consent” as the North Star of reasoning within the conduit of ethical thinking.
Consent means no human has the moral right to coerce or force another human being into acting against their volition. If someone uses force to sate their whims, that action would be considered immoral and unjust.
In some ways, this philosophy marches in perfect lockstep with the golden rule to treat others the way you wish to be treated. No one wants to be forced into behaving a certain way. No one wants to be harmed or mistreated. Everyone wants to act on their own will, without having to capitulate to others while under duress.
The Barbarian’s Paradigm
By virtue of their philosophy, voluntaryists do not believe government is a moral institution. The organization is at odds with voluntaryist philosophy. Government is non-consensual by nature. Every law, edict, and regulation is effectively a threat of violence against peaceful people. No one automatically consents to government laws. A law is an enforced mandate.
For instance, if someone disobeys a law, a costumed officer will attempt to issue them a ticket or arrest them. If that person moves to defend themselves from that act of aggression, the officer will murder them if necessary.
All government officials disregard consent. They issue or enforce laws regardless if everyone agrees. Therefore, coercive government is the barbarian’s paradigm for social order; it is uncivilized, violent, hysterical, and revels in cultism. It’s sadistic to the extent people are indoctrinated from birth to believe this paradigm of violence is synonymous with “civilization.” In reality, it is uncivilized barbarism writ large on the soul of men.
Logical Conclusion: Anarchism
Without doubt, this means the voluntaryist is an anarchist. Since governments operate without consent, they can never be an acceptable organization within the context of voluntaryist philosophy. Anarchism is thus the logical conclusion of voluntaryism.
However, most people hear the word “anarchy” and they lose their cool. Images of picturesque horror scenes rife with explosions, corpses and gore galore erupt in colorful crescendo via their mind’s eye.
They panic and reject the term ‘anarchy’ as a synonym of disorder. They view anarchy as a form of Lovecraftian madness palatable only to fringe academics, disillusioned teenagers, and bohemian punk rockers with cockney accents.
In reality, anarchy just means “without rulers.” It means no person or group has the right to rule over the rest of humanity. It does not imply bloodshed, bazookas, and bombs.
Edward Abbey said, “Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners.”
Bedfellows: Voluntaryism and Blockchain
It is no surprise the first technologists to think about using ciphers to ensure privacy and anonymity were voluntaryists. They were anarchists: crypto-anarchists. They built the architecture of technological anarchism, and they were heavily influenced by voluntaryist philosophy. From day one, they sought to use computational tools to generate more freedom.
Timothy May, the godfather of decentralized-encrypted technology, wrote his Crypto-Anarchist Manifesto while under the influence of Rothbardian thinking. May genuinely believed the ethics of voluntaryism. He set the tone for all future developments, including the creation of Bitcoin and all its anarchic features.
Rekindling the Flame of Freedom
To this day, charlatans with dollar signs in their eyes have eroded the voluntaryist vision of the crypto-anarchists. Instead of seeking to erase the barbarian’s paradigm, they focus on the sexual magnetism of “moon” and “Lambo.”
This is why internalizing the voluntaryist-anarchist roots of the crypto ecosystem is essential. Understanding this history will pave a path to a beautiful new world, and encourage people to embrace the purpose of the technology. It will help abolish government and put an end to the insanity of this uncivilized world. The voluntaryist mindset will act as a compass toward mass adoption and inspire true love of blockchain. In the process, it will rekindle the flame of freedom.
Are you familiar with voluntaryism? Do you still believe voluntaryism is important for the creation of novel technologies?
Images courtesy of Twitter and Shutterstock
OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.
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Keene, New Hampshire is well known city for libertarian philosophies and more recently as a hotbed for cryptocurrencies. On Monday, Nov. 12, crypto advocates from the region have announced the launch of a new educational center called the Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire.
New Hampshire Bitcoin Embassy Offers Free Bitcoin 101 Classes
Cryptocurrency and libertarian activists from Keene New Hampshire have been steadily pushing digital currency adoption for a while now. This past Monday the group of advocates from the region, who also run the city’s active cryptocurrency Meetup group, revealed the launch of the Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire. The embassy will be an educational center dedicated to teaching people all about digital assets, explained the creators. Further, the organization now joins the other state embassies located in the U.S. like the Atlanta Bitcoin Embassy operated by the Austrian economist Jeffrey Tucker.
Additionally, the group from Keene have explained the new embassy will offer free “Bitcoin 101” classes for visitors. “With the goals of education, networking, and inspiration, head ambassador and instructor Chris Rietmann opened the doors to the Bitcoin Embassy NH in October and has already created a “Bitcoin 101” class that is free to take,” explained the Free Keene blog. “Donations are certainly welcomed if you find the class valuable and classes are also available for those looking to learn how to accept crypto at their businesses.”
Spreading Cryptocurrency Adoption Across the Free State
The crew from the Free Keene blog and members of the community have been spreading cryptocurrency adoption relentlessly lately on all fronts. Recently, the group got a number of merchants to accept digital assets in the city such as a dentist, Indian restaurant, hair salon, and vape shop. Then, this past August, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the group creating Cryptotip.org, a platform that allows users to create simple paper tips funded with bitcoin cash.
The Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire has received positive media coverage within the region as well. The embassy’s members have explained that the story has been covered by NH Public Radio, the Keene Sentinel, and a front-page story in the Monadnock Shopper News. Additionally, the embassy had a discussion and presentation concerning Bitcoin’s first hash war that started on Nov. 15.
The creators of the embassy state that the organization has more development plans for the future and people can discuss the embassy using Telegram. For people who want to visit the new Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire, the center is open Tuesday through Sunday and is located inside Route 101 Local Goods in Keene, NH. Check out the video below at the Bitcoin Embassy NH in which members discuss the recent BCH hash war.
What do you think about the Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and the Free Keene blog.
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Muslim countries around the world are planning to push back against the U.S. dollar’s long global dominance by creating a common digital currency for use in Islamic states. The dollar has evolved into a “sanctioning tool,” charged Erol Yarar, chairman of the Muslim-focused business lobby group International Business Forum (IBF). It has lost its purpose as an international trading currency, he said.
Breaking the Dollar’s Hegemony
Speaking to Turkish news agency Anadolu on Nov. 16, Yarar said a single cryptocurrency for Muslim nations will be designed primarily to undermine and challenge America’s established hegemony in the global financial system.
“The U.S. dollar is beyond a common currency, it has become a sanctioning tool,” Yarar stated. “In IBF this year we will discuss the term ‘monetary pluralism’ to create a fairer and healthier trade environment. We will make a cryptocurrency system, that will be used for international trade among Islamic countries, a current issue,” he added.
The strength of the dollar, in use as an international trading currency since the end of World War II, gives America immense financial and political leverage among perceived weaker states. It has often been used as part of an arsenal of economic tools deployed to punish nations that refuse to toe Uncle Sam’s line.
It is, perhaps, President Trump’s renewal of economic sanctions against Iran this month – even at the risk of alienating allies in the European Union – that Muslim business leaders under the IBF have been prompted to look for ways of neutralizing the dollar’s dominance in global trade.
A number of E.U. member countries are desperate to protect the Iran nuclear deal to help keep trade alive. They are currently in the process of creating a special purpose vehicle that would undermine the sanctions by redirecting payments away from the dollar and therefore away from the prying U.S. financial system. Again, America has reacted by issuing threats of dire repercussions.
But Iran is moving to protect itself against the crippling economic measures. It has announced the completion of the development of a state-backed digital currency, created specifically to circumvent the sanctions, which target the country’s oil, gas and shipping industries as well as the financial system. The system has already been hit after Swift, at the U.S.’s behest, cut off the Central Bank of Iran from the global banking ecosystem.
Following the Example of Iran
Yarar, the IBF chairman, told Anadolu Agency that it is prudent for Islamic nations to emulate Iran’s example by developing a common cryptocurrency system for use within like-minded religious countries. He detailed:
The U.S. keeps down money transfers, imposes sanctions on the international market, and causes crises in countries by using the dollar.
The planned Muslim-compliant digital currency will be used for pricing of goods by businesspeople, exchange markets and countries, he said, adding that Islamic nations should also consider setting up a fund emulating the International Monetary Fund business model.
“The fund, based on non-interest finance principles, will help countries facing an economic crisis. The fund’s name can be ‘International Islamic Cooperation Fund’,” Yara proposed.
His plans have triggered debate on whether countries currently under full, partial or covert U.S. sanctions such as Cuba, Venezuela, North Korea, Iran, Zimbabwe, Syria, Russia and Yemen could adopt virtual currency to bypass the stringent economic measures.
Venezuela recently launched its national cryptocurrency, the petro, while Russia and China are investing in blockchain technologies that will act as alternatives to the dollar in terms of global commerce.
U.S. sanctions work by placing bans on dealings and transactions with individuals, nations and companies. These restrictions are often enforced with the help of mainstream financial institutions. As such, the use of cryptocurrencies, which operate outside the established financial system, are regarded as key to helping economies under sanctions to continue transacting with other countries.
That means if a dependable cryptocurrency system to support financial transactions can be established, the power of sanctions will be diminished as the U.S. is incapable of blocking such transactions.
Binance Tells Iranians to Withdraw Their Money
In Iran, meanwhile, global cryptocurrency exchange Binance has reportedly told its remaining users in the Islamic Republic to pull out their funds from the platform in measures aimed at aligning with the American trade and economic embargo. “Iranians are not really able to trust cryptocurrency exchanges. That isn’t really something new,” Nima Dehqan, a researcher at the Tehran-based blockchain project Areatak, complained. Several exchanges, including Bittrex and Bitmex, have stopped providing services to Iranian investors on account of the sanctions.
Do you think the IBF will succeed in its plan for a common cryptocurrency for Muslim countries? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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