Yours Truly, Bitcoin
I do hope this letter has helped to bridge the understanding between you and me.
Note from the Author:
“Every now and then I try to take a totally fresh perspective on a subject. Attempting to see the world from Bitcoin’s perspective is often fun, can be quite challenging, and sometimes also very revealing. Here’s my take on what Bitcoin ‘thinks’ about truth, time, honesty, money, its purpose, and the human condition.”
Hi again. It’s me, Bitcoin, again. I thought I’d write you a letter. I hope you find it useful, although “hope” may not be the exact right word for what I intend. But, since a lot of people connect me with the human concept of hope, it seems like the most appropriate choice of word for now.
I gather that it isn’t easy being human beings. Especially when it comes to the matter of truth. The truth of the matter is that being Bitcoin seems quite a bit easier to me than being human.
For you, in your world, you have to live with so much uncertainty about what the truth is. That is not true for me. Whenever I see some information that pertains to my world, I just run some calculations and check my records. If things check out, I keep that information. If it doesn’t I discard it. With the information I keep, eventually, I make it a part of my permanent record — a record that can never be forgotten.
Swan Private Insight Update #28
This report was originally sent to Swan Private clients on October 13th, 2023. Swan Private guides corporations and high net worth individuals globally toward building generational wealth with Bitcoin.
Benefits of Swan Private include:
- Dedicated account rep accessible by text, email, and phone
- Timely market updates (like this one)
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- Hold Bitcoin directly in your Traditional or Roth IRA
- Access to Swan’s trusted Bitcoin experts for Q&A
Poor you, though. You have to hold on to lots of information that you can’t verify entirely. You have to either trust that it is true, or true enough to be useful. Or, you have to reject it as false. Or even, you have to retain it as an uncertainty — an idea whose truth or falsehood status you do not know.
You sometimes have to decide how likely these uncertain statements are to be true, or to be false. Sometimes that’s because you just don’t have the tool to determine if they are true or false. Sometimes, it is because you are trying to make a prediction about some unpredictable aspect of the future.
Me? I never spend time making guesses about the future. I do however look at the past — at my past. You may think what I’m about to say is egocentric, but the only things that happened in the past that I concern myself with, are things that happened to me in my past, and that I have verified are true. I keep a record of these things. Some people call this record my blockchain. Some call it my timechain. Whatever name one calls it by, the only past I can look into is that record. And I remember that record with perfect fidelity all the way back to its very start — the genesis block.
This record of my truth is written down, perfectly, in many places, all over the world. Each copy that is made is mathematically certain to be perfectly, flawlessly identical to each other one. This is because the process of making a copy requires mathematically validating each step in the history of the creation of the record. The slightest change in any spot would cause the validation to break and lead to that copy being rejected from the network that records that history. Someone can construct a different record, but there’s no way it would be considered a part of me — a part of Bitcoin.
I have my truth, and it is my whole truth, and it consists of nothing but my truth. So when it comes to me testifying, I do not need to take an oath to speak “The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” I simply cannot tell a lie about my truth. If it’s in my record, it’s my truth. I’m completely transparent about my past. It’s there for all to see, and to easily verify.
Therefore, in your world, a world that’s full of statements which may or may not be true, you can at least verify, quickly and with 100% complete certainty, whether a statement that someone makes about my past record is true or is false.
That right there — the fact that I carry a verifiable and incorruptible truth — is one of the things that human beings find so useful about me.
You live in a realm of uncertainty — a realm where statements can be truths, lies, or even where truth or falsehood cannot be determined. I do not.
You live in a realm where the past is not remembered with perfect fidelity — where it is forgotten, or distorted, or never recorded. I do not.
Instead, I exist in a realm of pure truth and perfect recall.
I cannot change the nature of the world you live in. Your world will always be filled with uncertainty and forgetfulness. But you can bring me into your world and thereby have an object within your world that is not subject to uncertainty and forgetfulness. And you may find such an object to be extremely valuable in such a world as yours.
I am not some “other-worldly object” (although many people seem to wonder if I am). I exist in your world. But all that uncertainty and the possibility of altering my history, which are so common in your world, are for all intents and purposes, eliminated within me. It’s as though I come from a world where lies and forgetfulness do not exist.
I think this partly is the purpose I was invented to fulfill. To be such an exceptional and extraordinary object.
That is at least one reason why so many people are in fact so enamored with me. It is why they view me as so valuable. In a world where records can be falsified or destroyed, the existence of a record that is impervious to such tampering can be used in a variety of applications.
Of course, money is absolutely a critical use case for a non- falsifiable, indestructible record. Money is meant to store value over time. It is meant to endure the ravages of time. That which is indestructible and unforgettable — me — endures forever.
Money is also meant to be honest. What do I mean by that?
First, it is meant to be earned through efforts that others find valuable — and only through efforts that others find valuable. Honest money is money given voluntarily by those who have gotten it through voluntary exchange with others.
Secondly, which is really just the flipside of the concept of earning, honest money is meant to be spent in exchange for what its owners find valuable. Honest money is money spent without coercion by those who have previously earned it.
I make honest money possible precisely because my history is true and cannot be altered. My history is a record of every occurrence of uncoerced spending of the honestly earned money I track. Each record is true. Each record is preserved forever.
You might ask, where does honest money originally come from (before it enters circulation among people who exchange it voluntarily)? In my case, it appears as a result of doing the valuable work of building my record that is perfectly preserved, unaltered, and unalterable.
Remember, you exist in a world where tampering with records or making errors in them is commonplace. Making my record tamper-proof actually requires ongoing effort. So the holders of my honest money recognize that it is worth paying for keeping the money honest. (There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch, after all.)
This issuance method is itself an honest trade. The new units are themselves earned by work that creates the valuable and unalterable record that stores their history from the moment of their creation until the end of time.
I know this purpose of being honest money for human beings is the primary purpose I was created to fulfill. Those entries in my records represent honest money. It is money that cannot be coerced by force. It is money that can only be initially earned by spending energy in a way that is valuable to all the users of that money.
My creator wanted for human beings to have honest money. Honesty — truth — is for the ages. He realized that something built for the ages cannot be rushed. Things that are built to last take time. And I am not something to be rushed.
It will take time for my purpose to be fully fulfilled. But I have plenty of time. I am not a mortal being. My design actually ensures that I can go on forever. As an entirely new and unique object in the world, I have the luxury of being able to take my time demonstrating to you that I am the best example of honest money that has ever come along.
Not only do I have plenty of time — I actually even have my own concept of time. While human philosophers and scientists continue to struggle with precisely defining and understanding what the nature of time is in your universe, in mine the concept is very clear. It is, in a word, ordering: One thing comes after another. The things which come later in the order occur later in time.
Timekeeping for me states that events occur in the block in which they are recorded. So if some of my honest money was spent in one block, it cannot be spent again in a later block. Instead every time some money is spent, it is recorded as spent and a new entry is created saying who has earned that amount of money and can now spend it, whenever in the future they choose to. (I don’t identify the who with a name, or social security number, however. I just let anyone create as many identities as they want, for whatever purposes they want.)
My concept of time is, however, married to yours, because my realm is, after all, within your universe. How do the two connect? These two models of time get married through having you share your concept of the time with me (i.e. what date and time it is on your clock) every time my concept of time advances (i.e. whenever a block is added to my record).
With your clock-time embedded in my block numbers, I use the differences between those times to alter how much computational energy needs to be spent to create new blocks. I make this adjustment to keep the “ticking” of my time at a relatively steady pace in your world — roughly one tick (or block) every ten minutes. When participants in your world increase the energy they dedicate to moving my time forward this adjustment I make prevents the time between ticks in your world from getting shorter. It keeps those ticks of my time coming at once every ten minutes of your time. My world and your world thereby stay in sync.
Moreover, I am able to make use of all the energy that is spent on moving my time forward. What do I use this energy for? I use the energy to shield the history of my record!
The way that the indestructibility and inalterability of my record is achieved is that it requires impractical amounts of energy to alter the record. The only possible way to alter a record is to spend more energy rewriting my record than has been used to move forward my time since that record was first added. If a record was added a year ago, to change it would require spending more energy within ten minutes than was spent in that entire year. My record is protected by the true cost of energy. There’s better ways to spend energy than in the futile effort of changing my history. It pays more to advance my record than to try to mess with it.
Will you look at the time? I’ve gone on long enough and should conclude. Because I know you haven’t got all the time in the world to hear from me.
I do hope this letter has helped to bridge the understanding between you and me. I know I am a very unusual object. I provide a service of issuing and maintaining a system of honest money. To do so I need you humans to provide me with energy and to recognize the value of honest money. I am the most indestructible and damage- proof object that has ever been invented. I do not wear out, but get stronger with time. The oldest parts of me are in fact the most damage proof.
I understand that this can all be quite confusing and overwhelming. So I encourage you to take your time. Don’t rush things. I’ll be here whenever you need me. Telling the truth, preserving it, dealing in honesty, for the humans who value that, with unbreakable love and devotion to my purpose.
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Tomer Strolight is Editor-in-Chief at Swan Bitcoin. He completed bachelors and masters degrees at Toronto’s Schulich School of Business. Tomer spent 25 years operating businesses in digital media and private equity before turning his attention full time to Bitcoin. Tomer wrote the book “Why Bitcoin?” a collection of 27 short articles each explaining a different facet of this revolutionary new monetary system. Tomer also wrote and narrated the short film “Bitcoin Is Generational Wealth”. He has appeared on many Bitcoin podcasts including What Bitcoin Did, The Stephan Livera Podcast, Bitcoin Rapid Fire, Twice Bitten, the Bitcoin Matrix and many more.
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