Why I only care about Bitcoin - and how I learned to hate the word "crypto"
Bitcoin is the first truly new addition to the field of money for a long, long time. "Crypto" on the other hand is a total wasteland of scams, nihilism and speculation.
I recently published a tweet that got all kinds of emotional responses…
I got called names, people questioned my sanity. Lots of spam in my DMs, someone told me I didn’t understand “the internet” (who does?). And of course: tons of people shilling their own coins, their own bags or both.
I did not expect such an emotional response.
But I do want to explain myself a little.
I think our money is broken. I consider this the most important story of our lifetime. And I’m not alone. When you look closely, this topic has been pretty hot for decades.
Bitcoin is the first truly new addition to the field of money for a long, long time. A scarce, digital commodity that has one function: money. Not currency, money.
“Crypto” on the other hand is a total wasteland of scams, nihilism and speculation. There are almost 19.000 “cryptoassets” listed on Coinmarketcap right now. Anyone can start one of those. How many do you think we need?
I follow a lot of “Bitcoin-haters” on Twitter and Substack. Most of them are clowns who either work for a central bank or have made a career out of hating on Bitcoin. But they have an easy time, because 100% of them just lump Bitcoin together with “crypto” and call it all a scam.
That’s why I started to hate the word “crypto”. Anybody can use it in any way to say anything. It’s the semantic embodyment of inflation. In many ways “crypto” is peak-fiat while Bitcoin is anti-fiat.
There are many differences between the two, Bitcoin and “crypto”. But the main one I see is this:
Bitcoin is a way to fix the money.
Crypto is a way to make more money. A way to frontrun the fiat inflation, if you will. But it’s also a huge distraction.
I know many Bitcoiners who are not going to “sell” for fiat money at any point. And why should they? Bitcoin is the cybermoney of the cybereconomy. And it will only keep growing.
One of the things so fascinating about Bitcoin is that it’s a way everyone can fix money for themselves immediatly. The individual can actually adopt Bitcoin easier than a company or a nation state can.
It’s a bottom up revolution and a way better way to build an economy than top down. I will elaborate on this in the future because it’s truly mindblowing.
The Bretton Woods system of 1944 was the first and only global monetary arrangement built on written agreements. It was also a bit shit and started disintegrating the moment it was started. That’s why calls for a “new Bretton Woods” are so pointless. It didn’t really work the first time around. In fact, it started many problems we have to deal with today.
Of course there will be resistance. Lots of it. This has only just started.
But if that resistance is coming from the world of “crypto”, I can only say this: Noone is forced to concentrate on Bitcoin like I do. Obviously not all of the 18.000 “cryptoassets” are pure or intentional scams, but I personally don’t see the point in spending any time or energy on finding the needle in the haystack.
The way things are right now, Bitcoin is the base currency of the “crypto” world. All altcoins are ultimatly priced in Bitcoin. So from an investors point of view, one could even say that Bitcoin acts like an index fund for “crypto”.
Look, I’m not trying to piss anyone off. I know that most people are just trying to figure this stuff out - just like I am. But before I spend my time writing and thinking about Solana or Cardano, I will use it to cover CBDCs, Gold, the Dollar or the Euro.
Bitcoin maximalism, minimalism or purism, whatever yoo want to call it: it does serve a function. For Bitcoin, the network. And for the individual.
In my case: I want to protect me and my readers from scams and dead ends. I’ve made my mistakes in 2017, now I concentrate on the big boy.
Great write up Niko! Bitcoin is its own asset class and should be separated from Crypto.
"Crypto" is just another defensive shield around bitcoin. The masses of assets parroting nonsense to each other serves the following purposes:
- makes it easier to convince people that the money supply is screwed up (you don't have to buy into the libertarian ethos of bitcoin to understand that dogecoin doesn't make any sense)
- makes bitcoin less obviously a direct threat to the financial status quo (people who dismiss 'crypto' as being a bunch of nonsense clearly aren't penetrating thinkers)
- makes it so that only people who _really_ want decentralized, sovereign currency hold bitcoin; everyone else will bounce from shitcoin to shitcoin, which probably ends up helping lower bitcoin's volatility
I like what you're saying here - "crypto is pure fiat" - but as far as i can tell, the existence of this wildly scammy ecosystem not just 'next door' to us but all the way around us,', i think, _protects_ us. Coinbase wants to keep their shitcoin empire going, they have money to pay lobbyists and laywers, and what this means is that instead of realizing that bitcoin is a gun pointed right at their heads, the central bankers will do their best to pass KYC laws and try to control the shitcoin ecosystems. Of course the idea of regulated shitcoins is absurd. But it's better for regulators to be able to say things like "oh, we just need to regulate it", even though this makes no sense- because the alternative is them realizing "holy shit we are an empire in decline, we've printed way too much money, and bitcoin gives people a viable out." I think it's MUCH better for this idiots to be like, oh, we just need to pass the right KYC/AML laws and then mandate that all smart contracts prove they can only transmit funds to registered addresses, bla bla bla. Let them aggressively re-arrange the deck chairs on the titanic, to prevent the unruly mob from getting out of hand. Meawhile, bitcoiners have been 3d-printing liferafts, putting inflation to work for them.
If crypto is a ridiculous circus sideshow, bitcoin is an underground city only accessible through one of the lesser-traveled edges of the circus. Any uninquisitve outsider can look at the circus as a whole, and dismiss _all_ of it, in a way that would be much harder to do if we didn't have a million shitcoins acting as decoys for us
I think it really may well be the case that nobody except for bitcoin maximalists really grasp where all of this is heading; the more competing narratives there are, the better it is for people who really get reality.