This is an opinion editorial by Nozomi Hayase, Ph.D., who has a background in psychology and human development. Disclaimer: Bitcoin 2023 and Bitcoin Magazine are both operated by BTC Inc.
With rising inflation and a growing number of bank failures, the dysfunctional nature of the fiat system becomes more apparent day by day. In the midst of this chaos, Bitcoin enthusiasts are staying calm, even generally hopeful about their futures.
As public trust in institutions weakens, governments around the world are gearing up for
central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) as a means of reasserting their authority over peoples’ money.
“Thank God, we have Bitcoin!”
Those of us who are fortunate to have found it are relieved that Bitcoin exists. As Christine Lagarde, the head of the European Central Bank once acknowledged, Bitcoin is an escape hatch from the financial surveillance state.
Bitcoin, the hardest money ever created, presents a real alternative to both current fiat currencies and CBDCs. Now, those who so choose don’t have to go down the path leading toward a dystopian society. This might make us feel at ease. Some of you might think we can just HODL and maybe orange pill newcomers here and there, and simply wait for hyperbitcoinization. But I say, “Not quite yet. We can’t just sit back and relax.”
We Bitcoiners have important tasks ahead: Bitcoin’s battle against the fraudulent banking system is far from over. It is really only just beginning.
The Battle Is Beginning
Bitcoin, over the 14 years since its creation, has been slowly unveiling its revolutionary potential. Bitcoin is a form of “digital gold” that cannot be confiscated. As a saving technology, it provides inflation proofing, allowing us to store value securely. Its core feature of censorship resistance has also helped it to gain popularity, since the importance of having “freedom money” has become clearer to political dissidents and the oppressed the world over.
Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has wound down, and the emergency has been declared over, global leaders aim to re-engineer the economy. The initiatives of the Great Reset plan to use CBDCs as instruments of control, in the process creating a post-human society where human beings, as we have known them, cease to exist.
Things are moving fast. Commenting on the development of AI and its potential ramifications for humanity, Jordan Peterson, a prominent Canadian psychologist, said, “We better get our acts together before the giants show up. They are like knocking at the door right now.”
Peterson has talked about how ChatGPT, a large language model (LLM) and advanced conversational chatbot, is already building an increasingly-intelligent system. He described the process whereby, in the next few years, this AI model could extract a model of the world from the entire corpus of language, and use that to create a fully-rendered, photo-realistic animation indistinguishable from the image of a genuine person. By giving an example of turning a virtual girlfriend into a sex partner, he explained how easily it could falsify the representation of reality so completely that we all become confused about what is real and what is not.
And this technology is rapidly advancing. In March 2023, ChatGPT4, the most powerful artificial intelligence, was released. And Bitcoiners are in a unique position to take Peterson’s warning seriously and start doing something about the issues he has raised.
Bitcoin is pro-human technology. It provides a tool for us to detect counterfeit reality and which helps us to authenticate and secure truth, backed by our real human experiences.
Now, digitization of all aspects of society is taking place. From finance to healthcare and education, people are brought to the web to live their lives in a way that disconnects them from their bodies and from the natural environment. This trend leads to “hyper-mechanization,” a term I use to describe the turning point at which machines and robots become dominant in our world, dictating our very experiences.
This force of digitization, now becoming extreme, is also penetrating into the Bitcoin space. From Twitter to Nostr, and more than we are willing to admit, many of us are hooked to the iPhones and computers that keep us plugged into the matrix, becoming cut off from genuine, heart-to-heart interactions with other human beings.
As a machine-takeover of the world increasingly threatens the essence of what it means to be human, it is important for us to learn to unplug ourselves and maintain our relationships to ourselves and to nature. We need to collectively practice being offline from time to time, connecting with one another in real life. It is crucial for us to create a resilient human network of proof of work, built on top of the technology that can authenticate reality, based on our truly-felt feelings.
Experiencing The Power Of Bitcoin, Firsthand
This week, from May 18 to May 20, the biggest Bitcoin conference will take place in Miami Beach, Florida, bringing together Bitcoiners from all over the world. Along with presentations and panels from experts, professionals and leaders in the industry (check the speaker’s list here), this three-day educational event will provide a space for Bitcoiners to gather outside of cyberspace and get to know one another.
From brunches to happy-hour pleb parties, there will be plenty of opportunities for Bitcoiners to hang out. Through our exchanges of smiles and hugs, we can have firsthand experiences that demonstrate the power of bitcoin as the currency of love.
Crucially, the conference will also give us a chance to share our appreciation for artists who have been enriching the Bitcoin space. It will host an art gallery displaying the work of more than 60 talented Bitcoin artists.
There, attendees can meet and interact with these artists in person. Now that AI can whip out sophisticated images in a matter of seconds and mimic our creativity, it becomes vital for us to recognize the value of art created by real human beings who are inspired by their own visions, and engaged in a hard and honest labor of love.
During the first and second general attendance days of Bitcoin 2023 (on May 19 and 20, 2023), the exuberance of Bitcoin competition will be brought to the main exposition hall to ignite a spirit of collaboration and teamwork. Initiated as a community project, the Bitcoin Games will provide a fun and joyful contest where local meetups can match their skills and talents to compete. The winning team will bring home the trophy and one full BTC, which can be used to help develop their community (check here for the details).
From the Bitcoin Bazaar, a massive peer-to-peer marketplace, to the official after party, lots of fun things will be happening throughout the week (check the full agenda here).
Bitcoin is electronic cash backed by human ingenuity. But what powers Bitcoin is our passion and the values that are shared in our hearts. What good is free speech money, if there is no human being who can speak? What is the worth of life, if there is nobody who can feel and experience its fullness?
At Bitcoin 2023, Bitcoiners around the world can come together to work toward hyperbitcoinization, in order to preserve what defines us uniquely as human beings. It presents a festival of humanity.
“Tick tock, next block.”
The countdown has just begun. It’s time to amplify relentless optimism and celebrate the beauty and magnificence that we all are.
This is a guest post by Nozomi Hayase. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.