honey badger bitcoin

Bitcoin is Not a Honey Badger

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I've been sitting on a version of this for 8 months. I don't name enough names…but let's play fill in the blanks. 


You first discover bitcoin!

You saw that Wikileaks accepts it. Nice, we can circumvent censorship!

You discovered it through the Silk Road! Utility, pseodo-anonimity! Freedom of commerce!

You saw that the Winklevoss twins like it! You’re a douchebag!


Stage 1: Can't See the Trees for the Forest

So now you’re standing there, looking at this forest, overwhelmed. Is this forest’s main use lumber? Or is it a valuable ecosystem? Is it just a better currency or is it the new internet? It’s so vast you cannot comprehend it. You’re on the outskirts, so you can’t see any individual detail. All you see is a beautiful unified foreign entity. Now you have a choice; you go back to playing DOTA, or drinking a bottle of vermouth, or re-carpeting your apartment…or you don’t sleep because bitcoin research.

Stage 2: Can't See The Forest for the Trees

You decide to venture into the forest. Now you have a different problem…you’re too close to it. You begin to see it as individual trees. You’re overwhelmed in a new way. If you’re technical you become naïve. If you’re political, you become radical. If you’re both, you become everyone’s enemy. Then you make a decision; to exit, to stay where you are, or to venture deeper. Let’s say you venture deeper because this video needs to be longer.

Stage 3: The Climb

You find a low branch and start climbing. You want to be on the fringes of innovation so you begin a startup. You want to be shut down, so you start an exchange. You want 100 people to hear you, so you blog. You want your bitcoin opinions screened and you want to be paid in fiat, so you write for Coindesk. You want to go to fancy parties, fuck other bitcoiners, catch a glimpse of Gavin Andresen as he struggles to mop up bitcoin with his limp wrists, and above all, you want to hear the sound of dicks being sucked as men trying to be boys ego pitch their useless ideas to useless investors, so you go to every bitcoin conference.

After a while, if you’re attentive, you start to notice the imperfections. You see the ants, the parasites, the weasels. You notice the lies, the scams, the hero worship, the egotism. You see the rot coming up from the inside. You realize that bitcoin has severe social, political and technical issues. You see that bitcoin is not a honey badger. Suddenly btc isn’t just fun and exciting; it’s complex and uncertain. At this point you probably decide to practice cognitive dissonance and stay in your comfort zone. You probably decide that it will be fine because any concerns raised can be sterilized with a reddit post. But a few of us quit.

Stage 4: The Ascent

The rest become disenfranchised but keep climbing because we refuse to let go. So we look down and we see the wolves circling beneath us and the hawks circling above us. Both outside entities like Governments, and inside entities like those that mine, innovate and pay the core devs, can mould btc to their own agendas. We see that btc is at risk of falling prey to the influence from corporate and gov powers, sure because of money, but mostly, because of unwarranted trust. Mostly because we are scared shitless of anything new and different.

We notice something odd. For something so new and different, there sure are a lot of Foundations, Associations…Alliances. We think, why are we having centralized powers discuss bitcoin decentralization? Why do we crave these titles? Why are we appropriating bitcoin into the same functionalities that have historically corrupted everything? You wonder, how helpful can these entities of self granted authority be if they spend more time meeting about missed meetings than adding value to this tech…Why do we trust them when they can’t even give us the courtesy of being transparent after claiming that they are? It’s like Peter Thiel pretending to be a libertarian while investing in Palantir…If you’re going to slither, don’t pretend to be a rattle snake, it’s unbecoming.  

*No one should be excited about 21 Inc.

Stage 5: The Top

Let me know how it looks from up there, contact info below. I’m still on stage 4. I feel that the best things are never achieved easily, so I’ll stick around. I think BTC will succeed, I just don’t know for who and in what form. I adore this tech. I adore many of the people and companies involved. And most of all, I adore the naive newcomers because that was me, and their fresh enthusiasm is just as important as jaded concern.

None of the things mentioned have yet had a clear negative effect on bitcoin. And it’s possible that many of these entities are severely incompetent, masters of writing proposals and statements, yet unprepared to execute anything.

Comparatively, bitcoin is still the most innovative, most morally pure, and possibly the most freeing tech since the internet, so I’d really hate to see it absorbed and refurbished by the factory of the same. 

5 Responses to “Bitcoin is Not a Honey Badger”
  1. a Texas libertarian says:

    I'm still in stage 1. I just don't see how bitcoin can't be corrupted, coralled, and otherwise controlled by governments. Perhaps this is due to my ignorance of the block chain technology. I just think in the same way that gold was commandeered by the state, so too can Bitcoin be esnared. At first we'll have free Bitcoin, the awesome version we have now, but later it will be downgraded or otherwise regulated, and if it can't be, and it gets strong enough, it will just be outlawed.

    In other words, we'll continue to use a more and more watered down (accomodative to government monetary expansion) version of the original, always convinced by our friendly establishment academia that the old version was a barbarous relic, and the general population won't know any better or care. 

    In Bitcoin I see an awesome innovation to circumvent and out compete the monopolistic currencies, cartelistic banking industries, and corrupt governments around the globe, but I also see a backdoor way to achieve the ultimate accomodative monetary policy for these same institutions: a cashless society. For instance the Bitcoin we now know may be transformed into the same system we have now accept without cash, allowing central banks to do whatever their little hearts desire to our currency and our livelihoods. I bet there will be a negotiation for the dollar to be more bitcoin-like (bitdollar), except without the blockchain of course, because many will not understand that part enough to fight back against its removal.

    My question is why are they letting bitcoin transactions occur at all? In case you missed it, liberty dollars didn't get the same welcoming reception. Also Greece, the bastion of hard money that it is, has considered adopting it as an alternative to making an agreement with its euro-denominated creditors. Perhaps Varoufakis said that in off-handed jest, but I wonder about these things.

    I suppose I trust in a gold currency, because it is insanely expensive for man to create it, and fairly cost prohibitive to mine it. Our Sun will never be able to make gold. In nature only a supernova can create anything heavier than iron on the periodic table, but scientists have supposedly created insanely tiny amounts of it in high speed particle accelerators. It would have cost them approximately one quadrillion dollars an ounce, if they were ever to make such a monumental quantity (1 ounce) of gold in this manner. Also many of the gold atoms created in this process were radioactive isotopes not safe to store in your wallet or on your finger.

    Having said that, I wish Bitcoin and those who use it all the best. Truly innovative and truly astounding what it and they have accomplished so far. I certainly have not come up with anything better to help achieve liberty in our time. For now, I'm still on the sidelines.

  2. frankenmint says:

    Hey there.  Here's where I stand:


    I like the phrasing because the community can hear that term and identify what the context of the conversation is when its mentioned.  Furthermore, Bitcoin is the honeybadger – it does what it wants.  Shut bitcoin down?  Streisand effect! How many full nodes do you need to run bitcoin?  Just one!  The only thing that has seperated you from the people you mock is that you ask for money to continue what you do upfront.  That's totally fine, its your angle.  I see you also do the tour circuit and merchandising, thank you for sharing Bitcoin.  Tearing down others who do what they can to make their ends meet and perhaps try to cash in on bitcoin is sort of a cheapshot since you're also doing the same thing.  I advertise on my site too and have a storefront as well, but I don't feel the urge to kick down others in this community because it's in fact up to us to work together to make cooler stuff that can't be bought with simple fiat – ETFs are smoke and mirrors but those are just one of many things that could proliferate using cryptocurrency.  I knew about this article and video before and probably gave you grief about it on the other channels, but I found this again so I'm here to leave a comment.  Take care,




  3. GuzzyBone says:

    Question: How much can State and Corporate entities truly manipulate or devalue Bitcoin?

    I think you will find the ultimate answer within these similar questions:

    Answer: How much can State and Corporate entities stop The Pirate Bay?

    Answer: How much can State and Corporate entities stop "illegal downloading"?

    This is why I am interested in progressing to Stage 2. In fact, the only thing that truly worries me about Bitcoin is eventual outside competition from other perhaps more secure and trustworthy Crypto-currencies. Confidency makes a money, even with Gold. With Gold you have to have the confidence that mining technology won't increase dramatically and discover massive new deposits, and that science will not be able to synthesize gold, etc etc…

    Fortunately for us, confidence in State violence is waning and at breakneck speed. There is no reason that Gold couldn't compete as a currency in free and Stateless world, but it does not carry the hydra-like internet immunities from State violence of the crypto-currency.

  4. Bill says:

    Still at stage 1.  Alternative news today indicates that the EU is moving to ban Bitcoin due to fears of it being used to finance terrorism.  The european patriot act seems to be brewing.  Thanks for the article.  Gets one thinking!

  5. you go back to playing DOTA

    Hah! I was playing DotA before it was cool — back when it was a custom map for Warcraft 3 Frozen throne. Of course now I'm all about that Eulora.

    You want to go to fancy parties, fuck other bitcoiners

    As fucking if. If you believe that anyone outside of b-a is getting it on then I've got an altcoin to sell you!

    you want to hear the sound of dicks being sucked

    You missed a perfectly good opportunity to link a Trilema article. Oh wait…

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