Bitcoin Evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos Shares ‘Power Corrupts’ Message To BTC Maximalists
Andreas M. Antonopoulos: Realist
The blockchain has opened up the world in incredible ways. Bitcoin has been the leader and frontrunner of this revolution with Ethereum closely following on its heals. Yet, at a recent conference, the legendary author and Bitcoin advocate Andreas Antonopoulos stated that he didn't feel Bitcoin needed any assistance with adoption and Ethereum would do well with less external interference.
The event was ETHDenver, where Antonopoulos was a featured speaker. He used the platform to discuss his latest work, Mastering Ethereum, developed in association with Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood. This is his first such foray after his previous works primarily focussed on Bitcoin.
Some were less than impressed when the author of “Mastering Bitcoin” showed up to an Etherum event. After all his previous books did give the impression that he was a Bitcoin maximalist.
But at the conference when the conversation veered towards establishing Bitcoin as a global reserve currency he expressed his main concern, “The moment Bitcoin becomes the only choice, the level of corruption and abuse of power that we’re going to see in the Bitcoin community is going to require us to build something to disrupt it .” He went on to say that simply replacing one power structure with another will not bring the change people want.
His talks divulged deeper into working on software that is immutable and cannot be co-opted. He called this “unstoppable code.”
The writer beseeched his audience to ensure that their code remains unstoppable. He was alluding to the 2015 Ethereum hard fork and the infamous DAO hack. At that time Devs had intervened and reversed the fraudulent transactions; however, it also shows the immense power they could wield, if they chose to.
As expected this too was not kindly received by everyone, the likes of Ethererum lead researcher, Vlad Zamfir predicting that this would undoubtedly lead to unstoppable fascism.
In a clarification to Decryptmedia, Antonopoulos said “I do think it will lead to a fascist unstoppable code. But, not only that every human experience, motivation, doctrine, spiritual, cultural, economic attitude will be captured by unstoppable code and expressed.”
Conversing to Ben Munster from Decrypt he spoke at length about the fallacy of restricting this revolutionary idea to a price increment or number of users on a particular Dapp. He feels this is for a set of higher motives: privacy, self-determination and freedom of speech. While there is still a long way to go before blockchain is universally adopted, it is working nicely as an alternative where it is needed most.
It is true that a large portion of the community would like to see the fiat systems fail, there is a reason to pause and take stock of what people are asking for.
“A lot of people don’t realize that the future of Bitcoin is tied to what happens in traditional currencies.”
Retelling his experience of living in places with failed banking systems that brought along inflation Antonopoulos goes on to say:
“I’d rather see fiat survive its own worst instincts, and Bitcoin adds a choice for those who want it, rather than Bitcoin being the only choice because everything else has failed.”
He also accepts the fact that trying to explain the concept of crypto to everyone might be too hard, yet he opines, it is still a worthwhile endeavor, especially if the said person is in a developing economy where the benefits of blockchain are immediately felt. Antonopoulos added that this sort of divide is apparent in the developed world where the situation isn’t dire enough and the technology isn’t sufficiently used. But then its usefulness is negated by the other options available.
The noted wordsmith ended the conversation by stating that the cryptocurrency itself wasn't important. The underlying concepts that are censorship-resistant are unstoppable and bound to succeed.
“It is succeeding already. What it’s doing is giving people choice and freedom. It doesn’t have to do anything more than that.”