“Cryptoanarchy.” It’s not a new term, but it has genuinely evolved over the years as the advancement of the sovereign personal reserve currency took over the financial system and attracted more and more investment capital from large institutions.
However, the term is ultimately hijacked when the sovereign individuals arise due to the powers granted to them by their currency reserve. Ultimately, this will create problems that many are currently trying to counteract by thinking about building modern citadels and protective social groups.
The idea of the Bitcoin Citadels is based on the idea of self-preservation in order to achieve isolation from the masses and rulers who could potentially harm Bitcoiners. This process of potential harm has already started and cannot be stopped as some individuals have recognized the underlying dangers that these newly acquired freedoms can pose. Freedom is absolute in this sense because Bitcoin grants absolute freedom. When you hold Bitcoin, you are basically in control of your personal nuclear missile launch codes. This grants ultimate power on this planet to sovereign individuals.
Libertarian ideology essentially contributes to the need for citadel thinking, as its non-aggression principle is not often able to resolve violent situations. With the future seemingly unstable, others could rely on the contribution of anarcho-capitalists who are more willing to use their “start codes” as weapons of mass destruction. So great is this potential threat of violence that building citadels has become a necessary consideration for many.
Future aspects of the currency transition and its effects are hardly predictable in the current Bitcoin era. At least five more years are required to get a clear picture of what could happen and what the rise of millions of sovereign individuals in the social hierarchy will cause.
Bitcoin opened Pandora’s box. You only have to attend the Paralelní Polis Hacker Congress once to understand this. But if you still don’t understand what I am talking about, I will try to make it clear.
The inevitable future of anarchy
It is still questionable whether it is possible to achieve a complete transition to Bitcoin sovereignty without a potentially destructive process occurring. The outcome of the future will depend entirely on whether we are able to impose our basic principles, unwritten code of honor and ethics on others in order to make a radical ideology untenable and unprofitable in the long run. (As I mentioned earlier, these “launch codes” carry a great deal of responsibility. Using them irresponsibly will result in complete personal annihilation, either in terms of reputation, honor, or ethics.)
Today’s world is already characterized by widespread corruption and underground organizations, the behavior of which is clearly criminal. Mafia organizations, motorcycle gangs, armed cartels, and terrorist organizations (and more) will continue to exist in the future. With the advancement of decentralized marketplaces and the continued presence of darknet markets, some individuals or criminal organizations may be intrigued by the limitless potential of these marketplaces for achieving less ethical and moral goals.
This is a problem as it is a cold, harsh reality that is inconsistent with the ideals of the majority of bitcoiners who believe that the state will always be there to protect them. (This is a great fallacy of state dependency.) Because of this, it becomes inevitable that self-defense groups with common interests will emerge. (It’s already happening because #FreedomMaximalists on Matrix is now a thing.)
Armed violence will exist and will pose an ever greater threat tomorrow. It is therefore unwise to live in bubbles and not speak openly about these issues, like treating the subject as a quasi-taboo. It is very likely that the future will generate hatred and extreme distrust that will end in violence among Bitcoiners as they begin to level the playing field for power structures. Most of these cases will be very similar to today’s organized crime groups, which operate similarly to the Sinaloa cartel or the Hell’s Angels motorcycle club.
During my time researching social organization, the question of the future of violence remained. Anarcho capitalists are unlikely to shy away from violence to achieve their end goals if they feel their presence and future operations are at risk, especially when business goals are hampered by adversaries. Assassinations will unfortunately be possible in the future. High-profile Bitcoiners have to reckon with high costs for personal security and physically armed protection. (This was evidenced by the recent leak in Ledger’s customer list, as many of those customers received kidnapping and death threats.)
Privacy-conscious bitcoiners who don’t meet in real life are likely to be better protected than those who actively organize outside. Expanded circles of friends with high levels of trust will serve as a more effective layer of protection, but the problem is we’re running out of time – the influx of newcomers has started and it may be difficult to build without strong enough connections, and the negative impacts play out, motivated through greed or financial prejudice. (I should note that this is currently being watched and is a predicted possibility. Personally, I hope this will not be an obstacle to interpersonal relationships between Bitcoiners.)
It goes without saying that Bitcoin has given Deterrence Dispensed a boost and that 3D printed firearms will play an important role in defending private property in countries that restrict firearm ownership. It now rests on the legislature’s ability to effectively impede the ability of individuals to protect themselves or to introduce new laws so that citizens can bear arms. However, it is unlikely that anyone will be granted such rights in the future in highly restrictive countries.
Choosing the Bitcoin Path
It is common for Bitcoiners to be exposed to aggression and it is up to each individual to determine how to handle it. There is essentially no right or wrong way to go, only what we can tolerate or allow based on our own beliefs.
However, this shouldn’t stop people from getting fully involved in Bitcoin – the future is still better than ever and we need to stay strong. We should not sacrifice our ability to engage in neighborly behavior (either through citadel retreat or otherwise) while adhering to our code of ethics and ethical standards. We should not give room to those who are trying to sow hostility among us, as this will speed us straight onto the path of violence. We should stand in our arms by our friends, brothers and sisters as we seek a path ahead as Bitcoin slowly changes the world for the ultimate better. Bitcoiners are ultimately diverse and united in their goals. Trifles shouldn’t be used as a basis for long-lasting hostile disagreements.
In the end, some governments are likely to make desperate attempts to hold Bitcoin on its ultimate path to fulfill its destiny, and if that should happen, Bitcoiners will have to band together for the last time before their social organizational structure is obsolete. That would then become part of human history as the greatest revolution humanity has ever achieved, in the face of overwhelming opposition.
So remember: Bitcoin held in the wrong hands can be a dangerous weapon, but in the right hands it is a tool that can create lasting peace that will serve as the foundation for the future.
This is a guest post by Karo Zagorus. The opinions expressed are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.
Karo Zagorus is a bitcoiner and a master’s degree in social sciences from a Hungarian university. His specialization in Bitcoin covers the areas of society, cultural visual anthropology, political science, and philosophy. He is the host of the @ bitcoinrehab podcast. He can be found on Twitter as @btcdragonlord, the only Toxic Bitcoin maximalist Dragon Lord.