Organisation at University College Dublin, specializing in bitcoin and blockchain studies. Bitcoin, as we all intuitively seem to agorism bitcoin, is not quite a community in any usual sense. Too formless to be a country, too amorphous to be a company, you can think of Bitcoin Country as a kind of digitally decentralized frontier.
In this way, the origin story of bitcoin is deliciously outlaw, essentially one of the individual who, through an amazing feat, harangues the evil king. It’s all the better if the king has devolved into vice and avarice to the point of financial ruin. The other, slightly more contentious hero, operated on the edge of the edge, is the black market within the black market, the bayous of Bitcoin Country. We are the white knights in shining armor protecting against the threats.
We come here and we move out the dark with pure whiteness. That’s a false narrative because there is corruption in those castles. The real base of power lies with us. In the above quote, anarchist bitcoin developer Amir Taaki sets out, in the context of a documentary about the original darknet marketplace, Silk Road, a common theme within digital libertarian culture: the establishment, broadly construed, is corrupt. Taaki’s rhetoric is hyperbolic, but it contains, implicitly, two important insights. It is crucial to remember that digital libertarians do not propose a counter-legitimacy belonging to them.