I had a chat with someone that had existential doubts about crypto.
He got into it seeing it a new way to organize society, a way to increase freedom and fairness for all. But he found speculation, short-term thinking and ultra-capitalism.
Aren’t we just creating capitalism 2.0? Aren’t we giving birth to a new kind of elite? Will this be yet another well intentioned revolution losing its way?
Those are very profound questions that deserve attention. When getting to know something new, we usually experience the following phases:
Optimistic idealism: We idealize about it and phantasize with its possibilities
Pessimistic over-correction: Once we notice something that breaks our idealist view, we over-correct by turning too pessimistic
Realism: Both extremes settle, and we mature a nuanced view that sustains over time
I got into Bitcoin in 2011, and had my pessimistic over-correction a few years later. I stopped working on crypto for some time, and reflected on its chances of building a better world.
In the end, my conclusion was the following: there isn’t a panacea that will solve all the world’s problems. Crypto isn’t a silver bullet.
Yet looking at all the movements happening this century, so far crypto has the highest work-to-positive-change ratio. No other industry or movement tops it. Not AI, not genomics, not space exploration. Because as we know from history, technological advancement for its own sake ends up badly.
If we advance technology without re-questioning and re-building the fabric of our society, we will end up with great technology but no freedom, and thus no humanity.
That’s why re-building society to increase freedom and fairness is the goal I optimize for. For that mission, crypto is uniquely positioned.
As I said, it is no silver bullet, and it can fire back. Crypto economics may end up making all human relationships even more transactional. Crypto assets may end up increasing wealth inequality by an order of magnitude. And maybe after all people won’t even care about freedom and will just demand Orwellian centralization of power.
But if crypto works, we will dismantle all unjustified power. We will free entire countries. We will unleash the Second Enlightenment. We will achieve a period of abundance and prosperity that will be forever remembered. From that point on, we can work on great technologies and rest assured that they will be fairly used. Without that, those technologies will just enslave us.
In the short term, we may see signs that contradict our end goal and make us think we are going in the wrong direction. Speculation, short-term mindset and scams are some of them.
It won’t be easy, since we will lose friends along the way who will be disenchanted by those short-term signals.
But we need to stay put, look to the long-term, and have faith in us. We need to motivate those who become disenchanted, because they ask the right questions. They have the right concerns. They do care. It breaks their heart that our beloved revolution may end up enslaving people again. That’s the most noble concern you can have.
Because in the end, a revolution is made of people. And I couldn’t be more convinced about the right intentions of the Aragon community and its neighboring communities.
Three years ago Aragon was born as an idea to empower freedom. When we started it, it was clear that this would be a decade-long effort. Going from zero to one is never easy.
But it is worth it. It is tough, but it needs to be done. It is the change the world needs. It is a breath of fresh air. We are doing it for ourselves, for our parents, for our brothers and sisters, for our children, and for everyone to whom the world hasn’t been just.
Crypto has the highest work-to-positive-change ratio among all tech industries, but governance has the highest work-to-positive-change ratio that we will likely see this century.
To the next three years of our revolution,