Youtube induced Bitcoinosis

(for the ones afflicted with a lack of sense of humour, the following is satire)

It all started with this  video where Andreas Antonopoulos talked to the Canadian senate about bitcoin and blockchain regulation. After watching it I was left  wondering who was that nice individual, that knew so much about bitcoin and was able to talk about it calmly and in such a balanced manner.  That’s when I discovered Andreas Antonopoulos.

To my surprise I found out Andreas was a fellow CISSP (yes, I know. A lot of you don’t care for certifications)  and the author of a book on bitcoin.

At the time I had finished two books that gave me a lot to think about (not bragging!), and that seemed connected to what Antonopoulos was talking about

  • Money: The Unauthorized Biography, by Felix Martin  (reviews here, here and here)
  • Antifragile, by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

 

I wont go into details on the books (will leave for future post)  but the ideas seemed to be related: money, centralization, decentralization, fragility and antifragility of financial/economic systems and models, bitcoin and blockchain.

Given how hard it is to find balanced and nuanced opinions on bitcoin that don’t involve some sort of doomsday or utopia crypto-prophet foaming at the mouth (you know who you are!) or joining a crypto-religion, I decided to watch more Antonopoulos videos. You know the thinking: if one thing is good, more of it would be better.  I was also looking to find more linkages between the “money book”, the “fragility book” and Andreas Antonopoulos ideas.

I watched all of these in a row (order not relevant):

 

And to add a cherry on top I also watched the Banking on Bitcoin documentary. I should have known better than to take such as large dose of “truth” in one sitting.

I contracted what I now call “Bitcoinosis”, which is basically a painful inflammation of the common sense. It has these symptoms:

  • A persistent belief that bitcoin can solve all sorts of ills
  • A feeling of impending doom for banking systems
  • Suspicion of  people who don’t appreciate bitcoin
  • Over-sharing of bitcoin news
  • The need to keep Satoshi Nakamoto printed whitepaper close by
  • Looking down on bitcoin-less blockchains.

 

The one particular thing about Bitcoinosis is that you don’t know you have it, but every body else can see that you do. It is also viral meme, in the sense that the afflicted will try to infect others by force feeding them the videos.

Fortunately there is an easy test for Bitcoinosis: just casually mention this “is not about banking the unbanked, but about de-banking everybody“. If the subject goes glassy-eyed then follow-up with “the challenge is to build entry and exit ramps for bitcoin“, which should induce a severe attack of the symptoms.

So what to do about Bitcoinosis? Nothing. Just let the afflicted be and it will pass, which is what my significant other did while listening about how the banking system makes money out of nothing and what that has to do with decentralized trust. Please note it is important that no further bitcoin videos are watched while in recovery, or there could be a relapse with the inflammation. Keeping the patient occupied with enterprise blockchains topics seems to speed up recovery, which is what I did by happenstance.

Now that I have recovered I also noticed a certain level of immunization. I am able to watch Andreas Antonopoulos videos without symptoms, and appreciate them for what they are: the wonderful ideas of a very nice human being who is preoccupied with an unfair world and believes there is a solution for it.

I wonder why I just shared all those videos in this post…. nah, is probably nothing.

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