This July 4th is an opportunity to think about how Bitcoiners reclaimed their own financial independence.
Part One: A Declaration Of Independence
There is a lot of history one could survey when examining Independence Day. Some historians might reference the 1940s, or the 4th of July being recognized as a federal holiday; maybe BBQs or fireworks would find their way into the conversations.
A military historian might dive into the American Revolution, 1776, the Continental Congress or the original 13 Colonies as an excellent place to begin boring their grandchildren. Bitcoin authors have also explored this topic from a variety of perspectives. I’m going to try an alternative approach; from a status quo perspective.
One aspect that many forget to mention is that only a small, fringe minority truly sought complete and sovereign independence from Great Britain in 1775. The colonists who believed that “America” should be independent of Great Britain were considered a radical group that deviated from the norm. The masses took comfort, even in tyranny.
Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” onboarded many more colonists to take up arms as distrust and anger grew against Great Britain.Paine’s work has similarities to Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper on Bitcoin. Both documents sought to expose issues in the current status quo and proposed an alternative solution.
The challenge was that most of the population found comfort in persecution, taxation, lack of representation and authoritarian rule. Many shrug this off now as years tick away and society is further removed from the past, but how would life change if people were genuinely sovereign in America?
Imagine if no governmental interference, no bailouts, no safety nets, no welfare, no subsidies and no “free” rides were the norm? I posit that if a census took place today, many Americans would err on the side of tyranny versus sovereignty — as they did in the late 1700s.
I could propose many rationales, but the bulk of them hover around a fear of the unknown or truly having to support themselves and those they care for with nothing more than their wits, hard work and determination. Bitcoin rewards all these human attributes with incorruptible, non-confiscatable, immutable and eternal property.
Bitcoin’s proof-of-work model mirrors the American spirit; even beyond generational hope, Bitcoin represents American grit. Bitcoin rewards hard work, because it was born of hard work, time, energy and sacrifice. Bitcoin is determination, because it was founded on an alternative to the status quo. Bitcoin mirrors Independence Day in a profound manner.
Bitcoin outwits stupidity, arrogance, ineptitude, laziness and greed. For individuals seeking sovereignty, there is no other alternative.
The irony is that everyone from liberals, moderates, libertarians and conservatives are represented in the Bitcoin network. Yet, they are still a fringe minority in their respective communities. This common thread has drawn them together, even moreso, in some respects, regardless of their political differences. Individual “Financial Independence Day” has not yet been identified by many individuals (non-Bitcoiners) — let’s change that.
Part Two: Individual Sovereignty
Many individuals, organizations, corporations and nation-states own bitcoin, or at least they think they do. Unless these parties hold their private keys, they entrust custodians, many of whom failed when push came to shove.
Many reading this article may have kept their private keys for years, while others might have recently set up a hardware wallet … and are plugging it in daily to ensure they understand how it works. Others either do not hold their private keys, have their life savings sitting on a third-party exchange or are not exposed to bitcoin (yet).
I would encourage Bitcoiners to see if they can look back on their hardware wallet’s transaction history to see when their first BTC transfer occurred. The day these individuals took custody of their first satoshi or bitcoin is their Financial Independence Day.
Next, I would encourage families to make this date known to the people they care about and, at a minimum, use this date as a reminder to discuss the significance and importance of Bitcoin, sovereignty, hard work, determination and independence.
Yes, the 4th of July is a federal holiday where families gather, break bread and enjoy time together; however, the meaning is lost if, even for a brief moment, time isn’t dedicated to remembering the significance and sacrifices made on your behalf.
When folks identify their family’s Financial Independence Day, I encourage them to celebrate just as much as they would when they honor this country on the 4th of July. The significance of Independence Day is that individuals can OWN property; and what better property to own than one that is completely non-confiscatable by any entity?
Perhaps, if you have not taken custody of your bitcoin, maybe this 4th of July is a great day to start.
Happy 4th of July, and a tip of the hat to sovereign individuals with satoshis and Bitcoin in cold storage.
This is a guest post by Dr. Riste Simnjanovski. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.