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The following article is a work of fiction. For now.
It’s Aug. 1, 2028, and we’ve made it to the moon.
The far side.
But it’s cold. It’s dark. Spotted barren craters and valleys are ashed with the flakes of Benjamin Franklins used as fire-starter. Synthetically created cyber hornets, known as Lampyridae, whiz through the thin atmosphere providing much of the necessary light — besides the flickering of relic-like S9s that are still humming away.
The oracles of Plan B have precisely fixed our revolutionary digital gold at $1,000,000 per piece as all of earth has degenerated into lawless warzones. The calamity of the sudden price surge of bitcoin back in 2021 saw all of civilization vehemently FOMO into bitcoin, causing all other asset classes to drop to zero. The total cataclysm sparked World War III, now colloquially known as “The Dump,” the result of mass-scale annihilation of central banks and the ensuing anarchy as even the poor beggar on the street fought for the last available UTXOs.
There are no states, national governments, intergovernmental organizations, regulatory institutions or sovereign borders. The world is akin to a lawless state but with virtual communities as laboratories for conducting failed experiments in the construction of new tokenomic governance structures.
To the naked eye surveying, there is only one such seemingly structured society.
Those who speak ill of the Bitcoin network, or The Network, are immediately deemed as being against The Network, which carries punishment ranging from confinement in a concentration camp to death by ASIC-generated heat exhaustion. The few who do get to live are forced through the treacherous concentration camp known as The Nakamoto Institution, where first-years are forced to recite The White Paper backwards while stacking the newest generation Whatsminer M5000S+++.
War between Bitcoiners and a small but loyal group of die-hard Ethereans, led by a grizzly-faced cyborg villain named Colonel Sassano, continue to play out during the times Jupiters passing gives ample enough lighting for battle. But revealing one’s true network loyalty in a world where Bitcoiners are the dominant species is synonymous with suicide as Bitcoiners roam the spotted desolate terrain with heavy fists.
Mining farms have been warped into gritty, cybernetic, neon-tinged town centers of communities that were naturally built around them for lighting and heating purposes. The largest of all town centers, a megalopolis, is led and ruled by F2Pool, as national identities are no longer bound to one’s birth country or ethnicity, but rather by “Proof of Pool”. Those who are born in the dystopic megalopolis of F2Pool enjoy the generous economic and social benefits that stem from its large hash rate. Those that are born into smaller mining pools are known as the Unfortunates, though they’re still better off than Altcoiners, who can only dream of settling down in the larger pools. Not surprisingly, a majority of the town centers are Chinese-owned due in large part to the now exposed underlying secret of the original Chang’e 4 mission.
NASA’s Ranger 4 has been rewired as a Blockstream satellite that also tracks all physical locations of moon dwellers under the directive of the Saylor Surveillance Society.
Bitcoin nodes are now biogenetically emblazoned on our cyber-enhanced bodies as a requirement at birth, with our bech32 public addresses permanently displayed in a ghoulish neon-green font across the forearm. Despite being visually aesthetic, those emblazoned neon digits lighting up beneath the forearm skin are more of a burden than blessing, as it is tied to all Blockstream satellites that roam the skies. And in this era, reusable addresses are a thing of the past.
There is one group that strives to bring down the authoritarian nature and toxicity of the current status quo, and that group is named the Antonopoulons. Rebellious but mercenary in nature, these rebels stay true to the ethos of Bitcoin’s leaderlessness. This group’s membership consists of a myriad of Satoshi rogues such as Wuille, Dash Jr., Poon, Gavin, Laszlo, Karpelès and a dozen others consisting of a veritable who’s who of the underrepresented and forgotten.
Satoshi is their guidance, concatenated with their legacy addresses. CPUs are their mantra, with an intent of bringing down the oligopoly in mining pools that have run rampant. For now, merciless struggle for power rages on, with all manner of hashrate warfare splaying out, and with ordinary HODLers the collateral damage.
What would things look like if they had been done differently?
It’s May 22, 2028, and we’ve made it to the moon.
The near side.
The Earth shines its earthshine bliss toward moon-goers as they make the three hour Tesla-engineered interplanetary-vortex-shuttle ride, dubbed Lunar Saylor, to the moon and back. The moon has become a gentrified hotspot.
The near side of the moon is now an autonomous nation state with zero travel restrictions to and from earth. All you need is enough bitcoin to pay for the above mentioned Lunar Saylor.
After COVID-19 ravaged the world and central banks ran out of ink for their printing press, a global consortium, now known as the Nakamoto Woods Conference, was held to announce a new global monetary system, rectifying the need to have CBDCs, with bitcoin the global reserve currency.
Governments all accept bitcoin for tax payments and intentional inflation by any sovereign nation’s central bank is deemed a crime punishable by “rug pull” under the bylaws of the United Nodes.
Bio-implanted Bitcoin nodes have become a new trend amongst diehards whilst every mobile phone comes manufactured with a lightning node.
Arthur and Nouriel can be seen poolside on Sunday afternoons in Pyongyang. Elon and Keiser have become unthinkable best buds who spend Friday nights at Club Flo-Nucke. And Schiff and the Winklevoss brothers post their dubs on SatoshiBook daily.
Is it worth mentioning Craig S. Wright’s fourth bitcoin hard fork?
The blissful atmosphere on the near side of the moon is mirroring the halcyon days when the world economy was running on the second most sound monetary asset, gold. Gone are the days of fast and easy money that rewired our brains into high time preference, Miley Cyrus-like twerking beings. Crime and poverty rates have all plummeted as society has focused on long term engagements with zero-to-one inventions back on the rise.
These virtual communities on the moon have undermined questions of legal jurisdiction and taxation for which the geographic boundaries of nation-states are obsolete.
The age of the Bitcoin Network has arrived with our physical, breathing flesh being the only limitation toward attaining the absolute Cypherpunk’s Manifesto.
This is a guest post by Eric Choy. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.
The long-anticipated Coinbase Initial Public Offering (IPO) has finally been filed and now awaits the review and approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) before the filing will be made public.
In a short blog post on its official website, Coinbase announced today that it has officially filed its draft registration of its IPO with the SEC. Per the blog:
“Coinbase Global, Inc. today announced that it has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The Form S-1 is expected to become effective after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.”
The news is huge for the crypto community, but it also causes further focus on the nature of Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong and his role in the evolution of the crypto world. With recent headlines reporting enforced apolitical stances, excessive government cooperation, and an eye firmly on profits – is Armstrong really a cypherpunk or just another cold-hearted capitalist?
How Cypherpunk is this IPO?
Coinbase Inc’s upcoming stock market listing was first reported as a rumor by Reuters on July 8. At the time, the story became almost impossible to avoid on Twitter and crypto news sites, and speculation was rampant on what effects the $8 billion US exchange’s listing will have on the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.
Coinbase was set up by Brian Armstrong in 2011, and is now the largest crypto exchange in North America and perhaps the most recognizable name associated with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The company’s stated goal is to create an open financial system and it mainly derives revenues from two sources: its operations as a crypto exchange catering to retail customers and institutional investors, and its custody business, which offers custodial services for cryptocurrencies to banks and institutions.
A cypherpunk is a person who uses encryption when accessing a computer network in order to ensure privacy, especially from government authorities. While an open-source financial system gels well with the original idea of the cypherpunk—cashing into Wall Street does not. The more exposure Armstrong appears to gain the more capitalist and uncaring he appears to be for the general plight of the crypto community.
As a name synonymous with Bitcoin and crypto in the US, Coinbase and Armstrong are fast being viewed as sell-outs of the crypto community which they ironically now represent. Members of the crypto sphere have also not been impressed with Armstrong and how perfectly cooperative with law enforcement and other officials in Washington D.C. Coinbase has become.
Armstrong the Legacy Capitalist
Armstrong’s own stake in the Coinbase exchange is worth a reported $1.3 billion, and should the IPO go ahead, it will make him insanely rich, more so.
At the end of September this year, Armstrong shared a blog post declaring that the major US exchange employees should take an apolitical stance at work. After being slammed by members of the crypto community, including Twitter’s Jack Dorsey—Coinbase employee’s who did not agree were offered attractive severance packages and an exodus of 60 employees ensued.
Bitcoin and crypto by their nature carry the theme of being anti-establishment, and is inherently political—to ban political ideologies and expression is counter to the Bitcoin crowd’s core and as Dorsey warned, “leaves people behind.” A clear point against the possibility of Armstrong being viewed as a cypherpunk but instead paints a picture of the Coinbase exchange CEO as a cold-hearted capitalist.
How will it Boost the Crypto-Sector?
Despite anyone’s opinion of Coinbase CEO Armstrong, why is this IPO a big deal?
Firstly, a stock market listing of Coinbase would bring a lot of mainstream investor attention to the cryptocurrency industry as a whole and focus mainstream financial analysts on the still overlooked and misunderstood sector.
A second major benefit is that the listing would allow the public to access the inner workings and to gain insight into one of the largest players in the crypto game.
The last main factor that may boost the crypto industry is that the listing will provide mainstream investors a safer and a more regulated inroad to the crypto sector. The boost to mainstream attention for cryptocurrencies and digital assets could trigger a wave of new investment, and spur further innovation for established financial markets and services.
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