We really need to revive the cypherpunk ethos

grarpamp grarpamp at gmail.com
Fri Nov 11 13:45:40 PST 2022

On 11/11/22, professor rat <pro2rat at yahoo.com.au> wrote:
> Still not the first clue about anarchism - oh well
> https://twitter.com/RebelEconProf/status/1591078989724286976

Josh Hendrickson @RebelEconProf
A quick thread on bitcoin, crypto, and all that… The creation of
Bitcoin was not random. It was the product of deliberative efforts
that people had been working on for decades. As more and more things
were recorded electronically, these people recognized the need for
One aspect of this was thinking about how to create an electronic form
of money. These cypherpunks had a wide variety of backgrounds, but
they studied money and monetary history. They learned from people like
George Selgin and Larry White about commodity money and free banking…
Previous attempts to create a private (both in the sense of privacy
and provision by the private sector) electronic money failed. The main
problem was always that there were single points of failure. Bitcoin
solved this. It made it possible to have a decentralized money…
It also solved what I’ll call the Klein problem in economics, the idea
that for a private money to circulate one must trust the issuer won’t
wake up one day, print a bunch of money, & use it to accumulate a
bunch of wealth before everyone else realizes the money is now
It did this by having a deterministic supply that cannot be changed
without the consensus of the users of the network. And those users
have no incentive to deviate from that initial rule. Thus, one doesn’t
have to trust an “issuer”
I heard about bitcoin in April 2011. I’ve had an academic interest in
it ever since. To me, it was exciting because it provided a natural
experiment to test various conclusions from monetary theory that were
understood in a world in which something like bitcoin had never
Over the last decade, I have met many people interested in bitcoin.
Economists, computer scientists, and software developers. This has
been a rewarding experience. All of these people have gone down the
rabbit hole of everything you need to know to understand bitcoin.
But I’ve also watched this cryptocurrency industry emerge around
bitcoin that is full of the worst people. Everyone from scammers to
Ponzi schemers to VCs who just want to make a quick buck off of people
who don’t understand this stuff.
For years, I’ve been careful about what I say about this stuff. But
now, enough is enough. I’m going to write about this stuff more and
I’m going to call out the scammers.
If a fraction of the rumors I’m hearing about FTX are true, then SBF
belongs in prison and there needs to be an investigation of all the
people who enabled him.
Bitcoin and the entire process that led up to it was motivated by the
desire to make the world a better place and internet commerce more
private. It was a true technological innovation. The market will
decide what that innovation is worth.
But the people who try to piggyback off of this innovation with their
bullshit protocols, tokens, and exchanges to profit off of people who
don’t know any better need to be called out. Stay tuned.

More information about the cypherpunks mailing list