In his latest “The Future of Programmable Money” speech, Andreas Antonopoulos discusses the overarching theme of how unique and weird people define communities, but eventually get replaced as new people move in.
He related to cryptocurrencies with how mainstream corporations initially requested that his speeches only discuss “blockchain” and not “Bitcoin” and cryptocurrencies because “Bitcoin is weird and blockchain is the future”. He would reply to those speaking requests with “No,… Bitcoin is the future and blockchain is bullshit”. He went on to discuss how he is not going to “sell you something nicely packaged just to avoid offending”. He said that the reason Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are interesting and the future is “because it’s not controlled, because it can’t be censored, because it’s open, because a lot of the people involved are very, very weird: weird computer geeks, weird cryptographers who have weird ideas about privacy and freedom.” He goes on to say all of that is okay and is what defines cryptocurrencies. When you remove all that, all you are left with “is a sterile, unexpressive, uninventive environment; a corporate plaything that has been sanitized of everything interesting and left as an empty shell. It’s basically a very slow database.”
Andreas said that if a company is wondering if they should pursue blockchains and cryptocurrencies for their business they should ask if they need “something that is open, neutral, boarder-less, that no one controls, and that resists censorship.” However, if they want the opposite, then what they are “really asking for is a database.” He reemphasizes that those features and the “weird people” that make up the development of cryptocurrencies is what makes cryptocurrencies unique, inventive, and have the power to change whole business models even if they are new and scary ideas that offend some people. He concludes his talk with saying “Yes, [cryptocurrencies] are weird; they’re beautifully weird” and pledges to “keep it weird”.
Beautifully weird freedom through decentralization
The vast majority of human history has been nothing but grinding poverty and oppression. It has only been within the last couple centuries that humans have discovered economic prosperity and freedom. Technological development has accelerated that process and offers ways to maintain prosperity and freedom, but also threatens to destroy it with ever increasing centralized surveillance. Bitcoin was founded after the last recession as an alternative to big banks and fiat that had become a staple of western culture that offered high fees, fleeting stability, and centralized control. Cryptocurrencies offered a framework to allow more economic prosperity, while also reclaiming privacy and monetary/fiscal control that previously had to be ceded to centralized authorities.
As Andreas mentioned, the developers leading this charge are often labeled “weird” and ostracized from society because people think their ideas are too crazy. However, cryptocurrencies are becoming too big to ignore and as Andreas also mentioned in his speech, now there is a digital community that “can’t be gentrified”. If a government or corporation tries to come in and shut it down and “kick out the weirdos”, the community has the power to refuse censorship by simply forking away. This gives more power to an individual to not have to suppress their thoughts nor ideals to appease the larger authority.
Dash is not only keeping it weird, but actively funding weirdness and creativity
Dash pursues the ideals of radical freedom by allowing individuals to have a currency that is fast, cheap, and secure without having to sacrifice their privacy to any centralized organization. In addition, Dash grants economic freedom to those that live in unbanked areas that are simply not served by old world finance. Dash also creates steps towards political freedom since some countries attempt to control their citizens via economic manipulation. These features are exemplified in Venezuela and Zimbabwe that are suffering from extremely high inflation, but Dash is now giving its citizens an alternative option. In Africa, Dash is giving reliable currency services to individuals that could not get a bank account previously.
Many cryptocurrencies have a unique community in pursuit of radical freedom, but Dash further adds to it with its funding and decentralized organizational abilities. Anyone in the Dash community is able to start their own project and submit a proposal to the Dash Treasury to have it voted on to be funded. This further cultivates creativity by allowing individuals to get funded within the Dash community rather than having to use old world financial structures. This funding then incentivizes groups to emerge all around the world to help individuals use Dash without having a centralized organizer. These combined features allow for the ideas and services that meet the wide diversity of consumers’ desires to be developed within the creative community of Dash.