*Why Christians Should Support Bitcoin (or something like it)
Between 1921 and 1923 the currency of the Weimar Republic hyper-inflated to the point where a loaf of bread that cost around 160 marks in 1921 ended up costing 200,000,000,000 marks by the end of 1923. A similar situation happened more recently in Zimbabwe: 2008-2009 inflation, thought to be occurring at 89.7 sextillion percent year-over-year, led to 100 trillion dollar bank notes being printed. It’s almost laughable, except when you consider the people trying to survive these consequences by fleeing to other currencies and countries.
Corrupt Currency Is A Problem
As the above stories demonstrate, society cannot print money ad infinitum and have it maintain the same value, but many governments today are doing it anyway. The sad reality is that this degrades the purchasing power of the poor the most. Printed money flows to harder assets, equities, housing, and land. The rich get richer and/or are able to maintain wealth through asset inflation, while the poor who have no assets only get to see everything get more expensive.
CEO of Global Macro Investor, Raoul Pal says, “debasing the currency is very insidious. Yes, I think [it] is better than to allow total collapse because that destroys EVERYONE but debasement is something most people don’t see until it’s too late. Asset prices rise so everyone who can own assets thinks they are a winner, [b]ut most are just keeping up with debasement, if indeed they can afford investment assets.”
Christians should care about this.
God Cares About Money
The Bible has a lot to say about money. Jesus spoke more about money than most other subjects. God says, “A full and fair weight you shall have, a full and fair measure you shall have… all who act dishonestly, are an abomination to the Lord your God” (Deut. 25:15-16). So as Christians we need to ask: What makes for sound money that is fair and beneficial to society? How can we prevent a corrupt monetary policy?
Bitcoin has all the properties of sound money and prevents corrupt monetary and fiscal policy.
The Point of Money & Need for Sound Money
Money is made to be a medium of exchange, a store of value, and a unit of account. Its store of value function is particularly important in that, as its underlying value is debased, it is felt in prices (the medium-of-exchange function) and then eventually fails as a unit of account. Throughout history various mediums of exchange have been used as money: rai stones, seashells, gold, copper, silver, bronze, wood, and paper bills.
What is needed is sound (hard) money: fungible (interchangeable), divisible, durable, transferable, and scarce. Currency is supposed to make exchange easier–as God instructs in Deuteronomy 14:24-26, exchanging tithes into money to bring them to God’s sanctuary.
Bitcoin Is a Sound Money Solution
Bitcoin is a global, decentralized, non-sovereign, hard-capped supply (21 million), digital store of value with a programmed decreasing rate of inflation. Bitcoin is “mined” through complex computations which contribute to the security of the network. From its very first block one can see the purpose intended as the following statement is embedded on the blockchain: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” This is in reference to the folly of fractional reserve banking and propping up of failed, destructive policies (such as the rampant greed in subprime mortgages). Bitcoin has all the characteristics of hard money, protects from corrupt monetary policy, and is better than gold in that it is easier to transport and can secure energy around the globe (it incentivizes cheaper and renewable energy).
Lord Acton, the British historian said, “All power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” However, he also said, “The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern.” Bitcoin is a realization that every central authority will tend toward corruption and there will never be a class that will set it right.
Bitcoin can be thought of as pristine collateral. It is a path toward sound money that does not deceptively steal from the poor. It is a just weight and fair measure. The ship of fiat currencies has sunk many times in the past and is indeed sinking again as countries worldwide are debasing their currency. Christians should be helping as many people as possible get into hard assets that will help maintain purchasing power and hedge against the debasement. Bitcoin provides the easiest path as a life-raft to ease the trauma of dying currencies (and protects against abuses of new central bank digital currencies).
Objections To Using Bitcoin
It is used for crime!
Every currency is used for crime because man is evil. Bitcoin is a public ledger. I repeat, a public ledger. In general, it is less private than cash, but more private than a credit card. It is easy for governments and institutions to track the transactions made with it since the ledger is public. The pseudonomous addresses are easily linked to the original purchaser when bought at a centralized exchanged or service. For citizens concerned about privacy they can buy non-KYC bitcoin, coinjoin their bitcoin for forward looking privacy, or use another private currency such as Monero.
I don’t understand it! Who created it?
There are many wonderful things that we use everyday that we do not understand. Do you understand how your washing machine, car, or phone works? The creator, Satoshi Nakamato, is unknown and has remained anonymous. Who created the wheel? I do not know, but it has a proven track record and can be clearly seen as reliable.
It is too volatile! It is speculative!
As adoption grows and cycles the purchasing power will fluctuate. It is best to be seen as a way to opt out of the damage due to inflation, while an individual can still maintain some fiat currency for daily living. Some suggest that you should only put money into bitcoin that you can lose, but as millions have understood bitcoin better they say you should only put money into bitcoin that you want to keep. There are a couple things to keep in mind with regard to bitcoin: 1) It is important to have a low time preference–use it as a savings mechanism where you do not need the funds for at least 2-3 years, 2) When currencies fail there is wild volatility, the volatility of bitcoin is not only due to its newness and some speculation but also it is showing a problem with the reserve currency (USD), 3) One bitcoin is one bitcoin–if you just measure your stack by bitcoin you will be less troubled by the volatility, just keep stacking sats and do not measure the amount in USD. There are millions of people stacking bitcoin every day and month on a regular basis and due to its scarcity it will continue to rise over time.
A Final Word
While there is much more that can be asked and said, the aim of this article has been to help open eyes to the problem of current fiat currencies and show how bitcoin (or something like it) can be the solution. Christians should engage with the best arguments for bitcoin rather than the worst arguments against bitcoin. How would you value sound money that everyone agrees that they can trust due to its transparency and immutability?
• The Price of Tomorrow by Jeff Booth
• The Bitcoin Standard by Saifedean Ammous
• The Fiat Standard by Saifedean Ammous
• Layered money by Nik Bhatia
• Short one page intro by Preston Pysh
• Short explanation video on bitcoin
• For more in-depth philosophy behind bitcoin, here is a discussion between Dr. Jordan Peterson
and Dr. Saifedean Ammous
• Casa – A safe way to store your bitcoin and teach you how to use bitcoin in a secure manner
• Exodus – A well-designed, private wallet where you can self-custody bitcoin and other crypt
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