Bitcoin and the semantics of Property Rights
Even more than CrossFit or vegetarianism, Bitcoin conversations tend to provoke strong emotions in individuals. It is doubly sad to see Bitcoin’s vocal supporters give such passionately wrong justifications when governments and the media increase their attacks on Bitcoin. This piece is my attempt to tone down the hype of the laser-eye profile picture hodl gang and to position Bitcoin ownership as a natural and fundamental right.
Bitcoin is a decentralized digital asset, not a currency. The fact that it is owned increases its market value. Bitcoin is not money, yet it may be held as property. Therefore, property rights are essential. Semantics? What occurs next is uncertain.
Various meanings of “property” rely on underlying assumptions. A kind of property is the imposition of a social and/or economic system, order, or, more broadly, a political stance. Nevertheless, the definition of “independent property” remains unclear. Imagine that you are a citizen of a nation with strong democratic institutions. In international waters, a sailor without citizenship is unaffiliated with any nation. Assume now that they own one bitcoin in a multisig wallet, which means they have communal rights to the bitcoin. If our individual’s private key was stolen, they might report it to the police as theft of their lawful private property. However, there is no political or legal structure within which the sailor may arrange his belongings. Bitcoin is still Bitcoin; despite the uncertainty of its property type, it retains its autonomy. Occasionally, bitcoin is framed as a public benefit or common property, das Allgemeingut — for the advantage of everyone. It might be an accurate description of the network or the code enabling the network. However, this classification does not address the singularity of autonomous ownership.
For clarity, let’s discuss bitcoin in real estate. Critiques are useful as a beginning point, and they are straightforward to imitate. Incredulous of the citizen/sailor situation, the first argument would be: “Property cannot exist outside of the state. It is something that arose of its own ow. You cannot just create a new category of real estate.
As usual, critics are not nearly as inventive as they perceive themselves to be. These disagreements in opinion are not novel. The 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes said, “Law-makers were before that which you label own, or property of commodities… for without statute-laws, all men own everything… Therefore, it is evident that no one other than the King or whoever has the sovereign power has any title to private property, including land and other commodities.
Simultaneously, John Locke and Samuel von Pufendorf argued: “that people in a state of nature must seek the consent of their fellow man before they may privately appropriate the fruits of the land.”
Consent is a crucial method for property to attain independence from a monarch. When I refer to “equipment,” I mean the ownership itself. By possessing bitcoin, I publicly indicate that I recognize the distinction between my property and that of others. Otherwise, in the words of Hobbes, “…every man has a claim to everything, and as long as this inalienable right of every man exists, no one can be secure.”
The act of exclusive ownership needs approval. Still, skeptics would remark, “Ha! You have no assets. It is a fantasy, not real estate!” You may question, “Then how am I able to check and affirm the consensual ownership of nothing irrefutably and globally?”
If I did not have the legal authority to do so, I would not feel comfortable doing so. Law is not codified. Alternatively stated, the law is the law. Nevertheless, the consensus is code. Bitcoin’s decentralized nature allows it to issue and administer its property rights. This license may be construed in any reasonable manner deemed suitable by the law, the state, or the critic.
#Bitcoin is a commodity, which is essential for any treasury reserve asset. This allows politicians, agencies, governments, & institutions to support bitcoin as a technology & digital asset to grow the economy and extend property rights & freedom to all. pic.twitter.com/b4WmdSRilb
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) June 27, 2022
PLEASE BE AWARE OF THE NARRATIVE SALESMEN
I’ve heard that the supply of bitcoin is limited. Therefore I should invest in it. However, what is it? Cash? Currency? What is the status of the hard currency? Exists actual value in digital format? To be used as security? That is fascinating. How much do I have the ability to choose? If I question how it is possible to be everything described above, I am punished. I must review my Hayekian, Misesian, and Rothbardian literature, among others. People have informed me that I lack sufficient faith and factual knowledge to comprehend Bitcoin. I suppose I will simply buy it and be done with it. Which of these alternatives is it? Simply said, there is a great deal of them. According to what I’ve been told, this is due to the network effect: it has the most users. Quite simply, we are it. My eyes begin to shimmer and pulsate. Eureka! There is a limited quantity, so you should purchase some immediately. I have never been pushed to take ownership of the things I have the greatest influence over, nor have I been told to avoid those that just create the appearance of ownership. I continue to disregard the fact that I have never had so much of anything. If you lose your keys, you lose your bitcoin. How nostalgic; I am reminded of it at most once a year. The narrative collectivism culminates in the abhorrent statement that formal ownership is unnecessary if less than $100 is invested in a thing. Give up ownership and let others get credit.
The market for stories silences all common reasons. Therefore, I protest against and reject any mindsets that prohibit individual ownership. Thus, I now declare Maximalism in Property Ownership. What is the status of the hard currency? Soporific. Household wallets? Theft. Constant supply? Words of wisdom. You and I would not own less bitcoin if it were issued differently or if its block reward was permanently tied to the moon’s distance from Earth. My autonomous property has the same scientific weight as economics and astrology. This looks to be a significant distinction. I admit that there cannot be an abundance since scarcity is a requirement of the property. I have only one caution for you: under no circumstances should you attempt to restrict the extent of my property in a manner that would diminish its current worth or hinder its intended distribution. I am unwilling to renegotiate its width. I cannot be forced to consent unless I am under the power of kings. My property would lose its autonomy and become a narrative – a fable. Observing the easiness with which my co-workers are willing to sacrifice themselves for a greater political and economic cause increases my worry.
When addressing real estate, it is essential to recognize the significance of labor. As with everything else, there is a tale behind everything. According to a notion popularised by economist Michael Saylor, Bitcoin is a “monetary battery” that transforms energy into future purchasing power. The similarity instantly fascinated me when I heard it. I must build a power plant to generate bitcoins. In addition, the issuance of bitcoin necessitates a vast array of instrumental labor and commerce, including computer labor. Consequently, a growing number of people argue that bitcoin is the most energy-efficient technology currently accessible. What a fantastic response to the cynical skeptic who asserts that everything is meaningless due to his or her distaste! How else could all this labor not be the source of bitcoin’s value?
Not only do I not think that bitcoin is an efficient currency, but I am also unable to measure it. Simply said, I could not care less whether this is true. I am not supporting wastefulness; rather, I am emphasizing that efficiency is not a need for my ownership. Although I appreciate that miners make use of a resource that would otherwise be squandered, I do not comprehend how their efforts contribute to the labor that resulted in the creation of my property. I’m not trying to disparage proof-of-work; I simply want to clarify what it is not. If I told you to run a particular amount of laps around a track and that each time you did, you would get a kiss, you probably wouldn’t believe that running was the action that led to the kiss. How adorable that you can do your laps so rapidly!
The Bitcoin blockchain is not the only asset token that is decentralized. Simply expressed, there came the point when it split in two. How did it reproduce itself without demanding twice as much work from me? However, “the network effect cannot be replicated.” Yes, I can hear your begging to answer your query. Our response is, “We are!” I reiterate: have you been inattentive? Why do I receive two apples when I pick one from a tree? In what ways have I taken advantage of someone’s labor? None. Unorthodox in that it does not favor any one kind of organized labor, the independent property is unconventional.
The fact that Bitcoin runs as a decentralized network of computers is often highlighted as a benefit. Yes, that best characterizes things conceptually, yet autonomy reigns. This is why we choose to power our equipment using non-ideal resources. It is what gives our country its individuality. Only because we can legally claim ownership of our approval does it possess any worth at all. Developing universal independent consent would serve no purpose without autonomy at its core; thus, autonomy is our fundamental value – the essential value of bitcoin, so to speak. If we honestly care about what we can own the most, if we care about our ownership and its breadth, might we not reject any compromise based only on this consideration?
In other words, we do not alter Bitcoin’s “fixed supply” issuance because it is the “right” monetary theory but because a higher reason mandates that we do not. We do not alter it since doing so would compromise the autonomy of our property.
As a maximalist about property rights, I only acknowledge independent owners. If a kid stated, “I want exposure to bitcoin,” it would be comparable to a youngster sniffing whiskey before he or she is mature enough to appreciate the taste. What better way to explain the modus operandi of the crowd in which bitcoin increasingly finds itself, demanding all the attention without the hangover? Therefore, before you, fellow bitcoin owners, call your politicians or do anything else, you should advocate for yourself. Advocate for the independence of the network and your property. Be exceedingly cautious while campaigning for someone unwilling to assume the same obligations as you.
Also, read – The Future of Blockchain Technology in Africa
GET YOUR POLITICS OFF MY PROPERTY
The contemporary conservative is often presented with a Catch-22: Taxes are theft, yet those who dare defund law enforcement incite outrage. While I agree that markets should be completely deregulated, I would still want to see minimal liability preserved. I congratulate huge corporations who use inexpensive corporate loans to purchase bitcoin as a direct response to the acts of central banks. Because gold bugs have a basic misunderstanding of money, I anticipate that central banks will purchase a great deal of bitcoin. It is absurd that politicians can trade equities, but I would support them if they invest in bitcoin. I am a one-issue voter who always indicates her party membership when she votes.
Due to Bitcoin’s political neutrality, it cannot be used to express any specific philosophy. Whenever I use bitcoin to declare my commitment to a political philosophy or a bigger cause (which I am guilty of), I find myself in a situation where I must defend my stance. Since it goes against my political values, I am so enraged when I read in the media that terrorists use bitcoin for fundraising that I bring up the fact that human rights advocates also use bitcoin as if it somehow balances the situation. Concerning human rights, it is unimportant why the terrorist terrorizes and what the activist defends. Contrary to popular belief, independent property ownership requires no moral justification. You, not Bitcoin, are responsible for repairing the situation.