Bitcoin Pizza

Saturday Is Bitcoin Pizza Day: Here’s How to Take Part

Saturday, May 22, marks the eleventh anniversary of Bitcoin Pizza Day. Here’s how to take part in the celebration.

What Is Pizza Day?

In 2010, early Bitcoin adopter Laszlo Hanyecz ordered two pizzas for 10,000 BTC, an amount that was worth just $25 at the time.

“I’ll pay 10,000 BTC for a couple of pizzas,” Hanyecz posted to the BitcoinTalk forums. “Like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day….You can make the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me from a delivery place.”

Soon, another BitcoinTalk user accepted the offer and ordered two pizzas from Papa John’s to Hanyecz’s address.

Eleven years later, 10,000 BTC is worth more than $350 million, and the date is an annually celebrated event as it marks the first time Bitcoin was spent on a product or service.

Get Free Pizza or Free Bitcoin

Several companies are commemorating the event this year. Slice is giving away more than 2,500 pizzas across the U.S. in partnership with PizzaDAO. Meanwhile, Papa John’s is giving U.K. customers £10 of free Bitcoin when they place an order of at least £20.

Elsewhere, several exchanges are running trading contests. Binance is allowing traders to collect virtual pizza “ingredients” for a chance to win Bitcoin, and Gate.io is running a similar contest.

Additionally, crypto companies are rewarding engagement on social media. Paxful, BZ Africa, and Beldex will give users who describe or design their ideal pizza a chance to win crypto. Huobi, OceanEX, CoinTiger, and Sesterce are giving away free cryptocurrency to those who retweet or share contest announcements.

Gemini UK and OKCoin are giving away free pizza vouchers, while BitBuy is giving away UberEats gift cards to users.

Other Related Events

The deals do not end there: YouHodler is giving away a free Tesla to commemorate Pizza Day; users who put more than $1,000 into the loan service will be entered in the draw. Ballet is giving away pizza keychains to customers who buy a metal wallet.

Collectors of non-fungible tokens can also buy crypto NFTs from various projects, such as RarePizzas and CryptoPizza.

Finally, some companies are donating to charitable causes. Fidelity Digital Assets will donate to Global Food Banking, while Anthony Pompliano’s recently launched Bitcoin Pizza brand will donate to the Human Rights Foundation’s Bitcoin Development Fund.

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this author held less than $75 of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and altcoins.

   
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Bitcoin Pizza (Store) Day: California Pizza Store Sold for BTC

It’s nearly 11 years since the day when Laszlo Hanyecz, a programmer from Florida, famously purchased two pizzas for 10,000 BTC (worth some $530 million today). Now, Bitcoin is once again being used for a pizza-related transaction.

But this time round, it’s a pizza store that is being sold for Bitcoin, rather than a couple of Papa John’s pies, KSBY News reports.

Situated in Santa Maria, California, Bravo Pizza has been sold by its owners Matt and Kara Miller for an undisclosed sum of Bitcoin, to Jimmy Benavidez—who for the past several years has been the manager of the restaurant.

According to Benavidez, Bitcoin has been a common interest between himself and Matt, and the two of them often talked about the cryptocurrency.

For Matt, cryptocurrency is the future, because it offers “a unique way to exchange funds without centralized banking.”

“When he had mentioned he would take the payment in Bitcoin, it made a lot of sense to me,” said Benavidez, who takes over the property on April 1.

The Millers believe Bravo Pizza being sold for Bitcoin will be a “groundbreaking thing” for the Central Coast community; however, it might not be the first brick-and-mortar store to change hands via a cryptocurrency transaction. Earlier this year, two restaurants went on sale in New York, with their owner putting a price tag of 25 BTC or 800 ETH for both.

Even if a restaurant is a bit out of your price range, there are a growing number of physical goods you can now buy with crypto–from clothes and real estate to private jets and Tesla electric cars. And, of course, pizzas.

   

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Buy Your Pizza and Ice-cream With Bitcoin, Exclusive In India!

Recent times have been putting quite a smile on the crypto industry of India. Amidst various oppositions at first, now the crypto industry is flourishing in its own way. However, sources have confirmed that the complete regulations and frameworks are nearly ready and are all set for legalization. In spite of all these developments for the nation upon accepting Bitcoin (BTC) and the cryptocurrency industry, now the oldest cryptocurrency exchange of the nation, Unocoin takes a new strategic move.

Unocoin’s Strategic Move

Unocoin is an Indian cryptocurrency exchange and recently it brought forth its wallet too. This has moved the firm to great heights. Despite being the oldest cryptocurrency exchange in India, their work has been prominent and propelled themselves to such great heights. 

In spite of being launched long back in the year 2013, Unocoin is the oldest crypto exchange in India. Besides, Unocoin is considered to be the most widely used and trusted cryptocurrency exchange in India. The Unocoin cryptocurrency exchange comes under CoinMonk Ventures Private Limited, which is headquartered in Bangalore city. 

Unocoin’s Strategic Move

Unocoin went a step further in the Indian crypto industry by converting Bitcoin (BTC) to direct usage, similar to fiat money. Accordingly, Unocoin decided to promote this as much as it could. 

Furthermore, Unocoin now makes it possible to use BTC for many sorts of buying and selling of many sorts of goods and foods. In spite of this, they have come up with special kinds of vouchers which are of the value of 500 to 5000 Indian rupees worth of BTC.

Besides, these vouchers can be used to buy pizza from Dominoes, coffee from India’s biggest chain of cafes, Cafe Coffee Day, and much more. Also, the same can be used for buying ice cream from Baskin Robbins too. 

In spite of all this, it takes place via an app offered by the crypto exchange. In addition, the app features simple and user-friendly options like ‘Shop’ with which one could purchase the vouchers with their BTC values in accordance with the Indian rupees.

Moreover, the Co-founder of Unocoin, Sathvik Vishwanath states BTC is quite popularly accepted in numerous outlets throughout the West and the U.S. However, in India, it’s not yet and so our new initiative will be the first for the nation, states the co-founder proudly.

   

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First Pizza Purchase for Bitcoin Occurred 11 Years Ago, Here’s How Community Celebrates

Back in 2010, on May 22, Bitcoin was for the first time ever used as means of exchange. Back on that day, IT engineer Laszlo Hanyecz suggested paying 10,000 BTC on the Bitcoin forum to anyone who will buy and deliver two pizzas to his door.

That was the first ever documented BTC transfer used for purchasing.

In 2021, Bitcoin influencer Anthony Pompliano has launched a pilot project called “Bitcoin Pizza” in ten US large cities. Despite the title, pizza will be sold for USD but all the profits will be sent to Bitcoin developers – their Human Rights Foundation (HRF) fund. He expects to sell 10,000 pizzas in “Bitcoin Pizza” boxes made specially for this pilot.

Besides, Pomp is giving a Bitcoin Pizza party in New York City today in Washington Square Park at 12 noon.

   

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Staff at Biggest Dutch Domino’s Pizza Franchise Can Now Be Paid in Bitcoin

A Domino’s Pizza franchisee in the Netherlands is offering to pay its employees in bitcoin – appropriately starting on Bitcoin Pizza Day.

  • Staff taking up the option will be able to choose how much of their salary above the minimum wage – which must be paid in euros by law – they wish to receive in bitcoin, according to an announcement Saturday.
  • The franchisee, Immensus Holdings, is Holland’s largest with 16 Domino’s stores, and will offer the salary option in partnership with Dutch fiat-to-crypto gateway BTC Direct.
  • The company has over 1,000 internal and external employees who can opt into the scheme.
  • “We work with a lot of young employees. We hear them talking about bitcoin and we want to offer the opportunity to own cryptocurrency,” Immensuus co-owner Jonathan Gurevich said.
  • The news was announced on Bitcoin Pizza Day, which commemorates the first time bitcoin was used as a form of payment when developer Laszlo Hanyecz used 10,000 BTC to pay for two pizzas on May 22, 2010.
  • That amount of bitcoin is worth almost $410 million at time of writing.

See also: Soccer Player Ifunanyachi Achara the Latest Sports Pro to Take Salary in Bitcoin

   

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Papa John’s Pizza is now offering £10 in free Bitcoin to U.K. customers

American pizza franchise Papa John’s is offering its U.K customers £10 in free Bitcoin, a new offer on the pizza giant’s homepage shows.

“Select the Bitcoin offer online, spend a minimum of £30 for a £15 discount plus the free Bitcoin,” it reads.

The offer is part of a tie-in with London-based cryptocurrency exchange Luno to turn “pizza into Bitcoin.” According to its Facebook page, the promotional event ends on May 23rd.

In 2010, a programmer called Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 BTC for two large pizzas from Papa John’s. Many say this was a foundational event in developing the Bitcoin store of value narrative.

But based on past examples, mixing Bitcoin and fast food tends not to work out.

Hanyecz has no regrets over buying pizza for 10,000 Bitcoin

Back in 2010, Bitcoin was a fledgling idea that was beginning to gain traction among niche elements of society. During that time, mining Bitcoin using a retail laptop or desktop CPU was entirely possible.

As an early Bitcoin miner, Laszlo Hanyecz benefited from the 50 BTC block reward at the time to amass a sizeable sum of Bitcoin.

In 2010, using BTC as means of payment was unheard of. But to challenge this convention, Hanyecz posted a proposition to exchange 10,000 BTC for two large pizzas.

Someone took him up on his offer, arranging delivery from his local Papa John’s, and the rest is history. Today, 10,000 BTC is worth a staggering $558 million.

But Hanyecz says he has no regrets over the deal. Instead, he remains philosophical by saying it’s all part of the delicate balance that keeps stakeholders incentivized.

Cryptocurrency is good for PR campaigns?

Fast food companies have often looked to cryptocurrency as a way to sell more products. Over the years, countless experiments with cryptocurrency have come and gone.

For example, in January 2018, at the start of crypto-winter, KFC did the Bitcoin Bucket. The accompanying tweet poked fun at the perceived complexity of cryptocurrency.

“KFC Canada presents The #Bitcoin Bucket. Sure, we don’t know exactly what Bitcoins are, or how they work, but that shouldn’t come between you and some finger lickin’ good chicken.”

In 2019, Burger Kings in Germany, the Netherlands, and Russia started accepting Bitcoin directly as payment.

But the franchisees soon withdrew the option to pay in BTC, citing prohibitive laws on accepting crypto for payment. The consensus is that crypto is good for PR campaigns but not as a permanent payment option.

Nonetheless, Papa John’s limited-time offer to give customers Bitcoin is evidence that fast food companies still recognize the potential of cryptocurrency within their industry.

   

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Not Just MicroStrategy: The Story of a Small Pizza Business that Bought Bitcoin Worth $200K

Numerous large corporations and institutions entered the bitcoin space in the last year or so with substantial purchases worth billions of dollars in total. Keeping in mind that some of those names were giants like Tesla, MicroStrategy, Ruffer Investment, and MassMutual, it’s quite normal that they all made the news more than once.

But what about the so-called little guy? Being considered as a highly-volatile and risky asset with a little over a decade-long history, BTC doesn’t sound like the preferable asset for smaller businesses to put on their balance sheets, right?

However, that doesn’t seem to be the case for a small husband-and-wife-owned pizza business with two joints in Alabama, the US, called Sam & Greg’s Pizzeria/Gelateria.

Greg Hathorn, the co-owner (also known as the husband), recently commented on a Michael Saylor endorsement of Square’s $170 million BTC purchase that they had moved $200,000 off their business’ balance sheet into the primary cryptocurrency.

CryptoPotato reached out to the Hathorns to find out more about their decision, thoughts on bitcoin, exit strategy, and everything in between.

Why Bitcoin, Greg?

Arguably the most profound question for every (new) investor is why he or she has decided to allocate funds in a certain asset – or as a popular US-British author wrote once – “it all starts with the why.”

Greg shared with us that his background was in IT, despite his ongoing restauranteur endeavors, and said that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology have been in his sights for quite some time.

While admitting that he was late to the party with his “ah-ha moment”, he believes that “these technologies represent the smartest use of the Internet to date, creating a positive disruption that will shake traditional finance to its core.”

“So, why bitcoin for my business? The simple answer is that I have worked hard to save money, and I don’t like seeing it disrespected and devalued. I also do not appreciate politicians and central banks reducing the value of the American worker to the speed of a printer. Bitcoin solves these problems.

The simple forces of a fixed supply and unlimited demand are in play, making bitcoin the obvious choice as the go-to store of value for those simply needing a place to preserve capital, no matter what size business.”

350% ROI in Less Than a Year

Greg revealed that the catalyst for this decision came in April 2020 – quite the decisive moment for the cryptocurrency industry as well as the entire financial field. The COVID-19 outburst had just been recognized as a global pandemic and the consequences spread through all financial markets, causing massive nosedives.

Bitcoin was not excluded, as it plummeted by 50% in a day to below $4,000 in mid-March, 2020. However, the Hathorns seem to have taken the Paul Tudor Jones III approach and go into bitcoin as the asset began its recovery.

Nevertheless, BTC didn’t stop with just a mere recovery and went on to new heights in the next eleven months. It’s not a surprise that the Hathorns’ bitcoin investment is “approximately 350% up since we started investing last April.”

Greg noted that he chose to go with Grayscale instead of the “crypto-exchange route because I just didn’t want to deal with maintaining a digital wallet, cold storage/hot storage, keys, etc.” He believes that the GBTC trust is among the most convenient tools for people wanting to receive BTC exposure at the moment but believes that the potential approval of a Bitcoin ETF could be a game-changer.

On the question of their overall strategy going into bitcoin, Greg told us that he’s not actively managing the cryptocurrency position. Instead, he prefers HODLing for now.

However, he plans to treat his “prudent” BTC investment slightly differently in the future – “I will take profits on the way up, and then reinvest on future dips.”

Other Small Business Should Consider Buying BTC Too

While it’s still not a common practice among larger or smaller businesses, Greg believes that every owner or executive should “at the very least, educate themselves on bitcoin” before making a conscious decision on whether or not to buy BTC as well.

“Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency in general, is not going away, so it should not be ignored as being just a fad that will fade.” – he asserted.

Although he acknowledged the asset’s enhanced volatility, Greg doesn’t feel it’s risky – “or at least not riskier than investing in stocks, market ETFs, or just sitting on cash.” He and his wife have invested in BTC funds that are “over and above the operating capital that stays in the business to meet ongoing cash flow needs.”

As such, he’s prepared to face the short-term volatility, despite the “stomach-churning that occurs when bitcoin dips and consolidates,” to “capture massive long-term gains.” Additionally, he feels privileged to participate as an early adopter of this “new Digital Monetary Network – an opportunity I can’t pass up.”

Greg also noted that the company’s BTC investment could ultimately benefit their staff, too, as it suggests job security and potential bonuses. He said that “they were excited” the first time he and his wife announced the bitcoin purchase.

“They felt that if we were able to do that, then the business must be doing well, which translates into job security. But, more importantly, I do plan to incorporate a portion of any Bitcoin profits into our annual bonus pool, which is shared by all employees. So, in a manner of speaking, you could say that our staff is invested in Bitcoin.” – he concluded.

   

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LABitConf Day Two Was Bitcoin’s Time To Shine

Much like drinking from Tamanique Falls, El Salvador’s tallest waterfall, taking in the steady stream of world class information from the last session day of LABitConf is about as difficult as banning bitcoin in the country of your choice. Thankfully, anyone can replay the entire day of sessions here.

The most important topics in Bitcoin were discussed by global leaders including John Newberry presenting what to expect from the coming Bitcoin Improvement Proposals (BIPs), Jameson Lopp teaching about best practices for privacy in Bitcoin, Elizabeth Stark talking about how to onboard millions of people onto the Lightning Network, and Ray Youssef discussing how Bitcoin changes lives through peer-to-peer transactions with Max Keiser.

In the best-titled session of the day, “How To Make Programming Bitcoin Sexy”, Aaron Van Wirdum facilitated a great discussion with Tadge Dryja, John Newbery, Eric Voskuil, and Dread to describe the current state of attracting the best developers to Bitcoin. As inevitable as it seems that Bitcoin will continue its march toward world reserve currency no matter what, the panelists explained that just because it’s the top digital asset by far doesn’t mean it is attracting the top developers.

“[Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) students ask all the time] what about all these other coins that have hackathons and free pizza and send out free T-shirts? That exists; if you’re on campus at MIT there are booths and people sending that out. Bitcoin doesn’t do that.” ~ Tadge Dryja

With no marketing team or budget, Bitcoin relies on its innate beauty, ideals, and integrity to bring in a new generation of builders and body guards to secure a hyperbitcoinized world. Despite all the efforts of the endless altcoin carousel to attract the brightest minds, Dread eloquently explained the reason Bitcoiners should be optimistic about the future.

“If you think of it as being love, it doesn’t end up being all about the sexy pizza and the sexiness of programming. You’re starting in a relationship with true love and that true love is the sound money that we’ve found. If you get programmers to get that part, to fall in love with Bitcoin, then you might actually have that sexiness that you’re looking for as well.” ~ Dread

Though many of the sessions addressed serious topics about the current and future states of Bitcoin, the overwhelming feelings in the air were optimistic and celebratory about how far Bitcoin has come. The festive mood around the Museo de Arte venue was created by hundreds of Bitcoiners from all over the world with over a dozen companies competing to create the best vibe and hand out the best free gear. To end the colorful celebration of freedom money in the country, many LaBitConf attendees will head to El Zonte to see where it all started with Bitcoin Beach serving as the catalyst that would put El Salvador on the Bitcoin standard. Thank you for reading and we look forward to seeing you at Bitcoin 2022!

This is a guest post by Josh Doña. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine

   

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Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin white paper is now a 13-year-old teenager

The iconic Bitcoin (BTC) white paper celebrates thirteen years of financial disruption after being first published on Oct. 31, 2008, by an anonymous person or entity named Satoshi Nakamoto.

The white paper, titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, foresaw the need for a peer-to-peer online payment system that is self-governing, secure and limited in quantity. The Bitcoin network was launched on Jan. 03, 2009, having each Bitcoin priced at $0.0008.

While Bitcoin was initially perceived as a threat by traditional financial institutions, thirteen years of community support and a growing user base have made Bitcoin one of the most profitable investments for the Internet age. Today, Bitcoin maintains a stable trading value well above $60k after experiencing a gradual appreciation of 7,749,999,900% ever since its launch. 

The Bitcoin white paper proposes a solution to prevent double-spending without the risk of trusting a third party. To do this, it mentions the use of ‘honest’ nodes that confirm transactions by overpowering the bad actors in terms of raw central processing unit (CPU) power of computers.

Interestingly enough, the Bitcoin white paper has 15 ‘honest’ and one ‘dishonest’ mentions, explaining the need for honest nodes to ensure the credibility of each transaction. In the words of Satoshi Nakamoto:

“We have proposed a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust. They [honest nodes] vote with their CPU power, expressing their acceptance of valid blocks by working on extending them and rejecting invalid blocks by refusing to work on them.”

The Bitcoin blockchain has mined block number 707542, which offered a mining reward of 6.25000000 BTC. 

As the Bitcoin ecosystem slowly approaches its hard cap or maximum supply of 21 million BTC, the developer community will need to modify the existing rules to incentivize the miners that confirm Bitcoin transactions on the blockchain. The white paper suggests:

“Any needed rules and incentives can be enforced with this consensus mechanism.”

Prominent entrepreneurs from Crypto Twitter such as Anthony Pompliano join in on the celebrations.

Tomorrow is the 13 year anniversary of the Bitcoin Whitepaper.

We are officially launching Bitcoin Pizza in 20 cities with almost 100 locations.

Every dollar of my profits goes to bitcoin developers pic.twitter.com/oh5gHnJ7iP

— Pomp (@APompliano) October 30, 2021

Despite the ongoing resistance from numerous governments and authorities such as China, this year marks the beginning of Bitcoin’s legacy as a legal tender in El Salvador. The long-term effect of Bitcoin on El Salvador’s inflated economy will determine the asset’s mainstream adoption among other jurisdictions.

Related: Crypto is impossible to destroy, says Tesla CEO Elon Musk

The success of Bitcoin and the crypto ecosystems as viable investments continue to attract investors from all walks of life. The world’s richest man, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, recently showed support for cryptocurrencies at the Code Conference in California:

“It is not possible to, I think, destroy crypto, but it is possible for governments to slow down its advancement.”

Musk also believes that “cryptocurrency is fundamentally aimed at reducing the power of a centralized government,” which can be one of the main reasons for Bitcoin’s slow mainstream adoption rate.

Bitcoin is my safe word

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2020

Musk has also been highly influential in affecting the market price of other cryptocurrencies such Dogecoin (DOGE).

   

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The Bitcoin Rorschach Test

We would like to think of ourselves as masters of technology. We are the craftsmen, practitioners and creators. This assumption underpins many of our accepted models for understanding history. It’s a comforting way to view the world, with humanity and its heroes as the authors of our destiny.What is a far more uncomfortable truth is that technology equally creates and influences us, and molds the collective behavior that we call culture.

The invention of agriculture made the town the primary social unit, while the mass production of the automobile created cultures of independent holiday makers, commuters and suburbs. Every time Spotify autoplays a new song, when you visit a new restaurant based on its Yelp rating, Tinder’s algorithm displays or does not display you a potential date or a QR code allows health agencies to track and mandate the movements of individuals in a pandemic, technology is influencing culture.

Our choice of technologies – the appliances we use, the cars we drive, the operating systems we choose and the social media platforms which we engage in discourse on shape our lives by what they accentuate and what they hinder, defining the range of actions that are acceptable or prohibited. Technology is not only how human beings sculpt the world in their image, but in framing and defining the range of actions that are possible and encouraged, technology also sculpts who we become.

The Qur’an says that good Muslims should seek knowledge, and as a consequence, mathematics, science and engineering flourished in Eastern antiquity. Cultural attitudes led to the invention of paper, which allowed information to be recorded far more efficiently and easily than with papyrus or parchment, which was the popular medium in Europe, where many kings remained illiterate up to the thirteenth century. Our choice of technologies is prescriptive of our character, how others perceive us, and ultimately our destinies.

Yet however potent a technology may be, it ultimately requires a user to be motivated to activate it, to switch it on, to use it, and that user will use it in the manner that they see as most aligned with their beliefs, their will and their intention, and how they see themselves reflected in it. In this sense all technologies are first and foremost tools for individual self-actualization, expression and exploration, a window or framework to understand who we are.

Hermann Rorschach was a Swiss psychologist born in 1884, Zurich, Switzerland. Known to his school friends as “Klex,” due to his enjoyment of klecksography, a child’s game making elaborate pictures from inkblots. As a young adult, he was torn between following his father into the arts or a career in science. He eventually settled on medical school where he majored in psychology.

During his studies, he came across the work of psychiatrist Szyman Hens who had experimented with using inkblots to study the fantasies of his patients. Rorschach saw the opportunity to combine his interest in the arts and the emerging field of psychoanalysis.

After much research and experimentation, he settled on a set of inkblots and a system for scoring the responses to them. He published what has come to be known as the Rorschach test in his 1921 book “Psychodiagnostik.”

The test itself is administered by presenting the subject with 10 cards in turn and asking them “what might this be?” It’s made clear that there are no right or wrong answers, the subject can pick up the card and view it from any position or orientation they desire, and they’re free to interpret the image however they want. The goal is for them to verbalize what the image suggests to them, with total freedom. Following this the examiner reads the subject’s responses back to them and asks the subject to clarify or elaborate where necessary, not to elicit further information but simply to ensure they have sufficiently accurate information to accurately score the test. The objective is to establish what is being perceived, where it is in the inkblot, and how particular inkblot features contribute to or help determine the response.

The subject’s responses are then used to determine a scoring on several metrics via a complex coding system. The scoring is not based primarily on what the individual says they see in the inkblot. In fact, the contents of the response are only a comparatively small portion of a broader set of data including response times, remarks and comments unrelated to the test, the originality or lack of originality of the responses, and the emotions, attitude, and frame of mind of the subject.

The Rorschach test takes a common stimulus and uses it as a context; the conscious and unconscious reactions of the subject towards that context are data points to better understand their mind.

Earlier we elaborated on how the context provided by a “thing” influences what we create or express, and the way we choose to use it is an act of self-exploration, i.e., it reflects who we are and what we will become. Rorschach similarly understood that by using the context of a fixed set of images and recording the wildly different interpretations created by an individual’s imagination in reaction to each, we could gain insight into a person’s mind, and how they were likely to behave in the future.

It is human nature that we can’t help but to project our imaginations onto a thing, and these things, whether they be an inkblot on canvas, an automobile, or a computer program provide context, framing and boundaries for the expression of that imagination. This combination of imagination and framing decides how we act, and over time, what we become – our destiny.

Since Bitcoin’s invention people have debated what it really is — a peer-to-peer payments system, a form of digital gold, anonymous digital cash, a censorship-resistant means of transmitting value, an immutable ledger of data, the first primitive prototype of a new computing technology called the blockchain, a craze to speculate on, a Ponzi scheme, a tool for extortionists, drug dealers, terrorists and pedophiles? What is Bitcoin?

From Satoshi’s whitepaper, to early discussion on the Bitcointalk forum and the cypherpunks mailing list, to Laszlo Hanyecz’s purchase of a pizza, through the drama of Mt.Gox and Silk Road, and the explosion of other copycats or newcomers looking to be “like bitcoin but with x”, the common perceptions of what bitcoin is and what it means have changed since its inception. Today the popular consensus seems to be that bitcoin is a type of hard money, or digital gold. In five years, with the proliferation of technologies on Layer 2 and beyond like Lightning (that enables a word of utility anchored on the ultimate truth of the Bitcoin blockchain) it’s quite possible that this popular consensus will be something altogether different.

In truth Bitcoin is all of those things and it is none of them. It’s just code. Ultimately someone has to run that code, to mine the blocks, to send and verify the transactions. Their collective actions decide what Bitcoin is. Anyone could fork the open-source code and decide to raise or lower any value, that this or that is valid or invalid, defaulted on or defaulted off, or even increase the supply or issuance. If a sufficient majority of users agree to mine, verify and transact based on that code, this is Bitcoin, at least by the most objective measures possible.

More importantly though, how users collectively decide to act within the boundaries of what is permissible within this chaotic consensus defines what Bitcoin really is, defining its impact on the world and on our lives. Although the code provides an incorruptible, predictable source of truth, the ramifications of that truth are profoundly different in a world where all bitcoin is held by large banks, governments and corporate treasuries and therefore the legal regulations, political reality, societal norms and cultures of compliance dictate the average person interacts with it in a permissioned fashion, much like the legacy banking system. This would be a much different reality than an alternative where every user uses their own full node as a source of truth, holds the keys to their coins and makes informed decisions on the software they run based on its benefits for privacy and self-sovereignty. The aggregate state of affairs that emerges from these actions and values determines what Bitcoin actually is, not the software, or the network, but what it means for the world around us.

“Bitcoin” the network (capital B) and “bitcoin” the asset or currency (lower-case b) are in fact two separate (though highly-interrelated) things. They can exist without each other. For example, if there was an unprecedented worldwide internet outage the network would halt, transactions and blocks would cease to be broadcast, but the ledger itself would remain unchanged. Likewise the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network can broadcast messages and seek to create a global network of connected computers, without any blocks or transactions needing to take place. There exists a third completely separate thing from Bitcoin the network or bitcoin the currency, Bitcoin the idea.

Bitcoin the idea is like the Rorschach test, a particular interpretation of a thing, based on an individual’s experiences, personalities and biases, dreams and fantasies. Your ability to influence the ledger is limited by your financial means divided by the market cap of bitcoin; your ability to influence the network itself even more negligible, determined by the software implementation you run, the parameters you choose and the infrastructure you deploy — all of which must be largely in lockstep with the majority of the network. But your ability to influence Bitcoin the idea is where you have the greatest agency, to answer the Bitcoin Rorschach test, to decide individually what Bitcoin the idea is, and what you will do with it.

Without the robust software, the hash power, the businesses and the products and services that build out the network, Bitcoin the idea is little more than a kumbaya Ponzi scheme which a top-knotted 30-something influencer would shill you on Instagram. Equally it is true that without the recognition of Bitcoin the idea, bitcoin the currency would have no value: there would be no hash power, no nodes, no ecosystem, and the economic incentives that today secure it against almost any conceivable attack vector would not exist. Although it may seem inconceivable now remember that for several years Bitcoin existed in a form largely identical to what it is today, with almost all the value propositions of the technology and protocol we know today but had no value, or it was traded for loose change. It is not the technology itself that increased its value, it was the collective recognition of its brilliance, the growth of Bitcoin as a meme is what led to there being any price, let alone the prices, ecosystem and the hash rate we have today.

We are here because people see themselves in Bitcoin; they will project their values, their hopes, their aspirations, whatever they want the world to be, onto a technology, onto Bitcoin. A sound money, a way to make more of your chosen fiat currency or buy a Lamborghini, a way to buy drugs, a way to make payments that otherwise are prohibited or impossible, a social club to meet people, a way to sound smart and impress people on the internet, an interesting technology, a way to get a job, a way to provide a nest egg for their children, a ray of hope in a dystopian world. It doesn’t matter, Bitcoin is all of these things and none of them, what matters is how its users use it.

Bitcoin is not a centralized service but a peer-to-peer network and state of affairs controlled by its users despite their disparity of views. Anyone can download it, anyone can fork the software or contribute code, there is no CEO of Bitcoin, it has no official website or spokesperson. Bitcoin has more in common with punk rock music or Rastafarianism, or Oaxacan traditionthan a centralized top-down entity like Spotify, Tinder, or something owned by a government agency or a corporation. No one makes the rules in Bitcoin, we all do. Bitcoin is solely the possession of its community of users. Bitcoin is a culture, Bitcoin is a meme.

People stared at the inkblot of Bitcoin and acted on what their imagination showed them. Bitcoin itself is simply the aggregate actions of thousands of these otherwise-unrelated individuals participating in a network because their imagination told them it is of benefit to their own ends to do so.

Bitcoin is living technology, an economically self-sustaining culture, the aggregate sum of all its users, who participate because they see themselves in Bitcoin. Without them, it is simply another repo on GitHub.

   

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