Bitcoin is a technological revolution, there’s no way anybody can argue against that fact. Bitcoin has changed the way many people communicate and of course, the way many people spend money. By being the first true offspring of blockchain technology, Bitcoin has been able to give this technology a real use, helping it gain a reputation within mainstream society and giving the blockchain a real chance to totally disrupt the mainstream world.
There’s more to Bitcoin that meets the eye though, through a philosophical and a sociological lense, one can truly begin to understand the true disruptive power of Bitcoin. When you actually peer into it, Bitcoin is a philosopher’s dream.
Vlad Costea has written a piece for Crypto Insider titled: What Would Aristotle Think About Bitcoin? We think Aristotle would love it!
Who was Aristotle?
According to Biography.com:
“Aristotle was an Ancient Greek philosopher and scientist who is still considered one of the greatest thinkers in politics, psychology and ethics. When Aristotle turned 17, he enrolled in Plato’s Academy. In 338, he began tutoring Alexander the Great. In 335, Aristotle founded his own school, the Lyceum, in Athens, where he spent most of the rest of his life studying, teaching and writing. Some of his most notable works include Nicomachean Ethics, Politics, Metaphysics, Poetics and Prior Analytics.”
It is this idea of Nicomachean Ethics that Costea believes Bitcoin has been built upon, indeed, when you explore the concept it does seem that this is the case. The big discovery here is that Bitcoin has been designed with a very philosophical centre.
Nicomachean Ethics in Bitcoin?
As Costea argues, the notion of consensus within Bitcoin matches up to many of Aristotle’s ideas. Consensus is the key principle for Bitcoin. It’s a little deeper than democracy and means that no sole entity has control over Bitcoin, making it decentralised and making all decisions on the network approved via this very intricate consensus system. According to Costea:
“Bitcoin as a protocol seems to take some lessons from Aristotle, in the sense that it finds the virtuous spot to create consensus. So if the philosopher took a look at the code, he’d admire the rigorous application of game theory and the ways in which participants are incentivized to support the system as opposed to the more expensive option of attacking it. Though Aristotle lived before the days of the Byzantine Empire, he’d understand the issue at stake in the Byzantine General’s Dilemma, and ultimately appreciate Satoshi’s solution to create consensus.”
Overall, Bitcoin was made to reduce greed and to improve the way financial systems control our money, as ordinary people. It’s a philosopher’s dream because it’s empowering and indicative of a pure form of consensus, with Costea’s argument in mind, we know that philosophers of history would look upon Bitcoin today in complete awe, you can bet your bottom Bitcoin that the likes of Aristotle would be investing in Bitcoin today.
As Costea states:
“Given the greed and financial accumulation in the space, the philosopher would definitely recommend BTC whales to be generous and spread the wealth around for the sake of both being better people and creating a healthiest economic environment. This should not be confused with socialism, though: Aristotle was a big fan of private property, but also believed in the power of donations and charity. Therefore, he would advise everyone to build a better and fairer system through generosity and the absence of greed.”
Why is this important?
Okay so many of you may be wondering at this point, why this is news and why this is an important discovery. Until a pure truth for Bitcoin can be found, Bitcoin adoption is impossible. Regulation is the key and when you think about it, this regulation is likely to explore Bitcoin from a philosophical approach too.
Look at it this way – if regulators learn to understand the freedom that Bitcoin presents and learn how important consensus is in terms of Nicomachean Ethics, then regulators are more likely to impose fair rules on Bitcoin as they won’t want to disturb the consensus that Bitcoin has so brilliantly built up.
This is important, because by using history, philosophy and general ethics to peer into the processes behind Bitcoin, we can present valid arguments to regulators who only ever focus on Bitcoin as a criminal asset, and not as an asset made for people, by people.
By seeing Bitcoin as a philosopher’s dream, Bitcoin regulation appears a far more realistic prospect. After all, it’s what Aristotle would have wanted.