A Bitcoin Governance Analogy

This post is offered in response to a Bitcoin Magazine article entitled The Checks and Balances of Bitcoin Governance, in particular the following statement.

“It’s almost like the government where you have the executive branch, the legislative branch [and the judicial branch].”

Presumably (being generous here) the state exists in the interest of individuals as a collective security organization. At the same time the state exists contrary to the interests of individuals, given its taxing power.


It is a mistake to think of the state as consisting of independent entities that counterbalance each other in defense of the individual. That is a fiction taught by the state to school children, and considered from a security standpoint is an absurdism. There is no force in such a system that counteracts the growth of the state at the expense of the individual, except the individual.

Individuals can opt out of Bitcoin by deferring to web wallets (banks). This reduces the number of individuals that exist in counterbalance to existential threats. In other words, a highly decentralized Bitcoin is much like a well-armed population. Centralize the arms, and the ability to resist is destroyed.

The better political analogy is that of miners as the state and users as individuals. This relationship is formed as a collective defense, and the same tension exists between miners and users as between the state and individuals. It’s remarkably similar, miners even “tax” users via inflation and fees.

The state is always attempting to increase its power (money) at the expense of the individual, as a miner is always attempting to increase his power at the expense of users (those who save and transact). The state will collude with banks and other states to increase its taxing power, and miners will collude with web wallets and other miners for the same reason. This is already the case.

The only defense the user has is to validate (personally) – the analog of being armed (individually) and defending one’s self and others against encroachment of the state.


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