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The Great Crypto Schism

November 23, 2021

Steven McCormack

For a few weeks now I've been trying to establish a clear worldview on the wider Crypto landscape. Y'see, I'm fairly settled on the epic store-of-value proposition that is Bitcoin. I've dived into the gory details, gained some practical skills, and completely overindulged in the 24/7 debates sparked in Twitterland. And just like a BTC-Big Mac in El Salvador, it all feels rather warm, gooey.....and potentially fatal. So to address this intellectual comfort, I must stress-test my understanding of Bitcoin. I must fuel my curiosity by casting a wider net.

1 min
Friday Reflections, Volume XVII

October 15, 2021

Steven McCormack

As a node operator, my understanding of Bitcoin has evolved significantly. A theoretical framework has been transformed into lived, practical experience. I monitor the Mempool to check on my Lightning channel status. I engage with other node operators to create liquidity swaps. I scroll through 1ML and Amboss to find other Lightning peers. I collect sats for routing payments. It is a vivid demonstration of my previous notion; that Bitcoin, and by extension its timechain, may just be the the final word on financial freedom.

2 mins
2 mins
From Theory, To Practice

September 20, 2021

Steven McCormack

The ideas are elegant. The ambition is impressive. But how exactly does Bitcoin work in practice? Well folks, that's what I've been figuring out for the past month. Armed with my understanding of the network, I embarked on a journey to become a full node operator (i.e. a validator of transactions and blocks). Admittedly, I wasn't quite sure I could pull it off. Even with all my prior research, this felt like a tricky technical challenge. And yet here I am, running a Bitcoin (and Lightning!) node with little fuss. How so?

1 min
Global Truth, Local Value

August 27, 2021

Steven McCormack

At this point, it is worth wondering what all this research represents. We seemingly have an answer crying out for a question. To that end, there are a few good candidates. Is Bitcoin a response to monetary distortion? Government largesse, perhaps? Is Bitcoin a dry, technical update for the internet? I would contend that it does all those things. And excellently so. But there is also a more profound, universal quandary to address.

All Things Bitcoin; Layer Cake

August 19, 2021

Steven McCormack

We have a robust protocol, but one that cares little for convenience or efficiency. And that presents a few issues for growth (and thus sustainability). It is like the British Labour Party in the 1980s; sticking true to its socialist ideals, and also completely useless at winning elections. Fortunately, an ecosystem has developed around Bitcoin that helps address the scalability conundrum. Enter the layer cake, my friends. A baking masterpiece that is worth the extra calories.

Global Truth, Local Value
August 27, 2021
Steven McCormack

At this point, it is worth wondering what all this research represents. We seemingly have an answer crying out for a question. To that end, there are a few good candidates. Is Bitcoin a response to monetary distortion? Government largesse, perhaps? Is Bitcoin a dry, technical update for the internet? I would contend that it does all those things. And excellently so. But there is also a more profound, universal quandary to address.

1 min
It's all Greek to Me
August 6, 2021
Steven McCormack

Another Vervaeke inspired musing, folks. This time over four Greek words I have been introduced to, thanks to his series; Agape, Logos, Gnosis and Anagoge. The best way for me to explore these terms (or concepts even) is to relate them to my own investing and writing efforts. And before we begin, I must admit to borrowing heavily from other sources to help with the explanations (a big hat tip to Mark Mulvey and Andrew Seeney). So please bear with the heavy quoting. On that bombshell, let's roll.

1 min
Your Money's no Good Here!
July 30, 2021
Steven McCormack

All is not what it seems, especially when you develop a strange fascination with assets, Nixon and monetary history. Jack attempts to settle his bill with a dollar from 1980 (when the film was released). But the barman, a figment of the 1920s, does not equate Jack's money with his own. How so? The clue is in the name; The Gold Room. The barman cannot accept 1980 dollars because they are a very different beast to 1920s dollars; they are no longer redeemable in gold.

1 min