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Reflection

There is one thing that evades me, however; proper interaction with others interested in this 'big picture' thinking. It reflects a prior reluctance on my part to share what I write, other than passively publishing on this site. That reluctance is beginning to fade (thankfully), as I reach firmer conclusions about who I am (an investing, thinky type) and what I have to offer (legible English, quirky subjects and half decent interweb skills). It explains why I have a 'contributors' page. This ain't meant to be a one man mission!

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4 mins
The Bitcoin Backstop
January 11, 2022
Bitcoin, the asset, is the purest store-of-value we have ever seen. It is the simple conversion of energy (via math and code) into verifiable truth, whether via hydrocarbons, renewables, nuclear reactions or even god damn volcanoes. Real estate is stale in comparison; you may expend energy to form static bricks, aluminium or concrete. But it just degrades without active maintenance. Gold, whilst durable can be centralised or even confiscated. And don't forget the high costs of extraction. So where does this leave our good friend fiat?
Friday Reflections, Volume XVII
October 15, 2021
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
From Theory, To Practice
September 20, 2021
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?
Global Truth, Local Value
August 27, 2021
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
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.
3 mins
All Things Bitcoin; Incentive Structure
August 13, 2021
Property rights are established by consensus. Time and energy is converted into security. Transactions are transparent. This creates a formidable flywheel; legitimacy encouraging growth, which in turn generates trust, resulting in more legitimacy. And so on. But Bitcoin cannot survive alone on impressive technical credentials. After all, there is a cost to all of this auditing, blocking and chaining. So for the flywheel to keep spinning, we must introduce an economic reward for participation.
All Things Bitcoin; Under The Hood
August 10, 2021
In essence, Bitcoin is the perfect marriage between long established record-keeping systems, cryptographic genius and networked computing. Add a sprinkling of economic incentive (scarcity, mining, fees) and we have something rather tangible. But it can still take a leap of faith to imagine a bunch of ones and zeros as the basis for our financial future. For me it clicked when I (rightly or wrongly) visualised Bitcoin as a far more sophisticated version of Kazaa or LimeWire; a peer-to-peer network for payments rather than music.