El Salvador, BTC and fascism

Small blockers have an authoritarianism problem. It goes way back to the beginning of Bitcoin, too. The seeds were sown when Satoshi was still actively working on Bitcoin, and he was increasingly struggling with criticisms from a developer community who wanted him to move the project to GitHub and open it up for community development. They ultimately pushed him out when he would not oblige. Those seeds were watered by the censorship board that rose to power in the forums after Nakamoto “disappeared.” Ultimately, they blossomed into a state of hegemony with the successful oustering of the big blockers from BTC Core during the militaristic UASF era. 

In that era, BTC changed from being a cash system to being a system of technocratic oppression. The network game theory was re-engineered to be sure that poor people could always view the transactions of the rich such that the global middle class will only participate at times when the rich are not transacting, and the poor will only be able to use censorable, custodial layers that settle on the chain at the whims of the rich. This is the game theory of BTC since proposal in 2015 and execution in 2017 with the SegWit sybil attack. 

In the proceeding years, BTC has focused strictly on ways to integrate with old world finance, integrate into custodial solutions with third parties in control of technical chokepoints like exchanges, custodians, etc… Now the newest iteration of the small blockers’ quest for power is a compromise of all moral decency in order to make friends with ascending fascist dictators. 

Enter Nayib Bukele

There was a time when BTC stood for libertarian ideology or at least notions of freedom in the world. However, as small blocks made it impossible to disrupt failing cash systems in poor countries due to the de facto censorship created by fees, I have been predicting that BTC would only be adopted by force if it was ever adopted at all. With their culture of purity tests, dietary laws and the desire to live in a citadel away from poor nocoiners, it was obvious to anyone with eyes to see, and now it is happening.

The small blockers have found a hero in the fascist dictator of El Salvador. The nation is one of the youngest per capita in the world due to the slaughter of the previous generation of Salvadorans during their recent civil war. Until recently, they functioned as a sort of social democracy that has used the U.S. Dollar for money due to the lack of infrastructure necessary to issue their own currency. In early 2020, Nayib Bukele, the young and charismatic leader of the nation, invoked an emergency order of the state in order to concentrate militaristic policing powers over the nation under the auspices of protecting the nation from gang violence. 

Despite the fact that his proposals were popular and would have passed without incident, the leader decided to make a show of force to put a seal on his power consolidation.

It was reported, “…armed soldiers in full camouflage entered the Salvadoran legislature. They fanned out across the half-empty chambers, stationing themselves behind startled deputies and lining the hallways. Outside, snipers perched atop government buildings. President Bukele marched into the occupied chambers and took his seat in the Assembly President’s chair.” 

“Now I think it’s quite clear who has control of the situation,” Bukele said.

Bitcoin and the Fascists

In 2021, Bukele dismissed the nation’s highest court and attorney general to eliminate all of the opposition power in the nation. Fancying himself a rising star on the global scene, Bukele has made a point to make friends with those who he perceives as technological and cultural disrupters. This is likely an attempt to be a member of the new globalist ruling class that the small blocker citadel hints at incessantly with their dietary laws and their penchant to tell critics to “have fun staying poor.” 

Against this backdrop, the fascist dictator of El Salvador sought out relationships with those who have been signaling that they want to build a globalist aristocracy with the powers granted to BTC by incredible tether inflation and massive market manipulation.

El Salvador, BTC and fascism
Nayib Bukele (right) with BTC Podcaster Peter McCormack (left) (Source: Twitter)

When it was announced that El Salvador would be using “bitcoin” as legal tender in the third world nation and that businesses would be forced to accept it as payment small blockers jumped for joy. While that language has been back-peddled a bit, critics were quick to bring up the lack of networking infrastructure in much of the mostly rural nation in the first place. Furthermore, critics of BTC noted that the average salary in the nation is only about $400 per month, so heavy fluctuation of fees makes BTC impractical at times of high traffic for a person who is quite literally living on pennies. So who could even practically utilize BTC in El Salvador? 

BTC supporters were quick to point out that Lightning payments solve El Salvador’s problems, but “crypto” YouTuber Marc Falzon was not able to figure out how to pay for anything in the Potemkin Village of El Salvador called “Bitcoin Beach.” Humorously, after several failed attempts and ultimately submitting to KYC (including social security number for those who have tested the wallet), he was unable to pay for anything using BTC, Lightning Network or anything other than physical cash. 

In short

The population of El Salvador are the survivors of a brutal generation of militarism and war. They survived by keeping as anonymous as possible with physical cash—something that cypherpunks of a generation ago could empathize with. Today’s cypherpunk burn-outs are showing up in droves to endorse the issuance of a completely controlled, custodial digital cash system that exposes the identities of every single person in the nation to a power-hungry dictator with global aspirations. While envoys of first world technocrats praise the meme about mining with volcano heat, they are participating in the ascension of a fascist and the further oppression of a people who could really use a break. 

This isn’t about BTC or Lightning Network. This is about the total loss of privacy and sovereignty that is being spun for PR reasons by a group of degenerate gamblers who think they are progressive investors. 

What about BSV? 

BSV should not be legal tender. Issuance of any asset by decree of the state makes it “fiat.” While BSV has data integrity superlatives and digital cash properties that can’t be superseded, this isn’t what the people of El Salvador need. They don’t deserve to be embroiled into a fintech experiment against their will, and it would be better long term for people to think of BSV as a globally significant digital commodity that can be used without friction anywhere on earth. 

The world can become freer because of the power of the unbounded Bitcoin protocol, but forcing people to use the most technocratically stifled implementation of BTC is plainly a step in the wrong direction!   

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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