Theory of Bitcoin Part 10: The end and a new beginning

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With its tenth and final episode, the educational “Theory of Bitcoin” video discussion series concludes… sort of. The series, with Bitcoin creator Dr. Craig S. Wright and Money Button founder Ryan X. Charles, ends not with a wrap but with a plan on where to go next.

After all, this episode is titled “The End and a New Beginning.” The conclusion is that there is no conclusion. “Theory of Bitcoin” that gave us an introduction to the 16 or so disciplines that (according to Charles) one must know to master Bitcoin. But there’s an entire universe of knowledge beyond that which turns out also to be relevant somehow. And so, Episode 10 is mostly a discussion about reading lists, essential material, and what topics to cover first.

That’s right, the discussion series will continue. Charles details his plan to go even deeper into the two main facets of Bitcoin: the “Bit”, which explores technological aspects, and “Coin” which looks at the monetary and economic side. Beyond that, there’s the importance of a classical education—and the series will cover that as well.

For example, the “Bit” section may examine topics like Sighash, Locktime, Sequence numbers, broader topics like network information theory, limits of computation, compilers, cryptographic algorithms, payment channels, the Internet, Databases, and the Forth language.

The plan is for Charles to present his own research results (since he’s examining some of these topics at the beginning stages himself), provoke a discussion using Dr. Wright’s own experience and knowledge, and relate it all to Bitcoin.

It’s a good idea to watch this episode to find out what’s going to happen. There’s a lot.

‘Here’s where people are going wrong’

For the past 10 weeks we’ve had a new two-hour discussion that delves into hidden pieces of Bitcoin history, functionality, purpose, and background philosophy. The most important discovery was that not everything that appears unrelated to Bitcoin is, in fact, unimportant to Bitcoin. Quite the opposite.

As Dr. Wright likes to say often, “here’s where people are going wrong”, or “what people don’t understand is…” If you’re one of those people getting it wrong—and chances are you are—it’s good to have that pointed out. You may agree or disagree on some points, but you’ll definitely be able to see them from a new perspective.

It seems the key to truly understanding Bitcoin is to examine it from as many different angles as possible. And that involves studying as many different viewpoints as possible, from ancient Greece to the present day. It’s important to read that which you do not agree, as well as viewpoints you support. To do otherwise would narrow your worldview, and thus your chances at finding the truth.

Most importantly, as Charles and Wright have often stressed in this series, you should never stop learning. Not everyone follows the Aristotelian example by attempting to learn everything there is to know, but most people could definitely learn a lot more than they do.

To say Charles’ suggested reading list is well-rounded is an understatement. There may not actually be enough time in a human lifetime to read it all. It covers the entire political and economic spectrum, includes the Western literary canon, and will probably include some theoretical physics. Remember again: don’t just read the books you agree with.

Why you should watch this series

“Theory of Bitcoin” has been, as well as a Bitcoin backgrounder, a masterclass in education and entrepreneurship. Those themes, with classical liberal undertones, will no doubt continue with the usual degree of both objectivity and subjectivity.

The following quote from Episode 10 sums up much about Dr. Wright’s motivation:

“There are extremely out there crazy people, like myself, who don’t understand human life well enough to be part of it, and are driven. We have to create, we have to build, we have to learn, we have to study, we have to build a company, we have to do whatever else.”

One thing that has made the series so enjoyable is that Wright and Charles have had many discussions over the years and are comfortable chatting to each other. Both have similar interests (i.e., they’re interested in everything) and are dedicated to learning as much as they can, for as long as they can. The conversation moves smoothly, stays fresh, and doesn’t waste time rehashing the more mainstream questions about Bitcoin and Dr. Wright’s work. The mutual understanding and purpose the two men share has helped move the discussion in interesting directions.

This series is highly recommended for anyone who’s already interested in Bitcoin, but needs to understand more about the “why”. It also helps to explain why Bitcoin SV (BSV) needed to exist, and why only BSV is the true claimant to the name “Bitcoin”.

To watch previous episodes of the Theory of Bitcoin, check the Theory of Bitcoin YouTube playlist here.

New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.