Bitcoiners have a unique ability to immediately hit it off with other Bitcoiners. This may not sound extraordinary on the surface, but this powerful interpersonal quality of instant connection is a vastly underrated feature of the Bitcoin network. Especially in an increasingly polarized and socially-distanced world.
Outside of Bitcoin, the only thing humans seem to agree on lately is that we are deeply divided. The practice of making premature assumptions of each other is at an all-time high. Whether we are talking about politics, economics, religion or coronavirus — we have largely become entrenched in predictable tribal talking points. It is common to categorically dismiss people based on superficial qualities like their appearance, their tweets and whether or not they are wearing a mask.
But when you start with Bitcoin, you can cut through all of that noise. When you meet another Bitcoiner, the differences that exist between you are non-threatening. For the first time in a while, a contrary opinion is actually interesting and worthy of engagement. When Bitcoin is the common ground, there are very few irreconcilable differences because there is a shared foundation of truth.
That certainly doesn’t mean there are no disagreements or differences among Bitcoiners, it just means that we are less likely to cancel or dismiss another Bitcoiner for not sharing our political convictions, our chosen religion or our country of origin. Our shared mission is to build a better world through an honest monetary system that enables true freedom and aspires to facilitate sustainable peace. Few loyalties among humans run as deep as the shared conviction of Bitcoiners.
I experience this phenomenon every Thursday when my local bitcoin meetup gets together. Every time I chat with a new person who shows up to The Orange County Bitcoin Network’s weekly gathering, my faith in humanity increases. It’s not just that we find quick connection, it’s that we can safely venture into just about any topic without having to worry about how our opinion will be perceived. Even when we encounter passionate disagreement, and even if that disagreement is uncomfortable, we can always fall back on our deep conviction that Bitcoin fixes even this. Our meetup has been getting together consistently for about a year and some of these initial conversations have developed into real friendships among people who would likely never have made it past initial pleasantries in any other context. These examples have demonstrated how bitcoin serves as common ground in casual bitcoin-focused environments, which I believe are becoming a strong basis for building healthy, thriving communities.
More recently, I’ve experienced how powerful Bitcoin can be as a foundational starting point for bringing people together to achieve a common goal. Over the past six months, I’ve been working with seven other Bitcoiners to co-author a book that we just released. The final product, “Thank God For Bitcoin: The Creation, Corruption and Redemption of Money,” is an undeniable testament to the collaborative advantage that Bitcoiners have by virtue of our shared conviction.
Bridging The Widest Gaps
I first met Jimmy Song in 2019 through a conference I helped organize in L.A. called Bitcoin is_. We struck up a friendship in between emails about logistics and we continued to stay in touch long after the event came and went. We exchanged several notes about how our faith-based backgrounds informed our perspective on Bitcoin and wondered if there were others like us who saw the many parallels between the two worlds.
But it wasn’t always comfortable. Theologically, you could say we were on opposite ends of the spectrum. At one point I remember thinking I would have to separate my respect for Jimmy as a Bitcoiner with my deep differences with him about Christianity, the Bible and God. Like much of the world, I had formed my opinions about “people like him” based on a very surface level understanding of who he actually was as a human. Not something I’m proud of, but an important part of the story.
Thankfully, unlike other scenarios where such profound disagreements would lead to petty dismissiveness, Jimmy is a Bitcoiner, which was enough to keep my curiosity piqued and my knee-jerk prejudices in check. For the first time in a while, engaging in a discussion about faith with someone who held different views than mine transcended the usual frustration and instead was refreshing.
Within a couple of months, we started to more intentionally explore the ways in which faith and Bitcoin intersected. We gathered a few other Bitcoiner friends via Zoom and began a weekly book study. We started with “The Ethics of Money Production” by Jörg Guido Hülsmann and followed with “Honest Money” by Gary North.
These weekly Zoom conversations were always engaging and informative. Typically, about eight of us showed up and sometimes we’d host up to 15. At the end of “Honest Money,” eight of the remaining regulars of the group decided to write a book together. We felt like there was an opportunity to address the underlying issues raised in the two books we had read while making a case for Bitcoin as the solution. Six months and many many more Zoom calls later, we published “Thank God For Bitcoin.”
I’m extremely proud of the book itself and I hope it is helpful for everyone who reads it, but I’m just as impressed with how such a theologically- and politically-diverse group of authors came together and aligned on some pretty substantial ideas. More impressive is how we’ve managed to grow closer together as friends throughout the process.
Represented among us are conservative Christians, progressive Christians and former Christians. We’ve got Evangelical Christians and Orthodox Christians. The eight of us hail from both right-leaning and left-leaning political persuasions. In any other context, you wouldn’t find all of us together in the same room voluntarily. But regardless of those realities, we share a conviction that Bitcoin is good for humanity, that one way or another, its existence can only be attributed to a good and benevolent God.
I won’t speak for my co-authors, but I will say that the process of joining forces with such unlikely partners gives me hope that humanity can escape the polarizing constructs to which we are enslaved. Bitcoiners have a renewed sense of vision and purpose for what can be because we’ve tasted it.
Bitcoin is designed to attract people who innately recognize the need to build a better society from the ground up. When we come together in any context, we’ve already released the old world and instead, we’re actively engaged in stewarding a brand new paradigm.
This is a guest post by George Mekhail. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.
George Mekhail is a Bitcoiner. Born in Cairo, Egypt, he grew up serving as a deacon in the Coptic Orthodox Church. His faith journey has included ministry roles at Evangelical and Mainline churches of almost every theological persuasion. He co-founded Church Clarity, Bitcoin is_ and also has a fiat day job in the mortgage world. George is an active member of the Orange County Bitcoin Network and attends weekly gatherings with his wife Danielle and two children. George is co-author of “Thank God for Bitcoin.” Follow him on Twitter @gmekhail.