Mircea Popescu Bitcoin Writing – Bitcoin Magazine: Bitcoin News, Articles, Charts, and Guides

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There’s an old saying about rock band The Velvet Underground – their debut album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.

For the writing of Mircea Popescu, the same logic applies. Only 10,000 people may have read his Trilema blog, but everyone who did created a Bitcoin Twitter account.

Yet, due to the controversy surrounding Popescu (and there was no shortage during his lifetime), his legacy had been obscured until his recent death by drowning and related reports that he had (most likely ) some of the largest personal assets in the world.

As I mentioned in his Bitcoin Magazine Obituary, Popescu remains lesser known largely due to his history of verbal abuse and incitement to violence against Bitcoin Core developers, as well as the frequency with which he used hate speech.

There is also the problem of Popescu’s writing itself – so crude at times that it could be indistinguishable from delirium, his arguments were often not framed by arguments, but by pure impulse, a kind of nuclear waste resulting from its own combustion reaction in real time. events.

But as a glimpse of his most memorable work shows, his ideas would prove influential on Bitcoin philosophy, helping to shape author Saifedean Ammous’s seminal “The Bitcoin Standard” and, in doing so, popularizing the principles that are so common in Bitcoin today that it can be hard to see them with the same outward energy with which they entered the conversation.

And it’s true, a generation of writers has since developed all the ideas Popescu developed – why Bitcoin is sovereign, the need for conservatism in its software changes, and why altcoins will fail to compete with its monetization.

Yet these were iconoclastic works, almost lonely howls on the fringes of an industry then defined by Dudley Do-Rights perhaps too willing to defer to the authorities.

To remember the context, just look again at Marc Andresen’s 2014 opinion piece “Why Bitcoin Matters” and consider which one remains most relevant in terms of thinking about Bitcoin software today. (Hint: it will undoubtedly be Popescu’s).

With that in mind, I’ve compiled a short list of Popescu’s most definitive writings so that it can serve as a guide for those seeking to understand his role in the history of Bitcoin.

Special thanks to Shinobimonkey, Alex Berg, Shinoa Fores and Vogueblackheart for their contributions.

“Bitcoin Price, Bitcoin Inflexibility” — February 12, 2013

This piece remains among the most often cited by Popescu as it presents several (still relevant) projections of how the bitcoin market might evolve, and therefore remains a useful lens for the discussion of its ongoing development.

Here we can also clearly see some of the first seeds of Popescu’s argument that bitcoin monetization was likely to become a self-perpetuating phenomenon, one that required no software tweaks or improvements to continue.

He writes: “Will people stop throwing dollars at bitcoin because bitcoin dollar prices are rising? No, they won’t. On the contrary, the reverse is more likely.”

“The idea that Bitcoin is a sovereign…” — May 12, 2014

Now accepted as the primary tenant of the Bitcoin project, it may be hard to believe that the asset’s status as an equal among government currencies was hardly an accepted framework.

Yet in this article, Popescu lays the groundwork for the argument that Bitcoin should be recognized as a “sovereign” and explains why he believed this gave him the legal basis to outright reject the demands of the US Security and Exchange Commission ( DRY). for more information on his early bitcoin operations.

“For any part of a government to discuss any issue having anything to do with Bitcoin, that government will need to recognize Bitcoin,” he wrote.

“If you go on a bitcoin fork, whoever is offering it, you will lose your bitcoins” – January 6, 2015

Possibly Popescu’s definitive work (coupled with his more expansive companion here), it’s hard to find a blog post by him that was more central to the Bitcoin conversation.

At a time when most Bitcoin developers were embroiled in a 24/7 online war over how best to fork the blockchain (not exactly whether they should), Popescu drew a line hard against hard bifurcations, stating that his company would not accept any change in protocol rules.

The indirect result was that Popescu would pose a challenge to the developers — namely, what right did they have to tell him which software was Bitcoin when he was the one following the rules of the code?

“Bitcoin Basic Proficiency Certification” — August 25, 2015

Understanding Bitcoin is difficult. Even more difficult is to explain the many disciplines involved.

Equal parts praise for the many facets of Satoshi Nakamoto’s success and satire against those who would strive to condense that success, this message shows that Popescu’s humor could be more subtle if it was just as sharp.

“GPG Contracts” — October 24, 2012

Another example of an idea that Popescu helped popularize is the concept that the cryptography of Bitcoin, if implemented on a large scale, amounts to a new kind of voluntary law.

Now the domain of thinkers like Eric Casonwho explained this more eloquently and in more articles, Popescu was nevertheless one of the first evangelists to discuss how bitcoin allowed individuals to create contracts that did not rely on existing legal structures .

From the article: “There is one posh young man I bet on: the GPG contract. It is also a) a deal b) made by willing participants. But that’s it.”

“Here’s Who Bitcoin Doesn’t: You” — December 12, 2015

Another characteristic of Popescu was the ability of his writing to turn the camera towards the observer, forcing him to ask questions about his involvement and commitment to Bitcoin.

I will admit that this post finds Popescu flamboyant about someone complaining about rising fees on bitcoin, and has little other value. That said, Popescu’s teardowns were the kind of content that helped build his audience, and it remains a great example of his craft.

Highlight: “Derp actually imagines that he could even in principle know what the solutions to his problems are.”

For further reading, the following articles are also recommended.

“Bitcoin Politics”

“Fiat Vs Bitcoin, a comparison”

“Step N: Bitcoin Exists”

“Why You Need Bitcoin, Simply”

“Bitcoin and the Poor”

“Altcoin’s woes, or why cryptocurrencies don’t exist”

“Okay, so what is Bitcoin disrupting?”

Amanda J. Marsh