The Power and Peril of the 'Bitcoin Fixes This' Meme

As the U.S. experiences the most sustained civil disobedience in more than a generation, an exploration of what role bitcoin has to play in building a better system.

AccessTimeIconJun 1, 2020 at 7:08 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:46 a.m. UTC
AccessTimeIconJun 1, 2020 at 7:08 p.m. UTCUpdated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:46 a.m. UTC
AccessTimeIconJun 1, 2020 at 7:08 p.m. UTCUpdated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:46 a.m. UTC

As the U.S. experiences the most sustained civil disobedience in more than a generation, an exploration of what role bitcoin has to play in building a better system.

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This episode is sponsored by Bitstamp and Ciphertrace.

Cities around the country have been engulfed in protest in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man. There is an intense battle for the narrative around the protests. Are they legitimate outcries against institutional racism and police brutality? Is the looting covertly being driven by white supremacists on the one hand or Antifa on the other? 

In the Bitcoin community, some have plumbed the “Bitcoin Fixes This” meme to argue that the core underlying issue has to do with a monetary system that structurally creates inequality. Others have clapped back against pushing that meme in this moment. 

In this episode of The Breakdown, NLW looks at:

  • What bitcoiners are trying to say when they apply the “Bitcoin Fixes This” meme to this moment.
  • Why the current system structurally exacerbates inequality.
  • Why the meme fails to capture additional economic, political and power dimensions of what’s going on.
  • Why the meme in this moment might feel so out of place as to inspire the opposite of its intended effect: turning people away from bitcoin rather than making them want to learn more.
  • Why Satoshi’s “If you don’t get it, I don’t have time to explain it to you” quote is the most misused and abused of his sayings.
  • Why complexity and nuance, not memes, are needed now.

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