Bitcoin is a new form of life

I love this quote so much that I’m just going to leave it here:

Briefly, and non-technically, Bitcoin is the first example of a new form of life. It lives and breathes on the internet. It lives because it can pay people to keep it alive. It lives because it performs a useful service that people will pay it to perform. It lives because anyone, anywhere, can run a copy of its code. It lives because all the running copies are constantly talking to each other. It lives because if any one copy is corrupted it is discarded, quickly and without any fuss or muss. It lives because it is radically transparent: anyone can see its code and see exactly what it does.

It can’t be changed. It can’t be argued with. It can’t be tampered with. It can’t be corrupted. It can’t be stopped. It can’t even be interrupted.

If nuclear war destroyed half of our planet, it would continue to live, uncorrupted. It would continue to offer its services. It would continue to pay people to keep it alive.

The only way to shut it down is to kill every server that hosts it. Which is hard, because a lot of servers host it, in a lot of countries, and a lot of people want to use it.

Realistically, the only way to kill it is to make the service it offers so useless and obsolete that no one wants to use it. So obsolete that no one wants to pay for it. No one wants to host it. Then it will have no money to pay anyone. Then it will starve to death.

But as long as there are people who want to use it, it’s very hard to kill, or corrupt, or stop, or interrupt.

— Ralph Merkle

And here’s a great series of articles that compares Bitcoin creation with planting a tree: Planting Bitcoin

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