This is not an article about selling your bitcoin. Instead, we’ll be discussing profit or being an influencer in Bitcoin. When is it acceptable to make this type of work profitable in Bitcoin? Do not use the asset as a store of value or as currency as in El Salvador, but as a source of content or other service.
We all know the influencers who are looking for recycled content, taken from someone else and rebranded as their own; remove the repetitive buzzwords around Bitcoin; or participate in the endless echo chambers where growing experts on social media despotism are all desperate for an understudy that could attract a bigger audience to them.
You could say that some of these activities apply to me as a writer in space. But what about those who really make a difference? How do you separate the simple profiteers from those who implement real change? First of all, we should discuss the importance of this.
A protocol of philosophy
By nature, Bitcoin is resistance to controlled power and personality cults. Centralization and rulers are subject to humanity’s greatest weakness: the human element.
Bitcoin is the first solution to the problem of the human element. It is money written in programming code that cannot be controlled by anyone and only listens to established rules accepted by the system. Attempts to resuscitate the human element in the network are rightly satisfied by Bitcoin’s immune system.
Bitcoin has an inherent resistance to influencers and apps that don’t practice the established Bitcoin ethic. Why? One could arguably consider that much of the dogma within Bitcoin promotes many values, such as freedom, sovereignty, free markets and others. But it also represents a better future for humanity which is only achievable without centralized control of finance, which leads us to …
The first Bitcoin influencer
For those who don’t know, this is the pseudonym of the person (s) who developed Bitcoin. The amount of bitcoin held in the wallet controlled by this pseudonymous creator is immense and has never been used. And that’s the point. But why is Satoshi’s Bitcoin largely unused?
Because Satoshi is gone. They’re gone, and we haven’t heard as much as a peek in years. By now, the creator of this platform could have emerged into a magnificent display of ego, shouting “I told you so!” mountains as they paraded through the streets of Dubai with a receipt for the purchase of Apple that they had set on fire because they had enough money to do so.
Not only is Satoshi gone, but no wallet with this substantial amount of bitcoin has ever sold. Satoshi has never sold his bitcoin (at least not the majority). The first Bitcoin influencer never attempted to claim fame, never pursued his 15 minutes and allowed his bags of wealth to solidify a global network, while Satoshi held those bags for everyone.
No credit. No podcast. No monetized blog. No YouTube channel makes millions. Just the delivery of the only truly decentralized form of finance that humanity will ever achieve because the creator has walked away.
If the creator of Bitcoin wouldn’t take advantage of his own name, why would we?
Because Satoshi integrated it into the system
The Bitcoin protocol is maintained every second of the day without compensation for those who provide the most crucial element in the entire ecosystem: the nodes.
The nodes function as validators for the network. They keep track of all transactions and agree on consensus for the entire blockchain. They are inexpensive to set up and inexpensive to maintain. This is what allows decentralization, and at the same time it is what the “block wars” were. Because transaction blocks are so small, many people can afford to run a node.
They are not compensated. The nodes are completely voluntary and anyone can enter the system, but they are not paid for the critical importance of maintaining the network. Much like Satoshi before them, node operators seek the greatest good in moving the network forward without personal gain (although running a node allows you to verify your own transactions).
Does all of this mean that Satoshi never wanted anyone to take advantage of it? Not even close. They probably used a few bitcoins before they disappeared. But we know the system wants people to take advantage of it. How? ‘Or’ What?
Nodes maintain the network by validating all transactions and giving “proof” in a proof of work system. The miners provide the “work”.
Miners are given a puzzle to solve at the start of each block, approximately every 10 minutes. In a simplified explanation, if the miners can guess the block’s ‘password’, then they receive the block’s reward, which is bitcoin. The miner who solves the block is paid in bitcoin. It is very clearly a profit model. Solve this puzzle, get paid. So why did Satoshi believe that minors should be compensated?
Work, effort, resources. In the proof-of-work model, a necessary outflow of resources is required to perform the calculations that lead to the resolution of the block. This can lead to heavy energy costs for miners, depending on how they acquire their energy, most of which is now clean and renewable. They are incentivized to find clean energy and keep their costs as low as possible, which allows for a greater margin when using resources in Bitcoin mining.
What’s the point?
Understanding the mechanisms that allow Bitcoin to work and understanding its origin allows us to see a very clear message: Profiting from Bitcoin is allowed by following proof of work.
Resources must be spent. The cost is associated with the efforts in the craftwork associated with Bitcoin. Whether it’s running a course to teach people about Bitcoin, creating podcast or vlogging content, building a new hardware wallet, or even developing financial instruments designed for institutions – we can’t not to say that none of these activities, nor their creators, are pure in principle. What we can do is check the block.
Is this particular person, product or business driving adoption? Is the focus on premium content and mentoring offered to the community as a whole? Or do they seem to be taking a political stand? Maybe they are using Bitcoin’s network to expand their own audience for personal gain?
Once we have determined the pattern, we evaluate the work. In mining, labor is considered the expenditure of resources when solving the puzzle. Michael saylor said famous that “money is energy”. In many ways, this image allows us to see the obvious: Energy spent outside the home earns money. We go to our work, spend energy and come back with money (ideally). In many ways, energy can be thought of as the time and effort spent on the goal of a particular outcome.
If someone is putting real effort into their creation and an audience is formed from that creation, that audience may never have entered the ecosystem at all. If we can see the resources spent (time and energy) and we can attribute a positive experience to the product or influencer, then it is up to the community to decide whether the product or influencer offers justifiable value. Measure proof of work.
How do you know when it’s time to take advantage?
Passion fuels many of us, but rarely pays rent. We should be addressing the elephant in the room, that is, we all have bills to pay. It makes perfect sense to want to do something you love and pay your bills at the same time.
What is not justifiable is really making a profit, or benefiting from a community, or having expectations or feelings of being accountable for your contribution.
I was guilty of it.
I’ve been a writer for years, and when I fell in love with Bitcoin and its values, I desperately wanted to be a writer in space, and I didn’t care how. When I learned that I could be a contributor, I wanted to have a full time job as a writer. Not because I thought I deserved it, or that I was better than others. I just wanted to do what I love and be able to pay my bills.
I needed proof of work. Most importantly, I needed to understand the ideals of Bitcoin. Possession of a skill does not entitle you to income for its use.
I encourage those like me to create, review community feedback, and adapt. Protocol, principles and protest against the current system – put all of this before your personal gain. There are times when we need to selflessly contribute for the good of others and for ourselves, there are times of conflict and fairness that allow us to reach a place of reciprocity based on our efforts or resources spent. Quality breeds recognition. Recognition favors those who deserve to be recognized.
The nodes are not remunerated but are essential for the continuation of the protocol. I don’t know if I really understood Bitcoin until I understood this. We all have to be a knot before we become a miner.
This is a guest article by Shawn Amick. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.