Let’s Keep Narratives In Check

Before I started writing for Bitcoin and Fintech companies, I used to be a journalist. My field of reporting was technology, the creator economy, and finance.

I didn’t become a journalist because it was comfy or trendy but because I was interested in finding unique stories and being able to tell them to the world. Because I grew up on the internet, I knew that technology and innovation would improve the lives of billions. Therefore covering these topics and speaking to people was the thing I wanted to do.

Luckily I had a great start to my career, but in 2016, I started noticing how certain narratives were pushed and that it was frowned upon to go against them. As I covered many investigational stories and projects, I started my investigation to find out why this was the case.

What I found out was shocking. Most of the newspapers or magazines I was writing for had a close connection to these companies. Granted, I knew that most of these Big Tech companies would be doing some PR work, but I never expected them to send in media references, and those references would be published just like that. The editors did no editorial work, fact check, or even questioning.

This was the first time in my life when I realized that you have outside influence in reporting and that it’s different from most of what I’ve been taught. The holy grail of journalism, as colleagues and professors often displayed it, was, in fact, a facade for close relationships with advertisers and PR companies.

Now, why do I bring my personal story up? Simple, it shows how a good cause - which I still believe the art of journalism would be, but it has to be executed with as little bias as possible - can be infected by ideas or companies.

If you hear people say how much the New York Times has changed over the years, you know why. Their advertisers and special interest friends have captured them. As Bitcoiners, it’s essential to understand this and ensure we don’t follow the same route.

Bitcoin Narratives

This is precisely what I want to address with this article. Although most of us in the Bitcoin space know how captured and biased reporting, we still need to be careful.

People get euphoric and can’t stop talking about specific Bitcoin narratives. You see this in bull markets, especially when everyone is freaking out about the price and feeling like they won the lottery. Most think that Bitcoin can only go in one direction, up.

However, once the hype is over and we end up going into a bear market, people seem to forget what they said before and fall back on fundamentals. Which is what Bitcoin is all about in the end. It’s about enabling peer-to-peer payments with no third parties to enable an alternative financial system for everyone worldwide. Nowhere in the whitepaper did Satoshi mention any relationship to the dollar or any other Fiat currency.

Especially in the last three years, we saw new narratives emerge, whether to bring Fiat currencies to Bitcoin or keep Fed rails alive by trading your Bitcoin for Tether. I’m not shitting on them, but I’m pointing out that we indirectly support the Fed by exchanging Sats for Tether, who then buy their T-Bills.

Another popular narrative is that Bitcoin is an inflation hedge narrative. Although you could make the case that it works if you bought it right when the money printer was turned on and stopped shortly after the bull run, you might say it works. However, these hedges do not protect investors against inflation when the rates start climbing, but a few weeks or, ideally, months ahead and into the future. Bitcoin is a hyperinflation hedge, as the volatility is still less than those high 100%+ rates in countries in Africa or South America.

All in all, many of these narratives came out of the social media bubble. Often not because they’re true but because they result in much engagement, followers, and social proof against other Bitcoiners. If this is the way of spreading Bitcoin and working on adoption, I’m not sure we will ever succeed.

Sure, there are times when things will change, and the ecosystem will have to adapt to new standards. But up until then, we should stick to the capabilities Bitcoin gives us, and instead of trying to build the existing system, with all its mistakes, on Bitcoin, we should focus on creating an entirely new system.

Setting The Record Straight

Not many readers will agree with my points, which is fine. We must appreciate all the opinions and keep an open mind to understand Bitcoin fully. That also includes people from the legacy financial system. Just make sure to orange pill them and explain where they messed up in the past!

However, it’s of no help to us, retail investors or folks in the Global South, if we keep changing narratives just to be fashionable and appeal to social standards. From its birth, Bitcoin has been a different animal. If we try to replicate the same system on Bitcoin with all its flaws, we won’t succeed and will always be captured by central banks, Wall Street, and special interest groups.

The true power of Bitcoin is the network effect and the possibility for everyone to participate equally. Whether by stacking Sats, sending money back home via the Lightning Network, or rewarding people for great content online through Value4Value. These activities can be done through a network that enables direct access without gatekeepers.

Therefore, we need to spread the ideas behind Bitcoin and less of the narratives. Show people the difference between self-custody, why running your node and verifying what’s being done matters, and try to get them on Layer applications in the most decentralized way possible to show how you can build on top of Bitcoin.

We will succeed only if we do this and show people how to use Bitcoin rather than try to fit it into the existing system. Therefore, try to find one of the Bitcoin fundamentals you like and spread the word!

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