We don’t know who you are.
You could be in Argentina or Zimbabwe. You could be Anastasia or Zeke. You could be eighteen or eighty.
We don’t care who you are, either.
You could be conservative or liberal. Introverted or extroverted. WWE or MMA. It doesn’t matter.
This is not to say we don’t care about you, a real, live human being — we do. We think you’re quite lovely, and thank you for reading.
But in the decentralized networks in which we have made the choice to participate, our characters and characteristics, our predilections and prejudices, our commonalities and contrasts can be left at the door. They’re unnecessary, thank you.
In these networks, in which we often participate pseudonymously, we sense the opportunity to regain some of what we’ve lost to increasingly centralized entities that capture our data, invade our privacy, dictate the terms under which we might exchange value, and specify the level of financial risk to which we should be exposed.
In recognizing the opportunities presented by decentralized networks, we are more than the sum of our contributions. We are a movement, gathering pace with every additional node. We are forcing governments and corporations to consider our alternatives.
Over the last 20 years the pendulum has swung toward a concentration of power residing in the hands of too few. But we are the inexorable force that will restore balance in the form of pragmatic decentralization.
And we’re pretty stoked about it.
We watched Bitcoin die 53 times, and yet continue to win millions of new adherents.
We watched Ethereum power a financial uprising in the form of DeFi.
We watched projects like Filecoin begin to challenge centralized paradigms that we’d begun to take for granted.
We watched the SEC begin to tackle those projects in which decentralization was an afterthought, and which seemed to exist primarily to enrich their founders.
And we watched the entire cryptocurrency market grow beyond a trillion dollars in value.
The blockchain industry had a good year. And whether we’re here for money, for ideological reasons, or for the pragmatism of seeking a better way to do things… we did too.
Bitcoin will die 53 times, and yet will continue to win millions of new adherents.
And our decentralized networks will continue to grow, to disrupt, to improve.
Of concern is the fact that parts of our movement are being co-opted as centralized entities realize that it’s easier to become part of the revolution than to crush it.
But this may not be the worst thing for cryptocurrency. Revolutions in which despots are beheaded tend to fizzle and die, often leading to even more repressive regimes that spring up in the place of the deposed. A sudden reversal of ideology can be as damaging as the perpetuation of the prevailing groupthink.
Our 2021 may be defined by a gradual shift toward consensus.
The conversations around pragmatic decentralization are more public and thoughtful than they have ever been. As Jack Dorsey noted after Twitter was accused of censorship, "Yes, we all need to look critically at inconsistencies of our policy and enforcement. Yes, we need to look at how our service might incentivize distraction and harm. Yes, we need more transparency in our moderation operations. All this can't erode a free and open global internet."
When even central authorities are becoming wary of their own power, we must surely be a movement in the ascendancy.