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What Bitcoin Did with Peter McCormack

Mar 31, 2023

Aleks Svetski is an entrepreneur, author and Bitcoin advocate. In this interview, we discuss his upcoming book “The Bushido of Bitcoin”. We cover the negative impacts of wealth, how Bitcoiners can mitigate such negative influences by becoming virtuous and disciplined, and why famous warrior classes are examples to follow.

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It seems like we’re entering another bull run. If it is sustained and we enter another cycle, Bitcoin’s price appreciation will be matched by reappraisals of the hyperbitcoinisation thesis. Can it replace the role of stores of value? Can it become a new global monetary reserve? Will it become a prevalent medium of exchange?

Whilst all these questions are important, there one area of discussion doesn’t get adequately debated: what do Bitcoiners do if and when their place within society becomes elevated? Material personal benefits will be offset by newfound responsibilities. If they are to be the flag bearers of the change Bitcoin promises, how should Bitcoiners behave?

Aleks Svetski tackles this issue in his soon-to-be-released book ‘The Bushido of Bitcoin”. Bushido is the samurai moral code. The word literally means “warrior way”. The samurai were Japanese nobility, and Bushido adhered them to follow various virtues (honour, honesty, self-control, loyalty, compassion, respect, righteousness and courage). It has had a lasting impact on Japanese culture.

The importance of Bushido in the modern context is that elites now operate outside of any moral code. Post war liberal society has developed a system of norms, where expected behaviours have not been codified into law. Increasingly, elites have exploited these norms: if it isn’t illegal, then it’s okay. The roots of societal decay can be extrapolated from this situation.

What is needed is a new moral code. It could be argued that Bitcoin maximalists have been developing such a moral framework for Bitcoiners. But, it is important to take a step back and understand the tenets of a moral code first before defining which actions should be encouraged or discouraged. In essence, what should the Bushido of Bitcoin be?