Obi Nwosu is the CEO and co-founder of Coinfloor, the UK's longest-running Bitcoin exchange. He has over 20 years’ experience building online marketplaces and bringing virtual currencies to tens of millions of people. Obi writes The Road to Bitcoin Hegemony, a weekly recap of some of the most impactful developments in Bitcoin.
You can't win Darth. If you strike me down I'll become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.
What does Star Wars have in common with the British classic Vanity Fair? On the face of it, not much. The novel is a sardonic sketch of Regency-era English society, while the movies are set “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away” with spaceships and lightsabers.
But Vanity Fair is famously subtitled “A novel without a hero”, and that’s also the perfect description of the science fiction franchise. Because although Star Wars has Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Yoda and, of course, my near-namesake Obi-Wan, the films are inhabited by something far greater than all these characters: The Force.
The “heroes” are merely vessels for something infinitely more powerful than individuals. And so to Bitcoin: a currency without a hero. No one, not even Saylor, Musk, or Nakamoto, is the protagonist in this story: the only constant star in this constellation is Bitcoin itself.
I’ve discussed the irresistible nature of Bitcoin in these pages as well as at numerous industry events. Last year I spoke at the Value of Bitcoin conference where I recalled the turbulent history of Bitcoin and spoke about how Coinfloor had bucked the trend of most other exchanges, and predicted the return of the “Bitcoin Only”. I reprised this talk later in the year at the Magical Crypto VR conference, where I again talked about Bitcoin’s battles, both internal (against Bitcoin Cash) and external (with other altcoins).
Now the final fight is upon us and, like all good trilogies, it promises to be the toughest and most testing yet. We face an all-powerful Empire of entrenched interests which doesn’t just seek to defeat the Rebel Alliance, but seeks to explode an entire star of hope. Those of us who were there at the beginning might not be around to help celebrate the final victory. But we must always remember that the Force is far, far greater than any single one of us.
Not only have I never had any doubt in our eventual victory, I relish and welcome the fight. Because Bitcoin should struggle against its enemies. If victory came quickly and easily, if governments and rulemakers and investors suddenly saw the light and embraced Bitcoin, how could we have complete confidence that its claims have been thoroughly tested?
But as members of Bitcoin’s very own Resistance, how do we defend against an enemy that wants to destroy our freedom, and which can call upon limitless resources to do so? Simple: Use the Force, young Skywalker — not a belief in the supernatural, but the application of Bitcoin's core philosophical principles:
Never just read the headline and walk away. Delve into the detail, DYOR, recognize that there is always an agenda. This will shield you from subterfuge.
The superpower of Bitcoin is monetary self-sovereignty. Be wary of anyone suggesting that self custody is not an essential or ideal end state. It may be difficult to overcome a lifelong reliance on third parties to protect your hard earned savings but learning to be independent is an essential step in joining the Jedi.
We are legion. The philosophy and message of Bitcoin is international, cross-cultural, and intergenerational. The number of supporters — rich and powerful, or otherwise — is growing at light speed. One of Bitcoin's greatest ironies is that it supercharges self-reliance but also grants membership to a global body of bitcoiners all sharing the same vision and willing to support the cause in innumerable ways.
As Nelson Mandela said, no weapon is more powerful than education, and no object is as immovable as the truth. The truth of fiat money's 50-year value decline, Bitcoin’s 12-year network performance, the historic levels of central bank money printing, and abuses of power perpetrated by the global haves on the have-nots are but a few of the truths becoming clearer and clearer as time and technology progress.
Always remember, you are not “just” a HODLer. You, my friend, are a Bitcoin Jedi. Bitcoin is the hero of the story, sure, but it needs people who are courageous, idealistic, and passionate, and who are willing to sacrifice to ensure its victory. So never forget how important a role you play in defeating money’s old Empire.