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31 July 2021

The Unbearable Tragedy of The B​​ Word

The Unbearable Tragedy of The B​​ Word

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The B Word Bitcoin conference was a travesty of discourse that failed to advance the conversation on Bitcoin as a technology in any meaningful way.

Billed by Square CEO Jack Dorsey as “The Talk,” the event promised (however vaguely) the semblance of a reasonable conversation about Bitcoin that also included Elon Musk.

I really felt something resulting from the conversation, and I can only describe it as a hollow, awful disappointment about the state of discourse around Bitcoin...

That I feel anything at all in the wake of watching this is perhaps a triumph of branding, and the success of Bitcoin evangelists in shifting the narrative surrounding cryptocurrencies!

In other event sessions, this was on display with eloquent evangelists like Lyn Alden and Nic Carter advancing arguments for Bitcoin as an economic system that have never felt stronger.

In the wake of the event, I can’t even say for sure whether I believe anyone on that stage — even Dorsey — would agree with this statement!

I remain firm in my belief that legitimate conversation could have been facilitated.

Still, my biggest problem is that I don’t understand how Musk walks away from this conversation with any change in view.

He talked openly about his personal cryptocurrency holdings in a way that would make any PR team shudder.

To begin, a review of the actually interesting things that Elon Musk said:.

I’ll accept that that might be too high of a bar on which to evaluate the panel, and that for the sake of humoring the concept of “4D chess,” I’ll adopt the following thesis: Musk is quite simply too much of a loose cannon, and the event was meant to “diffuse the fire.” That is to say, the goal was to get bitcoiners to stop hating Elon, get the press to stop talking about it, and for everyone to move on with their lives through subjecting the greater populace to 70 minutes of sheer inhuman boredom that in no way hurt their respective stock prices?

If that was the goal, then, “on balance,” I’d have to admit it was a success

Dorsey waxed philosophically about how people in Africa have bad payment systems and Wood spoke about what an “honor” it was to meet Bitcoin developers

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