This is an opinion editorial by Interstellar Bitcoin, a contributor to Bitcoin Magazine.
In 1519, Hernán Cortés led a Spanish army into modern Mexico to conquer the Aztec Empire. Upon landing, two leaders mutinied to return to Cuba by order of the governor who had commanded the fleet led by Cortés. In response, Cortés scuttled his fleet to forestall future mutiny by closing the only path of retreat.
Against all odds, Cortés defeated an opposing force of over 300,000 Aztecs, a few thousand Spaniards, superior military technology, an unforeseen smallpox epidemic, and shrewd political alliances ultimately prevailed.
Many of those on the expedition had never seen combat before, including Cortés himself. Historians will point to August 13, 1521 as the final victory of the Spanish campaign against the Aztec Empire. However, Cortés really won when he “burned the ships”.
At its core, the “burning the ships” metaphor represents the point of no return: the psychological commitment to crossing a line in the sand once and for all. Beyond this event horizon, there can be no cover or look over his shoulder. From now on, everything – all thought and effort – must be focused on success in the new reality.
Like Cortés, Bitcoiners have crossed the Atlantic to the promised land. However, even if Bitcoiners still use fiat currency, we will not be truly free. Until we burn the ships, we won’t win.
Bitcoiners are the rest. We lead by example. We need to show the world that we are not afraid to live on a bitcoin standard. We need to use bitcoin not just as a store of value, but as a unit of account and medium of exchange for our daily lives.
We must strive for peace and prosperity, building circular bitcoin economies that remain resilient to fiat exchange rate volatility. We must continue to study to gain the knowledge and intellectual depth upon which rigorous discourse can flourish. We need to build great stacks upon which generational wealth is built. In the end, only the strongest survive.
There is a nascent movement in the Bitcoin cultural sphere known as #GetOnZero which polarizes a lot of people. This movement represents “burning the ships”. This change of state is both functional and psychological. This pushes companies to create better products for Bitcoiners. This pushes Bitcoiners to strengthen our resolve as Bitcoiners. It shows that we are ready to go down with the ship. It proves that we are fearless in the face of insurmountable odds.
“Give me Bitcoin or give me death.”
Critics will say it’s “too early” or invoke statistics to try to justify why it’s better to hold fiat currency. While such notions may seem correct on paper, in practice, until Bitcoiners take this great leap of faith, we are not prepared to do what it takes to win. Until we are ready to completely abandon fiat money, it will continue to survive culturally and functionally. Bitcoiners, like Cortés, must agree to burn ships. Once we do, the hyperbitcoinization process already underway will quickly accelerate.
When Bitcoiners burn ships is when Bitcoiners win.
This is a guest post by Interstellar Bitcoin. The opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC, Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.