One of the core narratives of Bitcoin (BTC) since inception is the oft-stated goal of separating money and state. While this has certainly been a powerful creed in the currency’s early adoption by the crypto-anarchist and techno-libertarian communities, what does this actually mean? It’s quite simply a call for a neutral form of money.
When stripped of the more political messaging, Bitcoin is fundamentally the introduction of a credibly neutral, global system of value transfer that is open and permissionless yet cryptographically secure and verifiable. This burgeoning crypto economy is still relatively early in its development, yet in the ten-plus years since its launch, it has fundamentally shifted the discourse around what money could or ought to become in the future.
Bitcoin’s third halving on May 11, a 50% reduction in the BTC block subsidy that rewards miners for validating transactions and securing the network, represents a clear distinction between fiat monetary systems governed by whim and crypto monetary systems executed through software. A global crisis such as the one we’re facing now is a crucible for any monetary system, often showing what the priorities of the powers that be are.
The unlimited ability to print money in the fiat world operates in stark contrast to Bitcoin periodically reducing the issuance through an immutable monetary policy. The Bitcoin halving in the context of the pandemic provided an interesting starting point in discussing the core difference between the fiat and crypto paradigms and the distribution of power in