This is an opinion editorial by Robert Hall, a content creator and small business owner.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a report warning that mining uses a lot of energy and demands that miners become greener or potentially face the threat of a total ban. As commoners, what can we do to protect Bitcoin from government overreach?
September 8, 2022 should be seen as the day the US government declared war on Bitcoin and its supporters. President Biden and the White House sent shockwaves through the Bitcoin community with an announcement toying with the idea of a possible ban on proof-of-work mining, the very essence of what powers Bitcoin.
There is no error in this action. This is a blatant attack on Bitcoin, the asset, the Bitcoin protocol, the industry that has grown organically since 2009, and more importantly, the supporters of Bitcoin.
The Biden administration doesn’t care that Bitcoin’s annual settlement volume surpassed Visa last year. Did you know that over $13.1 trillion was settled on-chain in 2021? I guarantee the legacy financial system is losing sleep over this and is working overtime to put the screws to Bitcoin and try to kill it before they lose total control.
The federal government, the Federal Reserve, and the banks have a symbiotic relationship; they need each other to survive. They both draw power from each other to the point where you don’t know who’s on top most of the time.
Banks finance campaigns to buy the politicians they want, and politicians pass laws that benefit the banks. The federal reserve is the intermediary entity that facilitates this entire relationship. This is how the system works for the banks and the political class. Both parties are incentivized to attack Bitcoin, naturally.
The federal government uses the ESG (environmental, social and governance) narrative as a convenient tool that conditions the general public to accept overbearing government intrusion into business operations. The fact that Bitcoin is secured by energy makes it easy for the government to spread the Bitcoin protocol as a detriment to society. Here’s a small sampling of the FUD out there:
“Why Bitcoin is bad for the environment”
“Bitcoin consumes ‘more electricity than Argentina'”.
“Bitcoin mining operation in Finger Lakes sparks local concerns”
This kind of propaganda is released to the world without much pushback because Bitcoin is still a relatively small asset class compared to the stock market or bond market. Bitcoin’s market cap, at the time of writing, is less than $500 billion, so why are they chasing Bitcoin like this now?
Considering everything that is happening around the world lends credence to the thought that they are losing control of the situation and are trying to block the exits. Think of this action as a type of capital control function. The government doesn’t want dollars flowing into an asset they don’t control. They can’t kick the can down the road, and they know it.
I think the Biden administration is coming up with this idea about banning proof-of-work mining because they plan to implement this policy in the near future. This is a code red situation and all hands must be on deck for this one. If you care about Bitcoin, you need to take action.
How can bitcoiners fight back?
As Bitcoiners, we can take many actions to stop this policy before it is implemented. The best course of action is to educate the people in power to prevent it from moving forward.
What that looks like in action is contacting your house representatives and senate representatives to make your voice known on this issue. The more people talk, the more they will listen. This tactic has been shown to work in the past, a recent example being the rapid mobilization against the infrastructure bill last year. During this fight forty thousand calls were made last year!
Despite a valiant effort by supporters across the cryptocurrency industry, the infrastructure package ended up being signed by President Biden last November. Even though we lost that battle, the good thing about the episode is that we were able to mobilize thousands of people to make a phone call, which is a big deal and could be built upon.
Focused on the States
We need advocacy and education more than ever to help protect Bitcoin from being strangled to death. The beauty of America is that we have a decentralized form of government. We have 50 state legislatures that need to listen to what Bitcoiners have to say.
This is where we need to focus our efforts, in my opinion. Advocacy and education at the federal level could help, but I see it as a foregone conclusion that the current administration is anti-Bitcoin and will not be swayed by their position because they value control and power over the well-being of the northern people- american .
Bitcoiners should lean on the power of the US 10th Amendment to make their case to state legislators. The 10th Amendment states: “Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, or prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Nowhere in the Constitution does it give the federal government power to regulate how people or states use energy. The so-called ban on proof-of-work mining would be unconstitutional and should be struck down by responding states.
Educating state legislators on both sides of the aisle about Bitcoin mining and the benefits it can bring to their state will incentivize them to defend Bitcoin mining through the 10th Amendment.
If you don’t want to work through state legislatures, the citizens of these 26 states have the power to advocate for Bitcoin mining through a ballot initiative!
Last but not least, ignore any “bans” that might happen and keep your miners connected at home. Imagine a world where every household has something as basic as an S9 bitcoin miner at home – they can’t do anything about it.
We as free people have the right to use the best money ever created to protect our wealth and our time. We can’t let the government take it away from us. Fight the good fight! In the end, we will win.
This is a guest post by Robert Hall. The opinions expressed are entirely my own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine.