We admitted we were powerless over fiat, that our lives had become unmanageable... What cryptocurrency can learn from A.A.
Are you familiar with the anonymous, massively scalable, consensus based, proof of work system that, rewards its participates with user generated tokens for their membership? You might be thinking of bitcoin, yet this decentralized autonomous organization is a bit older. The answer is Alcoholics Anonymous and the tokens I refer to are the sobriety chips.
Started in 1935 with the mission of helping self described ne'er-do-well, tramps, and bums to seek recovery from alcohol addiction in a community of fellows seeking sobriety , AA has been continuously providing Person 2 Person mutual aid for nearly 80 years, without the type to top down administration and management that other stalwart, non profit aid society have required. Why has AA, which now also includes parallel ALT-organization (Narcotics Anonymous for drug addiction, Alanon for families of alcoholics, Overeater and Smokers Anonymous) lasted so long with little interference from bulky bureaucracy? The answer lies in 12 traditions of A.A. which is foundational to their success and continuance. Those in the bitcoin space would be benefited for internalizing these principles as their own ethos, are we to kick our fiat habit.
In this article I will outline the 12 traditions of A.A. (different from the 12 steps) as I see them applied to local crytpocurrecy communities or as john bush calls them FreedomCells
1- Our common welfare should come first; personal progress for the greatest number depends upon unity.
The great thing about the blockchain is that people can come to its ledger for so many different reasons. Low fee transactions, foreign remittances, ending government corruption of value transmission, dis-intermediating trade and commerce. What ever reason one comes to crypto-currency, one can find allies of all backgrounds and nationalities. The block-chain is a ledger that is created by large numbers of people attempting to overcome the Byzantine dilemma, this requires that they agree and find unity. As the opensource software behind bitcoin morps and evolves the ALTCOIN ecosystme might seem like winner take all. but as JL777 says crypto development is not a zero sum game. We must unite disparate cryptocurrencies by fostering collaboration, reward innovation, talent and active coin communities, share resulting benefits with core members and extend advantages to all cryptocurrencies
2 -For our group purpose there is but one authority - a loving God as he or she may express themselves in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants - they do not govern.
In this tech centric atheist materialist world this higher power which expresses itself through bitcoin can be seen as not just our personal religious expressions and faith traditions, but as an emergent higher power. Weather SHA256, POS, SKRYPT, X15 as Hashing speeds increase, more participants join our networks, we can see supernatural power directed at formerly insurmountable problems (protein folding, larger prime number generation) The mining pool operators, and protocol devs are but trusted servants of this power, if they disrupt the trust that they have built. the users leave.
3 -The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
Anyone should be able to participate regardless of their technical, philosophical, or political background.
4 - Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
This is the beauty of Satoshi Nakamoto's white paper. Participates in the network can choose the Merkel tree that they find most useful. If an unscrupulous actor decides to double spend and include this transaction into the ledger, each participant or mining pool can choose to fork the protocol and move to a ledger that they deem to be valid. Clams and Litecoin are both forks on the bitcoin block chain.
5 - Each group has but one primary purpose to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
Let us remember this as we help our fellow men and women to understand the evolutionary potential of bitcoin, and allow them to see the freedom that lies on the other side of fiat.
6 - An A.A. group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the A.A. name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
Recently bitpay drop their sponsorship of the St.Petersburg Bitcoin Bowl. In this author's opinion, sponsoring a major sports event with the name of an agnostic protocol is anathema to its purpose. As a cryptocurrency community we can help our fellow bitcoiners to see that though their heart was in the right place (promote promote promote TOTHEMOON!) The energy spent getting this sponsorship deal rolling could have been spent teaching grandmas and high school students how to use bitcoin in their daily lives.
7 - Every A.A. group ought to be fully self supporting, declining outside contributions.
Vulture*coughcough Venture Capital has seen a massive presence in bitcoin in 2015....(STATSTIC) But what has it gotten us? We now have massively funded bitcoin exchanges that can afford to comply with the Onerous regulatory structures that are simultaneously arising. Coincidence?
8 - Alcoholics Anonymous should remain forever nonprofessional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
The bitcoin foundation has seen many trials and tribulations in the past few years due to in part the problems of money, property, and prestige. Contrast this instead with the OpenBazzar dev team, which prides itself on working slowly as a volunteer effort on the side of their day jobs.
9 - A.A., as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.
Bitcoin most likely cannot be organized,
10 - Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues; hence the A.A. name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
Bitcoin is math. At a protocol level it is politically agnostic. Let us not corrupt its already tarnished image anymore, by supporting or opposing any attempt to promote and or regulate the internet of money.
11 - Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, and films.
This is not a commonly held practice in NEW YORK city's time square since we have been acculturated to a blitz of hyper marketing. It is not enough to be good at what you do, but rather you must excessively promote and propagate your brand identity into the sub continuous realm before you can even begin to act on the intelligence. In social circles one might be asked by a former junkie friend why said former junkie has a new glimmer in their eyes, and health about their skin and a purpose of action. This self assurance is very magnetic and has massive “organic reach” to cynically use a social media marketing phrase.
12 - Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities
The best way to judge a piece of code is not by the flamboyant tech visionary that seems to promote it. This has led us to vaporware in the past, wich did little to solve our core problems. Satoshi Nakamoto, BC Nxt, Stan and Dan Lahmer, Sunny and others in their ilk, made the code and set it free into the wild. The living principles embedded Consensus Blockchain ledgers speak for themselves if we would listen.