Bitcoin has had its share of detractors. But over the years, it has also relied on endorsements, even evangelizing from high profile individuals. Beyond the early adopters, and dedicated evangelists like Andreas Antonopoulos, Bitcoin has seen quite unusual support by being linked with the names of public intellectuals from all areas. And while the support has been tentative, it serves to indicate how far the adoption of Bitcoin has reached, overcoming the initial accusations that the entire network is built for scam purposes.
Jordan Peterson: A high-profile Psychology professor, famous for his series on spirituality and self-improvement. He got in touch with Bitcoin when he received a paper wallet with a small amount of funds at a conference. Some donations rolled in, to a total amount of 0.25 BTC, which was withdrawn in November 2017. At peak prices, the sum would be about $5,000.
What Jordan Peterson brings to Bitcoin is a set of beliefs often appealing to Bitcoiners, related to personal improvement, freedom, and independence of thought. Incidentally, he has been gaining fame in Australia, where Bitcoin has also taken off like wildfire.
Nassim Taleb: A student of randomness and former trader, Nassim Taleb has given tangential support to Bitcoin. He believes Bitcoin is a strong candidate for the Broadway effect, in which a show running for a long time may hope to run even longer. Bitcoin has survived for nine years already – making it highly probable it would survive another nine, with unforeseeable price movements and influence. Taleb wrote in a recent blog:
“Which is why Bitcoin is an excellent idea. It fulfills the needs of the complex system, not because it is a cryptocurrency, but precisely because it has no owner, no authority that can decide on its fate. It is owned by the crowd, its users. And it has now a track record of several years, enough for it to be an animal in its own right.”
Daniel Dennett: A philosopher dealing with the intangible, and anything that is hard to grasp and formulate. He sees Bitcoin as a valid, real – though intangible mental construct. Just like fiat money. From his book, “From Bacteria to Bachand Back”, Dennett explains that,
“Bitcoin, in contrast, seems much more illusory to most folks, but if they reflect on it, they will discover that the palpable, foldable dollar bills that are physical objects are ontological crutches of sorts, to be thrown away once you’ve learned how to walk, leaving in place only the mutual expectations and habits that can in principle support bitcoin as well as dollars.”
Steven Pinker: Linguist and philosopher, exploring the origins of human cooperation and altruism in his later books. Although Pinker never supported Bitcoin explicitly, his ideas of the Internet creating a global community have in fact materialized, at least in part, through crypto coins.
And last, but most importantly, Elon Musk.
A name synonymous with rule-breaking and successful innovation, it turns out Elon Musk has just 0.25 BTC stored in a wallet somewhere. Recently, Musk made a furor by being seen holding a book devoted to crypto currencies. Musk has not spoken in defense of Bitcoin, but even his presence is inspiring, and possibly a publicity boost for the crypto community. At this point, some would prefer the community to be seen as a hotbed of great minds and innovators, rather than “lambo-chasers”.
2037: Godking Elon Musk uses children as slave labour to work in his Minecraft mines located on Mars to farm for Bitcoin
— 💖Pearlie💖 (@pearlcuttle) March 12, 2018
If anything, Elon Musk may be a staying presence in Bitcoin memes.
In any case, some believe the crypto world needs at least some justification. Many have spoken positively, but there are still vestiges of distrust, only fed by new scam reports. And as the markets threaten to slide in a protracted bear phase, every positive mention gives hope that Bitcoin will keep surviving.