Just recently the cryptocurrency community experienced a very hyped up psychological situation concerning the bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). The bottom line was whether or not the status quo would accept the decentralized currency into their lair.
The ETF Hype Excited Many but Not Everyone
Over the past few months, bitcoin’s price has been on a tear. During this time people have speculated part of the reason the price spiked was due to the March Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision. The psychology of this matter ran deep as people wondered if bitcoin would be accepted by mainstream investors.
While people waited for the decision, many people got excited and hoped the SEC would approve the ETF. Throughout forums and social media one could see countless posts and articles covering the subject. Many hoped the chance of approval would send bitcoin to the moon. On March 10, the day of the ETF announcement, the subreddit r/bitcoin had over 2500 subscribed readers online simultaneously, who likely were waiting for the decision.
Before the SEC decision day, there were also a few bitcoiners who either didn’t think it was the right time for a bitcoin ETF or didn’t want it at all. Serial entrepreneur Vinny Lingham wrote an opinion piece on why he didn’t think 2017 was the year for a bitcoin ETF. Before the decision, there were many other talking points saying a Bitcoin ETF may be a bad idea.
The Psychology of Joining or Circumventing the Status Quo
Following the SEC rejection, a post on Reddit had a vast majority of people saying “we don’t need SEC approval.” One interesting comment stated that the tone of comments probably would’ve been entirely different if the SEC had approved the fund. You have to wonder how many people were cheering for an ETF weeks prior and then said “screw SEC” immediately after.
It’s interesting to see this type of psychology concerning joining status quo or eradicating the system. A while back I uploaded a picture I created of 60 banks invested in blockchain technology to see if I could get a reaction. I did this as an experiment to see whether or not it would gain traction with the crowd. Immediately the picture went viral and received 50 thousand views in twenty-four hours.
The graphic was interestingly popular even though it was posted to a bitcoin-focused forum that typically dismisses altcoins and blockchain projects. However, every single one of those banks pictured have absolutely nothing to do with bitcoin, but the image was still a crowd pleaser.
Currently, there is a yin and yang of differing ideological foundations when it comes to people’s views of what bitcoin is meant to do. You can see these differences across the web throughout many bitcoin forums and chat groups.
What Does Bitcoin Mean to You?
The fact is there are many individuals who wish and pray bitcoin will be accepted by the status quo. They believe the banksters and bureaucracy will ‘legitimize’ bitcoin. Many of them really hoped the bitcoin ETF would have been approved on March 10 and accepted by the financial incumbents.
Then, on the other hand, there are those who vehemently oppose banks and governments coming near the decentralized currency. These types of people believe bitcoin was meant to replace the greedy middlemen and bring economic sovereignty back to the people.
This means that quite a few members of the `Bitcoin community´ (myself included at times) suffer from cognitive dissonance or the act of simultaneously holding two contradictory beliefs at the same time. It’s hard to toss the shackles of society’s traditional norms when the nation states and central banks bolster these beliefs with laws and indoctrination.
The status quo uses multiple types of propaganda, such as protectionism, to make people feel like they can’t do things on their own. In fact, their ridiculous assumptions explain that individuals who privately hold wealth are a dangerous threat to society and must be evading taxes. For instance, last year former U.S. President Barack Obama stated;
“What mechanisms do we have available to do even simple things like tax enforcement?” asked Obama. “If in fact, you can’t crack that all, if the government can’t get in, then everybody is walking around with a Swiss Bank account in their pocket.”
With these two very distinct and contrasting ideologies within the bitcoin space — The question is where do you stand?
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoin.com, and Crypto-graphics.com.