How Bitcoin Became the New Religion

Seems people are just designed to always look out for God.

Ouch…I encountered a sect

Last winter, I had the chance to spend time in Madeira, affectionately known as the "digital nomads" island, in the Ponta do Sol, a small city full of tech people - or at least that was what the internet told me (and wasn’t true). My stay presented me with not much of a unique opportunity: attending a Bitcoin meetup. I've been to countless hackathons, workshops, and conferences, but this one stood out in unexpected ways.

Picture this: a Bitcoin meetup with an agenda that seemed like any other tech event - two workshops & networking afterward. Being onsite already, what caught my attention was the sight of parents bringing their young children, eager to expand their worldview with the fascinating concept of Bitcoin (pretty cool I thought). There was even an independent publisher's bookstore stand, showcasing writings solely dedicated to BTC, what was special - some geared towards children and travelers - all aligned with one universe. I could somehow feel the intriguing atmosphere.

The workshops began, and to my surprise, they didn't focus on the usual tech or economic aspects of Bitcoin. Instead, the first speech was given by a conditioning coach from a tier 1 football team. He spoke passionately about a holistic approach to training, emphasizing that no part of the body should be treated in isolation. The information he shared was undeniably valuable, but it wasn't exactly what I had expected from a Bitcoin meetup.

As in half of the presentation he transitioned to discuss foundations, my curiosity peaked. I half-expected him now to pitch a workout plan I could buy, but to my bewilderment, he claimed that Bitcoin itself was the foundation we all needed. He spoke about the importance of having faith in something immutable, something that would never betray my trust - and in his eyes, Bitcoin was that guiding force. He even shared how he was teaching his children to believe in Bitcoin as a way to shape their worldview and navigate life's challenges. Wow - it was an unexpected spiritual angle, and I couldn't help but feel “a bit” perplexed.

The second workshop, delivered by a woman with a compelling personal story, made a profound impact on the audience. She recounted her struggles with debt, stress, and an unhealthy lifestyle while living in a big city. But her life took a transformative turn when she discovered Bitcoin. Selling off her possessions, she embarked on an adventurous journey, exploring the world by sleeping in cargo trains and traveling in Asia. Bitcoin had revealed to her the importance of living life to the fullest, embracing the "you only live once" mentality. Her tale resonated deeply with the audience, which once again responded with heartfelt applause.

Witnessing the fervor and conviction some people treat Bitcoin with, I started to see a lot of similarities with religion, nation, etc. Reflecting on my past, growing up with a Christian mother, attending church every Sunday, and dreaming of serving my country - in the end, being completely lost in the world, I find myself drawing parallels between the "real world" and the world of Bitcoin.

Let’s pretend we know what life is

The Buddha dropped some serious wisdom. He laid down three fundamental truths about the universe. First, everything's in constant flux; nothing stays the same. Second, there's no enduring essence to anything. And third, nothing can bring us complete and lasting satisfaction. It's all like chasing a rainbow.

Suffering creeps in because people can't grasp these truths. They get all caught up in the idea of finding something eternal that'll make everything perfect - whether it's God, nation, capitalism, or Bitcoin. But here's the thing, that search just leads to disappointment and misery. The more people cling to it, the more they resent anything that gets in their way and the more they fight with those who don’t agree (shitcoiners).

We probably shouldn’t get too caught up in these "true" ideas - but guess what - we rather always do. We start turning them into elaborate stories, trying to convince others, arguing with skeptics, and the whole nine yards.

The Madeira meetup wasn’t the first time I encountered Bitcoin maxis - and too often I saw hate while they spoke about anything related to crypto, but not related to BTC. Treating users of some other chains like unworthy subhumans if they didn’t want to listen to their learnings, and even treating people who build some solutions around Bitcoin, which is “not aligned with Satoshi's vision” as most second-class citizens. Not to add such people are always not open to discussion about their problems, only about my problems (looking at me always as an ETH community member, never just a human who would like this tech to do something good).

Example based on the system we live in - capitalism - I'm not saying it’s flawless, but it's kinda working for now. Still, we need to stay sharp and not blindly trust the market's invisible hand and let everything be as it is, no matter what are the circumstances. Regulations are a must, and we gotta keep an eye out for monopolies (and here I would love crypto to flourish and help with some aspects of what is broken), we need to be open to dialogue and just always look for a way of improvement.

Some folks out there think Bitcoin's the holy grail that'll end all suffering, just like how capitalism was sold to us. But I'm not sold on it, considering history's track record.

We feel alone

Humans are social beings by nature. We have this inherent ability to form connections with one another, and these bonds play a crucial role in how we coexist within and across different groups.

Just like individuals, larger communities thrive when there are strong social bonds. Effective communication and emotional well-being within the community contribute to its overall harmony and success.

We feel bad and miserable alone, and we need a community to thrive.

So, the bottom line is that acknowledging and nurturing our social instincts is key to building stronger and healthier communities, no matter the size. It's about understanding how human beings function as complex social and emotional beings and using that knowledge to improve our lives and the world around us.

Bitcoin (and other cryptos too, don’t be fooled) do exactly that - it builds a strong community (would be funny to see such one around SP500, but wait…) and below I will paint some parallels between how Bitcoin doing it in comparison to Civilisation, Nation, Religion, and God.


The clash of civilizations theory tells us that in the long run, only one civilization can survive the test of natural selection. So, it's crucial to fight for "our" civilization, whether it's Polish, European, or Bitcoin. But hold up, from where I'm standing, this whole idea seems misleading and flawed.

According to this theory, humankind has always been divided into different civilizations with irreconcilable world views, making conflicts inevitable. And Bitcoin seems to be going down that path too. The Bitcoin maxis are like warriors, fighting for survival against the "barbarians" (the altcoiners), and they're not even willing to have a dialogue - it's all or nothing.

But let's take a step back and look at this from a different angle. Altcoins may pose a radical challenge, but they're challenging the whole society and tech, not just the crypto market. Society's like a game of coordination, and the better we play it, the bigger the pie we get to eat, then it seems worth being open enough to grab the best ideas, iterate and eat more bread in the end.

Remember the "blocksize war" back in the day? It seemed like a simple technical debate, but it went way deeper into questions of governance, politics, and the nature of the protocol itself. It was a big deal, costing tons of money and developer focus. And now, we've got this Wild Hunt heralding crap around Taproot. Let's see how much noise it's gonna make this time.

Bitcoin's constantly evolving. What was meant to be Bitcoin in 2015 is not what it means in 2019 or today, It's brand new every year, and we can't stop it. People are resistant to change, especially when it comes to core political or religious beliefs. We hold on to these values, claiming they're precious legacies from our ancestors, but those values are coming from us, we everyday change them and forget about them.


Globalization has brought us all together as a single civilization, sharing common challenges and opportunities. But, despite this, some groups still choose isolation. Take Russia, the UK with its Brexit, or Bitcoin.

As a species, we've learned to use culture, myths, and imagination for large-scale cooperation, which has been crucial to our success. We're constantly evolving our behaviors and stories to fit the circumstances and our needs. We can identify with larger groups than ever before, but it's not always easy to feel connected to millions of people we don't personally know. We need something tangible to confirm we're on the same page, like anthems, flags, and ceremonies for nations. In the case of Bitcoin, it's the code and rules incorporated into its network. Any change to that could lead to a sense of betrayal and distrust among "Bitcoiners."

But there's even no physical "Bitcoiner" entity - there is Bitcoin, which is code out there in the digital space, but there is no Bitcoiner as a separate organism. It's us, Homo Sapiens, who use and change it, supporting or trying to crash it. It’s once again some story we told ourselves and hold tight to it.

Nationalism can be a force for good, benefiting various communities. The trouble arises when it morphs into chauvinistic ultra-nationalism, where one nation feels superior to others, leading to a lack of obligations to anyone else.

Nationalism often has great ideas for managing a specific community, but it falls short when it comes to running the entire world. We need global cooperation and trade networks to thrive, and Bitcoin can play a role in that, however at its core it seems it would like to stay as a separate tree instead of growing into a forest, moreover, it would like everybody else to hide in its shade instead of taking advantage of cozy grove.

But here's the kicker: educating people to make a complete shift in the monetary system won’t happen ever. How many of the 8 billion people on this planet will truly educate themselves enough to consider Bitcoin as the currency of choice over the US dollar and will let Bitcoiners catch their dreams?

Extreme isolationism won't work in our interconnected world. We need coordination, discussion, and open-mindedness to tackle global problems together instead of resorting to crusades.

In the end, we need to strike a balance between our individual identities and our collective global responsibility. Embracing change, communicating openly, and working together to build a better world, including a role for Bitcoin in our global economic landscape would probably bring much more benefits than incite to a holy war.


Let's dive into the role of religion and how it addresses different aspects of life (by Harari):

  1. Technical problems: Religion helps guide us on how to perform specific tasks, like how to do X and Y in our daily lives. However, in modern times, we tend to rely on science for technical solutions, like setting up proper agriculture.

  2. Policy problems: Religion used to have a say in governing and what measures to use for doing or preventing certain actions. Nowadays, we lean more towards ideologies like democracy and capitalism for policy matters.

  3. Identity problems: Here's where religion steps in to help us understand who we are and what we should care about. It defines the "us" versus "them" and shapes our sense of belonging.

In the 21st century, religion may not bring rain or cure illnesses as it did in the past, but it remains a powerful force in shaping identity and group affiliations. Bitcoin is to me a fascinating concept with the potential to fill some of the gaps left by religion. It can provide a sense of identity and belonging while also offering solutions to technical and policy problems. It's like having a new kind of faith, where Bitcoin can answer multiple questions, not just about identity but also about the practical aspects of life. We see it as a form of science or math, which gives it even more credibility.

As some anon once said, “Crypto needs religion and crypto needs cults”.


Everything we know about Satoshi, his beliefs, and his vision is confined to the Bitcoin whitepaper, emails, and any other writings he left behind. That's the extent of our knowledge, and there's no way to hear directly from him now. This creates a unique situation where some Bitcoin leaders claim to understand his original vision better than anyone else (sounds familiar?). Since Satoshi can't speak for himself, it becomes a convenient situation for demagogues to exploit.

But let's be real here, my friends. Satoshi's identity may remain shrouded in mystery, but that doesn't mean we should blindly follow those who claim to know his intentions, or even him. It's important to engage in critical thinking, healthy skepticism, and open discussions about the future of Bitcoin and its development. Just because we can't ask Satoshi directly doesn't mean we should neglect the importance of constructive debates and the diverse voices within the BTC community.

So, let's embrace a culture of open dialogue and respect differing opinions while staying grounded in the fundamental principles laid out in the whitepaper and other writings (or make a fork if we like). It's through collective collaboration, not blind adherence, that we can ensure the best path for Bitcoin's evolution and continued success.

Few last words

Bitcoin undoubtedly possesses great power, and while looking at human needs, desires, and patterns of behavior, we should not be surprised by current actions. Maybe Bitcoin maxis took all of the bad (worst) from a how-to build a community playbook, however, it’s only a small part of what Bitcoin is. And in the end - it’s us who decide what it is, so let’s just try to use it for good and always be open for debate.


I've been influenced by impactful writers, which lead me to such conclusions, especially Yuval Noah Harari, whose works have shaped my understanding of various aspects of life.

Additionally, I believe I got some sense of the Bitcoin community after reading online and book writings on it, talking to people, etc. - but especially I would like to highlight one title here.

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