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🧵1) If #Bitcoin is the foundation for a revolutionary form of cybersecurity, would humanity recognize it? Can Bitcoins in wallets act like transistors in a planetary scale computer? Let's examine @JasonPLowery's thesis and why he believes Bitcoin may be far more than money. 👇
2) During the 9th century, Taoist alchemists experimented with a highly volatile mixture of elements in their quest for the elixir of life. Dubbed "fire medicine," their mixtures of sulfur and saltpeter inadvertently led to the discovery of gunpowder and changed history forever.
3) Although it may seem obvious now, it took generations for humanity to realize that "fire medicine" could be effectively used for other applications, such as warfare. It's a reminder that our inventions may have alternative uses that aren't immediately apparent to us.
4) Much of Lowery's presentation goes into great detail on the universal importance of harnessing physical power to challenge and neutralize abstract power hierarchies that have become corrupt or exploitative. You can watch it, in full, here.
5) By creating new forms of abstract power, in computing, user have been systemically exploited and oppressed. More code doesn't solve this problem. Imposing a prohibitive physical cost is the only way to challenge corrupt abstract power hierarchies.
6) Humans can impose physical cost kinetically, by force displacing mass (often lethal). Or they can impose it peacefully and electrically in Watts, with charge passing across resistor. Physical power is not a belief system, it is a force that exists in reality.
7) Lowery believes #Bitcoin is the first time humans have figured out how to impose a severe physical cost in the digital domain, to prevent people from being systemically exploited by corrupt abstract power hierarchies.
8) Bitcoin is money and the network incentives would not work unless it were valued as such. However, Lowery doesn't just see the big picture of #Bitcoin as *just* money. It's much more. The bits of information we use to represent money can represent bits of data.
9) Modern computers are stacks of metaphorical logic (software) stacked on top of physical switches (hardware). Lowery contends that "No amount of logic can prevent the systemic exploitation of logic."
10) The upper levels of these logic-based software stacks are controlled with abstract power hierarchies, such as "administrators" or "root" privileges, that allow centralized software to control, manipulate and exploit users and their data.
11) Lowery theorizes that the only way to prevent exploitation of logic is not with more logic—which can be exploited—but to impose a real-world physical cost on attackers. What if there were a planetary scale computer, that already achieved this? Would we recognize it?
12) Today's computers are state machines that use binary data, or "bits." Binary data is data whose unit can take on only two possible states. These are often labelled as "0" and "1". You can think of a light switch as a simple computer. 0 = OFF 1 = ON
13) In a computer, a "bit" is represented by the state of voltage on a hardware transistor. All of our data and our interactions on computers are just series of 1s and 0s. Modern computers are essentially billions and billions of switches packed into tiny packages.
14) If you could take a semiconductor back in time and told someone it was a package of switches, they would have thought it was a colossal waste of energy and effort. They would not be able to comprehend its power and importance to society.
15) But what if, instead of transistor "switches" etched in silicon, you could represent switches for computer states by moving sats from wallet "A" to wallet "B"? In theory, that would be akin to what transistors achieve on silicon.
16) Sats can offer far more state context than simple switches. Sats not only send value, they can send messages as well. And it wouldn't be the first time that something out of the ordinary was used for data.
17) In 1959, physicist Richard Feynman, posited that the creation of artificial objects, that mimic biological objects of the microcosm, can have similar or even more extensive capabilities. For example, synthesized DNA molecules could act as a massive data storage reservoir.
18) DNA oligonucleotides are crystalline piezoelectric structures that resemble advanced data storage. Researchers have recently shown that 215 petabytes of data can be stored in a single gram of DNA.
19) To encode data in DNA, the data is typically first converted into ternary (base 3) data rather than binary (base 2) data. Each digit (or "trit") is then converted to a nucleotide using a lookup table, making it a far more advanced data storage system than binary 1s and 0s.
20) This has led to the discovery of 5D optical data storage, where the size, orientation and three-dimensional position of nanostructures can allow enormous amounts of data to be stored in so-called "Superman crystals." A casual observer might think these were worthless trinkets
21) Such glass structures can hold 360 terabytes of data for billions of years. Even seemingly simple mediums can have powerful properties. It is plausible that permissionless and controllable matrices of Bitcoin "Sats" (₿0.00000001) could be used in a similar manner.
22) Imagine instead of encrypting data into DNA or Superman crystals, data is encrypted into thousands of matrices of wallets. And changing the state of the Sats between each of the matrices would allow massive amounts of data to be completely in the user's own control.
23) In such a world, massive amounts of data could be stored in relatively simple virtual structures. Energy to secure the Bitcoin network would enable users to have complete control over the state and custody of their data in a planetary computer that was controlled by no one.
24) It would mean that instead of people manipulating and exploiting our data for profit, a new software stack could be created to allow users to permissionlessly control the state and chain of custody of their own data in cyberspace, with a planetary scale computer.
25) This would require the buildout of new protocols on higher layers for new kinds of machine language and assembly language where Bitcoin addresses would hold data, constituting virtual hardware and a kernel for a planetary OS that offered the highest levels of cybersecurity.
26) In a world where a single computer chip can already transfer 1.84 petabits of data per second—roughly twice the entire internet’s traffic—the ability to resist such state changes with an immense wall of energy would be extremely valuable to humanity.
27) Proof of Stake networks, which are logical abstractions of equity, would not be able to offer such immutability or settlement assurances. Already today, these networks are obeying higher forms of abstract power. Only Proof of Work can challenge abstract power hierarchies.
28) Turing complete "smart contracts" needlessly expose users to more attack vectors, due to the increased surface area that comes with so many additional features. It would be like adding exploitable features to DNA or a glass, making them more fallible.
29) Because #Bitcoin is deceptively straightforward and relatively static, it leads people to overlook what can be done with it. It is about as intellectual as assuming that glass is only good for holding water.
30) Instead of piling as much functionality as possible into a bloated base chain, Bitcoin's lean base chain encourages innovation on higher layers, which in turn enables a wide range of applications to evolve with a highly-secure foundation for the entire internet.
31) Assuming #Bitcoin is "worthless" because it is simple and largely finished only shows a lack of imagination and creativity. Time and time again, naysayers have wrongly dismissed nascent technology to their own peril.
Level39 @level39History is littered with bad predictions from so-called "experts" who were unable to see the obvious future that was right in front of them. In the future people will look back and wonder how today's experts couldn't see #Bitcoin as an unavoidable Schelling point 🧵👇
32) #Bitcoin is not only the world's most secure and permissionless money, it is a planetary scale computer controlled by no one. The global electric grid is its circuit board. This, in turn, unlocks Moore's Law for innovation on the power grid.
34) To learn more about Jason's vision for the future of #Bitcoin and the Internet, watch his @BTC_Mass presentation.

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