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Bitcoin and the American Dream: Shared Ambitions and Perspectives

The United States, famously described by Walt Whitman as “large” and containing “multitudes,” is a land of diverse ideals and evolving mottos. Once unified under “e pluribus unum” (“from many, one”), the country’s guiding principle is now “In God We Trust.” Yet, the American Dream remains an enduring myth, promising success through hard work, talent, and determination.

The American Dream and Its Many Faces

The American Dream varies greatly depending on individual backgrounds. For a first-generation Greek-American, it represents the opportunities afforded by familial sacrifice. For others, the dream might be shaped by centuries-old roots in England, Ireland, or Italy, or by the legacy of ancestors who arrived on slave ships. This diversity in interpretation is not necessarily problematic, as big ideas often contain many guiding principles. Democracy, for instance, is universally accepted despite varied understandings.

Bitcoin’s Shared Ethos

Bitcoin, much like the American Dream, embodies a multitude of meanings and promises. It is often described with platitudes such as “Bitcoin Fixes This” and “Number Go Up.” At its core, Bitcoin aligns with the American Dream’s ethos of success through effort, evident in its mining process where increased work leads to greater rewards.

Bitcoin’s identity, like the American Dream, is multifaceted. Is it peer-to-peer electronic cash? Digital gold? A store of value? The answers depend on whom you ask. For a fully banked American, Bitcoin represents a financial product; for Roya Mahboob in Afghanistan, it’s a tool for empowering women and promoting education amidst gender inequality. In Argentina and Venezuela, Bitcoin is a hedge against hyperinflation.

Bitcoin, in its vastness, enables free, permissionless transactions, a principle that unites its diverse user base. Similarly, Americans are bonded by the shared pursuit of the American Dream, even if its manifestations differ widely.

Cynicism and Corporate Influence

Both America and Bitcoin face skepticism about being captured by corporate interests. George Carlin’s cynical take on the American Dream as an illusion and Hunter S. Thompson’s critique of American excess in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” reflect concerns about consumerism and corporate influence.

Bitcoin, too, is seeing its rebellious roots challenged by mainstream adoption. The launch of Bitcoin ETFs by financial giants like BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) symbolizes a shift. Bitcoin, initially a response to the Great Financial Crisis, is now promoted by the same institutions it was meant to counter.

Despite this, the freedom to critique both America and Bitcoin remains a cherished right. Complaints and criticisms are integral to the growth and resilience of both.

Featured Image: Freepik

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