The Bitcoin transition: How hodlers can become changemakers and drive adoption

If Bitcoin (BTC) were a country, it might be one of the biggest in the world. That’s according to Jeff Booth, general partner at Bitcoin venture fund Ego Death Capital and author of The Price of Tomorrow: Why Deflation is the Key to an Abundant Future. Cointelegraph spoke to Booth to better understand and visualize the Bitcoin movement’s state in 2023. 

Booth sat down to enjoy a pint and a chat about Bitcoin in Bedford, a small suburban town that has attracted Bitcoin advocates and key opinion leaders from all over the world. Booth commented on the emergence and resilience of the Bitcoin community and how people can get involved personally in the decade ahead.

Jeff Booth (right) speaks to Cointelegraph’s Joe Hall

Booth suggested that the Bitcoin community could usher in a fundamental change to the world if its members dedicated more of their time to the cause. He said that change could be spurred “if all of those people just said, I’m moving and spending more of my time in this to massively step-change the adoption rate.”

The Bitcoin hodlers — those that hold onto their Bitcoin in the hopes of the currency reaching mass adoption — are the backbone of Bitcoin. However, if more of those people could actively use their Bitcoin, the movement could pick up steam and reach its goal faster, Booth argues:

“It would be staggering if the people that were just holding as a hedge decided, I’m going to advance, I’m going to spend more time in the world I want to see and move their time and attention there. The world would move there. I saw it in myself.”

From simple steps like asking if merchants accept Bitcoin to businesses choosing to accept Bitcoin as a preferred means of exchange, there are certain moves that people can make to further the cause. In-person Bitcoin meetups also contribute. Booth commented on the impact of the Bitcoin-themed Real Bedford football team as a way to introduce Bitcoin to a wider audience:

“He’s [Peter McCormack] using this vehicle to advance a whole bunch of other stuff, which is really cool.“

Peter McCormack told Cointelegraph in a separate interview that the Bitcoin movement in 2023 covers far more than the currency: “It’s Nostr, it’s Bitcoin, it’s mainstream media lies, it is poor governance and regulation.” Nostr is a decentralized protocol championed by Bitcoin advocates. Nostr applications like Damus seek to compete with Twitter and other popular social media platforms.

Booth shared that there are more and more ways to use and engage with Bitcoin since his “initiation” into Bitcoin, sometimes referred to as taking the “orange pill.” The Canadian observes that the payments network; the Lightning Network, and Fedimint; a solution for shared custody, present more ways for Bitcoin enthusiasts to get stuck in. Moreover, a lot of engagement and interaction with these Bitcoin subsets takes place online:

“It’s amazing how many friends that I’ve actually never met, and I consider them close friends that over time you develop these relationships, these online relationships that you’ve never met.”

Booth added, “There is something about meeting in person and spending that time going deeper doing this, and there’s something about that that I don’t think can be replaced online.” Initiatives like McCormack’s in Bedford help bridge that gap and encourage Bitcoiners to engage with the local community.

Related: What security? Bitcoin enthusiast cracks known 12-word seed phrase in minutes

Plus, given that Bitcoiners are currently distributed across the globe, with communities popping up in Senegal, Guatemala and Vietnam, Booth sees potential for local network effects to develop.

“How many Bitcoiners are actually just holding it and are waiting?” he asked. 

If the hodlers and those “holding it [Bitcoin] as a hedge” decided to spend more time in the world they want to see, and move both their time and attention there, then, as Booth concludes: “The world would move there.“

This interview is part of an upcoming documentary about Bitcoin in Bedford shown on Cointelegraph’s YouTube channel. Subscribe here.

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