This is an opinion piece by Alex Lielacher, founder and CEO of Rise Up Media, a content marketing firm for Bitcoin startups.
Made famous by the movie V For Vendetta, the Guy Fawkes mask has become a symbol of resistance to the state, worn by anti-government protesters of all factions. Bitcoiners have also picked up the mask, highlighting Bitcoin’s struggle against the powers that be that control and profit from the corrupt fiat currency monetary system.
It’s the fifth day of November to remind you that bitcoin is more than just a technology that makes numbers. At its core, this is a monetary revolution that has the potential to change the world forever.
Why does England celebrate the fifth of November?
“Remember, remember, the fifth of November. Gunpowder, betrayal and deception. I see no reason why the gunpowder betrayal should never be forgotten.”
Ask anyone in the UK about Guy Fawkes and they will likely quote this poem to you. The fifth of November is the day we remember one of the most notorious acts of rebellion against the state in European lands. On November 5, 1605, a group of Roman Catholic followers attempted to blow up Parliament and kill King James I. The plot’s leader, Robert Catesby, along with his four conspirators—Thomas Winter, Thomas Percy, John Wright, and the infamous Guy Fawkes—were enraged by King James’s refusal to grant greater religious toleration to Catholics.
Through this conspiracy, they hoped that the chaos that would follow the murder of the king, his ministers and members of parliament would give the English Catholics an opportunity to take over the country.
But their plan failed.
They were caught and later hanged for treason. Their action resulted in more punishment against the Catholic Church. In January 1606, the British Parliament established November 5 as a day of public thanksgiving.
Today we celebrate November 5th as Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night by lighting bonfires, setting off fireworks and carrying the ‘Kids’ through the streets wearing the ever popular Guy Fawkes mask.
The Changing Symbolism of the Guy Fawkes Mask
The comics and later the movie V For Vendetta made the Guy Fawkes mask a symbol with different meanings.
It is no longer just a commemoration for the fifth of November, but a symbol against power, corruption and the state apparatus, as well as a means of protecting your identity under surveillance everywhere.
One of the most obvious symbols of the mask is rebellion against the powers that be.
Throughout V For Vendetta, the identity of the character V is never revealed. There was no need to know who he was. The meaning in the graphic novel actually goes a step further and uses V’s facelessness to promote anarchy in hopes of creating a leaderless new world order.
This view is shared by many protestors or anarchists. Be it hacktivist collectives like Anonymous who want to expose corruption and abuse of power, or protesters against state oppression in Venezuela, India, Bahrain or Nigeria. After wearing the mask, they become not only a protest against power, but also a symbol for others to follow them. It is meaningless for a person with a mask on his face to be alone, but after wearing a collective mask, he becomes a symbol against oppression.
Obviously, it’s also a privacy watchdog, which is why you see so many Guy Fawkes masks at protests. It also blends into online culture.
Satoshi Nakamoto is one of the most famous anonymous activists of the last 20 years. In fact, one of the most commonly depicted versions of Nakamoto is as a person wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and hood. Like V in the movie, it was Nakamoto who started a vendetta with the financial world.
They wanted revenge not by breaking the legacy financial system, but by creating a system where anyone could freely transact. Once the project was large enough to survive on its own, Nakamoto left, never to return, thus developing the idea of a leaderless movement—leaderless resistance to a fiat money system.
One of the key features of Bitcoin is its ability to separate money from government. This separation is what unites bitcoiners in 1605 Venezuela with street protesters, online hacktivists and Guy Fawkes. All of them were or are aimed at dethroning powerful institutions for a better and freer society.
Anon Why Bitcoiners Wear Guy Fawkes Masks
The Guy Fawkes mask is not only a symbol against tyranny, but also a protective shield to hide your identity. And anonymity is a big part of Bitcoin culture.
Anon bitcoiners want to protect themselves from the establishment and the possible consequences of their identities being associated with a technology that has the potential to overturn existing monetary structures that benefit the powerful few.
While Bitcoin is slowly being integrated into the legacy financial system, in addition to its legitimacy in the eyes of governments, regulators and big banking, there is the potential for a ban – as Bitcoin is a way to evade the scrutiny of the impending central bank digital currency (CBDC). hardware — remains a threat.
History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.
If you look at what happened to gold in the United States, where citizens were robbed of their gold in 1933, it would be foolish to think that similar plans do not exist for Bitcoin.
Now we can say that if you have private keys and secure your wallet in a multisig structure, not much can happen. This may be true for your bitcoin. But having your identity linked to soon-to-be-banned technology poses a risk.
Anons is able to renounce this dystopia by wearing a metaphorical Guy Fawkes mask and remaining anonymous. They cut off their real-life personas from their online identities, allowing them to continue to remain unaffiliated with Bitcoin in name.
Keep in mind that CBDCs will exist in the future and will likely emerge as the primary means of control for the enterprise. This is another reason why the mask has become an anti-establishment symbol, whether it’s in the Bitcoin space or activist groups like Anonymous.
All these different groups are ready to stand up to tyranny by “putting on a mask”.
Symbols are only effective if enough people stand up for them. A single Guy Fawkes mask is worthless. However, if thousands of people wear them at protests or in online profile pictures, they can put pressure on the establishment.
Statements like “Bitcoin is a peaceful revolution” or “Fix the money, fix the world” aim for peaceful anarchy or revolution. They don’t want to kill or destroy innocent people. This is what the establishment does with endless proxy wars. The goal is to inform citizens and give power back to the individual.
Is Bitcoin the Gunpowder Plot of a Fiat Monetary System?
The simple answer to this question is yes, absolutely.
However, bitcoiners are not planning to blow up parliament. I’m sure there are bitcoiners who live under really tyrannical government and are trying to overthrow their government, bitcoiners want to change the world peacefully without bloodshed or physical harm to anyone.
In V For Vendetta and the gunpowder plot of 1605, the goal was to overthrow the existing power structure at any cost. The characters were willing to sacrifice human life to see the change they envisioned. This is very different from Bitcoin.
Bitcoin does not need violent rebellion. Bitcoin is a rebellion. Bitcoin itself is a peaceful revolution. No need to physically occupy Wall Street or hold bankers hostage in a robbery. All anyone has to do to participate in the Bitcoin revolution is to become part of the Bitcoin network by running a node and spreading the word about the power Bitcoin has to change the world.
Bitcoin is antifragile, hard to change, and protected by design. These qualities are the gunpowder of Bitcoin. Many attempts have been made to change its fundamentals – such as Blockize Wars – but none of the attackers have succeeded in their attempts.
Bitcoin’s core of believers stuck to Nakamoto’s vision, which is still alive today. Everyone on earth has the opportunity to participate in the Bitcoin network, benefiting from its ability to store, send and receive value without censorship or asking for approval. That is why the institution is afraid of it.
The entity does not want you to own anything. Its members are the ones who tell you what to eat, drink, and spend your hard-earned money on. If you disobey, it will impose new rules or shut you down by controlling your bank account. This is why CBDCs are so dangerous because they can theoretically give this entity complete control over all your financial transactions.
By simply owning and using bitcoin, you do not have to follow these rules. You have the option to opt out.
If there’s one thing that Gunpowder Plot or V For Vendetta taught us, it’s the power of collective minds. The establishment fears more public support for Bitcoin because it knows that once it hits a certain threshold, there will be no going back.
An entity cannot disable Bitcoin as a server.
He made a monster without even realizing it. Nakamoto created Bitcoin because of poor financial incentive structures in the past. It was corporate greed that got us here.
One by one we rose from the bottom to the top and continued to give people hope, courage and vision for a better tomorrow.
Remember, Remember, what Bitcoin can really achieve
In the third act of “V for Vendetta”, Evey’s hero overcomes the fear of death. He knows that there will be no turning back, and regardless of his life, the revolution planned for November 5 is inevitable.
In the real world, the institution has become what it is today because it was able to corrupt the system with fiat money. If he needed more, he could print it out. It has been somewhat successful so far. But his time is running out.
You can only print so much money before it starts to inflate. The result of this serious expenditure is now visible.
Figures like Christine Lagarde of the European Central Bank or Andrew Bailey of the Bank of England do not know how to stop inflation. They have no choice but to print more money and throw more money at the problem. As we know, however, this does not work.
Bitcoin fixes that.
Bitcoin’s limited supply, combined with its inflationary monetary policy, allows its holders to hedge against the long-term effects of inflation. But that’s not all.
Bitcoin is also the money of freedom. It allows everyone in the world to participate in a new monetary system freed from the chains of the fiat currency apparatus. As long as you keep your own keys, no ruler, no regulator, and no bank can deprive you of your bitcoins.
This is the true power of Bitcoin. It gives us financial sovereignty and the power to choose our own destiny.
This is a guest post by Andrew Lielacher. The views expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.