Florida Christian Interested in Blockchain

Hello all,

I’m a Christian conservative proud to be living in Florida. I like what New Founding is doing for Christian identity in politics and the market and look forward to connecting with Christians who are of a like mind here. It’s an ugly time for sure, but to the extant that it’s driving us to recognize our shared bonds and present a united front against secularism, I’m hopeful for the future. Christian identity and the parallel economy is the way forward for sure.

I’ve just begun work on a grassroots ecumenical initiative in Florida and would appreciate any recommendation on resources to support that. I graduated from the Theopolis Institute’s Fellows program last week and highly recommend their resources.

Towards the ends of the parallel economy, I’m very interested in blockchain technology and the challenge it poses to censorship and big tech’s monopolization of the internet. I wrote this short article on the technology to encourage Christians to take notice of it: The Moral Case for Crypto Currencies | by Connor Mahoney | Medium

I’m currently researching chains and decentralized applications that will be most useful for the average Christian business with an online presence looking to move off the centralized web. Hoping to have a writeup on that soon.

On a lighter note, check out my music! https://www.youtube.com/user/Teranjack

God bless,

3 Likes

Great thoughts here. I’m a big believer in Monero, and a realist about Bitcoin. I’m sort of an unbeliever in Ethereum, but I could be persuaded. I think for mass adoption we will need abstraction layers on crypto that makes payments token-agnostic for the user, but gives the user choice in receiving their currency of choice for holding (with minor incentives towards whatever the economics of the situation support).

I look to the FOSS world for inspiration, where we have server apps like Nextcloud, Ghost, Matrix, and so forth which allow you to have simple user experiences suitable for the average user with a centralized host, but in an emergency, migration is simple since you can install that platform on any server.

I would like to see something similar for crypto: some type of reason or justification that a normal person would want to use crypto over USD (for example, discounted prices, etc.) and some method where they don’t have to think about spot prices, exchanges, wallets, pub/private keys, and so on. The experience would be basically like using paypal or venmo. BUT in an emergency situation, there is a trustless method to move at least the crypto assets to a new custodian or to a personally managed wallet.

Glad to see another Monero & FOSS supporter, this is definitely the way forward. No need to give donations through GoFundMe, just post your crypto address.

I admittedly have not looked into Monero that much - I’ve been turned off by how many of those advocating for it don’t seem to understand that the public blockchain is a feature, not a bug, of decentralized payments.

On the other hand, you have to separate out crypto projects primarily designed for payments (bitcoin, monero, stablecoins) from those using blockchain to create a decentralized internet (ethereum, solana, avalanche, etc). Monero is cool, but it will never accomplish what Ethereum is setting out to accomplish because they are designed for two very different purposes (even though I personally think Ethereum is inefficient in its current state and could possibly get left behind in the crypto space if they don’t ramp up the move to Eth 2.0).

Of course, that’s not to say that currency transactions are a side issue. Given our present situation with centralized payment processors its a high priority. I have my eyes on Luna Terra. I think stable coins are going to be the gateway for mass adoption, and the stable coin ecosystem developing on Luna is impressive.

I have never looked at Luna Terra but I consider stablecoins the riskiest of all crypto, since it basically depends on trusting the issuer to maintain 100% reserves or some obfuscated algorithms to do so. I see it fundamentally about introducing fractional reserve inflation through stable coins. I don’t see that ending well. Since the whole purpose of a stablecoin is to transact at face value, the most logical thing for a stablecoin issuer to do is issue tokens beyond their reserves and buy real coins like BTC with them, making it look like there are more dollars in crypto than there actually are.

Right now normal people don’t use crypto because it doesn’t solve any problems that they actually have and it is too complicated. Outside of internet nerds like ourselves, normal people don’t think about payments. They think about earning, saving, buying, borrowing, and investing, but payment methods are an afterthought. That’s why most of the trendier moves in the crypto space are about replicating these actions. Normal people don’t know where there computer saves their files, don’t know how to change their phone to dark mode, use Microsoft Edge with the default homepage, and so on.

Much like with 9/11 and the Patriot Act, Most people do not have the foresight about the totalitarian transition we are entering. Probably 50-70% of people either actively support the changes or consider them sincere attempts by incompetent leaders to fix a real crisis. Just like with 9/11, people who point out inconsistencies and implausibilities with the official narrative are branded as conspiracy theorists despite actually being right.

Fundamentally, if they can cancel you on a payment processor, your identity being linked to a public blockchain is hardly an improvement. If I, for example, donated to Nick Fuentes and the Feds decide he is now a terrorist, then they can really easily tell that I am supposedly funding terrorism. The mere ability for the transaction to not be censored is not very important because corporate entities can now target and deplatform me from their monopolistic platforms and the Feds could arrest me for sponsoring terrorism. Since the blockchain is immutable there is a ticking time bomb until one of my spends catches up to me. Meanwhile, big data companies like Meta and Google have full records of all my money coming in and out, my affiliations, and how much money I have. The Feds can literally map out the funding of every spurious character they put on their watchlist without leaving the office.

Sure there are ways around this, but they basically involve doing all the things that privacy coins have built in but manually. Rather than make it more complicated than it needs to be, I don’t see why we can’t just adopt privacy coins. We don’t need a full public records of everyone’s hands that an oz of gold has ever been in to understand its value or transact with it.

In the words of Mitch Hedberg, I don’t need a receipt for a donut.

I’d encourage you to take a serious look at Bitcoin. But be careful - the rabbit hole is deep.

This recent assessment of Bitcoin by Fidelity is relevant: Bitcoin First

From the report: “Bitcoin is fundamentally different from any other digital asset. No other digital asset is likely to improve upon bitcoin as a monetary good because bitcoin is the most (relative to other digital assets) secure, decentralized, sound digital money and any “improvement” will necessarily face tradeoffs.”

“The Bitcoin Standard” by Saifedean Ammous is also a tremendous resource for anyone interested in digging deeper.

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Transparency is a integral feature of bitcoin and and the blockchain space as a whole. I agree that there’s a place for privacy coins, but I don’t see it as a one or the other thing. Crypto is an ecosystem. Systems often start out difficult and with low adoption, but they develop over time. I don’t think calling a winner is necessary.

Agree completely. I think we are never going back to a pre-crypto world, but it is not obvious who the winners will be. Many of the losers have already revealed themselves, but long term picking winners is much harder. There are tons of examples in other tech sectors of companies with huge leads being overtaken in short times: think video game consoles, phone handsets, social media, and so on.

There are situations where it makes more sense to be transparent, and other situations where it makes more sense to be private. However, I think the primary use cases for crypto which involve trustless, decentralized transactions are the same situations where privacy would be highly valued.

Being censored by a major corporation is barely a step away from being criminalized by the government.

For a decentralized internet to come to fruition, one needs to create the Netscape of the decentralized internet. Right now, it’s way too complicated (from what I know) for a layman to utilize this technology.

Like all things that software devs build, it must be easy to use to gain adoption.

Not necessarily. A growing number of platforms already utilize blockchain services: Odysee for video storage, DLive for streaming, Render for graphics processing, etc. Blockchain provides alternative backend infrastructure services to replace existing web 2 services.

That said, things are still in development, and as we move to more decentralization of front end services we will ideally see better user interfaces rather than the Frankenstein web 2/web 3 conglomeration that exists now.

The misnomer is thinking that web 3 necessarily replaces web 2. They can coexist. We need to identify which services need a censorship proof web 3 alternative and which don’t.

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This is good to know.

Right, so for example, Odysee stores content on the LBRY blockchain, so uploaded videos can never be removed. But Odysee itself is a private org. and can delist a video from their front-end viewable site if they decide they don’t like it. The video will still exist on the backend blockchain, and somebody could technically still find it on the public ledger, but without the easily searchable Odysee user interface most probably wouldn’t.

This isn’t really great IMO, but it does provide a level of censorship resistance. It is interesting to see how far the concept can be taken though. It’s theoretically possible that a future platform could create the whole graphic interface on a blockchain and then essentially throw away the keys so nobody has the ability to alter the code operations. Completely censorship resistant, but also unupgradable. The big question in web 3 right now is how far can the decentralization realistically be taken?

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What happens when someone uploads CSAM? Is it unfortunately permanently stored on the blockchain?

Unfortunately, yes. Odysee will delist it from their site, but the content will still exist on the blockchain.

The difficulty is that there really are videos out there like child porn (any porn for that matter) that need to not be immutable, and the risk of a blockchain making them absolutely unkillable is a real risk. The problem is that if you can ban child porn, you can also censor free speech. In terms of the technology itself, there is no way for the computer to know the video contains child porn versus political speech and I know of no way to in absolute terms get the best of both worlds by blocking CP and preserving speech.

This and other reasons are why I think that at most the tech needs to exist to allow us to put pressure on the governments but in the long run we have to have functioning governments too.

Good thoughts. I come through south florida a few times a year. Would be good to link up.
Keep on writing!

You should look into the Reformers DAO project (https://www.reformersnft.com/) and the Discord Server that’s part of it. Great to hear that a Theopolitan is (1) part of the New Founding Forum and (2) doing work in crypto/Web3. Check out the Theofuturism substack (https://theofuturism.substack.com/) if you’re interested in some postmil reflections on Web3 and other Christian connections. And do you follow Balaji Srinivasan on Twitter? Highly recommend