Over the weekend a conference took place billed as “Satoshi Roundtable.” For one, Satoshi was not there. And for two, even though the conference was comprised largely of self-identifying libertarians or “anarcho-capitalists,” the symbolism of the event – a Roundtable – couldn’t be any more loaded.
The symbolism of a Round Table has evolved throughout the course of history. By the end of the twelfth century, the Round Table represented the chivalric order of Arthur’s Court, known as Knights of the Round Table. Generally, knights were of noble birth – they were kings and princes, dukes, counts (or earls) and barons. They were important to the army, as they had expensive armor, training and weapons, unlike the field soldiers. While the anarcho-capitalists of Satoshi’s Roundtable might pretend to hate authority, it seems they don’t mind assuming some for themselves.
The knights were perceived heroes, known for their strength and courage and their combat and warfare. They were beholden to protecting the king and the kingdom.
The chivalric order, also known as an equestrian order, represents a society of knights. Inspired by the original Catholic military orders of the Crusades (from approximately 1099-1291), later medieval chivalric orders believed themselves to be in an ongoing military effort against Islam despite the odds being against them.
During the fifteenth century, orders of chivalry of knighthood became a courtly manner which ultimately led to the modern-day meritage.
The first appearance of the concept of a Round Table arises in Wace’s Roman de Brut. Wace claims Arthur started the order to prevent infighting amongst his barons, who would not accept lower orders than the others.
The spirit of the Round Table is in direct contradiction to the spirit of transparency with which the Bitcoin protocol seems to have been designed. Wace might have stumbled upon the notion of a Round Table from the biographies of Charlemagne, in which the king reportedly had a round table decorated with the map of Rome upon it.
The concept of a Round Table evolved during the Middle Ages, when festivals – called Round Tables – featured jousting, dancing, and feasting appeared throughout Europe. Round Tables remains popular throughout the Middle Ages.
The question when it comes to Satoshi Roundtable is this: who is Lancelot, and who is Mordred?
In his round-up of Satoshi Roundtable, Bruce Fenton gave very little mentionable detail regarding the conclusions of the lion’s share of attendees. He maintained the conference was private, despite the fact it was in large part regarding a public protocol. He had a Hilary Clinton moment when asked if he’d make transcripts available, saying he’d have to ask attendees.
Instead, Fenton’s boring synopsis reads mostly as a diary from summer camp or an advertisement for himself. Bitcoin visionary Roger Ver was also there. Surely, considering the elite representation at the event, some sort of synopsis or insight – or even a livestream, even if at a price – could have been offered considering the massive brain talent dedicated to Bitcoin that ultimately was uninvited by Satoshi Round Table, and thus left out. A Reddit Live feed was an unkempt mess. Despite that obstacle, CCN.com.LA author Elliot Maras put together a nice review and synopsis of some discussion at the confab.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article are solely that of the author and do not represent those of, nor should the be attributed to CCN.com.
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