The North American Bitcoin Conference scheduled for January 16-18 in Miami is partially sponsored by the controversial company Paybase. In a Reddit post appearing today, the ...
The North American Bitcoin Conference scheduled for January 16-18 in Miami is partially sponsored by the controversial company Paybase. In a Reddit post appearing today, the event organizer, Moe Levin explained to some of the angry Reddit posters that the sponsorship of the event would go on as planned. The center of controversy for many reddit posters circled around the CEO of GAW Miners operation- Josh Garza.
Also read: Miami Bitcoin Hackathon to Take Place January 9-11
The view of Miami Conference organizers remains neutral – as it probably should. It is probably reasonable to acknowledge that one can count the age of the oldest bitcoin companies on one hand. Judges, juries, regulators and security agencies are still trying to understand what separates good promising bitcoin companies from bad ones when the entire business models have upended everything they’ve ever dealt with. Most state-sponsored government agencies around the world refuse to give anybody in the blockchain industry even a look. It’s probably unrealistic to expect smaller event organizers with limited resources to make those draconian decisions for us. Is it possible that the angry Reddit visitors have a point? Are Josh’s statements and his grand plans believable?
Does it really matter?
This conference can not take place in many parts of the world because of the limits to free speech. In those areas, one political party decides the message and having a currency that can’t be entirely controlled by themselves, can’t be fathomed. Having the option to contemplate two sides of issues represents liberty. It is the currency of freedom and democracy. Bitcoin is unique because it allows for such transparency itself.
Bitcoin inherently resists censorship. Bitcoin thrives because it is neutral and independent. It’s logical that a conference promoter for businesses built on the foundation of bitcoin would also champion the core qualities of bitcoin itself. We bring honor to bitcoin by allowing those who we may disagree with personally to have their voice heard.
What would the critics on Reddit think if a different country or religious leader demanded removal of the sponsorships and speaking engagements? One might predict that they would likely be up in arms with such censorship. Taking the thought experiment further: what if we allowed Reddit bitcoin bloggers and visitors to provide final clearance for our conference speaking engagements beforehand? This way we could hear only the truly useful or worthwhile according to the opinions of /r/bitcoin subreddit. We can remove any controversies and expel any dangerous thoughts or experiments that dare innovate beyond our imaginations. Centralized government departments function this way. A few ‘insiders’ decide themselves what is good for everybody else because they believe they always know what is best.
If Josh can “tickle the ears” of new customers and cast his spell that convinces new clients to send their hard earned money his way – that will be his right. Others can cringe and complain, and they too have the perfect right to stand up and give their opinion and wisdom to convince them the other way. Exposing these inner workings allows people to develop deeper understanding of “WHY” something could be harmful or dangerous. People might benefit from being informed rather than having somebody already deciding for them what is valuable or not. Truth tends to float to the top over time. In the meantime, some people will suffer from greed and human frailties that insist they lose money. Just when you make something idiotproof, they make a better idiot.
Bitcoin is a massive paradigm changing technology, and it is expected to be controversial as it should. These little controversies are likely just the tip of the iceberg that may go on another 50 years of the world changing the disruption. We might as well get used to it. Bring on the challenges, the disagreements, and the different points of view that will challenge entire governments one day. Perhaps it will do us good to let it all air out at the conference.
Perhaps it is time to break out a big bag of popcorn and enjoy these warm-up fights. These are small time events compared to the rock hard sweeping challenges that fate seems destined to hurl at us in the paradigm change that will likely disrupt almost everything.
Full Disclosure: Paybase also advertises with CCN.com website.
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