What Would Bitcoin Institutions Look Like

“Without common ideas, there is no common action, and without common action men still exist, but a social body does not. Thus in order that there be society, and all the more, that this society prosper, it is necessary that all the minds of the citizens always be brought together and held together by some principle ideas.” ― Alexis de Tocqueville, “Democracy in America”

After reading the quote above by the ever-prescient Alexis de Tocqueville, it strikes me that if a society is to be held together by some principle ideas, then the nature and content of such ideas must be exceedingly important. Furthermore, if these ideas lose their potency or become misshapen, the society necessarily degrades. Here in the United States, this process appears to be unfolding before our eyes, leaving us in desperate need of new ideas and a recommitment to a common ideal.

Thankfully, our society is shifting in such a way that a kind of “re-founding” appears to be possible in the near future, but only if the right idea becomes widely embraced. Perhaps the importance of low time preference, understood through the lens of Bitcoin, can be one such principle idea that brings people together and leads to, not only a great American revival, but a golden age of human flourishing. Powerful ideas, however, sometimes depend on tangible metaphors in order to achieve broad adoption. I propose that planting groves of sequoia trees and hosting public Bitcoin nodes at the center of these groves can serve as a physical manifestation of this “principle idea” known as low time preference. Allow me to explore this concept more thoroughly below.