Bitcoin is trading under $23,000 as I write this, which means the value of the world's biggest cryptocurrency has lost about $45,000 per coin since last November, when it was at about $68,000.
Though the recent slide in the price of bitcoin has sent many speculators scrambling back to fiat currency, it's done nothing to cool the fervor of Robert Breedlove, a self-proclaimed freedom maximalist whose Twitter feed is filled with encomia for the inflation-proof monetary system that has a supply fixed via the consensus of a decentralized, global software network.
"Unlike the US Constitution," he writes, "#Bitcoin cannot be amended—that's why incorruptible money is a greater instrument of freedom than the US Constitution." "#Bitcoin," he predicts, "will prove to be history's ultimate example of the old adage 'when you can't beat them, join them.'"
The 36-year-old former hedge fund manager and accountant by training is a leading thinker and writer in the bitcoin space, where he publishes The Freedom Analects and hosts The "What is Money?" Show podcast and video series.
I talked with Breedlove at the Bitcoin 2022 conference in Miami this April about why bitcoin is the best hedge against hyperinflation, how Austrian economics informs his worldview, and why he believes bitcoin will inevitably become the basis of the global economy. "No one's figured out how to stop bitcoin, basically meaning turn it off," he says. "And so, if you can't turn it off, that effectively operates as this vortex of incentives. It's just incentivizing people to interact with it, to hold it, to save and build businesses on it."
The months between our conversation and today have not been kind to bitcoin, but Breedlove remains a stalwart defender, tweeting recently that "instead of focusing on price, just follow the energy," and pointing to a chart showing that bitcoin's hash rate—a measure of the total computational power being used on the network and thus a proxy for its health—has gone upward despite the price declines.
- The Reason Speakeasy is a monthly, unscripted conversation in New York City with outspoken defenders of free thinking and heterodoxy in an age of cancel culture and thought police. On Monday, June 20, Nick Gillespie talks with legendary graphic designer Steven Heller and Reason Senior Editor Brian Doherty about the latter's new book, Dirty Pictures: How an Underground Network of Nerds, Feminists, Misfits, Geniuses, Bikers, Potheads, Printers, Intellectuals, and Art School Rebels Revolutionized Art and Invented Comix. The event takes place at Caveat, a bar and theater on the Lower East Side. Doors open at 6 p.m., program begins at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10 and must be purchased ahead of time online. Details here.