The bitcoin crowd celebrates the currency’s independence from “corrupt central banks“, and its freedom from blind “Trust in God,” or in any other political power. “In Algorithms We Trust” is the proud battlecry of the new digital money revolution.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. What is the difference between a bitcoin cryptographic algorithm (e.g.: ECC, hash) and a secret “holy” book? Both are a deep mystery for the majority of their trusting followers, who believe in them blindly. Both are designed to give forth the unexamined appearance of perfection and infallibility, and both sustain themselves by persecuting heretics. Eventually both collapse when the heretics prevail.
I here the roaring response: “How dare you! Algorithms are not ‘religious documents’; they spell out mathematical truth — they don’t lie: 1+1=2 — forever!”
Indeed, algorithms such as they are, do last (probably as long as our Darwinian brain lasts), only that their complexity eventually surrenders to further mathematical insight and becomes simplicity. In bitcoin we use algorithms not for their mathematical purity, but for their needed service to provide complexity, intractability, guaranteed time and effort before an action can be completed. This guarantee relies on an undeclared but stunning premise: “Innovation we deny!” We shall not get smarter, We shall not know more tomorrow, an algorithm that is hard today, will remain hard forever. If those algorithms could be cracked, they would have by now!”
So to be fair we should complete the etched ethos:
“In Algorithms We Trust — Innovation We Deny”.
And that is why bitcoin is an innovation steppingstone, not an innovation end point. Digital money is an irresistible idea, but its cryptographic foundation must sustain rigor not needed for ordinary communication. In ordinary data transfer, a failed cipher can readily be replaced, and the new one used with the next data transfer. But when a digital money cipher succumbs to cancerous innovation — it vanishes.
It is this very realization that leads digital money pioneers to strive to rebuild their payment vision, and their store-of-value abstraction on the more sound concept of randomness. In randomness we trust — because it is immunized against even the smartest of hackers. Innovation is bound by Randomness — a lasting boundary.
We say: “In Randomness We Trust“: BitMint.