3 min read

Is Bitcoin Maximalism a Cult?

What is Bitcoin Maximalism?

Bitcoin maximalists believe that in the future the bitcoin network will provide everything that investors want in a digital currency. Maximalists favor a bitcoin monopoly on digital currency and believe any alternative is a "scam".

My View on Bitcoin

Don't get me wrong.  I love Bitcoin and its monetary network characteristics. In 10 years I think the USD shitcoin will be worth a fraction of its value today. I don't believe in hyperbitcoinization, but I do think Bitcoin will be an established store of value (digital gold) and it will dominant global monetary settlements.

I believe several blockchains will succeed over time and they will morph into specialized protocols.  The Bitcoin network will be a store of value and provide monetary settlement.  Starkware or Solana might focus on high volume transaction applications, like trading. Cardano might focus on banking in the emerging markets.  Polkadot might focus on interoperability or uses that require large bonding. They will either evolve and survive, or stagnate and die.  

Who even Cares about Bitcoin Maximalism?

To keep current on the latest crypto news, Twitter is the place to be. However, it can be a toxic dumbing ground for shitcoin pump and dumps and Bitcoin maximalist hate. I've learned to weed out the #fakenews and pump and dumps.  But it's hard to avoid the Bitcoin hate. The more time I spend on Twitter the more I think Bitcoin Maximalism is a cult.  It's not possible to engage on any level with a maximalist.  Which got me wondering why.  

I found two websites that outline the characteristics of a cult. Ask yourself, do the Twitter Bitcoin Maximalists exhibit these characteristics?  

Characteristics Associated with a Cult

The group displays an excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader, and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.

  • Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
  • Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, or debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
  • The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (e.g., members must get permission to date, change jobs, or marry—or leaders prescribe what to wear, where to live, whether to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
  • The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and its members (e.g., the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
  • The group has a polarized, us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
  • The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders, or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
  • The group teaches or implies that it is supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (e.g., lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
  • The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and control members. Often this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
  • Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
  • The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
  • The group is preoccupied with making money.
  • Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
  • Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
  • The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave—or even consider leaving—the group.

10 Things to Know About the Psychology of Cults

  • Cults are attractive because they promote an illusion of comfort.
  • Cults satisfy the human desire for absolute answers.
  • Those with low self-esteem are more likely to be persuaded by a cult environment.
  • New recruits are “love bombed.”
  • Women are more likely than men to join a cult.
  • Many cult members have rejected religion.
  • Cults maintain their power by promoting an “us vs. them” mentality.
  • Cult leaders are masters at mind control.
  • Cult members often have no idea they’re in a cult.
  • Cult life can have a dangerous and lasting effect.