32-year old Danish programmer David Heinemeier Hansson, who was in 2005 recognized by Google and O’Reilly with the Hacker of the Year award for his creation of Ruby on Rails web development framework, now admits that he was wrong about crypto.
On February 21, Hansson, who was previously skeptical of Bitcoin, published a blog post titled “I was wrong, we need crypto” in response to Canada’s truckers who were protesting against Covid vaccine mandates. Hansson said that the protest turned “every Bitcoin crank a prophet,” and admitted to being wrong on crypto’s “fundamental necessity” in Western democracies.
He started by explaining how he had until now been highly critical of Bitcoin and the crypto space:
“To say I’ve been skeptical about Bitcoin and the rest of the crypto universe would be an understatement of epic proportions. Since the early 2010s, some of my most ferocious Twitter battles have been against the HODL army with the laser eyes.“
He says what changed his mind about the need for Bitcoin was the recent “authoritarian response from the Canadian government:
“First the Ottawa police department got GoFundMe to confiscate donations with the intention of redirecting them to other causes, then after an outcry, they backed down to merely blocking the money for 7-10 days before refunding. That seemed like a draconian escalation completely at odds with the tens of millions of dollars raised for social justice causes during the protest summer of 2020. But at the time, I thought it was something another fund-raising platform – one less likely to collaborate with the Canadian authorities – could route around. And GiveSendGo indeed started doing just that.
“Turns out the concern over the donations was quickly rendered insignificant, as just a few days later, the Canadian prime minister imposed martial law on the protestors. Through powers intended for catastrophic events, he took to freeze the bank accounts of both Canadian protestors and donors, to compulsorily demand that tow-truck operators clear the streets, and forced insurance companies to drop policies for the protestors.“
He went on to say that now he understands that he was “too hasty to completely dismiss crypto on the basis of all the things wrong with it at the moment” and that crypto is the chance we have of protecting the “fundamental freedom to transact.”
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