As Bitcoin grows into the world, we see an increasing quantity of people and organizations attempt to define how Bitcoin should work and what its role in our society should/will be. The common thread among them is that they have designs for Bitcoin and how it might make money for them or the people they represent. That, or they fear how it might make them lose money as a competitor.
Thankfully, we have enough sensible developers, miners, purists, and pundits to make things really difficult for those people.
In my eyes, all attempts to manipulate Bitcoin in any way, however direct or abstract they may be, are best considered as attacks by an enemy actor. This abstract concept is what defines what I’ll call “Bitcoin Conservatism”. Bitcoin is our decentralized solution to the faults of our current money as a tool. It is a black hole born to absorb the Ponzi ways of inflationary currency and protect us from ourselves and our inclinations to place our trust in centralized powers that inevitably fail us.
To me, this means that the primary role of a Bitcoin “Core” Developer is to protect it when attacked, and fix it when it is broken. The moment you decide that you want to add a feature to Bitcoin Core, or even tweak a parameter, you have essentially challenged Bitcoin to battle. When you lose this battle, it is not a failing of Bitcoin to adapt, it is you failing to bend it to your will.
Bitcoin Conservatives see its resilience as a feature, not a failure. We place long-term value in Bitcoin, both figuratively and financially, and we don’t want anyone fucking it up unless they can invoke the powers required to make Bitcoin and all of its guardians submit.
It is no one’s calling to change Bitcoin or add features to it. It will tell you what to do when it is time.