Prompted by Balaji Srinivasan’s article, here are some extended thoughts on how we can chart a pathway toward escaping decaying political regimes & their bastardised currencies.
This essay will be in 7 parts:
- An Important Note
- Imitatio Singapura
- The Machine Starts
- The Sovereignty Stack
- Conclusion: Guerrilla Warfare from the Dark Forests
Please read Balaji’s article before reading this essay: https://1729.com/how-to-start-a-new-country/
If you have a chance, I highly recommend watching at least some of this interview between Balaji & Tim Ferriss. It’ll contextualise a few of the expressions used in this essay.
The essay will assume some knowledge of things like Bitcoin and modern political culture. For anything unclear, please feel free to ask.
The argument for building anew is clear. We who reject Woke Capital, Communist Capital and admire Crypto Capital want to find one another, work with one another, and build side by side with one another. This is not specific to those of us who reject the modern status quo. We all want to live in societies representing our held values. We want regulation and culture which promotes things we value, rather than things we disdain.
In the Western hemisphere, we’re increasingly subject to the shifting sands of censorship. Woke Capital, in her well intentioned though misanthropic indignation, has spawned a ‘cancel culture’ which reminds us of the ‘Damnatio Memoriae’ policies used throughout history, whether by Ancient Rome or by Stalin. More insidiously, cancel culture seeks to erase our record from the present, not only the past.
The problem with Woke censorship lies in her schizophrenia. That which is appropriate one day is cancellable the next. What is politically indefensible seems to change so quickly, that keeping up is impossible. Not knowing where the Overton Window’s boundaries clearly lie, those of us who wish to propel humanity forward with novel arguments, concepts and solutions, see our worldview as orthogonal to the ‘Free Western World’ and are no longer comfortable speaking openly and exchanging ideas, for fear of electronic retribution. And Communist capital fares no better, for her creative talent base either goes to Woke Capital, is compelled into silence, or copies the West.
Surely there must be an alternative for creative, mission driven people determined to build the future?
We also want to harness the pool of global ‘Dark Talent’, exceptional people whom for whatever reason lack the ability to come to a global skills hub or College or are now trapped in silence in the Western world, for the sake of advancing humanity and propelling science and technology forward. These are humanity’s diamonds and diamonds are certainly lying in the rough.
We who wish to bequeath our children and descendants an optimistic vision of the future, cannot rely on building startups alone. Companies don’t last for generations in the way countries do. We need to build out startup societies with positive cultures to replicate the beliefs we see fit across generations. Building a good startup in a bad culture is a house on sandy foundations, as we saw with the humbling of Jack Ma.
‘Companies don’t last for generations in the way countries do.’
We now have an opportunity to lay the foundations for ‘The Network State’. Few grasp the power of the associated technologies we have at our disposal, in their ability to shape the political architectures of the near future. We have an opportunity to escape politically decaying and repressive regimes and cultures & the chance to rebuild our societies anew with sound money.
We must ensure we get this right. As Peter Thiel says, a ‘startup messed up at its foundation cannot be fixed’. One can only imagine the ramifications of a country messed up at its foundation. And unlike startups, countries cannot pivot.
An Important Note
As Balaji says, the cost of building ex nihilo is far lower than the cost of demolishing then rebuilding. Starting from scratch means we can choose to build without the constraining legacy of the past. Starting afresh allows us to choose positive foundations on which to build the future of governance, rather than being stuck with bureaucratic institutions paralysed by administrative inertia.
Nonetheless, we must be careful to avoid any hint of ‘Year 0’. This refers to the political doctrine employed by the Communist Party of Kampuchea, similar to ‘Year One’ following the French Revolution.
‘The idea behind Year Zero was that all culture and traditions within a society must be completely destroyed or discarded, and a new revolutionary culture must replace it, starting from scratch. All of the history of a nation or people before Year Zero would be largely deemed irrelevant, because it would ideally be purged and replaced from the ground up.’
Without any culture, legacy or traditions constraining them, human beings psychologically destabilise or begin worshipping something banal. Human beings always worship something, whether coin, bottle, country, God, science or the “Revolution”. Whatever we build must have some foundations in something familiar, psychologically stabilising and optimistic. We must approach the exercise in nationbuilding with an open mind and more importantly, an open heart. Political design is challenging, and we may make mistakes along the way. It’s crucial we find the right people when building polities anew.
This is a nontrivial problem. Without learning from the body of that which has worked in the past, we risk starting entirely from scratch and messing this up, like the Totalitarians of the 20th Century did, to catastrophic effect. In politics, unlike commerce, we are always experimenting with people’s lives and livelihoods, so we need to be de facto cautious in our political protocol designs.
Some time ago, I moved to Singapore to try and understand why it was so successful and how other societies could learn to build an equivalent political culture from scratch. I’d like to briefly discuss the country as there’re some essential lessons to learn from Lee Kuan Yew’s experience. To learn more, read From Third World to First.
Here are some lessons I learned:
- Diversity and Inclusion:
Singapore is a country with 3 major ethnic groupings, Indians, Chinese and Malays, with adherents of Islam, Taoism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism and Buddhism (& more) across each of the ethnicities. Early in her history, Singapore faced serious race riots, as tensions bubbled over into violence and unrest. Lee Kuan Yew recognised that cultural tension is a facet of human nature and that giving healthy expression to subnational identities under the umbrella of an overarching belief architecture, is essential.
Unlike modern Wokeopaths, Singapore mastered Diversity and Inclusion before Diversity & Inclusion even existed in the West. Singapore is far from being Woke, but Singapore is also far from some MAGA anti-PC culture worldview, maintaining a peaceful balance between different groups by recognising their explicit, irreconcilable differences.
Children learn their ‘Mother Tongue’ alongside English in school & are encouraged to preserve and celebrate their own culture and faith constantly. Malay, Mandarin and Tamil are all given equal standing and where translations from English are required, translations are done into all 3 languages, signifying no language or culture is superior to the other (in theory). Food stalls seek to segregate into halal and non-halal, respecting minority food preferences. These are just a few anecdotal, but significant examples in which culture is enshrined.
Alongside this however, all men are required to undertake compulsory National Service in the Singapore Armed Forces or elsewhere. This certainly strengthens the bonds between people under the auspices of a cohesive Singaporean identity. Singapore strikes a unique balance between uniting people and acknowledging & giving fair expression to their differences.
Lee Kuan Yew recognised the value in people expressing their culture and heritage, with the need to build something workable and cohesive from scratch, the same tension one could imagine emerging when building countries from scratch, whether cultural, ethnic, ideological or simply personal.
- East and West
Lee Kuan Yew studied in the West, but also explicitly chose to go back to his roots and learn Mandarin to bond with his constituents. Like the Japanese a century earlier, he knew Singapore was a backwater which needed to adopt the best practices of the Western world. This is partly why Singaporean students still flood good Business & STEM Schools in the US & UK.
But he also knew people mostly value familiar culture and that Asian values held a plethora of advantages over Western ones, in things like respect for elders, real academic success and grit etcetera. He knew adopting positive lessons from the West didn’t mean watering down or eroding the essence of Asian identity and that this wasn’t the end goal. Instead, he built upon Singapore’s legacy as a real entrepôt of commingling identities.
When architecting a Cloud Nation from inception, it’s important we too do this with an open mind. We will likely be a mission driven project. We may well have Bitcoin maximalists on board. It’s important we remain open minded to learning from and drawing the best from Fiat, & legacy institutions like Wall Street, regardless of whether we disdain these things with a burning and justified passion.
- Corpo Authoritarianism
Let’s use an analogy. If China were a parent, they’d monitor all aspects of their children’s lives 24/7. If the West were a parent, they’d allow their children to do anything and then unpredictably scream at them for behaving badly, without realising it’s their own parenting style preventing the child from learning appropriate lessons. If Singapore were a parent, they’d be disciplinarians, allowing their children to fail and learn but guiding them firmly and fairly.
Singapore practices something like this politically and economically in authoritarian capitalism. Her model has been a tremendous success, taking Singapore from a backwater to a glimmering metropolis. Singapore demonstrates how orderly enterprise is an optimal solution and that Western democracy was perhaps only a (poor) local optimum.
To be clear, when I say Corpo Authoritarianism I don’t mean a soulless country run by Big 4 Auditors, or even a Cyberpunkesque Arasaka Yakuza-empire. I mean Singapore is the equivalent of a mission driven later stage company built to serve her own people, with a highly efficient public sector run like a startup. Singapore also doesn’t exercise extreme control over all aspects of her economy, but practices balance, with market appropriate solutions to healthcare, housing, and education, to stop these from becoming pathologically unaffordable for locals and unsustainable for the Government.
It’s likely our Cloud Nations will want to learn from Silicon Valley and build startup style countries which still serve their populations with good services and a live and let live attitude. But we may need a mental shift, to recognise that there is no individual without the community in which they live. In the West, we’ve increasingly rejected responsibility toward others, and this has left a hole for intersectional politics to fill. We need to build a culture with healthy respect for our neighbours, whether we build a Libertarian Enclave or a Technophilic Paradise.
Government in the West is turning into an employer of last resort for risk averse college students and people who can’t get into, or want to drop out of stressful, competitive careers in consulting or banking, because they’re looking for ‘meaning’. Alternatively, people who are extremely progressive and or justice oriented & can’t work in the legal sphere typically flood Government offices in droves.
There are plenty of bright sparks in Western Governments, but they’re drowned out by the morass of bureaucrats and wokeopaths. Singapore recognised how important Government is, that Government is a company for which every citizen is a customer. The best talent needs to work in Government, solving problems affecting everyone in society. Singapore cracked this by making Government a prestigious and competitive employer, paying deservedly high salaries and sponsoring Singaporeans’ education at home and abroad in exchange for ‘bonding’ them into Government employment for a tenure.
‘Government is a company for which every citizen is a customer.’
Singapore created a system in which raw ambition merges with social responsibility. When we design our system, we need to ensure something similar. The West rejects the collective and disdains mutual responsibility for our neighbours. The East perhaps overplays this. Can we learn and adopt the best from both?
- Sectional Concluding Remarks
Singapore is an example of a country which had to build itself virtually ex nihilo, but amidst a series of preexisting traditions and cultural preferences, to which we ourselves will also be subject to when building new polities. Though I certainly haven’t considered every facet of Singapore’s successes and glossed over her failings, the purpose of this exercise is not the political analysis of an Oriental state.
I drew upon the Singapore case to give an example of some essential lessons we must learn when nationbuilding in modernity. It’s important we approach this process with an open mind, not a fundamentalist’s zeal. We are all products of our pasts whether we recognise this or not and we will inevitably have differences with those we are building alongside.
Next, let’s explore an original sin we’ll need to correct for if any hypothetical sovereign territory is to succeed.
There is a real malaise deep in the heart of modern political functioning. Western Civil Services are the backbones of their societies. Commonly known by critics as the Administrative State, bureaucracy and administration is the slow process of Government service distribution which wastes $mns and achieves things extremely slowly. The ‘Government Industry’ is one which VCs and startup founders avoid like the plague, owing to the unreliability of Government customers, the exceptionally slow pace of dealing with bureaucrats and abstruse procuring requirements. Anyone dealing with Government offices in the West will know these challenges all too well. Bureaucrats are highly risk averse and prefer rewarding existing relationships, leading to the persistence of a legacy military industrial complex with vast sums spent on massively unproductive contracts which nobody really audits properly. Bureaucracy rewards for length of service and existing relationships, with tenures lasting decades and decades and Government contractors the same as those from aeons ago.
If you’re a billionaire like Elon, Palmer Luckey or Joe Lonsdale, you might have a shot at cracking Government markets (Anduril, SpaceX & Palantir) by virtue of money, clout and contacts. And there are entrepreneurs trying to reinvigorate Government ground up, like Steve Blank with his education driven Hacking4Defense model. By and large however, Government is completely orthogonal to startups in the type of people who go and work there (risk averse, slow moving, inefficient, work-life balance preference, stability, nontechnical, unambitious) – bureaucrats are the antithesis of startup founders. There’s only one real contiguous aspect, which is in the mission driven orientation of Government work, which mirrors the mission driven element of startup building. Though even then one must ask whether one wishes to build or fight for countries whose values are so waylaid, or whether modern bureaucrats are like the mission driven apparatchiks battling the USSR during the Cold War. Can you really imagine today’s Department of Defense creating something as spectacular as the Internet?
We who wish to escape from the tyranny of bureaucracy which leads to gargantuan sums of $$ wasted, would redesign Governments so the best and most efficient people work there. This is because we need smart, creative thinkers and doers to solve extremely complex policy problems which we’re largely assigning to office drones. This is a tough nut to crack though. Bureaucracy has plenty of uncreative, repetitive back-office work which someone needs to do. We want the exceptional people to do the creative, decisionmaking but the drudgery element and dreg culture is certainly offputting. Contracting out Government work seems to be the compromise reached, though this causes incentive misalignments, as those working on Government problems are no longer mission driven and have incentives to score massive, wasteful contracts. DARPA is an exception, but this is also because it’s small. Government by design, because of the multiplicity of services it offers, has to function like a larger corporation.
Because exceptional people can earn far more and enjoy a freedom away from bureaucracy in startups, venture capital, private equity, consulting, banking and other careers and rewriting Government offices from scratch seems like a Herculean task verging on impossible owing to its complexity, this might seem totally unfathomable. Moreover, there’s a Catch 22. Countries with good political systems promoting healthy commerce which increases GDP for all overtime, will gradually lose their exceptional talent to private enterprise. As more and more opportunities emerge, smart and ambitious people will move to domains where they are rewarded handsomely, which Government will struggle to compete with. Inevitably, this leaves policymaking to the less talented and an inevitable erosion into bureaucracy.
How can we make Government’s culture more effective? How should we design our Government operating systems to make sure things get done, don’t waste money and attract smart people willing to work on challenging problems? Perhaps you don’t actually see this as a problem, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you have no idea what I’m talking about. Bureaucracy by design is something shrouded, ephemeral and mysterious. Most people have no clue about the demented levels of wastage Government engages in with their own tax dollars.
Thanks to modern technology however, we have an opportunity to finally and decisively crack the talent driven malaise cycle once and for all. Let’s explore how.
The Machine Starts
Much of a bureaucrat’s job is to do the same inane thing over and over again with little creative impulse and innovation. Reader, which advanced technology is excellent at executing dull repetitive tasks on an automated basis in a domain specific environment?
Artificial Intelligence isn’t really considered a part of the technology stack for emerging polities, relegated to second fiddle behind Cryptogovernance Protocols, Seasteading and Charter Cities. But it might decisively produce exactly the solutions we need.
As back offices in corporations are automated to save $$ and time, so too I believe we can literally automate the entire process of service provision by Governments. Government is almost entirely one giant, gluttonous back office and technology is the solution to her malaise, a malaise which by extension gets spewed all over society thanks to Government’s wide reach.
I estimate around 80-90% of Government bureaucrats’ work could be wholly automated now or in near future. So much of Defense, Housing, Healthcare, Agriculture, Education, Media, Transport and Commerce work is simply overglorified paper shuffling with signoff, requiring almost no creativity from people. Almost nobody talks about this because nobody really knows the procedures behind institutional Government decisionmaking, thanks to (often pointless and self-aggrandising) clearance processes.
As a rule, I’m going to propose the following: any role which can be successfully automated in a Cloud Nation within Government should be automated to as full an extent as possible, from inception. There will be errors, mistakes, and discrimination on the part of the AI, but this is something we should simply grit, bear and improve on iteratively. Creating an administrative bureaucracy with career officers will inevitably cause the gradual death spiral of Government into organisational malaise. Government administration is too important to allow bureaucrats to hijack it.
What we want is IF_THEN_ELSE Government Services, trained using Deep Learning and hashed on Merkle Trees for transparency and immutability of record, so everyone can publicly audit what the Government is doing, where decisions come from and understand mistakes without coverups. We want barebones policy documents written by AI, we want Excel spreadsheets of population level data to be quickly parsed through by AI. We want complaints lodged and resolved end to end by AI, with humans in the loop if necessary, as customer support. We want policymakers’ decisions to have a direct channel to their constituents where possible. Where the system cannot handle requests, we should have AI Engineers & Software Engineers employed to retune and rebuild services once we discover a policymaker’s decision cannot directly reach their constituents. We want Engineers to replace Bureaucrats in Governments. Those arguing this massively increases the digital attack surface on Government fail to acknowledge the fact that bureaucrats are already compromise-able with relatively little difficulty through social engineering, incompetence, and a concerted espionage effort by hostile states.
Moreover, we speak today about greedy corporations eliminating workers’ jobs through automation, but I argue there is an absolute moral imperative to eliminate as much Government administrative work as is humanely possible, to stop the disgusting levels of wastage bureaucrats engage in with other people’s money. Architecting a polity from scratch would give us the opportunity to initiate this process correctly.
Others argue Government should be inefficient by design to prevent tyranny. Yet this is an argument for the elected, strategic decisionmaking processes of Government to be inefficient by design, namely that which is done through Executives, Judiciaries and Houses/Senates/Parliaments. Government Civil Services should be highly efficient by design, so they execute the decisions of policymakers quickly, once the lengthy period of hand wringing and decisionmaking is completed (assuming you believe in Democracy). If they do not, this is a threat to Democracy through the creation of a defacto bureaucratic oligarchy with unelected and unappointed power. If you want autocratic rule, then you’ll want an efficient bureaucracy even more, so interfering bureaucrats don’t use their own willpower to thwart decisionmaking!
Concluding this section, we need the overwhelming volume of Government bureaucracy to be done by Machine Intelligence. Creative and strategic work requires the most talented people in society, though all the routine, bureaucratic and administrative work, which has spiralled out of control in the Western world, needs to be decisively eliminated. With the emergence of Cloud Nations, we have an opportunity to avoid an Original Sin and build our startup societies from scratch with near wholly automated bureaucracies.
The Sovereignty Stack
Some of you thought the Revolt Against the Modern World would be fought with sticks, stones, and pitchforks. Others believed it’d start by storming the Capitol or short squeezing an overleveraged hedge fund. The reality is the new world will be built afresh with 0xcFD53557a09Af262C1beB15c5f65f9DFf119d8Cc and Urbit as the gasoline behind the TTPs we use to move beyond the old world.
We’ll build unique Metaverse planets where people live and transact over their unique digital houses. We’ll make agreements on programmable smart contracts executed by machines, avoiding hefty legal fees from lawyers. We’ll have sovereign systems on Urbit, where we’ll use our own servers without being attention harvested by AI powered advertisers on Facebook. In fact, we’ll no longer be bound by Facebook, because Cryptoeconomics and protocols will lay the substrate for healthy competition between services, rather than digital centralisation. And we’ll be able to plug our social identities from BlueSky into Decentraland, engaging with our friend’s Chirps one minute and visiting their virtual lava planet the next, seamlessly and using one tokenised, Self Sovereign Identity.
Despite me riffing into Woke Capital, the beauty of this process is that anyone can build or spawn the political culture they choose to. Those who decry us as quasifascistic heralds of a Neocameralist philosophy fail to recognise that the technologies highlighted above actually give them an equal opportunity to build the territories they want. You can build a Wokeistan atop the fraying remnants of San Francisco, New York, and London’s cultures and maybe you’ll use Tether as the currency, in homage to the Keynesian legacy of the past, or a Diversitycoin, distributed equally to all.
Maybe some will want to carve away a 1950s American Renaissance, America 2.0 with $USDFoundingFathers’Vision as their currency. Perhaps some future MAGA cult will build in the spirit of their patron saint @realdonaldtrump and create an @REALAmerica, where the smart contract law stipulates everyone must walk around with a gun and nobody can go into another person’s backyard, for the sake of social peace.
Others can build an NRx Technophilic NeoCalifornia ruled by a Council of Elders, Thiel, Balaji, Andreessen et al. with Curtis Yarvin as ‘Speaker of the House of Uncommons’. This country might choose Bitcoin, or some quantum resistant future equivalent as her hard currency.
Amidst these endless possibilities, what Patri Friedman sees as a ‘Cambrian Explosion of Governance’, we envisage a world in which we can select and architect our choice of province. Those of us allergic to bureaucracy can avert our gaze from it. Those of us who despise inequality can build a polity where this is outlawed. Each Cryptoasset with her Cryptoeconomic incentives can spawn a unique Cryptogovernance System.
Conclusion: Guerrilla Warfare from the Dark Forests
How can we begin taking practical steps toward such a world? Funds like Pronomos Capital are a great push in this direction. We need more like this, as well as more GovTech funds to encourage the building of a technology stack alongside this, but getting here is challenging because most VCs think on a 10Y horizon as opposed to a civilisational, epochal one. Starting new or Charter Cities is great. Nonetheless, this is still an analogue solution which raises barriers to exceptional people geolocated elsewhere and requires vast sums of upfront capital, as well as consent from a host state which could be switched off at any time.
“Imagine a dark forest at night. It’s deathly quiet. Nothing moves. Nothing stirs. This could lead one to assume that the forest is devoid of life. But of course, it’s not. The dark forest is full of life. It’s quiet because night is when the predators come out. To survive, the animals stay silent.
This is also what the internet is becoming: a dark forest.
In response to the ads, the tracking, the trolling, the hype, and other predatory behaviors, we’re retreating to our dark forests of the internet, and away from the mainstream.”
– Yancey Strickler
Something we’ve learned however, is that global, pseudonymous coordination in circumstances with low trust is possible. We have DAO VCs popping up. $GME showed us too, that you can wage coordinated guerrilla warfare in the information age from the Dark Forests of the Internet. Bitcoin is a technical solution to low trust between transacting entities. Those of us fleeing Woke Capital and Woke culture’s spiteful wrath have taken shelter online and are dispersed globally, preferring to keep to ourselves knowing fully well unorthodox, heretical beliefs without financial sovereignty will lead to our swift undoing from public and professional life.
It’s time to leverage this Dark Matter of talent and skills to build out the basis for Cloud Nations.
We should first ensure anyone working on political Cloud Nation projects is a high calibre, high integrity person. Standards for entering policymaking should be extremely challenging and the vocation should be as prestigious in the 2020s & 2030s as working for a16z is today. Nonetheless, we need a way to work with pseudonymous talent. There are extremely bright, capable people who think outside the box on Twitter & Reddit, far more so than in Business & Public Policy Schools. We need to draw upon the calibre and content of people’s writing, product and engineering skills, as opposed to the pedigree of their certificates. We need more pseudonymous Fellowships and funding, as well as verification mechanisms for Dark Talent. Pseudonymous financing will be an enabling technology to allow the smartest people on the planet to build Cloud Nations from their shelters in the Dark Forest.
Moreover, as we build and design our Cloud Nations, we must also design automated services simultaneously and iterate upon these, so that our Cloud Nation is a nation for her people by design from inception and not a nation prone to being hijacked subsequently by her bureaucrats. I’m a great believer that the best people to tackle this are from the Startup/VC world. Startups are already Governance mechanisms, smaller scale autocratic units where Founders rule absolutely, with guidance from their elders in the form of boards. The CEO/CTO structure with this board emulates Sparta’s Diarchy. And there’s also a further synergy between Oriental political cultures and technologists already. Singapore is run by a Computer Scientist. China is run by an Engineer. This confers an advantage on both societies in the age of technology’s acceleration, especially when the West is run by Jurists, Journalists and Careerist Politicians who don’t quite understand tech or where the world is headed. We need to learn from this.
Ultimately however, whatever we build must be built quietly. Decaying regimes with bastardised currencies have no reason to wish the ushering in of competitor territories vying for taxation dollars and talent. There is every reason to, like Singapore at her inception, presume incumbents will be threatened by extremely successful digital polities, whether Cloud Based, Metaverse or Seastead. Announcing this would be like prey running out into the open in the Dark Forest, knowing fully well predators are everywhere.
While such territories have little initial hope of defending themselves, they must lie in wait till they are ready to show themselves to the world. In the Dao of Capital, Mark Spitznagel presents a strategy of life and investing, grounded in the idea of gradually achieving an intermediate state of advantage as the ideal solution to achieving a successful end. We too, must pursue a highly robust intermediary strategy as the pathway toward building successful polities. We will have to do this gradually, over time. There will be setbacks and attempts to stop us. People will decry our attempts as futile, as with Bitcoin many a time. But like Bitcoin, our success will emerge like a tidal wave.
In the spirit of Amerigo Vespucci, that noble explorer from whose name is derived the brand of modern America, we are on the cusp of exploring and building entirely new governance systems from scratch. We are finally on the cusp of liberating ourselves from the tyranny of malaise, bureaucracy and woke censorship.
So begins our Guerrilla War from the Dark Forests.
BTC Address: 1DCKhsWYDVw1M1kMU6rF1pns6rAmmy2um8
ETH Address: 0xcFD53557a09Af262C1beB15c5f65f9DFf119d8Cc
Edit: My thanks to Balaji Srinivasan for awarding this post with $100 in BTC. The essay has been transferred here from a previous domain.