Brian Armstrong, CEO of Coinbase, has stirred a significant debate in the Bitcoin and crypto community with a recent post on X. Armstrong put forward a compelling idea: Bitcoin might be crucial in sustaining and extending Western civilization’s influence and values.
Bitcoin As An Antidote To Inflation
Armstrong’s initial post set the tone: “One idea I’ve been contemplating is that BTC may be the key to extending Western civilization.” He delved into the historical patterns of countries with reserve currencies, highlighting their inclination towards inflating the money supply and ramping up deficit spending.
This path, he suggested, could eventually erode their monetary dominance. Armstrong referenced Ray Dalio‘s “The Changing World Order,” pointing to the United States’ current position in this cycle. He also added that Yuan and Euro have their own issues and “aren’t viable alternatives” so that the US can continue to inflate the world’s reserve currency.
Armstrong contended that while the US continues its monetary expansion, the global community now has an alternative in cryptocurrencies. This, he believes, could be a crucial antidote to inflation. “[People] may start moving fiat into crypto, as an antidote to inflation,” Armstrong remarked.
He further elaborated, “The natural trend of whichever country has the reserve currency is to inflate the money supply and increase deficit spending until it loses that advantage. The US is somewhere on this journey.”
Contrary to the widespread belief that Bitcoin might threaten national currencies like the US dollar, Armstrong argued for a complementary relationship. “I think it [BTC and crypto] will be a natural check and balance that will complement the dollar, and be the best defender of long term American interests (and western civilization more broadly).”
He added his thesis that it’s better for the United States to move away from dollars to crypto than to another country or region’s fiat currency. “I also think both fiat and crypto will co-exist for a long time. They are more complements than substitutes. And dollar backed stablecoins like USDC, or flat coins, will play a major role in unifying these worlds.” Armstrong asserted.
Community Reactions And Discussions
The Bitcoin and crypto community’s response to Armstrong’s theory was varied. Robert Breedlove, renowned as a Bitcoin educator, strongly agreed with Armstrong, noting, “Western Civilization is only as strong as the credibility of its assurances to preserve the life, liberty, and property of civilians. To this end, no tool is more effective than Bitcoin.”
Christopher Calicott, co-founder and managing director at TVP, expanded on this, suggesting that BTC represents a modern incarnation of the foundational principles of the West, particularly property rights. “Bitcoin encapsulates the promise of property rights the West’s flourishing has been built upon—but for the Internet Age,” he commented, highlighting BTC’s potential in combating the rise of digital authoritarianism.
Engaging with Calicott’s thoughts, Armstrong added, “Good point – Bitcoin would extend the core tenets of economic freedom (property rights, sound money, etc) in western civilization for a long time, which we’re at risk of losing periodically.”
Dennis Porter, from Satoshi Act Fund, voiced a perspective on the peaceful coexistence of Bitcoin and the dollar. He noted, “I agree that Bitcoin and the dollar can peacefully coexist for many years/decades to come.”
Debates On Economic Growth And Bitcoin’s Role
Matt Walsh from Castle Island VC brought up a pragmatic aspect, suggesting the US should reconsider its approach towards its Bitcoin holdings. “Also beneficial to the US that we own a considerable amount of BTC. Should rethink selling these holdings via Marshals auctions and also accept BTC for tax payments,” he advised.
LukeYoungblood.eth raised an economic concern, likening Bitcoin’s finite supply to the gold standard and its potential limitations on economic growth. According to him, the biggest counterargument to Bitcoin is that it can’t grow along with the economy. Thus, a Bitcoin standard could hamper economic growth because businesses and consumers can’t borrow.
Armstrong, in response, clarified that a deflationary currency like BTC wouldn’t eliminate lending but would necessitate a higher threshold for its occurrence. He said, “Agreed. Only thing I’d tweak is a deflationary currency doesn’t mean zero lending, it just means a higher bar for lending to occur.”
At press time, BTC traded at $41,698.
Featured image from Vanity Fair, chart from TradingView.com