Michael Saylor’s Keynote: 21 Rules of Bitcoin

Michael Saylor, the founder and executive chairman of MicroStrategy, delivered a keynote at BTC Prague 2024 titled “21 Rules of Bitcoin.” As the leader of the first publicly traded company to fully adopt a bitcoin standard, Saylor is a prominent advocate for bitcoin’s transformative potential. Michael Saylor’s Bitcoin Keynote at the conference focused on delineating the principles he believes are crucial for understanding and maximizing the benefits of bitcoin. Saylor’s presentation emphasized the unique nature of bitcoin as the world’s first perfect money and its profound implications on economics, politics, and society.

Main Topics

  • The singularity of bitcoin in the convergence of science and economics
  • Understanding and embracing bitcoin
  • Bitcoin as perfect money and its paradigm-shifting implications
  • The relationship between chaos and bitcoin’s resilience
  • The importance of holding and controlling bitcoin
  • Bitcoin’s role in redefining property and ownership
  • Overcoming traditional economic models with bitcoin
  • The significance of spreading bitcoin with love, not hate

Detailed Summary

The Singularity of Bitcoin

Michael Saylor‘s Bitcoin Keynote began by framing bitcoin as a singularity where science collides with economics. He drew parallels to historical moments when scientific advances revolutionized fields such as astronomy and medicine. According to Saylor, bitcoin represents a similar paradigm shift in economics, providing perfect money in a world that has long relied on flawed monetary systems like seashells, tobacco, and paper currencies. This collision ushers in a new age of economic insight, profoundly impacting political systems, financial structures, and global perspectives.

Understanding and Embracing Bitcoin

Rule 1: Those Who Understand Bitcoin Buy It

Saylor’s first rule emphasized that those who truly understand bitcoin will inevitably purchase it, while those who do not will criticize it. He explained that once the paradigm shift clicks for an individual, the urge to acquire bitcoin becomes overwhelming. Critics, on the other hand, simply have not grasped its transformative potential.

Rule 2: Everyone Is Against Bitcoin Before They Support It

Highlighting the natural resistance to profound new ideas, Saylor noted that opposition to bitcoin is to be expected from various quarters, including bankers, politicians, and the general public. This resistance is a sign of bitcoin’s revolutionary nature and should not be a cause for discouragement.

Rule 3: The Ongoing Journey of Understanding Bitcoin

Saylor stressed that understanding bitcoin is an ongoing process. True believers in bitcoin recognize that their learning is never complete. Bitcoin is more than just a protocol or software; it is an economic, monetary, and ideological virus that will continue to evolve and impact humanity in unforeseen ways.

Bitcoin as Perfect Money

Rule 4: Bitcoin is Powered by Chaos

Saylor presented a compelling argument that bitcoin thrives on chaos. Unlike investments in fiat currencies, stocks, or real estate, which are susceptible to the inefficiencies and failures of governments, corporations, and cultures, bitcoin benefits from entropy. He used the metaphor of a Swiss bank during World War II to illustrate how bitcoin, like the bank, gains value as chaos increases.

Rule 5: Bitcoin as the Ultimate Store of Value

Bitcoin, according to Saylor, is the only game in the casino where everyone can win. It is a bet on chaos outperforming other investments. The only way to lose in the game of bitcoin is to not play or to quit too soon. Over a long enough time horizon, bitcoin will outperform all other investments due to its resilience against chaos.

Rule 6: The Importance of Total Commitment

Saylor emphasized the necessity of full commitment to bitcoin. Partial investments or lack of control over one’s bitcoin holdings leave investors vulnerable. To truly benefit from bitcoin, one must be fully armored, both in terms of investment and security.

Rule 7: Bitcoin Redefines Ownership

Bitcoin is unique in that it is the first asset in human history that one can truly own, independent of external powers. While other forms of property are subject to confiscation, regulation, or decay, bitcoin’s value only grows over time, and no one can take it away.

Overcoming Traditional Economic Models

Rule 8: Everyone Gets Bitcoin at the Price They Deserve

Saylor’s eighth rule reflected on his own experience with bitcoin, acknowledging that everyone buys bitcoin at the price they deserve based on their understanding and timing. This rule encapsulates the idea that early adopters and those who quickly grasp bitcoin’s potential are rewarded, while latecomers and skeptics pay higher prices.

Rule 9: Bitcoin Escapes the Matrix

Saylor described the traditional financial system as a matrix of synthetic metrics and false indicators. Bitcoin offers an escape from this matrix, providing a way to preserve and grow wealth outside the conventional, flawed economic models.

Rule 10: Insight Is Restricted to Those with a Need to Know

Not everyone understands bitcoin because not everyone needs to. Saylor argued that those who are comfortable within the current system have no immediate need to comprehend bitcoin. It is those facing economic uncertainty or disruption who will see its true value.

Rule 11: All Models Will Be Destroyed

Bitcoin’s advent challenges and ultimately destroys traditional economic models. Saylor likened this to the obsolescence of ancient military strategies in the face of modern warfare technologies. Bitcoin, as a new paradigm, makes many existing models irrelevant.

The Cure for Economic Ills

Rule 12: The Orange Pill

Saylor described bitcoin as the cure for the toxic economic systems of the past. He coined the term “orange pill” to signify the transformative power of bitcoin in detoxifying capital and currency systems.

Rule 13: Be for Bitcoin, Not Against Fiat

Rather than opposing fiat currencies, Saylor advocated for promoting bitcoin. He emphasized that being for bitcoin and recognizing its superior qualities is more productive than merely criticizing fiat systems.

Rule 14: Bitcoin is for Everyone

Bitcoin’s inclusive nature means it benefits everyone, even those who may initially oppose or not understand it. Saylor highlighted that enemies and competitors adopting bitcoin ultimately strengthen the network and increase its value for all holders.

Rule 15: Learn to Think in Bitcoin

Saylor encouraged the audience to adopt a bitcoin-centric mindset. This involves evaluating investments and opportunities through the lens of bitcoin’s potential for high returns and stability, rather than relying on traditional financial metrics.

Respecting Bitcoin

Rule 16: You Don’t Change Bitcoin

Saylor emphasized that bitcoin is a powerful, decentralized force that individuals cannot change. Instead, people should adapt to bitcoin. He compared those who try to change bitcoin to intellectuals attempting to teach eagles how to fly, underscoring the futility of such efforts.

Rule 17: Laser Eyes and Focus

The laser eyes meme, according to Saylor, symbolizes unwavering focus on bitcoin. He warned against distractions and overconfidence, urging investors to maintain their focus on bitcoin’s long-term potential.

Rule 18: Respect Bitcoin or Be Humbled

Saylor advised that respect for bitcoin is crucial. Those who underestimate its power and potential risk being humbled by its success and resilience.

Never Sell Your Bitcoin

Rule 19: Bitcoin is Life

Saylor equated bitcoin to life energy, emphasizing its importance in preserving and growing wealth. He urged the audience never to sell their bitcoin, likening it to keeping a fire burning to ensure survival.

Rule 20: Do Not Diversify

Diversification, in Saylor’s view, means selling a winning asset (bitcoin) to buy lesser assets. He argued that one should only sell bitcoin in dire circumstances and otherwise maintain holdings to benefit from its long-term growth.

Spreading Bitcoin with Lovessss

Rule 21: Spread Bitcoin with Love, Not Hate

Saylor concluded his keynote with a call to spread bitcoin through positive engagement rather than hostility. He highlighted the importance of educating and converting skeptics with kindness, making the adoption of bitcoin a smoother and more widespread process.

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