We develop blockchain and cryptocurrency software because, among other things (such as making money and having fun doing it), we want to improve the world that we live in.
This is a statement anyone can make, thus we need to define more specifically what we mean.
For us, making this a better world does not mean destroying the existing social order and starting from scratch. It does not require a revolution, and certainly not a reset (neither small nor great). We actually acknowledge that, looking objectively at the history of mankind, and excluding the years after 2019, life has never been as good as it is in modern times. We thus strongly distance ourselves from those who want to dismantle the current social order and who try to impose on the world a "new normal", erasing the moral and societal achievements of the western civilization. We have studied history, and some of us have actually lived in communist countries, so we know the misery, human suffering, and economic devastation brought by totalitarian utopian ideologies. We are therefore determined to resist the attempts to drag the world into a new dark age era. For us, making this a better world does not start by dismantling the civilization as we know it, but by building on top of what humanity has already achieved.
We firmly believe in fundamental human values such as freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of transactions, individual responsibility, equality of rights and opportunities. We also believe in the existence of objective reality, and in the scientific method. As trivial as these statements are, the fact that they need to be made, and especially that they can be considered political or controversial, confirms that we are living in challenging and difficult times.
We consider freedom of speech a fundamental requirement for the functioning and progress of any modern society. The ability to express and share ideas and opinions freely is particularly important when it comes to controversial or unpopular speech. Nowadays we are seeing unprecedented censorship of dissenting opinions, aggressive suppression of facts that contradict the official narrative, and manufacturing of artificial consensus by silencing those who disagree. While this is often done under the false pretense of inclusivity, to avoid hurting anyone's feelings, we hold the opinion that being able to communicate one's thoughts and especially to make statements that are objectively true, is of much higher importance than the risk of possibly offending someone, and that the way to fight back offensive or false speech is not with censorship but simply with more speech.
Being a blockchain company, we make our contribution to the resistance against censorship, suppression of information, and editing of history, by developing a decentralized blockchain software that, at least on its permisionless instances, provides no support for censorship or history rewriting, and permanently preserves anything published there. We are committed to provide and maintain such public, permissionless and censorship-free blockchain software for as long as there are users out there running it.
Freedom of speech however is of little practical significance unless one has freedom of transactions. In the modern world, most transactions are no longer done in person with cash. It is now a reality that a totalitarian government or even a cartel of colluding financial institutions can block anyone's transactions and accounts, leaving people unable to literally feed themselves and their families, let alone to arrange for a proper legal defense against such abuses of power. In the face of such threat, freedom of speech seems an abstract luxury. In order to resist against encroaches on individual freedoms by totalitarian states or powerful institutions, people must have sole control of their finances, as well as the necessary privacy. Having independence in one's financial transactions was one of the original goals of the creators of Bitcoin and the cryptocurrencies that followed, and we continue to consider freedom of transactions and financial privacy a fundamental human value that can be supported by permissionless, decentralized cryptocurrencies. We are proud to make our contribution to the idea of transactional freedom by developing and maintaining a permissionless blockchain network, and by resisting attempts to restrict or remove the privacy enhancing features that our software provides. We do recognize however that the blockchain technology can also be used in a completely opposite way, by building a centrally controlled permissioned digital currency which would make monitoring and interfering with people's transactions even easier, and we consider this an abuse of the technology that we can't support.
With freedom comes responsibility. We believe that people should be held individually responsible for their actions, and we evaluate and treat people as individuals, based on their character and abilities. Furthermore, we explicitly reject ideologies that treat people based on arbitrary group identities and immutable characteristics. We believe in a meritocracy, where people should be respected, rewarded, or punished, as a consequence solely of their personal actions, achievements, and moral character, and should neither be discriminated against, nor privileged, because of some immutable group identities they may happen to have, or because of the actions of their ancestors or fellow countrymen.
With people being treated as individuals, we also believe in the equality of rights and opportunities, everyone being treated equally under the law, and we recognize that true equality of rights is fundamentally incompatible with the neomarxist concept of equity (equality of outcome), which requires discriminating and treating people unfairly in order to achieve equal results and fake diversity.
We care about human progress, and we also care about preserving the environment, reducing pollution, and minimizing the consumption of non renewable natural resources. We are proud that our blockchain software is entirely proof-of-stake, Nxt being the first pure proof-of-stake blockchain launched back in 2013. We consider the proof-of-work systems a horrible waste of resources and energy, a never ending competition of who is willing to burn more energy. At the same time, we reject the alarmism and hypocrisy of the climate change ideology, the authoritarian imposition of arbitrarily defined emission or consumption limits based on political agenda rather than on actual science.
Regretfully, the blockchain technology is well suited for imposing such limits, by maintaining persistent records of people's activities, financial and other transactions, resource consumption, carbon emissions, vaccination data, and similar, which a totalitarian state can easily use to build up a social credit system for its citizens, or on a more global scale an ESG rating scheme for all businesses and people. Being a blockchain company, it is our responsibility to make our position clear and denounce this as an abuse of the blockchain technology.
As any new and powerful technology, now that it is out there, blockchain can be used for good or for evil. We must recognize its potential, and we must have a clear understanding of the interaction of this technology with society and its long term consequences, in order to decide what usage of blockchain we can support and what we must firmly reject.