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Historical sketch of Bitcoin by analogy with Protestantism.



Sketch of historionomics

The purpose of this article -which is a continuation of Qualitative and quantitative parallels between Bitcoin and Protestantism. – Is to attempt to make predictive analyses of the evolution of Bitcoin’s history. It is not a matter of knowing whether Bitcoin will be banned in a given country at a given date, but of establishing what will be the types of interactions (aggressive, conciliatory…) between Bitcoin and the entities of the classical economy (central banks, states…). While it is true that the risk of this approach is to be little more precise than the writings of Nostradamus, the following two quotes tend to show that the exercise is not in vain:

“To foresee the future, one must know the past, for the events of this world have at all times links with the times that preceded them. Created by men with the same passions, these events must necessarily have the same results. Niccolò Machiavelli, 1517

Just as printing technology altered and reduced the power of medieval guilds and the structure of social power, cryptologic methods will fundamentally alter the nature of societies and the interference of government in economic transactions. Combined with the new information markets, crypto-anarchy will create a liquid market for everything that can be put into words and images. And just as a seemingly minor invention like barbed wire made possible the enclosure of vast ranches and farms, it will forever change concepts of land and property rights in the West.”Timothy C. May, The Cryptoanarchist Manifesto, 1989

Histornomics is a method of predicting history created by Philippe Fabry. [1]. It involves identifying structural mechanisms through different patterns, patterns or cycles that have occurred in the past and identifying similar mechanisms in the present to predict trends in the future.

Comparative analysis of major events.

The first method consists of a comparative analysis of major events (necessary and relevant, not just contingent) in the past with other major current events to identify structural mechanisms:

1) The invention of the printing press by Gutenberg (1454) = invention of the web 1989 with Tim Berners-lee (main inventor).

In both cases, these are information technologies that allow the decentralization of information production, unlike the old technology of which the central power had a quasi-monopoly (copyist monks in the Middle Ages, radio or television in our time).

2) Luther’s 95 theses (1517) = Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper (2008).

This occurrence is a bit peculiar because it would have seemed more coherent to compare Luther’s theses with the crypto-anarchist manifesto published in 1989, but empirically this manifesto did not federate like Nakamoto’s white paper. Moreover, if the 95 theses have clear instructions (such as the 30th : “No one is certain of the truth of his contrition, and still less can one be certain of complete remission.” which states that not even the Pope is sure of the repentance of the soul), Nakamoto’s white paper also has clear instructions (pseudonymity, proof of work, banking the unbanked…) unlike the crypto-anarchist manifesto which in practice remains rather vague (cf. appendices).

The qualitative comparison between an event of the past and an event of the present does not have to do with an a priori similarity but with a concrete empirical effect, Luther’s 95 theses and Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper are respectively comparable to their time because in both cases they federated “heresies” and questioned a central power.

The following is a timeline of the various cryptography and computer-related developments that led to Bitcoin:

The case of B-money (Wei Dai, 1998) is particularly interesting in the sense that, 10 years before Bitcoin, most of the main elements of Bitcoin were present in B-money (decentralization, proof-of-work, pseudonymity…)…. [3,4]. However, the concept of Bitcoin (decentralized value standard, energy-backed, with pseudonymous transfer…) did not take off in 1998, but in 2008 . This may have to do with the context because if in 1998 the internet was not fully democratized (even in the USA) and the “classical” monetary system (central banks, fiat money…) seemed viable, in 2008 it was the opposite…

2.5) John Calvin is his predestination (1536) = Nassim Nicolas Thaleb and his antifragility (2013) o Vitalik Buterin and his white paper for Ethereum (2013).

As mentioned in the first chapter, Protestantism is not the first heresy (Cathars, Waldenses, Lollards…). [5]) but it is the one that “broke through”. The B-money equivalent of Bitcoin (a predecessor that did not “break through” but has the same characteristics) but applied to Luther’s 95 theses would be the 900 theses of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola. [6]The latter wrote 900 theses and proposed a more esoteric view of Christianity. Savonarola is known to be a predecessor of the Reformation, but he is not a good candidate in the sense that, if his ideas were close to Luther’s (no corruption, simple life…), he did nothing like Luther (no great writings but sermons…). Other possible (and better known) predecessors could be Erasmus or Jan Hus, but if the former translated the Old Testament (from the Greek version) and supported several aspects of the Reformation (criticism of the corruption of the church…) and the latter had moral claims without deep changes. In fact, the main characteristics of Luther’s 95 theses are the most similar to those of St. James Giovanni Pico della Mirandola in terms of the path he followed (thesis proposal and then exile, a spiritual life more individual and independent of the Pope).

Nassim Nicolas Thaleb or Vitalik Buterin may be analogous to John Calvin in the sense that strongly inspired by the Bitcoin (having inspired them) they propose a more “elitist” and radical vision. In fact, whether it is Thaleb’s anti-fragility or entrepreneurship. smart contract Buterin’s “intelligent contract” is always to keep striving, not everyone will succeed (Darwinism). This way of thinking is very close to Calvinist predestination, not everyone will be saved (the ‘electis’) and that one must never stop working (the predestination).

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The concept of predestination similar to Calvin’s was already conceptualized by St. Augustine, but it was under Calvin’s impetus that this concept spread in Europe. Similarly, the idea of antifragility was not entirely invented by Thaleb, similar ideas already existed (in biology or computer science), but it was under Thaleb’s impetus that this concept spread throughout the world.

At the moment the “elitist” (or radical) trend in the world of cryptocurrencies is embodied by Ethereum, however this may change, other blockchains may compete. Direct competitors (ADA) or indirect (Bitcoin’s L2/L3 in RGB, Taro or RSK). Also in “The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism” Max Weber explains that it was not Calvinism itself that drove capitalism, but an application of the dogma of predestination by the American Puritans who interpreted it in their own way.

3) First persecution of heretics (Protestant nebula) in 1535 (Charles V) and 1543 (the Inquisition) = Captain of Industry Brian Armstrong. Was denied a loan project in 2021 even though he was in compliance with SEC rules. [7,8]In the case of a company, capital gains are taxed, but capital losses are not taken into account for the profits of individuals in France from 2017 to 2021. If these days it is not about persecution by burning at the stake or quartering (usually…). On the other hand, the rejection of cryptocurrency projects despite their compliance with the law and punitive taxation (taxation of capital gains without regard to capital losses) that only applies to cryptocurrency gains is a modern form of persecution in the sense that it mixes both discrimination and punishment. Not to mention the denial of bank transfers or the creation of bank accounts that are in any way associated with Bitcoin.

4) Council of Trent (1545-1549, 1551-1552 and 1562-1563) = Davos 2018 considered Bitcoin as a topic of its own. The Bank of France organizes in 2022 a conference at the Louvre with several central bankers (Jerome Powel for the FED, Christine Lagarde for the ECB, Augustin Carstens for the BIS and Tharman Shanmugaratnam for the AMS). [9].

In both cases, it is a matter of the high authorities of the central power deciding that this time the heresy is serious and that the consequent means must be deployed to deal with it [10]. At the time of the Reformation, the main measure was the formation of the Jesuit order, today it could be analogous to the special crypto-assets branch of the FED (or the IRS). Besides the Jesuit order was about curbing corruption (corrupt priests…) and improving the training of priests, today the central monetary powers (ECB, FED, IRS…), besides corruption, could better train their priests (economists, bankers…).

In 2018, the European Parliament wanted to start testing MNBC (central bank digital currencies) euros in 2023. In 2022, there is talk of 2025…. So it is likely that these MNBC tests will not start until 2027.

This promised Euro MNBC [11,12]will be the complete opposite of Bitcoin (centralized, inflationary…). It seems that the Fiatist neocon has not quite assimilated the criticisms. In general, these MNBCs depart from historiographical models of Bitcoin/Protestantism because central power is supposed to “improve”. The 16th century papists did not think “that the bible is in Old Babylonian that only three people in the world can read, Latin is already too accessible”, “the pope will decide even more arbitrarily about the salvation of souls” or “our church must corrupt itself more and print more indulgences”….

Among the more concrete manifestations of this neo-Council of Trent, there is talk of a “crypto-SEC.” [13]more specialized, trained and organized to regulate crypto-assets (and more particularly stablecoins…). But in addition, a collaboration between the FED and the MIT [14] On the topic of MNBCs. It is interesting to note that they have created a Git-hub page in the spirit of open source for potential outside contributors. It’s even more comical when you know that the MNBC in question will be anything but open source (which doesn’t stop you from working for them for free anyway…).

Finally, as for the ecological issue, the “classical” economic institutions have presented reports between 2021 and 2022 (from Cambridge or elsewhere…) to explain that Bitcoin is destroying the planet (oceans water boils, baby seals die…) [15]…

Bitcoiners have responded in kind with more detailed and nuanced reports.

In the field of French bitcoiners, it was Michel Khazzaka who did so. [16]. Roughly speaking, Khazzaka compares the energy spent on Bitcoin not with a country, but with a comparable service (Visa, Mastercard, cash…) and recalls that if we take into account indirect energy costs (transport of employees, heating of premises, ATMs…) services comparable to Bitcoin spend much more than Bitcoin. For example, in 2022, ATMs alone will spend twice as much energy as Bitcoin and compared to the total energy expenditure of the “classic” banking system (visa, bank transfer, ATM). Bitcoin consumes only 2% of all this energy.

5) 1555 first Protestant municipality in Antwerp = El Salvador accepts Bitcoin as national currency in 2021.

Moreover, just as the United Provinces at the time of the Reformation were during the 16th century the site of the greatest advances brought about by the Reformation (engagement of the nobles and then revolts of the beggars in 1566), it was the site of the first major repressions (counterattack by Fernando Alvaro de Toledo, known as the Duke of Alba in 1567). Therefore, the same is likely to happen in and around El Salvador (the Bitcoin was declared legal tender and then Blacklist…). In addition, among the fashion effect of Salvador [17] and his volcanic bonds [18]the IMF’s wrath is clear and its sanctions should not be long in coming [19].

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The “Freedom Convoy” movement launched in Canada in early 2022 has launched a crowdfunding campaign in Bitcoin to compensate participants for their strong involvement and have raised 2 BTC [20,21]. The great news is that this movement used Tallycoina particularly advanced way in the Bitcoin world to make donations through the Lightning Network, did not limit themselves to publishing a simple QR code public address…

However, the “Freedom Convoy” is not entirely analogous to the Beggars’ Revolt of 1566, since at that time the “beggars” were nobles who sought to lower tensions (political, fiscal and religious) in the United Provinces and were called “beggars” by other nobles. That same year, the United Provinces were going to suffer great disturbances… Mind you, the “freedom convoy” and the exceptional repression of the Trudeau government (freezing of bank accounts and exchange platforms…) echoed the US revolt.Perhaps in 2024 or 2025 part of the Canadian “establishment” will side with Bitcoin and movements similar to the Freedom Convoy and then it will be a “neo-revolt of the beggars”. [22].

Note :

So far, a multiplicative coefficient of short event equivalence (CMEES) Reformas/Bitcoin of 3.3 to 3.8 can be observed.

Specifically, between 1454 and 1517 (Gutenberg/Luther) and 1989 and 2008 (Berners-lee/Nakamoto) the CMEES is 3.3 ((1517-1454)/(2008-1989)=3.3).

Similarly, between 1517 and 1536 (Luther/Calvin) and 2008 and 2013 (Calvin) the WESCR is 3.8 ((1536-1517)/(2013-2008)=3.8).

Finally, between 1545 and 1563 (beginning of the Council of Trent/end of the Council of Trent) and 2018 and 2023 (Davos deals with Bitcoin in a non-anecdotal way/SEC creates a special department of cryptoassets/Euro of MNBC) the WESCR is 3.6 ((1563-1545)/(2023-2018)=3.6).

The multiplicative equivalence coefficient of short events is greater (CMEES) than 1 (history moves faster today…) because the means of communication (fiber, radio…) and transportation (car, train…) allow it.

Assuming that the “big” events of the Reformation will have their “Bitcoin-equivalence” in the future below are speculations on these equivalences:

6) St. Bartholomew’s Day (1572) = Brutal State crackdowns on Bitcoiners (“strong” confiscation of public Bitcoiners’ private keys…) between 2025 and 2027?

According to this model it will not be good to be a public Bitcoiner between 2025 and 2027. If a massacre like St. Bartholomew’s is unthinkable, then a “dubious” tax crackdown or a “muscular” confiscation of private keys is far from impossible. Senior officials accompanied by police officers could also enter the premises of Ledger and “politely” ask for their customers’ data (online purchases, registrations…), in order to impose an after-the-fact tax crackdown or other repression. Incidentally, this is basically the behavior of the Trudeau government in February 2022 in its attempt to collect user data and freeze “Bitcoin accounts [23]. 2022 seems to be the year of the beginning of the neo-currency war, the Tornado Cash is very representative of this type of trend [24].

Moreover, since 2020 Bitcoin has been attacked from several angles at the same time (“ecology”, “terrorism”, price manipulation by futures contracts, increasingly restrictive KYC …). [25-27]. In short, like the papacy for reform in the mid-16th century, “classical economics” is attacking Bitcoin today.


Two weeks after hypothesizing a neo-St. Bartholomew’s between 2025 and 2027, I discovered a lecture on a neo-Bretton Woods in 2026 [28]. On the other hand, the beginning of the first religious war in France started in 1562 [29]In my model this implies that the “real” hostilities begin in 2023, so let’s hear it ….

7) 1579 Independence of the Netherlands from Northern Spain = El Salvador is freed from international sanctions (e.g., IMF) between 2026 and 2028.

Once fully independent, the United Provinces enjoyed for two centuries a golden age (commercial and cultural). More than a declaration of independence, El Salvador by 2026 to 2028 should complete its “monetary and financial empowerment” allowing it (if the model is correct) to develop a flourishing economy (if not a golden age) from 59 to 64 (CMEES of 3.3 to 3.6 from 1584 to 1795). This could manifest itself concretely in the development of its geothermal energy. [30-33] and a Bitcoin smart city [33].

8) Edict of Nantes 1598 = Crypto-edict of Nantes between 2036 and 2037 in the USA and/or Europe.

Specifically, the end of the non-consideration of capital losses on Bitcoin, the end of account closures related (closely or remotely) to Bitcoin, the blocking of bank/Bitcoin transfers, Bitcoin “legal tender”…. In short, Bitcoin would be integrated into society without discrimination.

Below are timelines summarizing the parallelism of major events between Bitcoin and Protestantism:

If the model holds until 2036 or 2037, the two “sides” should have found a satisfactory compromise. And not only in France. Finally, as for the Reformation, other conflicts will take place (mid-17th century) but according to the model between 2037 and 2050 there will be a “relative peace”, especially since the following conflicts could take place in the Protestant sphere (Puritans, Oliver Cromwell…) and by extension will take place in the cryptocurrencies sphere. However, this does not exclude the “crazy” repressions of the second half of the 20th century (absolutist dragoons against the Huguenots, whose cryptographic equivalent would be the “muscular” interventions among Bitcoiners and/or the banishment of Bitcoiners from the territory…).


If qualitatively the history of Bitcoin and the Reformation are analogous, two elements diverge, implying that at some points the coming events will be different.

Already violent attacks (apart from the same offensive or insulting) by Bitcoiners (or pro-cryptocurrency) are non-existent, whereas at the time of the Reformation between the sacking of churches in southern France or the revolt of the Anabaptists in Munster the Protestants were able to display great violence. In comparison, the Bitcoiners did not loot ATMs or bank counters….

On the other hand, as already mentioned, after the Council of the 1930s the Catholic Church put water in its wine (no pun intended) and decided to absorb some of the criticism (fight against corruption and better education of priests). Today, central banks have not absorbed any particular criticism (bank tokenization without blockchain or with centralized blockchain is a big joke…).


Compared to the data before 2022, the history of Bitcoin and Protestantism is marked by analogous events (evolution of the relationship between an emerging decentralized information network and another monopolistic centralized information network, today for money in the past for the spiritual). Especially because in quantitative terms it is possible for the moment to correlate the events of the two periods compared, of course today with our means of production everything goes faster.

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If the model turns out to be correct, this implies that until 2025 or 2027 Bitcoiners will still go through hard times, but that between 2030 and 2040 the relationship between the “classical” economy and Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) will be more peaceful.

Finally, the non-questioning of central banks and the non-violence of Bitcoiners should make it easier to tip the scales in favor of the latter than at the time of the Reformation the scales tipped in favor of the Protestants. Let’s keep “evangelizing” non-coiners and build our own temples and communities!

Appendices :

“A specter haunts the modern world, the specter of crypto-anarchy.

Computer technology is on the verge of allowing individuals and groups to communicate and interact with each other completely anonymously. Two people can exchange messages, conduct business and negotiate contracts electronically without knowing each other’s real name or legal identity. Network interactions will be untraceable, thanks to extensive encrypted packet forwarding and tamper-resistant boxes that implement cryptographic protocols with a near-perfect guarantee against tampering. Reputation will be of vital importance, far more important in transactions than today’s credit ratings. These advances will completely change the nature of government regulation, the ability to tax and control economic interactions, the ability to keep information secret, and even change the nature of trust and reputation.

The technology of this revolution-and it will surely be as much a social revolution and the economic revolution – has existed in theory for a decade. The methods are based on public-key encryption, zero-knowledge proof systems and various software protocols for interaction, authentication and verification. So far, the focus has been on academic conferences in Europe and the United States, closely followed by the National Security Agency. But only recently have computer networks and personal computers reached sufficient speed to make the ideas practically feasible. And the next ten years will bring enough additional speed to make ideas economically viable and virtually unstoppable. High-speed networks, ISDN, tamper-proof boxes, smart cards, satellites, Ku-band transmitters, multi-MIPS personal computers, and encryption chips now under development will be among the enabling technologies.

Of course, the state will try to slow or stop the spread of this technology, citing national security concerns, use of the technology by drug traffickers and tax evaders, and fear of societal disintegration. Many of these concerns will be valid; crypto-anarchy will allow free trade in national secrets and trade in illicit and stolen materials. An anonymous, computerized marketplace will make even heinous murder and extortion deals possible. Various criminal and foreign elements will be active users of the CryptoNet. But this will not stop the spread of crypto-anarchy.

Just as printing technology changed and reduced the power of medieval guilds and the social power structure, cryptologic methods will fundamentally change the nature of societies and government interference in economic transactions. Combined with emerging information markets, crypto-anarchy will create a liquid market for anything that can be put into words and images. And just as a seemingly minor invention like barbed wire made possible the enclosure of vast ranches and farms, forever changing concepts of land and property rights in the West, the seemingly minor discovery of a mysterious branch of mathematics will become the wire cutter that dismantles the barbed wire surrounding intellectual property.

Get up, you’ve got nothing to lose but your barbed wire!” – Timothy C. May, The Cryptoanarchist Manifesto, 1989.

The “neo-reformists”:
Tim May (former Intel scientist, author of. Cryptoanarchist Manifesto)
Eric Hughes (Author of Cypherpunk Manifesto)
Hal Finney (cryptographer, principal author of. PGP 2.0 and developer of RPOW)
Wei Dai (Computer engineer and creator of B-money).
Nick Szabo (Computer scientist, lawyer and cryptographer, thinker of bit gold).
Julian Assange (editor-in-chief and creator of the WikiLeaks media outlet).
Len Sassaman (maintainer of Mixmaster Remailer software)
Adam Back (inventor of Hashcash and co-founder of Blockstream)


[31] https://cryptoast.en/salvador-energy-bitcoin-miner-volcano/
[33] https://cryptoast.en/salvador-concrete-idea-miner-bitcoin-btc-energy-volcanoes/

About the author

Thomas Mang, a former PhD student at CEA Grenoble, has been a photonics engineer since 2017. Passionate about digital technologies (3D printing, Bitcoin), he is interested in them not through the prism of “hard sciences” but of human sciences: history or anthropology.

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