As Bitcoin 2022 got underway, at the largest gathering of Bitcoiners in the world there stood an impressive 9 foot by 12 foot document that was the first and largest printed version of the Declaration of Monetary Independence (DoMI). For those of you who would like to read it and sign it electronically you may go here. It stood just outside the Nakamoto Stage where the foot traffic from attendees who arrived every morning walked right past it. By the close of the event on Saturday, it is estimated that there were thousands of signatures and it resembled street art more than a replica of the original Declaration of Independence.
What Does The Declaration Of Monetary Independence Say?
The first half of the document, written in Colonial-style font in the physical version, lists 27 reasons why fiat money is an unfair – and broken – monetary system controlled by governments which favors the wealthiest and most privileged. Ironically, many people when informed there were 27 reasons why fiat didn’t work would quip, “Only 27?” The second half of the document lists 29 reasons why Bitcoin is the fairest most egalitarian monetary system the human mind has ever conceived and implemented. This document was “published” electronically on October 31, 2021 and the same day Bitcoin Magazine published an article authored by Mike Hobart announcing the declaration. There were 55 original signatories to the online declaration.
Why Was DoMI Written?
Bitcoiners familiar with history know that October 31 was a significant day in Bitcoin’s origins. It was no coincidence that on that day in 2008, during the heart of the financial meltdown now known as the Great Recession, that Satoshi Nakamoto published his white paper. One of the authors of DoMI, when asked why he wrote it, said that he, like many, believes Bitcoin is American ideals and values embedded in code. The authors knew that every government in history has abused their monopoly power over money creation and we needed to be given a choice. Humanity has reached a point in the history of humanity where we needed to separate money from the state and Bitcoin technology makes that possible. And since bitcoin itself is code, very few can read it and only engineers, cypherpunks and geeks are actually able to understand its technical aspects.
While the white paper explains what Satoshi had been coding up, the authors took a stab at creating a 21st century version of the Declaration of Independence with the benefit of hindsight on knowing how our monetary system turned out. Given the above, the authors felt they needed something that the plebs could relate to and what emerged from the collaboration of the three Bitcoin Magazine writers was DoMI. They believe that their collective proof of work – DoMI – is a historically significant document that expresses in words, not code, American ideals on what a fair monetary system needs to include. In effect, they were channeling the plebs’ declaration of monetary independence.
The actual signing got off to a slow start. On the first day of the conference there were hundreds of Bitcoiners stopping by to read it and take pictures of it but no signatures were added to it. By lunchtime on the first day of the conference, the document stood there unsigned. At that point, one of the original authors of the document took out his purple pen and signed it.
After he signed it, he made it clear to all those who stopped to take pictures of it that they were welcome to sign it. The reactions to his invitation were enthusiastic and they embraced signing this historic document proposing the separation of money from state with gusto! Many asked co-author Mark Maraia for a synopsis of what it says at which point he explained the 27 things wrong with fiat and the 29 things that bitcoin fixes. He explained that the preamble clearly states that we are not asking to do away with fiat, but that he believes we are most definitely in favor of and need a form of money that the state cannot mess up!
Lo and behold by the end of the first day of the conference there were probably 50-60 signatures making this peaceful call for separating money from the state. Little did we know what was to transpire over the remaining three days of Bitcoin 2022 – an amazing amount of signatories would be added. The co-authors were interviewed by several news outlets and various podcasters as the signings continued.
The following day was the first day of the general admission where 25,000 people eventually converged at the Miami Beach Convention Center. Since the footpath from where people were allowed to enter the convention center took you right past DoMI it was seen and noticed by most of those entering. The author who got things started on the first day was there first thing in the morning on Thursday with two Sharpies and started asking people if they wanted to sign. The enthusiasm by which they embraced that invitation was nothing short of shocking. They didn’t just sign it and quietly walk away. Some signed with an orange sharpie. They signed with gusto and often wanted their picture taken while they were signing. Or they’d zoom out from their signature to the entire 9 foot by 12 foot document.
Even though DoMI had existed and was available for signing online since October 31, 2021, there are no words to describe the level of excitement and enthusiasm that began bubbling out of people after they put their signature to the document. In addition, one of the authors had collaborated with another writer for Bitcoin Magazine to purchase more than a thousand orange silicone bracelets that said “separate money from state” with the Bitcoin logo and “#DoMI” on them.
As people would sign, those handing out bracelets would retrieve the Sharpie for the next person and give the person who just signed a bracelet as “proof of signature.”
By the end of the day Friday, the plebs were looking for chairs to stand on so they could find a
blank space for their signature. The co-author who had started things rolling left on Saturday morning but reports and pictures of DoMI kept trickling in from the other conference attendees. By the end of the day Saturday (Sound Money Fest) the Declaration of Monetary Independence stood there in all its glory with thousands of signatures on what had become presumably the world’s largest analog multisig. In what one person described as the most important gathering of people since 1776, the Bitcoin Conference attendees were able to register their vote for freedom of money from state control.
So where will the DoMI end up? Right now the current thinking is this document will find a home inside Bitcoin Magazine’s office. For those of you who didn’t get to sign it during the conference, don’t despair, as there will be another one for the Bitcoin 2023 Conference. Based on the reports from the many people who signed this year, this will be an experience you won’t want to miss.
Special shoutout to Mark Maraia, Mike Hobart and Ulric Pattillo, co-authors of DoMI and the sources for this article.
Bitcoin 2022 is part of the Bitcoin Event Series hosted by BTC Inc, the parent company of Bitcoin Magazine.