Launching Mempool Review

Bitcoin Jun 30, 2020

Last week, Zane Pocock wrote a piece on Mempools — Bitcoin's Town Square, another information space where price is freely discovered by participants bidding with one another for Bitcoin settlement utility. As a publication, Mempool Review borrows this concept of an open forum for ideas, aiming to be a neutral venue for publishing Bitcoin content with a diverse set of writers.

Mempool Review is about Bitcoin, its network, markets, economics and peripheral entities building the Bitcoin Standard. Our goal behind this publication is to share ideas we like to think and write about. It is made available by Knox Custody, a Bitcoin key storage services company focused on advancing insurance for risks originated in Bitcoin systems. We decided to give it a name separate from Knox as this blog conveys a broader message that goes well beyond our company.

"Why Mempool Review? And why this old-fashioned logo?", one may ask.

We see Mempool Review as our contribution of ideas that make it to the open canvas of the internet to capture the wise literature of Austrian economics around free markets, human action and time preference, these concepts are encapsulated as visual symbols that make up the logo.

So, why the tortoise and the honey badger? One is obvious, but the other perhaps less so.

Festina lente

Festina lente (originally σπεῦδε βραδέως or speûde bradéōs in Classical Greek) is a classical adage and oxymoron meaning “hasten slowly”. It has been adopted as a motto numerous times, most notably by the Medicis. In particular, Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, took festina lente as his motto when he ruled Florence in the mid-16th Century and illustrated it with a sail-backed tortoise, which is represented on the logo of Mempool Review. Prior to that, festina lente had been one of the favorite maxims of ancient Rome's first emperor, Augustus. We believed adding this symbol to our publication was a good reference to the concept of low time preference borrowed from the Austrian School of Economics and its father Carl Menger, and made popular recently by Saifedean Ammous in his book The Bitcoin Standard.

Festina Lente — Wikimedia Commons

The honey badger is a reference to the meme of this carefree and extremely resilient animal that “don’t care”, which went viral in a video posted in 2011. Roger Ver, prior to the Bcash fork in 2017, popularized the association with Bitcoin as “the honey badger of money”. Today, as most Bitcoiners know, it remains a popular meme and so we felt it fit well next to the symbolic tortoise.

As most holders experience individually, Bitcoin tends to lower one's time preference. It makes one think about the opportunity cost of not increasing cash reserves to offset future uncertainty. While that point is beyond the aim of this write-up, we hope we can leverage this byproduct of using Bitcoin to produce work that is meaningful to others and worth the reader's time.

Our focus at the moment is on researching the ethical financialization of Bitcoin, natural market infrastructure development, information spaces and many more adjacent topics. If you have any suggestions of topics, feedback or would like to work on Mempool Review, let us know at @mempoolreview.

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