Today, as I was browsing my feed, I stumbled upon this tweet. I am not a fan of Roger or Andreas but I respect both of them for different reasons. To the naked eye, Antonopoulos and Roger might seem similar when it comes to their vision about liberty, independence and blockchain technologies. Nonetheless, these folks are fundamentally different in respect to one thing that matters the most: Skin in the Game.
To have “skin in the game” means to have incurred risk (monetary or otherwise) in what you support. In other words, it is not enough to just shill an ideology. It is far more important to invest in it. It is important to do this in every possible way. Andreas Antonopoulos has been in the Bitcoin scene the early days. For those who don’t know him, he was one of the first evangelists of the technology. Later on, he was picked up by a few BTC whales to do some promotions (for obvious reasons). Since then, he became an icon around the space, issued a book and started making a living out of it by receiving payments in BTC.
For many investors his financial decision makes sense from a diversifying point of view. Andreas most likely kept making most of his living in FIAT while having BTC being a side gig. I honestly do not think he believed it was going to turn to be valued as much. He rather believed in the blockchain technology and the potential that can offer. He did not have skin in the game of Bitcoin and this is where the remark of Roger Ver comes to play.
Skin in the game is the most important part of life. Without it, every single word someone spouts means nothing. This is why actions are more important than words. At the end of the day, this is what defines us. Politicians like to overgeneralize as much as possible because they don’t have skin in the game. Academics do much the same, expecting that their teachings matter more than those who develop the actual technology or those who invest in it financially.
Talk is just talk. It cannot be measured due to the chaotic patterns of the network around us. I could easily say that my preachings about BTC influenced millions since I was preaching it before Andreas. That would not matter though because it cannot be proved. It can only be believed by people who adhere to the survivorship bias. We see how important someone or something is, only after it has gained some acceptance in the space. This is also why since last year we get so many “crypto experts” that were virtually unknown 2 years ago.
“Putting money in our words”, defines a human being in more ways than one can think. It changes one person fundamentally. It teaches discipline and dedication since now your own person is at risk. In a society where money is almost everything, investing in what ones believes is proof of dedication. Those who really believed in Bitcoin mined it, spend in on goods, preached it to friends and created an entire ecosystem which has now rewarded them greatly. That is the proof of what they said mattered. Their own success. People like Roger have skin in the game. People like Andreas, not so much.
Of Course Andreas might be lying or underplaying his investment so he can stay “Safe” but I doubt it. He is a brilliant man, perhaps the most gifted in the space when it comes to spreading the word. Nonetheless, his agenda through the years has been shaped by his patrons. Perhaps he didn’t invest in BTC because he saw how the public can be manipulated when whales asked him to promote Bitcoin. Perhaps he understands that Bitcoin is much like Netscape in the early days of the internet. Either way, skin in the game is what should have defined him if he was really a true believer of blockchain technologies.