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  • Writer's picturePolicynotic Constitution

Open Letter to Heterodox Academy

Dear Heterodox Academy, There is an inherent and widespread bias in academia against Bitcoin that arises because: 1. Academia lacks people with the economic experiences commonly leading to Bitcoin support (e.g. hyperinflation, remittances, financial colonialism, being unbanked). 2. Academia lacks people with the values, perspectives, and personalities that frequently lead people to Bitcoin (e.g. belief in free market, low institutional trust) 3. Academia and economists have prestige, power, and financial incentives to support a fiat system. I explain this in my presentation to HxEconomics and Bitcoin Magazine articles. As Professor Korok Ray (one of the few academics who has delved into Bitcoin) astutely observed, reactions from professors have ranged “from hostile, at worst, to agnostic about Bitcoin.” Shockingly, some universities have even suppressed Bitcoin’s discussion (e.g. HxA advisor Professor Nadine Strossen and the rest of New York Law School were blocked from emailing about Bitcoin for months). The result has been universities producing and widely propagating provably incorrect information about Bitcoin. This has severely hurt academia’s reputation with many (particularly crypto-interested youth). Bitcoin (and the questions it raises about the fiat system) is not a fringe issue - the core structure of our monetary system matters to all. Nor is the supremacy of fiat an open-and-shut case. Current bank runs, currency collapses, imminent challenges to USD as world reserve, and the rollout of CBDCs leave many questions about the fiat system's efficacy, morality, and future. Encouraging “open inquiry, viewpoint diversity, and constructive disagreement” beyond the artificial boundaries of the fiat monetary system or a gold standard coincides directly with your mission. So does keeping academia capable of progressing toward truth, something universities can’t meaningfully do in this realm given current biases and lack of Bitcoin expertise. I am certainly not asking any of you to support Bitcoin. I am simply asking you to consider that there may be a systemic lack of viewpoint diversity in academia with regard to Bitcoin, specifically a dearth of proponents while detractors abound. Your members whom I have had the fortune of presenting to thus far have largely agreed that there is. A search of returns 15 whole pages of results for “racism,” 19 for “gender,” 5 for “gay,” and 4 for “abortion,” but returns exactly zero results for “Bitcoin,” “cryptocurrency,” or “cryptocurrencies.” If you don’t want your organization pegged to the culture wars and maligned as “right-wing bigot apologia” by the left and “liberal intellectual cover for illiberal woke nonsense” by the right, you should expand your concern for diversity of thought far beyond issues of race, gender, sexuality, and speech. Please consider explicitly addressing the fiat orthodoxy gripping academic ranks. You are better poised than any other organization to encourage universities to address the viewpoint imbalance in this important and relevant area. My sincere thanks for your principled and nuanced work. Having had the distinct pleasure of speaking with many of you at your last conference, I am confident you will consider my plea with open, honest, and discerning minds. I am happy to discuss this further with any of you ( Thank you, Hannah Wolfman-Jones

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