Bitcoin and Evolutionary Biology

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Bitcoin is compatible with principles in evolutionary biology. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins provides summarized insight as to why the game theory mechanisms in Bitcoin appeal to evidence-based biologic principles. One key concept is that over the course of human evolution (and other species for that matter), we have established an ESS (Evolutionary Stable Strategy), which favours the behaviour of “generally cooperate, and if wronged, retaliate.” The behaviour is in dynamic equilibrium with other behaviour types, and a species does not survive if there are critical amounts of “cheaters” in the system. This concept dispels arguments such as, “____ will fail because it is human nature to exploit/kill/impede others,” because it is not. This is game theory (reiterated prisoner’s dilemma) applied to evolutionary biology. Distributed consensus DOES work, and it works towards the majority’s best interests. The idea is further reinforced in the field of behavioural economics, where they explore the innate nature of the social contract. Check out Dan Ariely – “Predictably Irrational.”

Another important concept is with regards to altruistic behaviour, and how apparent altruism is driven by seflish motives to perpetuate an individual’s genes. There is no true altruism in biology, but rather an innate understanding of helping others for the sake of optimizing our own best interests. This concept consolidates the idea of why an incentivized Proof of Work system really is the best mechanism to expand the network effect and security for Bitcoin. The incentives are aligned with human nature.

submitted by /u/lobt
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