I was listening to Jack Dorsey in a stage interview at the first Africa Bitcoin Conference held in 2022.

Among many other questions, one of the questions the interviewer asked him was, what really led him to adopt Bitcoin?

Remember, Jack Dorsey is the founder and CEO of Block, a payment conglomerate, the parent company of Cash App, Square, and Spiral.

In 2021, Cash App integrated Bitcoin Lightning to let users make micropayments with Bitcoin. Spiral is an organisation that pays developers bitcoins to work on Bitcoin. He also backed Gridless, a Bitcoin mining company in East Africa.

For someone who buys $10,000 worth of Bitcoin every week, it is important for the audience and every potential Bitcoiner out there to understand exactly what led him to Bitcoin and why he really adopted Bitcoin.

Now, let’s dive in.

Open Source

The only reason I’m here on this stage is because of Open Source, that’s how I taught myself how to program when I was a kid because of the grace of people giving their work away for free, doing things in the open, doing things publicly and that was back in the day when I was a kid, it was around Linux. And the Open Source community was starting to thrive as the internet was getting more and more accessible to people and there was a bunch of community on the old system called Usenet, some of you may be familiar with it some of you may not, but it was the message board effectively and it was fairly decentralized just like IRC, the Internet Relay Chat.

For someone in Jack’s position, there are only a few reasons he will leave the USA to travel to Africa just to give a talk. Open Source matters to him. Bitcoin is Open Source.

Decentralized money

During the early days of the internet, there was a lot of really incredible open-source sharing and energy and also a lot of inherently decentralized energy through these older systems and then we saw these waves of more and more things getting centralized behind the web such as Google really centralizing the discovery problem, how do I find things, how do I find what I want to read about and what I want to understand. But in Usenet, there was a group called Alt Cypherpunks which were a bunch of fans of cryptography, cryptographers, mathematicians, and the early days of PGP were clinical there, just a number of really radical acts and radical people and the gem, the thing that everyone was searching for was money. How to not reinvent money but put money back in the control of the people. So I’ve been following that and interested in it for quite some time as another way to learn and understand. I was a punk when I was a kid, and I thought it was just the coolest most righteous Noble Pursuit and it was it till 2008 when things really came together with Satoshi.

Not web3 or “crypto” shitty coins claiming to be the next Bitcoin. Not some kind of money claiming decentralization yet backed by Venture Capital and tokens locked up for a few groups of people to sell off in the future. Not some kind of money in endless supply and a private issuer.

Final comments

[Satoshi Nakamoto] Whoever that person is or who the group of people are, took from so many ideas all over the internet to crystallize into the one moment which became the whitepaper and once I read it in that time I was just like wow, this is this is incredible because it is open, it is provable, it is transparent, it is visible to everyone. Incredibly, whoever this person is, as you know, kicked their ego to the side and gave it to the world.

Jack Dorsey care less about Bitcoin being an investment instrument, as most people focus on, for him, the real value is “sending money and the money transmission thing”.

Jack went on to discuss his current projects and the future of Bitcoin at length, you can watch the full interview here.