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“Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.”

– Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal only lived to age 39 but became world-famous for many contributions in the fields of mathematics, physics, and theology. The above quote encapsulates Pascal’s wager—a philosophical argument for the Christian belief in the existence of God.

The argument’s conclusion states that a rational person should live as though God exists. Even if the probability is low, the reward is worth the risk.

Pascal’s wager as a justification for bitcoin? Yes, I’m aware of the fallacies: false dichotomy, appeal to emotion, begging the question, etc. That is not the point. The point is that binary outcomes instigate extreme results, and the game theory of money suggests that it’s a winner-take-all game.

The Pascalian investor: A rational approach to bitcoin

Humanity’s adoption of “the best money over time” mimics a series of binary outcomes—A/B tests.

Throughout history, inferior forms of money have faded as better alternatives emerged (see India’s failed transition to a gold standard). And if bitcoin is trying to be the premier money of the future, it will either succeed or it won’t.

“If you ain’t first, you’re last.” -Ricky Bobby, Talladega Nights, on which monies succeed over time.

So, we can look at bitcoin success similarly to Pascal’s wager—let’s call it Satoshi’s wager. The translated points would go something like this:

  • If you own bitcoin early and it becomes a globally valuable money, you gain immensely. 😀
  • If you own bitcoin and it fails, you’ve lost that value. 😢
  • If you don’t own bitcoin and it goes to zero, no pain and no gain. 😐
  • If you don’t own bitcoin and it succeeds, you will have missed out on the significant financial revolution of our lifetimes and fall comparatively behind. 😡

If bitcoin is successful, it will be worth far more than it is today and have a massive impact on your financial future. If it fails, the losses are only limited to your exposure. The most that you could lose is the money that you invested.

It is hypothetically possible that bitcoin could be worth 100x more than it is today, but it can only possibly lose 1x its value as it goes to zero. The concept we’re discussing here is asymmetric upside – significant gains with relatively limited downside. In other words, the potential rewards of the investment outweigh the potential risks.

Bitcoin offers an asymmetric…



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