Bitcoin has already brought our world some of the most incredible innovations we’ve seen, but the best is yet to come.
Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, blockchain. While they are often regarded as buzzwords in the industry, they are actually the foundation of something much bigger. Things like borderless currency, decentralized business, open source software, collaboration technology, shared computing. These are just a few of the underlying principles that move our technology and our everyday life into the future. If these sciences are embraced, it will indeed be a bright future.
It has become more and more transparent that people nowadays live in fear. If nothing else, 2020 has taken the tidal wave of fear and mistrust many live in the shadows of to a terrifying peak. We are all waiting for the crash. While some flock to literature, or social media, or their favorite news outlet, others flock to exchanges. Using platforms such as the newbie friendly Bitvavo to bet on the future, on what could be and what is largely already. Bitcoin and the technology that underpins its deepest workings are a preparation for a brighter future. An investment in a future that is already changing our lives today.
The point behind the hype
In 2008, when Satoshi Nakamoto wrote the bitcoin whitepaper, but few paid attention. It took years to gain adoption outside of the elite tech-savvy forums and deep web blogosphere. However, it didn’t stop the white paper from being highly relevant even then. While a vast majority of the population still struggles to understand the real importance behind decentralized currencies, crypto still has a huge following – even if just for value.
But the point behind the currency was not one of monetary value and profit, something more noble instead. After the subprime mortgage crisis of 2007, the whole world looked to a crippled economy and a massive recession. Entire countries were devastated by the dubious investments of American bankers. But it wasn’t just bankers who took the blame; but a whole litany of centralized financial mega players, including regulators, credit agencies, government housing policies, consumers, and much, much more.
What the Bitcoin white paper was a better way to take control of personal finances. A more responsible paradigm that wasn’t about middlemen making money, but about individuals instead. People. Everyday residents use their finances the way they were intended. Anonymous, expendable, decentralized money. An immutable ledger that can be viewed and validated by the people themselves, eliminating speculation on things like high-risk loans. Remove the system that encourages quantitative easing practices, which often lead to devastating periods of hyperinflation or deflation.
It provided a system built, managed and verified by the people who use it most, with an intrinsic value that rests only on use. This was bitcoin. A borderless currency system that required no credit history or any history. Just an online wallet and some imaginary coins.
Decentralized for your convenience
While not all of these principles made the final cut of bitcoin as we know it today, there are still some of the original values that determine how the network behaves. Perhaps most important is the concept of decentralization.
Cryptocurrencies have made it possible for people to manage themselves. And it’s not just about finances anymore. Entire companies are now built on decentralized platforms, using a democratic structure. Smart contracts remove arbitrators and lawyers. A number of different cryptocurrencies completely eliminates the need to transfer money to different currencies before reaching a final destination, removing stacks of astronomical fees as well.
Decentralization could become the norm in the future, and that’s really just the removal of middlemen. Putting individuals in a position of greater control, with a much lower chance of human error or impact on any system that becomes decentralized. While bitcoin brought us the idea of decentralization when it comes to currencies, other popular cryptocurrency platforms are starting to incorporate decentralization with a number of other valuable services.
Many people seem to get a little nervous when faced with the idea of decentralization and “imaginary currencies”. However, if you want to test the effectiveness of pre-existing systems, consider what would happen if everyone were to withdraw all their money from their bank accounts at once? In America there is already a similarity for this. It was called the Great Depression. The dollar you hold in your hand has no more “real value” than a bitcoin in your online wallet. The institutions we’ve put in place to monitor and protect these imaginary dollars? Let’s just say their value does not differ much, and perhaps often much more destructive.
What bitcoin has, and will continue to provide, is a better power structure that eliminates the need for externality. A system that ensures self-reliance. That may be something that humanity has been striving for since the beginning of time. A paradigm in which there are no leaders, only users.