CentralizationBitcoin alleviates the need for a centralized third-party system — like a credit card company or a central bank — to confirm and validate transactions. Rather than requiring the current base-layer financial system to broker our transfers and settlements, Bitcoin works purely peer-to-peer, ridding the need for trust in a centralized government controller.
VerifiabilityBitcoin enables unit-level currency validation that isn't possible with fiat (government-backed money). For instance, there are plenty of fake dollar bills in circulation (the U.S. Treasury estimates that one in every 10,000 bills is counterfeit) that the average person fails to discover. However, nobody can create fake bitcoin because the Bitcoin network is secured cryptographically via a public blockchain that anybody can access and validate any amount of bitcoin as real.
InflationBitcoin's supply is capped at 21 million. There will never be any more bitcoin than that. No one can just "print more bitcoin" like we currently print dollars, inflating the money supply. Unlike fiat currencies, bitcoin doesn't take away your purchasing power over time.
How Does Bitcoin Solve Global Problems?The reason you might not see the value in bitcoin is because people don't recognize the benefits of privacy and decentralization as forms of resilience against corrupt state actors, until they themselves experience an event that demonstrates the value behind such resilience. But, perhaps by listening to some stories of those whose lives have or can be improved because of bitcoin, you'll start to see it in a new light.
Bitcoin isn't just another investment asset to some. For many people around the world, bitcoin is just the thing they need in order to live a free and fulfilling life.
Currently, 4.2 billion people are living under authoritarian rule, and 1.2 billion are experiencing double or triple digit inflation. Most of us reading this right now aren’t familiar with these experiences, but the truth is, this issue is more prevalent than you think.
A 2.4 kilogram chicken cost 14,600,000 bolivares ($2.22) before Venezuela slashed five zeros from its currency (2018).
Venezuela As A Case Study?At the Bitcoin Conference in 2021, there was a dumpster filled with Venezuelan bolivars, all virtually worthless. Though the story is much more complicated, long story short, the bolivar had its value essentially printed away. Imagine you're paying $5 for a cup of coffee one day and a year later you're seeing hundreds and thousands of dollar bills inside a dumpster because they have no use anymore.
This may seem like a dystopian, far-fetched reality, but from 2016 to 2019, inflation of the bolivar had reached nearly 54,000,000%, rendering origami crafts made from the bills more valuable than the bills themselves. To realistically buy a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk with cash, you would need to roll wheelbarrows full of stacked bills to your local store. Not only that, but under a hyper-inflationary economy, these prices would shift daily — or even hourly.
They might be able to ban it legally, but the only way they can stop free thought is by trying to manipulate public sentiment. We are no stranger to this phenomenon; you can probably think of a few scenarios where people appear to be tragically misinformed and brainwashed.
The reality is that much of everything comes down to sales and marketing — especially for schools of thought.
Why would the government want to ban bitcoin?
Bitcoin works in parallel: Governments trying to hold onto central banking power are working on
framing Bitcoin as an evil that works against the betterment of society.
To quote Senator Elizabeth Warren,
"cryptocurrencies undermine the government's ability to maintain robust economic growth over time...Online theft, drug trafficking, ransom attacks and other illegal activity have all been made easier with crypto. Experts estimate that last year more than $412 million was paid to criminals in ransom through cryptocurrencies."
And yet, she and other politicians alike fail to mention that between $800 billion and $2
of fiat money is globally laundered each year, according to estimates from the United
400 times more than in cryptocurrencies. In 2020, the criminal share of all cryptocurrency
was just 0.34%!
It all come down to control: The government currently regulates the economy by manipulating fiscal and monetary policy to foster economic growth. But to put our trust in the government is to put our trust in people who lack integrity, make decisions based on lobbying, and happily bail out big banks when they fuck up without any care for what happens to the people (see the Financial Crisis of 2008).
In China, Bitcoin has been "banned" countless times. In general, China's stance has been very anti-Bitcoin, since they want to create a digital yuan (a CBDC: central bank digital currency) that can be controlled and surveilled on. Bitcoin scares those with centralized control: What if the people choose something that we can no longer manipulate? It must be stopped.
If the government tries to ban Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, what will most likely result is a large pushback from the cryptocurrency community that attracts worldwide media attention — causing people who previously had never been interested in Bitcoin to now start looking into it.
The Concern for Mass Adoption
Allow me to introduce you to the law of unintended consequences. Some of my favorite examples include the Cobra effect and the Streisand effect (these stories are worth a quick search) — both are examples of situations where the exact opposite of what was intended ended up happening.
If Bitcoin does get "banned," it will only end up being the biggest free marketing campaign that Bitcoin has ever had.
Can you see it now? The walls that they put up to hold us back will fall down. It's a revolution against the existing, corrupt financial system that has harmed too many for far too long, and change is coming whether or not our leaders want to embrace it.
But slowly, countries are realizing they need to default to a sounder form of money.
On September 7, 2021, El Salvador became the first country to officially adopt bitcoin as legal tender.
While many are skeptical to see how this will play out (as bitcoin is still in its very early stages of adoption and stability), many more are hopeful. If the government of El Salvador becomes corrupted, its citizens will still be able to hold their wealth without their savings being debased. This is something that so many people in Turkey, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and other unstable countries can only pray for.
I only hope as many of these people as possible can discover bitcoin and realize that there is a solution. Rather than trying to carry jewels and gold across borders, one now only needs a simple seed phrase stored inside their memory to access and transport their wealth.
If we want to escape the control of the powers that be, we'll need an alternative system. Bitcoin is that system. Bitcoin is a currency with no central authority. No government can control it, so it's not going to suffer from endless rounds of quantitative easing or any other money printing schemes governments employ. We've come a long way in our fights for justice, but it's time to open the blinds and see how bitcoin can help us gain back our freedoms once and for all. You wouldn't be the first renegade, but unlike those in the past, you now have full, self-sovereign control over your own wealth.
"I don't dance for pennies of my own freedom flicked at my feet by bureaucrats."
Bitcoin is a revolution brought on by necessity: Fundamental problems with the world’s prevailing economic systems, combined with the advent of the internet, mandated the rise of a natively-digital alternative. Check out these stories which help articulate the reasons why Bitcoin has emerged and it has become the alternative of choice.