It’s hard to imagine not needing a paper contract to seal a deal; or a bank to store your money securely; or a lawyer to help you navigate complicated business deals; or third party arbiters to make those deals happen; or a government to guarantee ownership of something; or the government or an insurance company to provide insurance; or a government to coercively and violently “make” society a certain way with voting, representatives, and laws. It’s hard to imagine not needing any of that as we know it today. But, the time has come. It is possible.
For thousands of years humans have grappled with the problem of providing services like these. Common law, local customs, and merchant law used to take care of much of it. But in the late middle ages when governments figured out they could start “providing” many services – well they did, and have seized ever more power, and continued to “provide” many essential services – to a captive and coerced customer base. And so it goes, that with the passing of time and the usurping of duties and “authority” by centralized states – we the people of the world, more or less cannot imagine anyone but a government securing property rights, enforcing contracts, making banking safe, intelligently providing a secure legal framework, or insuring against loss.
Enter Bitcoin; crypto-currency in general, and the technology of cryptographic proofs.
The technology of decentralized cryptography does in fact make everything I mentioned at the beginning possible. Through unbreakable coding and mathematics we can begin to do things in new ways. Rather than inadequately attempt to explain every little possibility I will leave you with a list of links at the end.
When you hear about “bitcoin” understand it is just the beginning. It was the first incarnation of the technology. With bitcoin alone you can send messages, store value, transfer value, make or accept micro-payments or large scale payments worth millions to anyone in the world, with no barriers, no need for a middleman, and with virtually no costs compared with traditional methods of payment.
The quickest and most common objection is usually – but what is it backed by? what is it? why is it worth anything? Well if you’re asking those questions, check your premises, and take the time to learn about this. This is changing the world no matter what, so you might as well take the time for yourself to learn about it. In the old days we learned about check books, credit cards, savings accounts, how to go to the bank, and how it all works. Well time to learn something new.
The monies of the world that we use now, for the most part are not backed by anything, are not tangible or physical, and have no inherent value or qualities that would make anyone want to use them naturally. We use the monies that we do use because they are forced upon us and backed by the gun of the state. Dollars or any other government issued currency have no intrinsic values, that absent the government’s force, would entice us to use them. And trust me, if you had the choice on the market, you would want to use a money that has qualities you value and trust.
Gold, silver, platinum, and other physical materials are used for money as well. They have been valued for thousands of years for their inherent qualities and have become synonymous with money. But, they also have drawbacks that they are heavy, voluminous, difficult to transact with in the modern world, vulnerable to theft, etc.
Bitcoin, as a currency, solves these problems, and provides all the positive qualities of money, plus more. It is non-reproducible (can’t be inflated – and that is again, guaranteed by math in the code), can be broken down to usable units (21,000,000 total, each broken down to 8 decimals), and are standardized and all alike. Add to that – you can take them with you anywhere, send them anywhere, and receive them anywhere. I can send $1,000,000 worth of bitcoin (that I wish I had) to the other side of the world, for free – and know that it will reach its destination safely and securely. So to sum up, bitcoin has all the main qualifications of a good money, and it gets its inherent value from its qualities and features (that it is both a currency and a payment system in one (eliminating the need for traditional banks, credit cards, paypal, etc.), virtually uncrackable, safe, secure, decentralized, not controlled by governments, flexible, and versatile.
Plus, as if that weren’t enough, as I said before Bitcoin is just one application of decentralized cryptographic blockchain based technology. On the platform, so much more can be done, which is what I started out discussing here. To name one in particular here, is the ability for micro-payments, micro-lending, and micro-investing. Right now I am participating in a peer to peer lending platform where I have lent out small amounts of bitcoin to entrepreneurs. On other platforms, I am invested in at least 5 different start ups or small companies in small amounts. The network and the many platforms springing up, open up a whole new world of finance without minimums, barriers, and borders.
By the way, when I say decentralized that means these technologies are not run from a single source. The bitcoin network, for example, is run by every single person who runs the software. Every person helps facilitate and validate transactions, making the entire thing possible – with no central point of failure (or corruption) as with a company, bank, or government.
Hopefully I’ve introduced you to the basics of the currency – now its your turn to see what else this is all about.
Check out the links below!
And please post a question, leave a comment, send me feedback, subscribe, share, like, or donate!
- 10 Amazing Things About Bitcoin
- Cryptocontracts and Law
- Bitcoin and Unbreakable Law
- Ethereum – new platform for contracts, insurance, law, etc.
- Rebuilding the Financial System
- Bitcoin Could Decentralize the Courtroom
- Bitcoin Micro-lending
- Bitcoin Micro-Finance
- Bitcoin Kenetics
- Bitcoin Is The Internet of Money
- A Means For Global Independence
- Abra: Bitcoin’s “Killer App”
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