Do you remember the world before the internet? If so, then you are among a rapidly dwindling group of human beings who are old enough to remember life before the World Wide Web.You are lucky – because your perspective and the experience of that paradigm shift will serve you well in recognizing the real effect of Bitcoin. But first, I would like to introduce a little perspective…
Do you remember when you sent yourfirst email?I do, because it was 1997 and I was using one of those old “free” AOL dial up connection discs.I can still hear that sound- if you ever used AOL dial up before; you know exactly what I mean. You had to wait 5-10 minutes between clicking “connect” and hearing the words “You’ve got mail”.
That was over 22 years ago and that experience can be replicated by virtually anyone today by speaking into a phone and saying “send” – or with the swipe of a finger. Billions of people in the world now have access to E-mail.
However; if I asked you when E-mail was invented – and who invented it – what kind of answer would you give? Most people aren’t sure. Some will say it was “around the 90’s” when E-mail and the internet seemed to take on mass adoption rates around the planet.
Some people refer to events ( the first time they sent an E-mail, their first cell phone, the first time they logged onto the internet, etc. ) when they discuss the origins of today’s array of technologies that encapsulate the globe. They don’t know the dates – but they can see how it effects themselves and also in turn, the world.
The truth is that the story of E-mail ( and the internet and cell phones ) is a little more complex than that. There are entire books written on these things and the technology and events leading up to the existence of what we call “the internet” and “E-mail” today.
Sure, it was only utilized by a select few at first. In the late 1980’s, the concept of an “E-Mail” was hard to explain and difficult for the average person to understand. The general consensus at first was that the internet was was for tech geeks and computer nerds.
Eventually E-mail technologies user interface advanced to the stage of development where you didn’t have to know how it worked to use it. People who couldn’t care less about technology began to realize – “hey, I can send a message to anyone else instantly and that’s pretty cool” .
A global shift started to happen…
By the late 90’s the term “E-Mail” was known in every household – and a lot of people around the world began to use it in their everyday lives.
E-mail was such a great invention because it connected everyone to everyone else. You could ( for the first time in human history ) instantly send a message to another person on the other side of the planet.
Today; it is difficult to imagine what the world was like before the invention of the internet. Clearly it has changed and will continue to affect the entire planet in many ways.
Fast forward to 2009 – an anonymous person or group of people known only as “Satoshi Nakamoto” release a white paper outlining “Bitcoin” – a peer to peer money transaction protocol on the internet. It is quickly viewed as revolutionary.Why?
Because up until 2009 - there was no way to have a true cryptocurrency because as anyone who’s ever downloaded an mp3 illegally can tell you - things on the internet are usually very easy to copy. Money that can be copied = no good, right?
That’s right. If I can print as many twenty dollar bills as I want; eventually I’m going to print so many that they are no longer valuable to anyone – because they are everywhere.Sound familiar?
However, that description is more fitting of the current United States Dollar than it is of Bitcoin.The Federal Reserve prints as many US Dollars as it wants – which causes inflation and makes the value of the currency many American’s use every day become lower and lower as time goes on.
They evencreated 800 billion dollars out of thin air in 2008 to bail out the major banks after they went bankrupt and almost destroyed the global economy. Sound familiar? The problem was never truly solved and persists to this day – but there are entire books on that subject.
The Dunbar level is the maximum number of transactions that can be performed on a trust bases in a tribe or community. So, third party risk has always been an accepted necessity to transacting on a scale that exceeds “the Dunbar level”.
When an economyexceeded this level, there was always human beings or a centralized institution to act as a “middle man”. It was a necessary evil. Basic human nature dictates that if another person is holding your money - there is a good chance they are going to run away with it.
Banking institutions and third parties have monopolized global finance for hundreds of years. They use via centralized fractional reserve banking and paper fiat currencies backed by nothing to suck the wealth out of the poorest people on the planet. But their time is up.
Because banks are now obsolete.
So what is Money? The reason most people don’t really understand the technology of money is because it is so embeddedinto culture that most people take the concept of money for granted and do not think about it beyond the basic information required just to participatein the system.
Is money value? No – money itself is not value. Money is what you USE to get things that do have value.
Is money whatever authority figures say it is? No– money does not come from authority. Although; I wouldn’t blame anyone who hasn’t researched for themselves for thinking that- because of the “Dunbar Level”mentioned earlier – the “middle man” factor in money has been an accepted necessity for thousands of years.
Bitcoin doesn’t just ask the question “what if we could create money without a central authority controlling it…what if we could create a money that has value simply because…people use it”.
Bitcoin ANSWERS that question by making that amazing possibility a reality. Money is not paper- Money is a language. A language that human beings created in order to express value to each other. Money has been fundamental in the construction of civilization –because it made it possible for us to exceed the “Dunbar Level”.
Although this was amazing and helped push forward civilization– it has remained a controlled system that often serves the purpose of granting incredible power to those people who can control money, its production and distribution.
Governments and Kings have always held tight control over money the same way they used to hold control over religion- for exactly the same reasons. They want total control.
This was how the story went for a long time – and then on January 3rd 2009 ; the Bitcoin white paper was released and the world suddenly had a new, better tool than centralized banking that they could use to shape the future.
Bitcoin is a tool with peer to peer protocol with zero servers ( all clients ) and the ability to express money as a content type.
Bitcoin expressing money as a content typeis a HUGE deal. This basically means for the first time in history, human beings can express money as pure data – you can transmit it by using ANY communication medium.
The world was introduced to Bitcoin – money that is open, neutral, border less and global. Anyone can access it; since it is not a product. Anyone can utilize it without any kind of registration because Bitcoin is nota company.
All an individual needs to do is download the bitcoin client- which is similar to a web browser. This bitcoin client speaks the same “protocol” language to all the other bitcoin clients. It exists as one simple application.
Bitcoin allows you to participate in the world’s first truly global economy and it is fundamentally blind to race, religion, creed or age.
Children who are born today will grow up into a world in which banks do not exist.
Children born today will grow up in a world where paper money doesn’t exist.
The leap to a truly “digital” global money system was long speculated upon – but thanks to Bitcoin and the technology behind it – it is now a reality and one that is currently shaping the globe right before our eyes.
Money is now an integral protocol of the internet. It is a content type- one that can be transmitted anywhere at any time – by anyone. For the entire span of human history – money needed human beings to manage the money and groups of wealthy people ( corporations ) who could maintain the control.
These money “middle men” have long been a necessary evil. Thanks to Bitcoin- they are no longer necessary.
We are alive at a time where human beings are successfully implementing the biggest technological revolution in the history of human civilization.
It will change the world more than the invention of television, radio, cell phones and “the internet” as we know it- combined.