written by @thevladcostea
Bitcoin is definitely the most revolutionary financial invention of our time. It unites people of all nations under a state-agnostic currency that nobody can arbitrarily confiscate, censor, counterfeit, or destroy. In doing so, it gives everybody involved more economic freedom to exchange value, spend, and store wealth.
Skeptics will claim that Bitcoin has no intrinsic value and only exists for speculative or criminal reasons. Yet they probably never had to worry about fleeing a country where warfare has started and may have never had to protect their savings from the confiscations of a newly-instated authoritarian regime. Unlike gold (which is heavy and hard to hide or carry around), cash (which gains weight and volume in large amounts), and bank accounts (that can be frozen), Bitcoin is immaterial – and therefore a great protector of wealth and human rights.
It’s truly unprecedented to have money that transcends political borders, allowing storage via nothing but your thumb drive-sized hardware wallet, notebook/piece of paper, or clear memorization of your seed phrase. This incredible tool has the ability to make us all more sovereign and free.
Trading, HODLing, and Becoming an Honest Node on the Bitcoin Network
Bitcoin is primarily an instrument to acquire more economic freedom. Yet in spite of its unique use case, Bitcoin is still new on financial markets and many people regard it as a high-risk, speculative asset. While the volumes are still low and adoption is still in its early days, the understanding of Bitcoin’s true potential is bound to remain superficial.
The “number go up” narrative has advantages of its own: during bull markets, Bitcoin first attracts people by taking advantage of their greed, while gradually educating neophytes about the problems of fiat money and central banking. At first, people are brought on board by their desire to make more dollars, but in the process, they realize that they don’t really want to sell their scarce BTC for infinitely inflatable fiat.
Sometimes the desire to increase one’s savings also turns into a crash course in macroeconomics, history, game theory, and computer science. It’s this process that turns agnostic traders into educated HODLers.
The greatest use case of Bitcoin is to protect your own individual freedom. Paradoxically, this goal is achieved backward: people typically need to experience greed before developing an affinity for the network. Often the currency aspect that comes first, followed by greater involvement in the network (some run nodes, others operate mining rigs, and a few even become developers).
Making Bitcoin a Global Instrument for Financial Freedom: Developing Nations
Today, there are billions of people who need Bitcoin to maximize their economic freedom. Interestingly, it’s the ones who need Bitcoin the least who have the most access to both the network and the coins.
In underdeveloped or authoritarian countries, citizens can’t even get access to a stable internet connection or to proper banking services which allow them to do payments across borders to buy BTC. However, with developments like Blockstream’s satellite and other radio signal-transmitting projects, the Bitcoin network will soon remove its dependency on the internet and extend its service to more people from developing nations.
Like every technological invention, Bitcoin has first been tested in wealthy, democratic, and comparatively free nations whose ideals have influenced its creation. We shouldn’t try to look at this fact from a social justice lens, but rather hope that the Bitcoin project grows to the extent that oppressed people peacefully opt out of their current situations by migrating to a system that grants them more economic freedom.
A Bright Future in Disguise
With a state-agnostic currency, economic incentives can help people bypass corruption allowed by the Cantillon effect. If the early days were mostly about speculation, in the next couple of decades we will see Bitcoin create more freedom of speech, financial literacy, transparency, and human rights protection. In a nutshell, this is the story of Bitcoin: you come with dollar signs in your eyes and leave with financial sovereignty under your belt.
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