Ancient Greek philosophers learned the importance of dreams: that dreams tied into our reality somehow, but notably that we must first dream of something before we can make it reality. Man told stories and dreamed of flying to the moon, and then with dreams created for generation after generation, we achieved it.
Marked by Neil Armstrong’s famous words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Bitcoin was a dream, the want and need for change, born from a desire burning in everyone. For if what Bitcoin brings and promises was not what we all desired, then surely, for whatever our reasons, we would not be drawn to it as we are.
For many of us the start of the internet was around 1995-1996, though it was birthed much earlier than that through the ARPANET, and dreams before that of radio and telecommunications (telegraphy). The list can go on, but it all seems to carry the same theme, better and faster communication with other people. The dream in this case could be understood to be reaching towards a type 1 civilization form of communication (see: The Kardashev Scale), in that we use the planet’s energy to facilitate communication, radio waves, internet. What can be seen from our history is that anything which enables us to travel and communicate more efficiently with each other, whether personally, business and especially within the financial world, tends to have long lasting effects.
But then here I like to draw a line, which leaves everything we knew behind and brings Bitcoin, most notably, the Protocol, in a new level of understanding and ordering of society. What is the dream of Bitcoin? Is it to be a new type of money, to coincide with fiat, or replace it? And then there are those of us that point out at each opportunity that the Protocol is more than just ‘Bitcoin’ the currency, and that we have not seen anything yet.
For some the dream is a ‘get rich quick’ scheme; the scammers and thieves and hackers that they tell you about, similar to bogey men – “if you’re not careful they’ll come and get you!” Except in this case, it’s very true (you should always enable 2fa and keep security in mind); there is unfortunately this unwanted element of society that is attracted to Bitcoin.
All new and old in the bitcoin sector should remain wary of interacting with PayPal with regards to bitcoin; there are many tales of people being scammed through PayPal.
Yet it can be said, same as all previous valuable commodities and monies, silver, gold, diamonds and similar, have been made targets by pirates, bandits, crooks and criminals. It can be argued that this is a tried and tested way to tell that something is working, and this particular thing may be worth looking into and keeping tabs on.
Is the dream an alternative to the current banking system and economic dilemma? A solution to an escalating global dilemma through an amazing technological achievement, as some argue. At the moment, people mostly look on it as a different form of money; wait until more people realise that it (the protocol) can be used for so much more – it is internet phase 2.0.
When we think about the internet as a tool for communication on an energy (radio waves) basis, and through this form of communication, we can discuss, offer trade, and give services. However, we never had a tool to transfer wealth or assets through this amazing form of communication.
Cryptocurrency fills this gap. The dream of transferring wealth across the planet in the same way was finally achieved in 2009. Credit cards and the fiat system were never designed to operate over the internet; how they have existed has just been a band-aid on a far more technologically advanced system.
For example, introducing the printing press is comparable to introducing the internet, an upgrade from fiat money to digital. And as we know, we introduced paper (cotton) money with the printing press, and Bitcoin is the next stage evolution of introducing digital money with digital communication. So is the dream one of communication in finance and business? Many are the complaints of the time delays and errors when using the traditional wire transfer model. Add the costs with complications of the traditional financial system and potential for fraud, we can see why a dream of a better system has come about.
Another angle that has been brought up occasionally is the political spectrum.
When it is time, after a certain amount of global adoption, a political party will fully adopt Bitcoin and entrench it within their mandates. The start of a significant societal evolution will quickly follow the political evolution, and it will be most interesting to witness.
What would a traditional political party be with full transparency of political accounts? What if the law was that any donations not identified on the Blockchain had to be sent to charities and to public sector services. And any funds a party sends through a tumbler is also enforced by law to be sent to a charity, and likely the party would be held suspect by the people.
And we, the people, can all view the Blockchain, whenever we want.
The emerging business sector, and additional business and banking for all the unbanked (estimated in the billions), they have their own dream now made possible with Bitcoin.
From time to time it comes up in a discussion whether in person, on forums, or via other means of communication. What are the intentions of Bitcoin and the Protocol, or rather, what were the intentions of the creator for the tool that was made?
Community & Charity
Unintended consequences are always on the mind of the long term planner. Witnessing the developing altcoin phenomena, we can see that charity and the feeling of community seems to be rather paramount. The potential for a thousand people to give as little as they wish, the equivalent of pennies (or cents if you’re that way inclined) to benefit those in need, such as Sean’s Outpost that works for the homeless, or as the recent charity drive for the wrongly accused Dorian Nakamoto shows, funds can be raised quickly and directly in support.
The potential for charity work is world changing. Being able to give funds directly to an individual who has suffered through a disaster would enrich people the world over. Could it be said that it is a dream of sons and daughters the world over who often send money to relatives or friends, that it could be done with such ease and zero to little expense (admittedly a tiny bit of expense if you include a transaction fee, which is generally recommended to support the miners).
Recently a friend linked a YouTube video – Solar Freakin’ Roadways is the title. And yes, you guessed it, it is about solar freakin’ roadways. Following was a discussion about how such a thing could be operated with a Cryptocurrency payment system in a decentralised manner. A particular roadway could consist of a number of individuals paying for panels as a group or individually (all manner of kickstarter and crowdfunding emerging these days). This particular project fundraising via kickstarter ended on June 20th and raised over $2 million.
Imagine decentralised ownership, users providing a toll road payment via Bitcoin or another relevant Cryptocurrency, and this fee being distributed automatically amongst all the ‘shareholders’. And each shareholder would of course be gaining a return from the solar energy that was being distributed to the local area.
And if a combined project like this was worked out to be profitable, then it would see exponential growth, and this may go quite a way to solving energy problems, every roadway turned into a solar panel. Direct payment and distribution made possible by Cryptocurrency.
Personally I did not even imagine such a concept as solar roadways until a friend linked the video. It makes me wonder what else we can dream of that is just around the corner.
For many on the liberalist economic side, the concept of a peer2peer finance system independent from the machinations and influences of bank and government is the ‘dream of freedom’, and what is freedom but the ability to control one’s own destiny.
Though we can have our liberty taken or hindered by a myriad of alternative methods, financial freedom is often looked at as a key factor to achieving this long sought after freedom.
Through traditional and current financial systems, the exclusion of individuals, or even whole countries, such as UK with regard to Iran:
Iran is currently subject to financial sanctions. This document contains the current list of designated persons relating to proliferation sensitive nuclear activities.
~ HM Treasury
And even governments may soon understand the power of freedom of finance behind bitcoin and Cryptocurrency. As tensions heat up in Ukraine, Visa and Mastercard obeyed the western powers and blocked Russian transactions and key individuals, with the west using economic strangleholds to try to force Russia to back out of Ukraine as it tears itself apart.
Recent legal changes within Russia, requiring “foreign credit operators will have to pay a fee of 25 percent of average daily turnover to the (Russian) Central Bank” – and that from July 1st (2014) “Visa and MasterCard can no longer block Russian clients.”
As to whether or not Visa and MasterCard will obey the recent Russian laws with regards to servicing Russian clientele remains to be seen. And would they (Visa/Mastercard) counter play against the estimated $1.9 billion for Visa and $1 billion for MasterCard that will come from the 25 percent fee by raising fees for Russian clients?
Is the dream of financial freedom for individuals and for governments moving closer to a reality? Within the last year the Russian central bank has gone from ‘banning’ bitcoin to a recent statement from the central Russian bank that they may now ‘legalise’ bitcoin.
Note: No government in the world has (yet) made a law or even stated that trading in Bitcoin or other Cryptocurrency is illegal.
Banks have strong influences, more so in some countries than others, but in no country in this world do banks have the power to create law at whim; they cannot simply say “Bitcoin is banned!” and have it banned in their respective countries.
Banks do not create laws; they can lobby, and undoubtedly they have considerable weight when influencing laws, but there is a process that must be adhered to.
As Russia is discovering with the recent financial sanctions levied against their country, the dream of freedom, freedom from control for individuals, businesses, or for governments, is not just for us but for the masses that rail at the rat maze that the banks hold us in.
The emergence of global trade through financial freedom (Cryptocurrency) will be followed by trading freedom, and a new surge in economic growth. The growth of the internet has been strangled by inflation and the implementation of a transfer of wealth system that was not created with the internet in mind.
Adoption of digital currency will enable someone from anywhere in the world to accept micro-payments, or more, from anyone else in the world without the need for an intermediary. When one person in Africa (or elsewhere) can receive funds directly for work or services without the loss of such funds through using a third party traditional sector, it will mean that there is a lot more wealth flowing freely around the world instead of being stolen and funneled to the select few.
We may be years away from such a realisation, but the dream is there.
Bitcoin the “currency” is just the first application of Blockchain technology. And it would become understood that this first integration of such a technology was inevitable considering its precursor and the global economic status at the time of its emergence.
The open source nature enables applications of Blockchain technology that can be recognized in other scenarios, such as the world’s first virtual truly democratic voting system. Not only will every voice be heard on an issue, and that voice verified by cryptography, there will not be a need for congregations of people, who often seem to lead us into war.
When an issue arises, and we are able to vote with a cryptographically secure system, giving a simple yes, no, maybe, within such a short time, from home, from our phones, from a library or anywhere that has an internet connection, then the application of Blockchain technology with regards to politics and virtual democracy be realised.
There are almost as many cell-phone subscriptions (6.8 billion) as there are people on this earth (seven billion)—and it took a little more than 20 years for that to happen.
The amount of funds spent on security for votes would be cut astronomically, and the trust in the system (when people understand how secure it would be) would enable the people to truly be represented.
Visit your local government website. An issue has popped up, you have a given amount of days to cast a vote: send your Votecoin to the relevant address for Yesor No.
And I hazard a guess that any current political party or potential party or individual that pushes for a 100 transparent and much more inclusive system would gain many votes from a despondent voting populace.
The potential is out there, and there are very likely implementations we have not considered yet. Whilst other dreams and innovations are often hindered by a lack of funding or monopolizing and ‘buying out’, with Bitcoin is not only the dream of an alternative financial system, legal, political and business, but the decentralization factor lends itself to the dream of the incorruptible, a system of control and rules that is proactively inclusive, meaning that it pulls you in, sooner or later; its time has come.
And what of other applications?
Depending on how you are inclined you might not be dreaming of new businesses but of new opportunities for current businesses. Marc Andreessen and Balaji Srinivasan state numerous methods of integration for improvement: “…clearly the way to fix email spam was to have there be a micro charge for every message sent… 20 years ago we were talking about this idea we just had no way to implement the payment.”
Remember, this is not just about Bitcoin as a currency, or even Bitcoin as a transfer of wealth. This is truly about the technology itself and its myriad potential of applications.
Another beautiful thing about it is, is that the initial application of currency in the form of Bitcoin will fund all the other applications that are to come. Each application is a dream of doing something different, something better.
A Dream Of Peace
One of the arguments about an inflationary currency that can be created out of whim by governments and banks is that it provides a limitless supply of finance for war.
Limitations in financial resources for governments act as a tether, a restraint. For if they (governments) were normally to divert their financial resources into providing funding for their war machines, then they would be left short of financial resources to provide for their country; their military expansions would be limited.
Empires and military expansions tend to only be possible through inflation of the currency, to be able to afford to pay for extra troops. And this inflation means that they have to pay their current troops even more money to rise with inflation and keep their armies happy.
A similar pattern of the contemporary world can be found in the dust of the Roman Empire.
This is a self defeating prophecy that can only be stretched out by inflating the currency to its breaking point.
Once the breaking point is reached, society collapses.
It now costs the government about two cents to make a one cent piece, so the penny could be considered a commodity coin.
~ The Coming End of Fiat Currency.
If governments were not able to inflate their financial resources (Quantitative Easing) to ridiculous levels, or even at all, then logic dictates that there would be less war, if war would occur at all.
With a limited financial resource, what country would risk the ire of their populace by squandering the limited finance on their war machines? It seems logical that they would instead reinvest the funds they do have, within their own country, to create a return that would enable them (the country) to keep functioning. And by these acts, the politicians are more likely to keep their positions.
Also, it can be argued that within a finite system of finance, politicians and government officials who make the best use of the funds available are likely to serve longer terms and provide their society with a much better return for their money (taxes), instead of printing to oblivion to make up for the failures of the various political parties by attempting to plug the gaps in their own national systems.
Though some argue that the excessive printing of monies is doing exactly what it is meant to do, allowing the 1 to buy up as much land and property as they can before the inevitable financial collapse, so that they can turn around and sell these properties to the next generation in the form of life debts.
In the UK, the Bank of England began its “asset purchases” in January 2009.
~ BBC News
Translation: The Bank of England is spamming its Print Money button and buying up as much property and land as it can ASAP.
Is this a massive land and property grab before the fiat economy collapses?
Joel loves Bitcoin and Digital Currency. He holds a BSc (hons) in Criminology with Criminal Justice Studies and Sociology, is a member of the Ludwig Von Mises Institute, a Lifetime Member of the Bitcoin Foundation, is involved in a few other bitcoin projects, and is Director of IBWT (""In Bitcoin We Trust""), a Digital Currency Exchange.