Will Bitcoin Save The World?
As I’m writing the king of cryptocurrencies hits 58.307,91 dollars, very different from the launch value in 2009 of $0.00099. It’s crazy how a made up currency went through this roller coaster of increasing value: but how is it possible? There are many reasons behind this phenomenon, and we’ll go through each one of them, with their pros and cons.
Everyone likes to possess things, and even better when you can possess your money, with which you can buy a lot of things! No bank or state is in between you and your bucks, and that’s great, no doubt about that. The drawbacks are mainly two: you have to secure your wallet and you’re the security manager of your bitcoins, every error could be fatal. The second main negative side is that with its untraceable nature, evading taxes upon which the system we live in is based, and paying for criminal actions and illegal stuff is way much easier. Not having a centralized economical system seams wonderful at first, the blockchain does all the work and everyone is free and happy. But in fact, not having a control over the market, every kind of speculation and influence is possible: for example miners are the weak link of the chain. Two Chinese giants controlled over half of the global Bitcoin mining operations, where’s the decentralised and just system gone?
Unlike the Fiat (standard money) which can be printed at will, Bitcoin creation follows a mathematical series, which will end the diffusion of the currency approximately in 2140. Inflation is generated by impressing money when they’re needed, more currency around, less value it has. With BTC this is impossible, because when there will be no new fraction of Bitcoin, its value is going to raise dizzyingly. So the inflation problem is solved, but is that it? How would a country in need of liquidity be if no new income arrives? Yes you could transfer Bitcoins to them, but the problem is that the coin is limited in number, then how will the country pay off the debt? It’s true that with less currency around its value will grow immensely, but also the price to buy them will increase as well. It seems that this system is even more elitarian than the one we live in.
We do like to be individuals, that’s for sure. And we like it a lot. That’s because the main philosophy behind bitcoiners is that of Anarcho-Capitalism, anarchy because the abolition of every state and centralised power, capitalism because everyone has to think for himself, and the market will do well according to some mysterious force. I mean, this world is the evidence that capitalism doesn’t work, at least for the majority of the population: the unbridled desire of maimizing one’s capital even at the cost of harming someone else is the credo in which the world economy is based on. And this brings to anarchy: “What would be better than doin’ what I want to do without anyone stopping me?”. This is another layer of craziness added to the existing one. This system would be running if every human being on this planet was enlightened, fully responsable for every action he performs and respectful of others’ fellow beings. But sad to say, this is far from the reality of every human, so the Arché, from the ancient greek “Authority”, is necessary to safeguard the interest of each inhabitant of this crazy spacecraft running through the universe from 4.54 billions of years.
In synthesis Bitcoin has a high purpose, that of giving economical freedom and privacy back to people, but is it possible and even useful in today’s world? I mean, privacy and individual freedom are important, but are they more important than the common well-being? In saying this I want to emphasize the interconnectedness of the world and the impossibility of being anonymous in a digital society: we want the advantages of civilazation and technology without the price to pay to live in it. Living in a jungle gives you total privacy, zero interference by any authority, but I’m sure very few people could bear that kind of life. So, is Satoshi the modern world hero? As long as the ideal is concerned, sure, he’s a total hero! But the feasibility and the developements implied in his ideas are far from the redemption of humanity. On the other hand, it could produce more problems that the ones he tried to escape.