Why Bitcoin is Important
Bitcoin represents the idea that trusting a third-party to secure your money and your transaction data is not the best idea. It’s the idea that a monetary system owned by its users all over the world and not by one single committee, entity, or fund is a strength. It’s important because without the initial effort to give Bitcoin life, these ideas might not be as prevalent as they are today.
Bitcoin is decentralized in every sense. There’s no central authority that can just print more Bitcoin and there’s no FDIC that can insure your deposits. There’s no one person or computer that can make a change to the Bitcoin system without a majority agreement between the users that support the system. While this has spurred a lot of growing pains within the community, and even caused other offshoot coins to be created when the community hasn’t been able to agree, this is the beauty of the pioneer in cryptocurrency. It’s only worth as much as people invest in it and it’s only as good as the ideas that fuel it.
The discussions and arguments happening around Bitcoin are a result of its incredible rise this year, which in turn builds more momentum for new money to be invested in Bitcoin. However, the rise in its value is not solely attributed to the strength of Bitcoin as the best cryptocurrency. The rise is due, in large part, to the new discussions happening about cryptocurrency in general, but the value of those discussions have been shown in the volume of new money going into Bitcoin.
It’s my hope that when people ask a few probing questions about cryptocurrency, they will learn that Bitcoin is not living up to its original promise. Bitcoin is currently characterized by high transaction fees, slow transaction times, and the community is overrun with self-interested people who just want to hodl [sic] Bitcoin, but not actually use it. Most people who end up researching Bitcoin to this depth will begin to understand that this innovative technology is being harnessed in a multitude of other cryptocurrencies that have been developing in the shadow of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is truly important, because for the people who dig a little deeper past the articles that scream “Bitcoin is a Bubble” will see cryptocurrency is so much more than Bitcoin.
Cryptocurrency is decentralized applications where you can make a contract with someone else to rent their house or car for a vacation, buy a house directly from a seller, or hire an autonomous car service to give you a ride to work. Cryptocurrency is fee-free and instantaneous remittance payments that allows families to keep more of their money and support each other across borders, ways for underbanked communities to retain control over their money, but gain the security of cryptography that the blockchain provides, and a way for citizens in countries with hyperinflation to store value in something outside the jurisdiction of their central bank.
Bitcoin got this started just over nine years ago and now there are a multitude of projects working to harness cryptocurrency for good, not just for a speculative gold rush.
Cryptocurrency is a working project and requires skeptics, optimists, revolutionaries, academics, convenience seekers, early adopters, and technophobes alike to participate. Ask questions in the comments and that can help me write more about this in the future!