When someone asks me about the meaning of Bitcoin for the future, I often say the same thing: Bitcoin is a monetary revolution that will change the world of the future for the better .
The reason I say this so often is simply because this is how we Bitcoiners see Bitcoin.
Many people still have trouble seeing bitcoins clearly, but things are progressing block by block. A monetary revolution as big as Bitcoin always takes time. So you have to be patient and ready to support the Bitcoin revolution no matter what.
Some people sometimes ask me what could make me lose my deep belief in the Bitcoin revolution. To their astonishment, I tell them that my absolute confidence in Bitcoin will be destroyed if one day at least one of the 5 key values of the Bitcoin revolution is violated.
Like any bitcoiner, my trust in bitcoin is something I constantly test by running my own node on the network. This is what Bitcoin taught us from day one with its tagline: “ Don't trust, verify ".
Program monetary policy that protects us from the arbitrariness of human decisions
Bitcoin was conceived by Satoshi Nakamoto to address the first major flaw in the current monetary and financial system: the ability of central banks to print as much fiat money out of thin air as they deem necessary .
In other words, a minority of people who are not representatives of the people can decide to devalue fiat currencies at any time.
The Fed's response to the COVID-19 crisis has shown that central bankers are not afraid to use the big guns to save the current system. In this way, over 4,000 billion dollars were printed out of thin air in just a few months.
This will have catastrophic consequences for the majority of the poorest citizens. But the Fed doesn't care about that. It wants to save the current monetary and financial system at all costs.
Bitcoin offers a fairer solution. Bitcoin supply is limited to 21 million units no matter what. Its monetary policy is programmatic, meaning that it does not depend on the arbitrary decisions of people.
What's more, it's predictable. You know in advance the schedule for new issuance of BTC until the day they are all in circulation by 2140. This is the absolute power of Bitcoin. This gives you the guarantee that 1 BTC in 2021 will still be equal to 1 BTC of 21 million units in 10, 20 or 50 years.
If this key value of the Bitcoin revolution to protect people from monetary inflation were to be violated, the revolution would lose all meaning. And therefore my confidence.
Resistance to censorship
Many people believe that the fruits of their labor, stored in the form of fiat currency in their bank account, really belong to them. Unfortunately, this is not the case. This money is simply reserved for you under certain conditions that can change according to the arbitrary decisions of private banks or governments.
Your bank can prevent you from doing any transaction of your choice for completely random reasons. Likewise, your bank may decide to confiscate the fruits of your labor at the request of your government for equally arbitrary reasons.
In the modern banking system, the fruits of your labor are at risk. The danger of censorship threatens you at all times.
Bitcoin provides an ideal answer to this fundamental problem. Once you have the private keys to your Bitcoin, no one can stop you from using it as you wish. No one can take your bitcoins away from you. Bitcoin is an encrypted P2P money that gives people power back over the fruits of their labor.
This is another key value of the Bitcoin system that should never be betrayed.
Eliminating the middle man
Bitcoin is a decentralized payment system. Its blockchain is permissionless and trustless. Anyone can become a node in the Bitcoin network. It's even something you have to do to truly take ownership of the fruits of your labor.
When companies like PayPal and banks come forward to offer bitcoin buy/sell/hold services to their customers, you have to realize that this is an attempt to steal the bitcoin revolution from the people.
Bitcoin was created to free us from these middlemen. If you want to buy bitcoin, do it directly without going through these middlemen who will not allow you to have access to your bitcoin private keys.
Without the private keys to your Bitcoin, you are deprived of one of Bitcoin's key values: resistance to any kind of censorship with the fruits of your labor.
Don't fall into the trap of those in the current system who need Bitcoin now more than ever. Bitcoin is the currency of the people, backed by the people. It absolutely has to stay that way.
The Settlement Guarantee
The Bitcoin system must ensure that your transactions to send or receive Bitcoin will be completed correctly. This is necessary so that bitcoins can be used as a means of payment in everyday life in the future.
Transactions may take more or less time in some specific cases, such as when the Bitcoin Hash Rate drops sharply after an eclipse in Xinjiang, China in April 2021.
However, these are only one-time events that do not call into question the guaranteed settlements that Bitcoin offers. Obviously, this must remain the case for network users to maintain their trust in the world's most secure decentralized network.
Preserving Bitcoin's Social Contract
In the excellent article “ Unpacking of the Bitcoin Social Contract,” Hassu detailed the Bitcoin Social Contract. In the Bitcoin system, you have to distinguish between two sides:
- The defined rules form the consensus of the Bitcoin system. This is the Bitcoin social contract.
- The Bitcoin protocol, which automates the enforcement of these rules, and hence the Bitcoin social contract, without human intervention.
The Bitcoin protocol is currently based on Proof of Work (PoW), but the Bitcoin Social Contract may very well evolve one day to another algorithm that will not prevent the Bitcoin Social Contract from being preserved:
Nevertheless, Proof-of-Work is the best mechanism that can be found to achieve the following two goals:
- A distributed trustless system for timestamping transactions. Bitcoin is a decentralized clock.
- An initial distribution of BTC that is both fair and trustless.
In order to implement a PoW replacement in the Bitcoin system and achieve consensus, a better mechanism will have to be found. We're not there yet.
Finally, what is essential is that this social contract that Bitcoin forces you to adhere to persists no matter what happens in the future, but also that its enforcement remains free of human intervention.
Bitcoiners are staunch supporters of the Bitcoin revolution. We are like missionaries spreading the incredible benefits of Bitcoin over the current monetary and financial system. Don't think we're blindly endorsing Bitcoin, though.
Our support for Bitcoin is even stronger because we can constantly check that the Bitcoin system stays true to the five key values I just outlined. Without it, the Bitcoin revolution would be pointless.
So we must fight to ensure that the Bitcoin system continues to be the currency of the people, supported by the people. This can only be done by staying true to these core values.