I am old enough to have seen the rise and fall of the Vietnam conflict. I witnessed the birth of the computer and the age of information. I have seen the internet and social media pump oxygen into the Arab Spring and the 1% slowly separate themselves from the rest of us. I am now witnessing something that is poised to eclipse all of that and I wonder if many can appreciate exactly the effects blockchain and cryptocurrencies will have on the fabric of our global society. I think they can’t see because they are blinded by $$$$$$$$$.
Historically, currency has been a societal construct that shares the cultural traditions and geographical boundaries of the individual countries of this globe. Currencies allowed trade amongst the population and when trade would cross a border then an agreed exchange of value was determined between the two monies so that neighboring commerce could flourish. The creation of the EURO is the first major departure from that old standard. A region of many nations banded together to create ‘one coin to rule them all’.
Crypto in general and Bitcoin in particular, is doing the same thing but across all borders of all nations. It was not decided upon by committees behind closed doors. It was brought forth by the genius of a single individual as does all true innovation. Satoshi Nakamoto planted a seed. It was nurtured in obscurity for years by a faithful few and then exploded into bloom in 2017. It is the people’s currency. It requires no bank, no banker, no middleman, no imposing vault. Its followers carry their bank on their phone. This bank never closes. This bank never makes a mistake as thousands of ledger duplicates residing on thousands of independent computers insure its integrity and incorruptibility. No one can inflate this currency. No one can bargain it away in board rooms or closed conferences. It is free of control. Free for anyone, anywhere to use it..anytime.
The media sensationalism of the Bitcoin billionaires has fired the imagination and greed of the world and set a juggernaut into motion that we are just beginning to understand. Cryptocurrencies are not just about the money though. More importantly they spearhead the creation of a financial hybrid that will mimic and eventually surpass traditional stock markets and financial institutions because they will have no limits. The crypto market is the people’s new stock market. Anyone, anywhere, anytime can trade a fortune or a few dollars in this market of new startups, unlimited futures and equal access for the CEO and the shoe shine boy alike. They are buying crypto but that crypto represents the share value of a new company. Only there is no ‘preferred few’ that get first blood. The playing field is level. And it is global. It is not tied to New York or Tokyo or Hong Kong. It is as close as half way around the world but only as far away as your phone.
The issuance of ICOs is a close parallel to the NYSE IPOs that announce the development of new companies onto the merchant scene. IPOs are set up with a well-choreographed structure that allows those at the top to skim the first and most lucrative cream off the top. Only then is it released to the ‘masses’ who scramble for the crumbs. Cryptocurrency has broken that structure. Ignored, misunderstood, feared and despised as all innovation is, the cream lay in lavish neglect by the elite but was recognized immediately by the 99% and scooped up accordingly. They embraced the concept and voted their confidence with cash on an unprecedented level. It continues moment be moment.
Bitcoin is the flash of light that propelled blockchain into the here and now. It is Blockchain that will push us to places we cannot yet dream. This immutable incorruptible ledger, father of Bitcoin, represents 90% of this giant digital revolutionary, evolutionary iceberg that quietly awaits the traditional financial Titanic. Blockchain is still poorly understood but is the true entry that constitutes the lion’s share of this meal. Crypto is just the hors d’oeuvre.
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The 1% are scrambling to catch up but they are way late to the game. Intellectual companies have been founded built not of brick and mortar but of ideas and digital magic. The masses have and still are buying those digital ‘coins of the realm’ in record numbers as others in the past bought up the paper issue of Apple and Microsoft and IBM and Coca Cola. There is unease on Wall Street as word and media hype have roused the monsters of greed to the point of demanding access to this lucrative child of the ether. The CME and CBOE have punched a small hole for the overlords followed this year by multiple ETFs and a cadre of hedge funds devoted to the digital phenomena. The chum is in the water and the sharks converge but the deep is already packed with the 99%.
Big banking will spend 400 million dollars this next year in pursuit of their own blockchain technology. Their ultimate goal is reducing costs and making more money. But I see something else out there in the crypto world that transcends that narrow view. I see Factom seeking a method of clear land title for the 70% of world landowners that do not have that security. I see Iota utilizing Tangle technology to bring fast low band width transactions to the underserved third world so that anyone who strives for a better life will have access to the tools to bring it about. I see EthLend forging a path to peer to peer microloans for that vast number of people who have no access to even the smallest of life changing, business building financing. This list keeps going on. It is interjected here and there with scam and speculation but there is yet a genuine desire to improve the world and its people that drive many of these startups. Founders and developers who have seen what the 1% value and the state of the world they leave to our children think we should aspire to more—and this miracle of Satoshi is going to help us do just that. That’s what I call a store of value.
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