₿itcoin is a Bridge to Financial Safety
₿itcoin doesn’t fix all of the worlds problems. But it fixes some of them.
One of the more painful realizations I’ve had to make, is that Bitcoin is unlikely to become adopted by the masses within a short span of time. It is likely to going to be something that plays out of the course of years, if not decades. As much as I would like it to happen overnight, I don’t think that would be very helpful for the stability of our societies. Hyperinflation and thus a sudden, confusing, and confounding transition to a new currency would throw the world into chaos.
From this collection of ideas, I maintain that bitcoin is not a lifeboat for a sinking economy, nor an instantaneous cure-all. Bitcoin is a bridge, meant to support billions of people in their transition to the other side of the bridge; an adjadscent economy built around bitcoin. From one arid, scorched, and corrupt landmass, to one that is bountiful and fair.
The Slow March over the Bridge
The intention behind the metaphor of a bridge is to invoke the idea that we’re headed somewhere fundamentally different from whence we came. A bridge is also meant to give the impression that it is stable and capable of standing strong amidst a potentially stormy sea.
A common sentiment I hear from people who don’t yet own bitcoin is that they’re concerned about the volatility of its price. I believe that a preceptorial shift is required to tackle this discomfort.
Stability does not Exist
I don’t think there is such thing as stability. Volatility is a spectrum. Some things are less volatile than others, and thus seem more stable. But make no mistake, stability can evaporate before your eyes leaving you without options. At best, stability is a temporary illusion.
For the sake of discussion, it’ll be useful to have a working definition of stability.
Stability: Resistance to change, deterioration, or displacement. [ source ]
I find it helpful to illustrate my points with examples.
A constant slow rise in the price of food is not stability. (A target of) 2% inflation year over year is not resistance to change, it is planned, sanctioned, and legalized deterioration of our currency.
A withdrawal limit on your bank account is not stability. As of March 2020, the units of currency in your bank are legally allowed to be infinitely displaced (loaned out) [ source: 0 % reserve requirement - March 2020 ]
The instantaneous discretion that authorities have to freeze, seize, penalize, and/or tax your money does not make me feel like I have financial stability as they are changing, deteriorating, and displacing my money without my permission.
It’s All Relative
The value of all things is relative.
The value of oxygen is low in a forest and high in a burning building.
The value of bread is low in a well-fed city and high during a famine.
The value of a gun is low amongst safety and high in the presence of a threat.
The value of a loved one is almost taken for granted when they’re alive, making your memory of them infinitely valuable when they’re gone.
Value actually has to be calculated in respect to something else. Without the need to drink water, you wouldn’t find it valuable enough to go out and get some. To a drowning man, water is the least valuable thing around him.
This is all to say, that if someone told you that any investment, savings account, stock, bond, cryptocurrency, business idea, or mutual fund was stable; they were wrong. We use the word stable without ever considering the multitude of ways that the stability could be compromised. Something stable only has to corrode once before the entire quality of it being stable can be questioned.
₿itcoin is a Stable Bridge
With such tall words for what stability means, it is a bit of a grandiose claim for me to make that bitcoin is a stable bridge. Let me explain.
In the face of bank collapses. Bitcoin never refuses to send your money.
In the face of empty ATMs. Bitcoin never loses your money.
In the face of hyperinflated currencies. Bitcoin transparently deflates forever.
In an era of hacks and ransomware. Bitcoin cannot be held for ransom.
In an era of money printing. Bitcoin cannot be printed.
In an era of lies. Bitcoin confirms truths once every 10 minutes.
In an era of war. Bitcoin can be stored in your mind and moved across borders.
In a time of lines and borders. Bitcoin knows only of cyberspace.
In a time of discrimination. Bitcoin is incapable of discriminating.
In a time of censorship. Bitcoin exclusively allows.
In a time of rulers that break rules. Bitcoin has rules that cannot be broken.
It seems to me, in rather clear terms, that bitcoin is the bridge and antidote to many of the woes that our societies are faced with. Like a medicine, it takes time to work, then heal. It will not happen overnight. It will be a journey from A to Z.
The Meaning of Financial Safety
So when then does financial safety mean in the absence of the illusion of stability?
It means you can use the money you have when you want to
You can use the amount that you want to, without being asked questions or signing papers
It means that you’re not rejected a loan based on superficial criterium like race or cultural background
It means that the value of your money doesn’t passively degrade while your trying to save
It means you can afford a house
Lastly, I think having financial safety means being able to take care of yourself and your neighbour. It’s actually not enough for you to be financially stable, those around you must also protect themselves and adopt better money. You’re going to need people to interact and trade with. This is why community is the last and perhaps most important factor in financial safety. Some of my friends shy away and get embarrassed talking about finance, I’d like to see that barrier dissolved in an effort to create more dialog and discussion about how to combat these very real financial challenges we’re all facing. The aim is to cross this ₿itcoin bridge together.
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Halifax Bitcoin Meetup
If you’re in the Halifax, Nova Scotia, or Atlantic Canada region, the Halifax Bitcoin Meetup exactly the community I am speaking about. We meet every 1st Thursday of the month. Checkout our Discord or Meetup.com. See you there!