Let’s look at the previous revolutions in money. In the 16th century there was this radical proposition to replace gold with gold certificates written on paper and if you think people find Bitcoin weird, imagine the time when they told them gold is no longer the money, bits of paper are. Most people were probably like, you have to be kidding me.
So that idea was so radical it took 400 years until it became broadly deployed in mainstream society. The next one in the 1950s was credit cards, right? So with credit cards people were now told the pieces of paper that have the government seal on them, are now pieces of plastic that have a company number on them and that’s it, don’t worry you’ll get paid eventually.
It took almost 50 years for that to become mainstream. You really started hearing about it in the middle of the 1980s. So 400 years for the first one, 50 years for the second one, I think we can do Bitcoin in less than 15, maybe 20 years, we’re going to see broad adoption of a form of digital money that will be based on a shared open borderless cryptographic ledger, whether it’s called Bitcoin or something else, I don’t know but it will be broadly based on those ideas.
We’re on a race, and the reason we’re in a race is that governments around the world are trying to ban cash and take us into a different digital currency system. A digital currency system with complete surveillance where the governments and the banks are completely in control where you go to the wrong protest, participate in the wrong political party, they flip 1 bit in the database and you no longer exist as a person. You are outside of the economic community, bye bye, can’t feed yourself, good luck.
I don’t want that future so we better get in gear and build Bitcoin solutions faster. In 15 years, I think we can do it. The good news is, we don’t need to build the infrastructure, the internet is already there.
So to be really popular and to be successful in the mainstream it has to rise in value to match the capitalization of fiat. That’s not a cause, that’s an effect. It gets adopted, it rises in value. It doesn’t get adopted because it’s risen in value, it rises in value because it is adopted.
Bitcoin has a not so particularly decent Gini coefficient. What that means is that the equality of ownership is not as diverse as it should be, or could be. I think that’s primarily because of the way it grew. I’m not going to pass judgments because the idea here is that you have a system of wealth where people that took enormous risk on a completely untested technology because they saw the vision that this technology created will become rich, which is a far better basis than my grandfather killed a heck of a lot more people than your grandfather, which is the basis of wealth we have in our society today.
Now if Bitcoin goes to zero, who is going to bail out the people who have a lot of Bitcoin? I didn’t think so. So all of us that are invested, anybody who is invested in Bitcoin still runs a risk, an enormous risk that they will lose their entire investment and whatever time we’ve invested into these technologies. That’s part of the risk. No risk, no reward. Nobody’s coming to bail out Bitcoin.
From that perspective, I think that’s earned wealth, in a way that is much truer than other aspects of society. Do I think it’s an equal system? No, but I don’t think Bitcoin is going to be the only system we create. Yeah sure, lots of people may become rich on Bitcoin but there will be other cryptocurrencies, there will be other decentralized ledgers and broad adoption doesn’t mean just Bitcoin. It could be a completely different system that’s built from scratch.
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