by Marvin Byrd – LPC, February 2020
Bitcoin might be the greatest tool of human liberty that humanity has ever been created. We hear a lot about Bitcoin and blockchain technologies. Everyone seems to talk about them, and everyone has different points of view. My experience working in cyber security in 2010, when Bitcoin was in the early days, has given me a somewhat more technical viewpoint than most investors.
We can talk about the financial value of Bitcoin, and how it’s a great tool for people to secure their wealth against inflation, but there is something underlying this technology that is profound. It’s the same thing that ultimately gives Bitcoin its value:
Bitcoin has no owner, no central authority, and requires no trusted third party. They simply DO NOT EXIST.
This is important because there is no place the government can go to shut down bitcoin. There is no owner that can corrupt or steal from the system. There is no entity that people have to trust to use bitcoin. For these reasons, I assert, bitcoin is the most trusted system that has ever been created. Let that sink in for a second.
When someone asks me where the value of bitcoin comes from this is what I tell them: It comes from the fact that it has no owner. When Facebook announced Libra [coin], they decided against making it decentralized. According to a TechCrunch article published in June of 2019 they were going to create the “Libra Association” allowing companies to buy in at $10 million to get a vote of ownership. It quickly got a lot of support from many major companies like Visa, Uber and Andreessen Horowitz.
Unfortunately, Facebook did not understand that the value of crypto currencies is driven from its decentralized nature.Therefore, the government was able to effectively shut them down. In a signed letter from the United States House Of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, Facebook stopped all development on Libra [coin]. https://twitter.com/APompliano/status/1146208346543804418?s=20
The shutdown of Libra coin clearly illustrates where the monetary value of crypto currency comes from. In the early days, before people understood it, bitcoin got its start on the shady dark web as a means for transacting illicit activity. It was during this era when it proved it was a truly anonymous and trusted system. Like any great technology, it is neither good nor bad, its value and morality is determined simply by how society chooses to use it.
At a high-level, bitcoin offers financial independence. Barack Obama once said “If in fact you can’t crack that at all, government can’t get in, then everybody’s walking around with a Swiss Bank account in their pocket”. The reason is that anyone can transfer wealth to anyone else without a central authority or central bank. In 2016 Greece seized around 500,000 bank accounts worth around €1.6 billion due to a financial hardship. Many people looked to Bitcoin to transact without the need for the government. People in Venezuela are turning to Bitcoin to secure their wealth from hyperinflation of their local currency. Argentina and Paraguay have settled an international export deal in Bitcoin for pesticides and fumigation products. Without having to go through banks, or exchanges, international travelers can convert to bitcoin at a local atm and use that same Bitcoin anywhere in the world with places that accept, or transfer to the local currency using an ATM.
The Libertarian Party has always been a strong supporter of trade. People should be able to transact freely however they wish, not just domestically but internationally as well. When it comes to freedom of trade and commerce as well as financial independence, Bitcoin and other similar cryptocurrencies have no other equal. The Libertarian party supports the free market and the freedom for people to engage in trade however they wish.
There is something more to consider. Bitcoin is the first iteration of the famous blockchain whitepaper written by the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. People are starting to realize that the general concept of being able to create a trusted system that has no owner or central authority can do a lot more than just revolutionize the banking industry. It can revolutionize the government itself. Imagine recreating government institutions without a central authority that has to “manage it”. Imagine removing the flow of money from politics so there wasn’t anything to corrupt in the first place. Imagine being able to trace where every penny is spent on government programs. It looks like the positive impact that decentralized blockchain can have on society is only just beginning. The Libertarian Party certainly supports ridding politics of corruption, as does basically every other political party. It’s not just a Libertarian thing, it is a people thing.
Openbcgov is exploring these ideas in depth in a documentary that will be coming out this year. https://openbcgov.org/bitcoin-the-impossible-future-documentary/