This is a chapter – NO MONEY – from my book Yoga for leaders. Published because of the growing rente ter Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Do you reminisce the day, back te March 1989, when a laptop scientist named Tim Berners-Lee proposed something he referred to spil the World Broad Web? Of course you don’t! You and I were busy talking about things like the Exxon Valdez oil spill te Alaska and the movie Rain Man, which won the Academy Award for best picture that year. Worlds like TCP/IP, HTTP and WWW meant nothing to ordinary people like us.
Do you recall the day, back ter 2008, when someone who called himself Satoshi Nakamoto proposed something referred to spil Bitcoin? Again, of course not! Wij were all busy talking about Lehman brothers ter 2008. (Wij still are.)
Almost a decade straks, wij are 100% focused on how to save the old system, instead of paying attention to what the concept of cryptocurrency and a decentralized ledger actually means. Very first, this is because the idea is complicated and tricky to explain, which means it doesn’t getraind mainstream media, which wants everything ter black or white. If you believe te newspapers, Bitcoin is bad: it’s an utterly volatile currency backed by no solid value or any government, used by a few nerds who speculate and criminals who do money laundering. There have bot headlines like “Bitcoin CEO Found Dead” even tho’ the concept of a decentralized system means there is no such thing spil a boss.
2nd, many think of Bitcoin spil digital money, and therefore all discussions are focused on exchange rates to determine value. The currency is utterly volatile since it is an utterly immature and puny currency compared to any state (fiat) currency. But Bitcoin might be so much more than internet money, maybe wij need to think of it spil the internet of money. Ter that case, currency is just the very first application, like e-mail wasgoed the very first application of the internet.
If you think about cryptocurrency spil the internet of money, maybe 2016 should be compared to 1998, eight years after Tim Berners-Lee introduced the internet. Ter 1998, there wasgoed no Google, Facebook or Amazon. No blogs, tweets or YouTube clips. Broadband and wifi were for few and wij never imagined such a thing spil a smartphone. To many of us, the value of internet wasgoed e-mail and not much more.
What does a decentralized autonomous trust network mean? What will be the killer app ter the internet of money?
To most people, it’s also hard to believe cryptocurrency could overthrow any state currency. But think about money. If you reminisce the movie Dumb and Dumber, you might recall the toneel where Jim Carrey’s character, Lloyd, emptied a suitcase utter of money, but pridefully announces that everything is noted on an IOU: “That is spil good spil money…those are I owe yous.” https://www.YouTube.com/witness?v=7GSXbgfKFWg
The comedy is actually a good analogy of our banking system. Any fiat currency is nothing but an “I owe you” (IOU) and the value depends only on trust. Spil long spil the world trusts te the issuer, the system works, but if – for any reason – the trust weakens or vanishes, that money is simply nothing but a chunk of paper with some ink and bacteria.
Today many countries also substitute physical money, coins and paper bills, with digital money. No need for anyone to write an “I owe you” on a chunk of paper or carry suitcases total of money anymore, just check the mobile canap app and it will tell you the balance on your account (how much the bankgebouw owes you). Those are “I owe yous” … they are spil good spil money.” Spil long spil you trust your canap this works, even however you know that no canap ter the world can pay its debt.
When the financial depressie of 2008 occurred, wij witnessed how vulnerable the world economy and the financial system are, and since there wasgoed no fundamental switch at that time, unavoidably there is more to come. Ter this case, wij don’t necessarily need fresh innovative technology to disrupt the old, the system is very likely bad enough to kill itself.
Just like with the internet, Bitcoin and Blockchain are built on the idea of decentralization, where transactions are verified by independent knots that also carry a copy of the ledger. Since there are millions of knots, it is unlikely to hack or tamper with the ledger, it would be like taking overheen all the web servers ter the world at the same time. Verification is done by cryptology. Computers rival to solve a question, this is what is called mining. This is also the foundation for inflation, since miners are incentivized with the fresh Bitcoin. Unlike fiat currency, no one politician can do anything to influence the currency and inflation is predictable all the way until the end, where the total amount of Bitcoins will be 21 million somewhere around the year 2140 when the total supply of Bitcoins will cease to increase.
I am not telling Bitcoin will be relevant ter 2140, no one knows. The point is that with this technology wij don’t need any middlemen to establish trust.
Ter the future, people will talk about today’s centralized banking system spil a slow, costly and enormously inefficient system, and wij have already talked about all of the security issues. A database can be hacked and ter banking this is a hefty problem, just one more reason why wij shouldn’t have one database.
Ter the case of Bitcoin, I don’t believe wij ter the developed world will begin the transformation. Wij have too much to lose. But most people on the planet don’t. Three billion people ter the world don’t even have a handelsbank account and almost five billion lack access to the international SWIFT transaction system. Thesis people have everything to win with the internet of money. They will be able to trade from mobile phones, make micro-transactions, and cross borders at ondergrens fees without asking for permission. When the time comes for this revolution te global trade, the crash of 2008 will seem like a walk te the park. Bankers, spil well spil politicians, will very likely argue for legislation to protect the Ponzi schemes of the fiat-era. To the surplus of the world, they will sound just like Jim Carrey’s character, Lloyd.
It’s all “I owe yous,” there is no money.
Recall: A lifetime of practice is very misleading to guide next generation for events that occur once te a lifetime.