The Internet of Money

 

On the internet, we want to pay instantly, cross currencies, to the other side of the planet. Pay in cents, micro-cents, or by the minute. We want a secure system where everyone has ownership over their money and can’t get censored by banks or governments. Directly support creators on YouTube, Instagram, Soundcloud, or Reddit with a few cents for their creation. Pay movies by the minute, not by its full price.

Flexibility and control; something today’s systems are not built for. While we have a growing sector of companies serving as an intermediary, such as PayPal, VISA, or Mastercard, they are just middle-men collecting fees.

If you followed the developments around Bitcoin, then you are already aware of the advantages it holds compared to traditional banking and fintech companies. While still far away from anything I described up top, there are developments in the Bitcoin sphere aiming in that direction. The advantages Bitcoin has over traditional Banking is its trustless network and development by consensus. You don’t need to trust anyone on the network, as you can verify everything yourself, and no single person or entity can “break” Bitcoin as several layers of users have to approve any changes. Bitcoin’s global scale eliminates all currency conversions, fees, waiting times, and other nonsense you would have to put up with when using bank transfers.

Its current network can not scale to the level of centralized networks such as PayPal or VISA, but innovation is constantly happening. Applications on top of the decentralized and trustless base layer aim to fulfill specific needs; while a transaction you want to get confirmed as fast as possible takes 30 minutes and a 1 Dollar fee on the base Bitcoin network, the lightning network builds on top has instant transactions with fees in the range of micro cents; specifically made for small and fast transactions.

Innovation will come, and everyone will have to adapt.

Bitcoin won’t replace Banks or PayPal but play an important role in detaching the power the financial sphere has over the political sphere and gives everyone around the world an option to exit and secure themselves against unsustainable monetary policies. The innovations from Bitcoin will take hold in other aspects of modern banking and the ones who won’t accept the change will fade into obscurity.

Regardless of what you know or think about Bitcoin, it is important to learn and understand why it is important. If you are curious, I can recommend Andreas Antonopoulos’ presentations about Bitcoin.