14 years later, what would Satoshi Nakamoto think of bitcoin?

By akohad Nov2,2022


Photo by Javardh on Unsplash

First of all, know that this article in no way wishes to “speak for” Satoshi Nakamoto. The creator of Bitcoin has reasons to remain anonymous and not to have given any further news. We respect this point. We are just looking here, trying to see if 14 years later the publication of the Bitcoin white paper, these ideas are in line with what he imagined.

We can indeed legitimately ask the question because in 14 years, the ecosystem has changed profoundly. New actors (surprisingly) have appeared. We are very far from the idea of ​​bitcoin exchanged on the Darkweb between a few geeks who were looking for a way to pay while remaining anonymous.

Today, bitcoin is traded on trading platforms run by renowned financial holding companies, the traditional media which decried it as a casino currency now praise it, it has even become legal tender in some country.

In short, in 14 years, we can say that bitcoin has arrived exactly where we would never have thought -logically- that it would arrive. In the hands of the finance barons and in the vaults of the biggest banks, bitcoin is today a financial asset of the elites…

Is it a happy destiny or on the contrary, did we not sign without knowing it, a destruction of what made all the essence of bitcoin? Here is a brief summary of the history of bitcoin, from its origins…

Today, it is true that we almost always talk about bitcoin for its incredible growth. Each wave of new arrivals occurs during an exponential bull run where the price of bitcoin reaches new heights. It is common to admit that very often people enter for financial possibilities and finally find another interest in learning about the subject. This is indeed the case for many people, as you can see for yourself by talking with cryptocurrency holders.

Source : https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Thus, the majority of people who discover bitcoin do so through the promise of wealth and easy gain. True (albeit exceptional) stories of fortunes created overnight have fueled the dreams of getting rich for many.

However, Satoshi Nakamoto does not talk about return on investment in his writings. In the White Paper, Bitcoin is above all a peer-to-peer payment infrastructure, without any intermediary.

The ultimate promise and purpose of creating Bitcoin was to provide an easy-to-use infrastructure between different parties. The title of the white paper is: “A peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System”. Everything is already said in the title. The ultimate mission was that a person A could pay a person B by doing it directly, without having to go through a bank.

The fact of being able to pay without going through the banks being there a fundamental freedom of the people to dispose of themselves. Bitcoin is a pragmatic and scientific answer to a highly moral problem: that of the freedom of individuals to be able to trade freely and anonymously. It is no coincidence that the designers of similar payment systems were part of a group called the “cypherpunks”. We can summarize the essence of this current of thought being the search for the freedom of individuals through technology.

The big problem with the adoption of bitcoin is the fact that for people in developed countries, paying online was not a problem in itself. Companies and fintechs like PayPal have paved the way for online payments. Anyone with a bank card can pay on the internet without any difficulty.

Also, in the beginning, using Bitcoin required some technical skill. You had to download the Bitcoin Core software, know how to mine or buy bitcoin peer-to-peer on a few platforms little known to the general public. In short, it was not easy and simple before the first trading platforms appeared.

Paying with bitcoin was a necessity for criminals at first. Moreover, the rise of bitcoin began with its use on SilkRoad, a marketplace on the Darweb. The particularity of SilkRoad was that everyone could buy and sell all types of products including illicit products (weapons, drugs, etc.). Obviously, for this anonymous market place, it was necessary to use an anonymous currency, and therefore bitcoin.

Thus, the first people who felt the usefulness of bitcoin were necessarily buyers or sellers of illicit products.

Silk Road website
Source: https://abcnews.go.com/Technology/silk-road-arrest-shines-light-dark-web/story?id=20460774

With the insolent success of SilkRoad, bitcoin moved out of the sphere of geeks and cypherpunk cryptographers into that of crime.

In fact, this is how bitcoin made headlines. “A trafficker’s currency”, a “currency that allows the financing of illegal activities”, etc.

In this context, the media and the general population could not “understand” the philosophical underpinnings of bitcoin, or even its usefulness.

However, trading on SilkRoad still drove the price of bitcoin higher. It is certainly with the rise in its price that Bitcoin began to attract the attention of other people.

For the first time, BTC will reach $1000 before falling. It will take until February 2017 for BTC to reach and exceed this historic threshold.

At this time, Bitcoin is experiencing a period of divergent interest. On the one hand, many States take fright and begin to legislate. New laws are emerging. We are also witnessing the prohibition of the use of cryptocurrencies in certain countries such as China, Algeria, India, etc.

When the media talk about bitcoin, it is in pejorative terms (the criminal aspect is still present) and other elements are denounced. At this point, the difficulty of the hashrate and the energy consumption of mining is pointed out.

When it comes to the rising price of Bitcoin, many critics see it as unfair and stupid speculation. We talk about bitcoin as a casino currency with no other use than speculation. Some will even go so far as to draw a parallel with the “tulip Mania” phenomenon.

For a whole period, with each drop in the price, it is announced that bitcoin is dead. At the same time, the adoption of bitcoin continues to grow. This is more visible in emerging countries where bitcoin appears to be a financial solution accessible to everyone.

In 2017, we are witnessing a new wave of first-time investors in cryptocurrencies. The triumphant arrival of Ethereum having allowed the creation of new tokens, it is the euphoria on the markets. New companies are born every day and raise millions of dollars through an innovative fundraising process: ICOs (Initial Coin Offering). It is then the equivalent of IPOs for IPOs except that in the cryptocurrency market at this time, there is no regulation. Anyone can simply invest and buy new tokens.

At that time, bitcoin gained some market dominance that it has never lost since. It is the explosion of altcoins and the cryptocurrency market begins to take shape. The public is becoming aware of the potential of the blockchain. Some will then “prefer” the pragmatic uses of tokens and will turn away from bitcoin. For some people, this serves as a payment currency while the new tokens have more pragmatic uses.

In short, the crypto ecosystem is taking shape and Bitcoin is gaining ground. Investors are always more numerous and well-known entrepreneurs claim that they are investing in Bitcoin. We can cite John McAfee or Michael J. Saylor, the founder of MicroStrategy.

These statements will then “clean up” the image of Bitcoin. It is then entrepreneurs appreciated by Tech who become its apostles. It is no longer criticized as much by the media, which are beginning to grasp the advantages it can have from a technological point of view.

At this time then, is the period when Bitcoin becomes mainstream. People who have entered since 2016 are therefore more numerous because there are ways to buy them in a simple way (with a bank card) and the price of bitcoin is still reaching new records. In short, it becomes an interesting investment and very easy to access. The “good father” is interested in bitcoin.

The Covid crisis has -probably- been very beneficial for the world of cryptocurrencies. While the entire world population was confined to their homes, the internet was the only window on the world. You had to pay on the internet, have it delivered, watch films and be entertained on the net. The use of cryptocurrencies has benefited from confinement. It was during this period, for example, that we saw the explosion of DeFi. The promises of gains with very high APY rates ended up attracting a new wave of speculators.

BitBoy Crypto, one of the biggest crypto YouTube channel

This one is younger and discovers bitcoin through social networks. They then discover YouTube channels, TikTok accounts and Twitter gurus who are always more likely to popularize bitcoin and t cryptocurrencies. A lucrative business model was born around cryptocurrency. Remuneration of the influencers (partnerships, sponsor, affiliations etc) have attracted more and more people in this universe which promises rapid wealth. The gold rush is on.

The creation of tokens being facilitated, new companies offering protocols and applications to generate returns always attract more people and capital. Yield Farming was the epitome of this quick-win lure. The “magic currency” was then at its peak and the use of NFTs and Metavers ended up completing the exponential growth of the market cap of the crypto market as a whole.

NFTs with an eternal royalties system then attracted institutions that until then had little interest in cryptocurrencies, such as museums, artists, etc. As for the metaverse, it is companies and clothing brands (in particular) who have invested in it. When Facebook decided to change its name to “Meta” was the catalyst for this interest in metavers. Many brands then jumped headlong into these virtual worlds, like Adidas, Puma, Balenciaga, etc.

Since 2020 and the arrival of newcomers, there are all trades and all ideologies. Even the most cautious investors joined the dance. Traditional banks are partnering with crypto companies of all kinds, politicians are creating MNBCs and teenagers are trading cryptocurrencies on their phones, in search of financial independence.

Many people who invest in bitcoin today are unaware of the libertarian origin of cryptocurrency. It is no longer its “independence” that is put forward. . It is very often compared to gold in the sense that it retains value over time. It is even for many a currency to fight against inflation. For others, it is an ideal speculative currency for budding traders.

In this sense, we can say -even if it seems paradoxical- that Bitcoin has succeeded. Today, it is a currency exchanged around the world just like a classic fiduciary currency. Innovations like the Lightning network have made it ever more practical to use on a large scale.

In 14 years, it is even considered by some economists as “sound money”, i.e. a viable and sustainable currency in the long term.

Today, we are even very far from his image as a delinquent. Bitcoin is becoming the asset par excellence for the unbanked and individuals without financial knowledge. The profiles that claim bitcoin come from all over the world.

If bitcoin was originally created to evade banks, it has become over time a new asset in their portfolios. Bitcoin was created to be the currency of the people, without borders, without controlling entity and is intended as an alternative to the banking system. Originally, bitcoin was the currency to counter the “elites” of today’s world. Today, it has become a stooge of the elites…

It is very surprising that elites own bitcoin and this can cause different problems. The word elite is to be understood in the sense understood by Nayib Bukele for example, namely, financial institutions, large financial groups, holding companies, politicians and all those who possess power and who are on the good side of the current international world system. . The elites, in short, are the privileged of the current financial system.

Nayib Bukele : https://bitcoinmagazine.com/print/stop-drinking-the-elites-kool-aid

It is then a shame to see so many elite seeking to own so much bitcoin… What are their real intentions? It goes without saying that we must question this behavior. If it’s not simply fueled by elite greed, let’s hope it’s not to “control” Bitcoin and take it out of the hands of the people…

This is indeed what we can fear. The large groups have such significant financial means that they come to own a large part of the bitcoin in circulation. This is one of the biggest problems that Bitcoin may encounter in the future. Today, according to a study by NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research.), bitcoin is concentrated in few hands.

Indeed 10,000 individual investors own 1/3 of the bitcoin in circulation. The biggest holders of bitcoin are those of trading platforms like OKX or Binance. Similarly, crypto-billionaires are very often founders of trading platforms, like Sam Bankman Fried for example.

Source: https://river.com/learn/who-owns-the-most-bitcoin/

It seems difficult to e answer the question without nuance. We cannot decently speak for Satoshi Nakamoto. Did he plan this? Does he see what bitcoin has become? Is he proud of it?

It all depends on the framework in which we are reasoning. If we speak from an ideological point of view, it seems that Bitcoin is gradually dispossessing its decentralized essence. While it wanted to be the currency of the people for the people, it is increasingly concentrated in the hands of the privileged of yesterday.

To buy and send bitcoin, most people will use a trusted third party (an exchange, for example). However, this is precisely why Bitcoin was created: avoid trusted third parties!

It is like a cancellation of its very principle. Similarly, the obligation of the KYC procedure where you must submit your identity documents to buy bitcoin places us at the opposite of the idea of ​​non-censorship.

From this point of view, the mass adoption of Bitcoin is only a way of using it without its sovereign principle. Much like the FIAT currency, Bitcoin in such a system remains an almost mundane financial asset. It is subject to the rules of the financial market and can be controlled by political authorities. They have, thanks to KYC, the identities of bitcoin owners….

This is also the idea that emerges from the magnificent documentary “The Satoshi Mystery,” available on Arte. It is also one of the best documentaries on bitcoin, in terms of graphic quality and intellectual relevance.

Now we cannot predict the future. What we do know is that despite the successes encountered, we must still remain vigilant. We must seek to preserve as much as we can the altruistic philosophy that makes up bitcoin’s DNA.

This is why “bitcoin in DeFi”, for example, is so important. This is the only way to preserve it from centralization. We must learn to overcome our greedy instincts and seek long-term prosperity rather than personal get-rich-quick. Greed, the search for immediate profit, and self-interest can destroy what bitcoin has taken more than a decade to create…

Bitcoin can help whole countries that do not have a viable financial structure and can also solve conjectural inequality problems in developed countries. It could also serve as a reserve asset and benchmark for an international sovereign currency as the Bursar Saifedean Ammous suggests.

So, of course, this can come into contradiction with the values ​​advocated by the prevailing capitalism of our societies. It is up to us whether we want to continue to live in such a corrupt and unjust system. Let us remember the adage “Bitcoin fixes this”. We have a new possible alternative with a currency that aims to be more ethical and more democratic. It is up to us not to sabotage this wonderful opportunity.

It must remain the currency of the people and must be used as much as possible in a decentralized way….It is much more than a question of principle….It is a question of survival.

Thank you for reading. The version in french is available : Après 14 ans, que penserait le créateur du Bitcoin?

New to trading? Try crypto trading bots or copy trading


Source link

By akohad

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *