- My first contacts with cryptocurrencies
- The greatest virtue of cryptocurrencies
- Cryptocurrencies are the best private money
1. My first contacts with cryptocurrencies
Sometimes I find it hard to believe that it’s been so long since I first heard about cryptocurrencies. My initial contact was somewhat brief: in mid-2011 (during my first fever with pay-per-click platforms). The offer to earn bitcoins by watching advertising led me to read a little about this new virtual currency and to check its price in the market. If my memory serves me right, at that time 1 BTC was equivalent to 11 US dollars. Interestingly, I dismissed it. It wasn’t what I was looking for, or rather, I didn’t know what was in front of me.
Two years later the coin would catch my attention again. Max Keyser spoke highly of Bitcoin on his TV show, which I watched every week; I started reading cryptocurrency-related news. By that time its price had reached $1,000 and I had the feeling that I had lost the opportunity of a lifetime. However, that didn’t discourage me, it motivated me to dig deeper. I wondered if I could still get on that train; I really wanted an answer.
From that moment on I did not lose interest. My readings increased as time went on, and eventually I stopped caring how much its price dropped in the short term or when it would start to rise. Because the more I learned about the benefits of the protocol proposed by Satoshi Nakamoto, the more I became convinced that, no matter what happened in its early stage, it would change the world.
2. The greatest virtue of cryptocurrencies
It is clear that what drove my initial fever was immense curiosity and the search for better opportunities; a currency that I could freely exchange for dollars was something very attractive in my home country (Venezuela) where exchange control made getting them in the legal market difficult. Later I was also invaded by a fascination with what was behind; free and accessible money for all.
Despite what its detractors may say, I’m not afraid to claim that cryptocurrencies are much more than electronic money or computer networks. They are an ideal brought to reality, the response to pre-existing needs. But, above all, they are a disruptive means to achieve inclusive well-being and promote necessary changes in the global economic system.
Although many technical factors add up to make cryptocurrencies what they are, I don’t think I’m wrong to say that their mainstay is their censorship-resistant internet protocols (what some call “decentralization”). That is, the ability to provide security without the need to rely on a central decision-making authority.
3. Cryptocurrencies are the best private money
The fact that no government can impose its monetary policy on decentralized cryptocurrencies, in addition to the difficulties they have in imposing restrictions on their use, gives them a great insurmountable advantage to this type of assets, and makes them far superior to any form of electronic money that can be issued by a public or private institution. If we propose a private money system, but without the characteristic resistance to censorship offered by cryptocurrencies, we could not expect the same results.
As many will know, the distrust of cryptocurrency enthusiasts in institutions such as the State and corporations is very well founded, since if these were in charge of their management, it would be in their hands the possibility of resorting to the modification or definitive suppression of the most precious characteristics that a monetary system can have, being able to appeal for the manipulation of the markets, the “stimulus” of the economies and the expansionary issuance for the purpose of financing their own expenses; something that in the end would bring excessive inflation and introduce into the crypto world economic cycles of boom and bust similar to those suffered by most economies worldwide.
But that’s not the reality in the case of cryptocurrencies. These are still what they are because no one can impose on a simple whim the modifications they want unilaterally. And even if a cartel of institutions could co-opt any of them, their open-source protocols would make viable the survival of a decentralized variant through a fork of its blockchain (another cryptocurrency with the same characteristics).
The best defense that decentralized cryptocurrencies have had during all these years is that they are “market creatures” that are not tied to the value of other assets, whose conservation depends on their own participants (users, miners and investors), whose main interest is to protect themselves from undesirable changes.
That is and will continue to be the case. In the future many more will join together seeking shelter under what we already consider our umbrella in the torrential rain that is coming, and it is necessary that they can understand the importance of decentralization.