In light of recent volatility in the dollar denominated price of Bitcoin, decentralize.today is rerunning a series of three essays by one of the Philippines leading crypto exponents, Miguel Cuneta, on the coin and its technology from 2019, just to bring a little calm, reason and reassurance to the current situation.
Who will be the first critic to say “I was wrong about Bitcoin”?
How many decades must the Bitcoin network persist before the staunchest of Bitcoin haters like Krugman or Roubini swallow their pride and admit that it was all a big misunderstanding?
How many trillions of dollars in value will the Bitcoin network, a once-in-a-civilization monetary phenomenon growing at an unprecedented pace with unstoppable momentum, have to capture to convince everyone that it is here to stay.
What if the internet was created so that the Bitcoin network can be possible. A precursor technology to a more advanced, self-sustaining, stateless, leaderless, permission-less, living network, sustained by the pure energy of electricity and more importantly, human ingenuity, to allow our civilization to advance towards its necessary and inevitable discovery of better money?
The irony of Bitcoin is that it is ownerless, yet we are all its owners. A network that exists solely for one purpose -- to mathematically and programmatically keep its ledger honest, to preserve the objective truth about its history. Driven by rules without rulers, it is fueled by ideas and ideals that are aspirational and inspirational to those that fell in its rabbit hole.
Nobody today can claim that they truly comprehend the impact of such an invention, a network, a technology, created by, of all people, an anonymous programmer whose identity will probably be forever a mystery, an inventor that did not seek glory, fame, or money. He gave his creation, what would easily be a life’s work, to society for free, and in doing so, a deep need was fulfilled - the need for better money.
Bitcoin is a phenomenon whose birth we are lucky to witness today. It a monetary network that has no allegiances, no political biases, no discrimination, no exclusion, with total indifference to anything external to its protocol, and that’s a good thing. There’s no wonder why the very first forms of human writing were ledgers, an accounting of who owns what and who owes what to whom. Literally, the first form of written communication was money. The Bitcoin network is also a form of written communication, with its internal workings readable in english, with each transaction broadcasted in plain text, using math, the one language that the entire universe understands, a communication of the ownership of value. It is like Rai stones that exist in duplicatable and incorruptible form, everywhere, all the time, yet still inherently maintains the elements of scarcity and unforgeable costliness that make it work, by design.
Some people say gold is better because it was created by the forces of nature, that it is real, that it can be held in your hand, and that it has "intrinsic value". To them, I say that human intelligence and ingenuity IS a force of nature. Created by nature itself, now powerful enough to harness the power found in nature and combine it with its technology to recreate the elements that make gold a close to perfect form of money, but without its limitations, and better suited to the next generation’s networked age.
So who is it going to be? When will they finally admit it? Honestly, who cares?
Definitely not the Bitcoin network.
Miguel Cuneta, 2019