Why do we need Bitcoin? A Decade in Review
As the year 2019 comes to an end, we find ourselves edging ever-closer to the conclusion of Bitcoin’s first decade. In less than a week Bitcoin will turn 11, on January 3rd 2020, and just like every other year, it will be an historic moment. Indeed, it is during such intervals that we are invited to contemplate its existence and relevance.
Do we really need Bitcoin, and if so, why?
If necessity truly is the mother of invention, then Bitcoin indeed was created out of necessity. This necessity is born out of the notion that we are operating on a system of money built for the demands of the 16th century, and a banking system built for the exigencies of a civilization without the internet. Both of these systems are plagued by politics, nationalism, and cultural restrictions, which are not suitable for the kinds of problems our society and planet are facing today.
And this is taking the most developed nations with ‘soundest’ forms of money and banking as examples. If we consider some sovereign states in South America, Africa and the Middle East, many suffer from outright corruption and hyperinflation. In Asia, the economic system has in many instances been warped to serve political ambitions, with the monetary system being instrumental in surveillance and control.
Moreover, these considerations are notwithstanding the nearly 2 billion individuals who are entirely excluded from the banking system itself, and therefore, the global economy.
“Why do we need Bitcoin?” may begin to sound rhetorical at this point, but crypto-evangelist Andreas Antonoplous has an answer: it is because Bitcoin is an “open, borderless, neutral, censorship resistant, immutable, and permissionless currency” serving the commercial needs of every individual on this planet, anytime, anywhere, irrespective of who and where they are.
Could this emancipatory promise explain why Bitcoin has been the single, best performing asset of the last decade? Potentially. In any case, it is just getting started.