Date: January to March 2020
Bitcoin can be intimidating for beginners. The protocol is complicated, the community can be unforgiving, silly mistakes can lose you money, and it is easy to succumb to altcoin marketing.
Bitcoin offers you the opportunity to hold a new type of monetary asset, one which can’t be seized by the government and is censorship resistance, and it is changing the world.
Bitcoin is multifaceted. Some treat Bitcoin as a speculative tool for growing wealth, others as a way of avoiding financial censorship from traditional payment channels, and some use it as a way of claiming their monetary sovereignty and removing power from the banks and state.
On 31st October 2008, Bitcoin was introduced to the world by its pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin brought with it an alternative to the banking system, a way of truly controlling your finances and the opportunity to ‘be your own bank’.
Being your own bank is incredibly powerful but is often a confusing and misused term. There are currently 1.7 billion people across the world who do not have access to proper banking services. Bitcoin can fix this by allowing users to hold, send and receive value.
Governments have a history of putting pressure on payment systems and censoring transactions. In 2010 Visa, Mastercard and PayPal all stopped allowing payments to WikiLeaks. Bitcoin fixed this.
Bitcoin’s power is in its decentralised, censorship-resistant, neutral, permissionless network that allows you to transact globally without any intermediary or third party and with whoever you want for whatever reason you want. Bitcoin doesn’t care.
We will soon be living in a cashless society, government-issued ‘fiat’ currency will become entirely digital, and we will wave goodbye to any remaining shreds of financial privacy that still exist. Some governments will look to create a cryptocurrency alternative; providing the perfect tool for increased financial surveillance and oppression and represents the antithesis of Bitcoin.
We may have to choose whether we use Bitcoin or a state-run digital currency. So, why should we choose Bitcoin?
In this episode, I have compiled various clips from my 17-part Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin with some of the leading experts in the space. As an introduction to Bitcoin, this guide covers essential Bitcoin topics from how it works to its monetary policy.