Many people in the bitcoin community call Roger Ver the “Bitcoin Jesus“. I call Andreas Antonopoulos the “Bitcoin Ambassador“. I do this because I’ve seen him eloquently mesmerize the Canadian and Australian governments on what bitcoin is and why its benefits far outweigh its costs.
After watching the following fascinating videos, you can judge for yourself whether I’m right or wrong.
If you’re a bitcoin fan and you appreciate his passionate efforts to disarm the most hostile forces against widespread bitcoin adoption – national governments, hustle on over to Andreas’s site and show your appreciation by sending him a bitcoin tip.
Whenever tragedy strikes, politicians tend to make a rush to judgment and propose or execute dumbass moves that make it appear like they’re doing something useful. Ebola scare? Ban travel to all! Immigration problem? Build a 1000 mile wall! Terrorist attack? Damn it, close the borders to all!
As long as politicians maintain their cozy relationship with the bankstas who finance their irresponsible deficit spending in return for bailouts waiting in the background, they’ll be on a constant vigil for excuses to inhibit the growth of Bitcoin. On the heels of the Paris attacks, the latest call for action is to “crackdown” on Bitcoin as a means for terrorist financing.
First of all, no one, no matter how powerful and well funded, can “crackdown” on Bitcoin – because there is no head to chop off. All that those who have much to lose when Bitcoin eats their lunch can do is pass laws that attempt to make it annoyingly difficult for fiat currency to get into and out of the bitcoin economy.
Second, and most important of all, is that Bitcoin is not even a major source of terrorist financing. As the following report, published just last month by the UK treasury for its politicians shows, the terrorist’s predominant financier is, as you might have guessed, your friendly banksta. You know, the one that charges a fee every time you sneeze and “invests” your hard earned cash in risky schemes at no risk to themselves.
Straight from the Bitcoin Core source code, which is written in C++ (of course!) and is observable for all the world to see (including federal reserve bankstas and other corrupt government fiat currency debasers), we have….
That’s it: no more than 21.0E14 “satoshis” will ever be minted in the Bitcoin world.
Well, you might smugly say, anybody could change the source code to jack up the “MAX_MONEY” and/or “COIN” compile-time constants and release the next update. Uh, yeah, but unless the thousands of BTC miners with peta-flops of hashing power invested in the bitcoin economy voluntarily choose to run the new “inflationary” code, tain’t gonna happen. And, since it would clearly be against their best interests to do so (because it is their money they’re dealing with and not “other people’s money” that they can leach off of) they ain’t gonna do it – ever.
As the figure below attempts to illustrate, a new block of validated financial transactions is added to the Bitcoin blockchain approximately every 10 minutes.
As of today, whenever a block is added to the blockchain, 25 newly minted Bitcoins spring into existence out of thin air. This number of bitcoins-per-block will be cut in half every four years until a total of 21 million BTC have been birthed into existence. The next halving, which will result in 12.5 bitcoins being created per block, will happen in 2016. The last bitcoin will magically appear in the world sometime in the year 2140.
So, who adds the blocks to the chain, and who gets the bitcoins? The answer to both questions is “the miners do“. Bitcoins are a miner’s reward for the energy it expends in solving a computationally intense computing problem whose difficulty may vary from block to block. If blocks get added too quickly, the difficulty of solving the puzzle goes up. If blocks get added too slowly, the difficulty goes down.
A bitcoin miner’s job is to validate the transactions in each block and to preserve the integrity of the blockchain. The bitcoin network is comprised of thousands of these miners working together in accordance with a set of programmed-in protocol rules that ensure they do indeed work together in a consensus-based manner to secure the blockchain from external and internal hack-attacks. As the blockchain grows and more mining power is added to the network, the system becomes more trustworthy and hardened against thievery – including against rogue miner insiders.
After a block is successfully added to the chain, all the miners go to work racing against each other to solve the next cryptographic math problem for the privilege of adding the next block and earning the bitcoin reward. The winner takes all – for that block only. And then the cycle starts over again. Wash, rinse, repeat.
The figure below shows the one time boom-bust pattern of a Ponzi scheme (Bernie Madoff anyone?) We have a meteoric rise in value based on smoke and mirrors where a few get rich, and then an instantaneous dive during which many poor souls lose their shirts. Note that when the bubble pops, the party is over, finished, kaput.
The next figure shows the slow and steady rise in value of a viable, value-creating, system. Since the value the system creates is real, the system achieves stability and remains operational for an enduringly long time. It becomes woven into the fabric of society. At some point, the populace starts taking the system for granted and assumes the system has been influencing their behavior forever.
Here is my sketchy interpretation of what’s happening in the Bitcoin space:
Bitcoin has already experienced several heart-stopping boom-bust cycles throughout its steady march toward stability and widespread acceptance. But note that unlike a Ponzi scheme, which many dooms-mongers (like textbook economists and obsolete, fat-cat, bankstas) loudly claim Bitcoin is after every bust, Bitcoin has not gone kaput. It’s robust, resilient, and dare I say, anti-fragile. The system adapts and get stronger after withstanding every technical and political attack – improving itself via the community driven BIPs process.
Photo credit imgur.com gallery.
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” – Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943
“Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” – Darryl Zanuck, executive at 20th Century Fox, 1946
“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” – Ken Olsen, founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, 1977
“Almost all of the many predictions now being made about 1996 hinge on the Internet’s continuing exponential growth. But I predict the Internet will soon go spectacularly supernova and in 1996 catastrophically collapse.” – Robert Metcalfe, founder of 3Com, 1995
Christine Lagarde, chief of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), recently said that banks have nothing to fear from Bitcoin. Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan bank and one of the recipients of the biggest taxpayer bailout of all time, said Bitcoin will not survive. Peter Ohser, the executive vice president of business development at global remittance giant MoneyGram, said: “We don’t see bitcoin in particular as a solution today to be able to disrupt us or provide a better or different service.”
The clueless heads of the institutional dinosaurs of today have spoken. Nuff said.