First of all, thank you for all the great gestures!
Happy New Years to everybody!!
This is my first post I thought I contribute my 2 cents...
THE COIN THAT CHANGED THE WORLD
New Years Eve, Florianopolis, Brazil.
If you told me twenty four hours ago that I would be spending New Years Eve in one of the most vibrant beach cities in South America, and that I would be spending it writing about the Black Death, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.
What is this has to do with bitcoin? One might understandably ask, but if you hang with me for a second, it will all become clear very shortly.
Paint It Black
If you went back in time to the 1350s and told people that the Black Death was the catalyst to one of the most important black swan events in history, they probably would have believed you even less.
Europe, as most places, was hit hard, it was the ground zero for the Black Death, although some people would argue that it was the migrants fleeing westward from the Byzantine Empire that brought the plague with them, along with some scientific writings and delicious cuisine. Others would say that it all started with the Bubonic plague in Crimea.
As you can observe these two subjects, the immigrants and Crimea are never out of fashion, but I'm digressing.
The recovery from the plague was both slow and hard, it would take Europe 150 years to recover politically, economically and socially. But it was the religious institutions that recovered the slowest since they were the last to be repopulated, as parents needed every available child in agriculture.
Why would the Catholic Church need so many children for? Is the first question that comes to mind.
First of all, I know how this sounds, opening with a deadly plague and following up with this particular of question while writing about bitcoin. Where is this guy going with this, right?
You see, the reason I’m bringing up the subject is that in that era, there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no Snapchat, nothing of the sort. The only way to spread the word of God was by hand. So whenever you wanted a book copied, you would go to a scribe at a monastery, and they would copy it for you.
Such a procedure would require the church to ‘hire’ children at a young age before they reach military age and force them to ‘pull a Bart Simpson' copying the same sentences time and time again, by hand. As you might’ve guessed, you need a lot of hands!
Enter Gutenberg, the Satoshi Nakamoto of the 1500s.
Now, with a new player in town that is set on changing the rules of the game, and with the printing press revolutionizing society and providing the ability to spread information not only faster and cheaper than the status quo, but also in a much more accurate manner, it was only a matter of until the scribe craft became obsolete.
Violence is All They Know
The Catholic Church, which had previously held an absolute monopoly on the scarcity of information, did what they did best in that era, unleashing the wrath of god on whoever went against the interest of the ruling class. First, they started slow, with imprisonment, which for that era it was as vanilla as it gets, but eventually they worked their way up to their real objective which was declaring the death penalty for anyone using a printing press in 1535.
And since you are reading this at this very moment, then you’d probably have guessed it: That did not work either, because there’s a little thing about technology that once it’s invented, it cannot be un-invented, from that point on not even the threat of hanging in public could prevent people from sharing and learning.
Just as what happened with disrupting the monopoly on publication, most advances in human life have occurred as a consequence of reducing the government’s monopolies on various aspects of our lives.
Take food for example, one of the most crucial elements for the survival of the species, along with water, air, fire and Wi-Fi (A.K.A the fifth element). It’s easy to forget that the minute we gave a goodbye kiss to the government absolute monopoly on agriculture, breakthroughs started happening left and right: Irrigation systems, fertilizers, advanced machinery… And before we knew it the number of people involved in agriculture went down from 70 percent to almost 3 percent, with a much greater productivity.
The fact that there has been more material progress in the world in the 20th century than in the entire world in all previous centuries combined is astonishing on its own, but it gets even better.
There are now more engineers and scientists alive today than there have been in all of the rest of human history combined. Most of them want to part of the next Uber or the next Airbnb… Most of them seek major breakthroughs solving existing problems. A lot of them are motivated and driven and I suspect a good number of them will eventually succeed, and that’s the beautiful part about it.
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
Less than half a decade ago very few people knew about bitcoin, now it's getting much more traction as some of largest corporations are starting to accept bitcoin as a form of global payment.
But what does that mean for your average Joe? That the more they see bitcoin being accepted in their day to day, the more they would be inclined to adopt it as such. You might not hear about that a lot but the psychological part about this is massively important. Will we see the day when bitcoin becomes vogue in shopping malls from Jacksonville to Jacksonhole? I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I certainly hope so.
The bad part however, is that with each action there is an equal and opposite reaction, in this case, it’s the usual suspects: Governments. States all around the world are becoming increasingly destructive, both in terms of seizing capital and in terms of making capital accumulation more and more difficult. Worse than that, they’re constantly creating new regulations each one more absurd than the other.
Under such circumstances Bitcoin may just be the single biggest thing on the horizon.
In closing thoughts, allow me to rewind back to the beginning, in case you were wondering about the reason why I am not partying tonight as everybody else,
Remember those people I told you about, those millions of entrepreneurs who cutting their teeth on their projects, trying to a make a small change in the world? I’m one of them too, at least in my mind I am. I do not mind the sweat, the early mornings, the late nights, the risky business moves… I actually embrace the process, the countless hours honing my craft, or even making choices like this one, staying home on a busy night and work.
The road is long and curvy, we all know that, I am aware that I will have to work for years to achieve what people call an “overnight success”, but I also know this, that whatever problems or detours I will encounter along the way that I will not give up, partly because I know that when you provide any substantial value to people and solve an actual problem that they have, then you are probably bound to succeed, and that is the reason I am writing this today and the reason why I am certain that Bitcoin will prevail, because I am aware that the value it provides to people is undeniably colossal.
I don’t know what the future holds, if there will be a black swan event like the Black Death in our time, but I think that if we were to experience another renaissance in the coming years, then historians would probably refer to bitcoin as the coin that changed the world.
Happy New Years!