In towns and halls across the world, in start up offices and brands skyscrapers, In Chinese cities and London suburbs, many are turning their heads to see just how you can break into two a currency.
It’s never been done. Not in the way bitcoin will. The British can’t choose their pounds. The Americans and much of the world can’t reject the endless “quantitative easing” money printing.
We can. Nearly half a millennium after paper money was invented, something very new has been created. Digital cash. Unique among all current money for no one issues it, no one controls it, no one can say what it is, no one except the free market.
As such, bitcoin is the people’s money. By their will alone it lives. By their judgment alone it dies. And in that process no one can interfere or do much about their free choice.
Because just like Nakamoto launched a piece of code more than eight years ago, anyone can do so today. For where righteousness lives there is will. Where truth commands there is skill.
While there are some that try to subdue, there are many that work to liberate. While some choose deception, there are plenty that hold the shining light.
And when some choose to employ those dark arts that are abhorred by mankind, while they choose to censor and ban, to DDoS and insert bug traps, the free people respond by calling upon the intellect to persuade, giving all the option of choice.
It is that choice which sets us free. Especially when it comes to money. For there can not be one chain to enslave all men, one ring to rule them all. And if there was such ring it will now be burned.
Because bitcoin is not the code. It’s not the brand. Is not its inventor, name or developers. We are bitcoin. For we all decide what it is by buying it or selling it, by forking its code or its chain, by even forking its name.
It is this choice that lays at the foundations of bitcoin. A choice guaranteed by its decentralized nature in nodes, client software, code forks and chain forks.
So ensuring there is no single point. Ensuring that no one or group can force all others to accept or use an inflated bitcoin, a full blocks bitcoin, a settlement bitcoin, or Nakamoto’s bitcoin.
“The past instability of the market economy is the consequence of the exclusion of the most important regulator of the market mechanism, money, from itself being regulated by the market process…only competition in a free market can take account of all the circumstances which ought to be taken account of.” Hayek in The Denationalization of Money.
Anyone is free to change the current bitcoin in any way they please. They can give a 75% discount to any transaction they like. They can segregate the witnesses or sidechain the blockchain.
Just as anyone is free to keep bitcoin continuing to operate as it always has. Keep the soft blocksize limit and the hard blocksize limit used by the currency for much of its eight years and just lift them slightly in line with demand and technical constraints.
Likewise, anyone is free to choose between the two and other digital currencies. So judge collectively which is best managed, which is better money, or a better asset, or a better combination of both.
And they are free to change their mind at any time as a well managed currency starts becoming mismanaged or vice versa.
By just one click, they hold whatever money on their hands. By just one click they can change it into something else. Through this process “all the circumstances which ought to be taken account of” are taken into account.
It is these intellectual underpinnings that give bitcoin fascinating qualities. This implementation of free market money which anyone is free to use or otherwise as they please.
Alongside, its technology can be interesting in its own right for many uses, in both finance and industry as well as more widely, because it is a very new invention.
But its use by fringes, such as drug purchases or other illegal activities – which some argue is its primary if not sole purpose – is as interesting to many as their use of water.
While its decentralized nature, which has been a point of argument over the past two years, is now being proven as a fact and not a point of debate.
Because bitcoin is inherently decentralized. Ten people in a closed door meeting can’t decide. Nor ten developers that call themselves Bitcoin Core. Nor exchanges that think can withhold assets.
Only the free market can decide and take into account all that needs be considered. In this way, inflationary bubbles and busts might even be prevented. Bank bailouts might become a thing of the past. Money might, perhaps for the first time, gain an objective quality.
Some may call that radical or even revolutionary. But it is nothing more than the implementation of a Nobel Laureate’s insight, which once uttered appears self-evident.
An implementation that will be seen in action in just a few hours when the millennial generation once more raises their middle finger to so called “experts” who think they know better than the free people.
In the process, regaining control over their own money while showing to the world the full power of this still very new invention.
An invention created for all and to the benefit of all. From the starving Indians to the billionaire bankers. From government bureaucrats to free thinking artists.
For if money can gain an objective quality, then the productivity gains and wealth increases might be considerable, to the point where coming generations may laugh at how once money was dictated, bringing in the process instability as we are currently seeing in Venezuela where inflation has spiked to tragic levels.
That may hopefully become a thing of the past with the now imminent hardfork a probable step in that direction for people are being given the full freedom to choose.
Long may such freedom reign above us all for when people are free nations rise. Just as ancient Greece after their invention of democracy. Just as Rome with their republic. Just as Britain with their Magna Carta and just as the home of the brave and the land of the free.