Updated: Mar 31
If you are born in a developed country with a mature and sophisticated economy, you should consider yourself incredibly lucky. Regardless if you are very well off financially or not so well off, most of us are still living at a standard that is far better than billions of other people in this world. The sad thing is that most of us also take many of the advantages of living in a sophisticated developed country for granted.
We have so many choices when it comes to supermarkets, restaurants, clothes shopping, or shopping for anything really, entertainment, fuel for our vehicles, schools, medical, electricity, heat, housing, banking, just look around you, look at what is available to you! Many of these things are also available to you online, with a few clicks of a mouse and a debt or credit card you can buy almost anything you can imagine. We even have advantages when it comes to our identities. I live in the U.S. where most people have a birth certificate, social security number, and a driver’s license or some other form of picture ID to prove who you are. This ability to prove your identity has huge advantages; it allows you to open bank accounts, investment accounts, travel abroad, get credit, get a job, and even to get unemployment benefits and yet most of us do not even give it a second thought.
Now imagine if you lived in an undeveloped or underdeveloped country where most, if not all these things are not available to you. It is even possible that you have no way to prove your identity. That means no access to credit markets, you are unable to make investments, and you cannot even open a bank account. This means you would be relegated to using only cash, which also means you would be forced to live and work in an informal local economy, isolated from the world economy.
This is where I believe bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can really be life changing. All you would need is a $20 cell phone, a cheap tablet, or a laptop and to download one of many cryptocurrency applications onto their devise and basically instantly become a bank. This access to a global, decentralized, borderless peer to peer payment network will open unimaginable opportunities for them. especially for business owners and entrepreneurs where this access will allow them to operate on a worldwide scale.
In my opinion, this is way overdue, for far too long real inclusion into the global financial system has been primarily a privilege for those of us lucky enough to be born in a developed country. And even being born in a developed country does not automatically guarantee that you will be included, there are many people even in developed countries that find themselves excluded, due in part many times to circumstances they cannot control. For too long real control of the world’s financial systems have been in the hands of the financial elite. This system which they have built is in my opinion an exclusive club, unless you have achieved a certain economic stature in society you are excluded. Even for most who are lucky enough to be included, they have no real control, that is reserved for the financial elite who use their position and power to keep the deck stacked in their favor.
This all sounds great; I mean who would have an issue with people having full control of their finances. Well, I can think of a few right off, governments, the big banks, and financial institutions. The people and institutions who have a problem with people having full control of their finances are the financial elite. They will have the most to lose if citizens can opt out of the traditional financial system which they have built, they would not only lose money but also power and control over those people.
Fiat currencies are an enormously powerful tool governments can use to control the people.
It is extremely easy to identify who these people are, they are the most outspoken critics of cryptocurrencies. When you hear these people criticizing cryptocurrencies, take the time to investigate who they are and what they do. If you do this, I am willing to bet you will discover that they will be in positions of power. I would also bet that they would have a lot to lose if citizens are given the choice to participate in the traditional financial system which is controlled and manipulated by these same people or participate in a decentralized system which is exceedingly difficult or impossible for any one person or group to control or manipulate.
The thing that angers me the most about the critics is their arrogance. United States Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) has called upon his colleagues to outlaw cryptocurrencies due to the threat they pose to U.S. international financial power. He also said, “An awful lot of our international power stems from the fact that the dollar is the standard unit of international finance and transactions [...] it is the announced purpose of the supporters of cryptocurrencies to take that power away from us.”
In March 2018, he claimed that cryptocurrencies are a crock whose value lies in aiding terrorists and criminals. So, as you can see by his statements it all comes down to power and control. There is not even the slightest thought about the people that cryptocurrencies could really help.
Jamie Dimon the chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase has called bitcoin and cryptocurrencies a fraud and a scam. He has also said “It’s just not a real thing, eventually it will be closed”. That was in 2017 but since then JPMorgan Chase has launched a new business division dedicated to blockchain technology, called Onyx, after the bank's own digital currency was adopted for commercial use. I guess he decided that if you can’t beat them, join them.
I have also heard many other people say similar things like “what good are they? Or what purpose do they serve?”. These are not government officials or people in positions of power, these are just ordinary citizens. These people ask because they are ignorant of the benefits cryptocurrencies offer billions of people around the world. It is not only ignorance it is also because we do take so many things for granted. We just assume that other people have the same luxuries that we have. It is also because we get so caught up in our own little worlds that we don’t give a lot of thought to other people around the world. My hope is that governments around the world will not over-regulate cryptocurrencies and will allow them to continue to mature benefiting millions if not billions of people across this planet.
I hope you found this article interesting.