Apologies for the long wall of text.
Before I start talking about Bitcoin technology, let’s talk about our existing payment technologies today.
What is available for us to use to purchase things or services online, or to transfer money across borders “instantly”? We have Credit cards, debit cards, paypal, banks, and others, which are all either systems built on credit and/or rely on a “trusted third party”. Paypal was the last real “innovation” in finance, yet you still need a credit card or bank account to use it.
Consider again the fact that nobody in the world can transact online or across borders with another party without the express consent of a middle man or insitution, whose sole job is to make sure they know who is sending the funds and know who is receiving the funds, know where they live, and in a lot of cases, know what they eat, where they shop, how much they send, etc., etc.
And of course, they are also there to make sure the transfer is not fradulent, is secure, and will not lead to any nefarious activities like money laundering or terrorism – Yet fraud and theft is still a major problem and costs the industry tens of billions of dollars each year, money laundering happens most in the largest banks, and terrorism is a bigger problem today more than ever.
You cannot send money to another person if the bank is still closed, the neighborhood western union staff is on a lunch break, the moneygram system is “down”, or if you don’t have the prerequisite requirements to own a credit card so that you can open a Paypal account.
The “trusted third party” has the power to deny you from receiving your money, freeze your account artbitrarily, prevent you from sending money to someone based on their geographical location, and prevent your business from receiving funds because it doesnt agree with their standards of morality.
The financial systems of today can hardly be described as “Free”, both in terms of cost, and in terms of actual freedom.
Enter Bitcoin and the Blockchain.
You have a technology that allows two independent parties to transact with each other, anytime, anywhere, any amount, and with privacy. The two parties never need to wait for a bank to open, never need to wait for more than a few minutes, never need to ask permission, and never have to worry that their acccount will be frozen.
The receiver doesn’t even have to acknowledge the sender! You can send money to someone, and know for sure, in seconds, that they received it, and nobody can deny that the transaction happened. You can send money to someone across the world, be the only person to know about it, yet still be guaranteed it arrived at your receiver’s account. Even if the recipient is asleep, they’ll receive it in their custody. They never need to “pick it up” and prove their identity to someone to get it.
You have a technology that enables triple-entry bookkeeping and consolidation in real time. No need to wait days or weeks later and find out that you have to pay someone back because they claim fraud, and no need to worry that the merchant will not deliver the goods after you have paid them (with multisig escrow).
You have a system of instant settlement between two parties with no third party involved.
You never have to worry if the transcation was fradulent, or the money itself was counterfeit. You can even take the whole human element out of the way and have machines communicate and transact with each other, automating payments and removing the middle man out of the equation totally.
It is hard to overstate the importance of true economic and financial freedom. Bitcoin and the Blockchain does this programatically and agnostically, and does it for no other reason, political or otherwise, other than the fact that it was designed to do so.
It is a tool that, if used properly, will have profound implications in the world of finance, commerce, governance, and everything else in between.
The more I understand it, the more my mind is blown wide open. I’ve been in this industry full-time for over a year now, and not a day goes by that I am not staggered by the possibilities of a world where money flows as freely as information, everyone can participate in the economy, and where economic freedom is actually a possible reality.
TL;DR: With Bitcoin technology, you never need to ask permission to exercise your right to economic freedom[1