This is an opinion editorial written by Stephan Livera, who is also the managing director of Swan Bitcoin International. His podcast is called “The Stephan Livera Podcast.” This is an article that has been adapted from his presentation that he gave at BitBlockBoom 2022 in Austin, Texas.
We are currently residing in a time period that is undergoing tremendous upheaval, and the monetary system is shattered. Bitcoin, though, is a positive development in terms of monetary technology, so there is that. Due to the fact that many individuals are still operating under the assumption that Bitcoin is just another kind of fiat currency, this is a significant drawback of the cryptocurrency.
Take a look at the GIF that is displayed above. Are Bitcoin enthusiasts like this man just “pushing the train” for no reason? Is there nothing we can do to stop what seems to be unfolding before us?
Is the Future of Bitcoin Unavoidable?
The way people talk about it on Bitcoin Twitter might often give the impression that “Bitcoin is inevitable,” which presents an interesting question regarding the cryptocurrency. Is it? In what way exactly? Couldn’t we just take a break and do nothing for a while? It’s not quite that. Bitcoin still need things in order to sustain itself as a system. These items include code review and maintenance, miners safeguarding the system, users giving it value, and HODLers holding it. Because Bitcoin possesses characteristics such as scarcity, neutrality, openness, and others, it is quite likely to prevail despite the possibility that its success is not completely predetermined in some more general sense. But regardless of whether Bitcoin’s existence is predetermined or not, the cryptocurrency is extremely reliant on actual individuals to carry out the tasks that keep the system operational.
So, What Options Do You Have?
It is possible to speed up the process of adoption or the development of technology in and around bitcoin. Contributing does not require you to have any prior experience as a developer. You can:
- Apps built with Bitcoin should be put through rigorous testing, evaluation, and feedback. A good number of them have their user and developer communities on Mattermost or Telegram conversations respectively.
- Participate in or help to organize a Bitcoin meetup in your area.
- Invest in companies that deal in bitcoins, or work for such companies.
- It is necessary to translate influential Bitcoin articles into other languages.
- Donate to the Bitcoin development and research.
- Get your work published in publications that are not related to Bitcoin so that it can be disseminated beyond the Bitcoin community.
Get your work published in publications that are not related to Bitcoin so that it can be disseminated beyond the Bitcoin community.
Bringing Bitcoin to the Mainstream
Do not undervalue the significance of becoming accustomed to using bitcoin among your circle of friends. If you were to go out to dinner with friends or family and one person offered to pay the bill in fiat currency, you might offer to set them up with a Muun, Breez, or Phoenix wallet and reimburse them using Lightning. This is just one example of how this may work. There is a possibility that “bitcoin greed” will be triggered in that individual as a result of the accumulation of sats over time. You may become a new Bitcoin HODLer or stacker, which is the best case scenario.
Or, do you have family or friends living in another country that you regularly transfer money to? Do not be hesitant to transact using bitcoin, and if they require cash, allow them to exchange their bitcoin for local currency in the markets where they are located. There is a fair probability that they will be able to sell bitcoin for a marginal premium in the marketplaces that are closest to them. They could also use voucher sites like Bitrefill.com in order to spend bitcoin in a roundabout way on the things they require. Find a local cafe or bar to host your Bitcoin meetups on a regular basis, and then approach the proprietor about accepting payments in bitcoin. This is another option. If you can bring it revenue in the form of consumers who pay for goods or services, it will be more likely to give you the time of day. Keep in mind that Breez is equipped with a POS mode that shop owners can simply download as an app on their mobile device of choice and begin using right away. Or, of course, they could utilize something like OpenNode or IBEX Lightning as a payment method for more extensive configurations. BTCPay Server is an option for non-custodial setups, provided the user has sufficient technical knowledge.
Being Honest Regarding Our Current Situation
In terms of how people are using bitcoin, we are in the very beginning stages. When I say this, I am aware that I probably sound like a broken record, but it is, in fact, true in terms of the number of users that are present all over the world.
As I write this in August of 2022, the total of UTXOs is probably in the neighborhood of 85 million. This is especially true if we are talking about use outside of a correctional facility. This is effectively a ceiling on the number of Bitcoin users who do not use custodial services. There will, of course, be some custodial users whose IOU-coins are represented by some platform, and there will be users who have several UTXOs, which means that the real count of unique Bitcoin on-chain users will be significantly lower than 85 million in a world with almost 8 billion people.
Due to the fact that very few people around the world even have bitcoin to use for making payments, it might be challenging to get traction in the bitcoin payments industry. On the other hand, this presents a chance to expand the Bitcoin community and develop its decentralized peer-to-peer economy.
Adoption Rates of Technology as well as Public Opinions
To circle back around to the concept of Bitcoin’s inescapability, the opinions of the general public do matter for people who trade in Bitcoin. While it’s possible that Bitcoin as a project will continue to exist, users on a personal level could be hurt if the government targets them specifically. If Bitcoin is not properly available, then the many individuals who are currently suffering from high inflation or financial censorship will continue to suffer in the future as well.
An intriguing historical analogy may be found in the way that new ideas transformed the course of history and made the industrial revolution possible. Deirdre McCloskey contends, in the series that she titled “Bourgeois Equality,” that the driving force behind this was ideals, specifically liberal notions of equality and dignity. The shift in cultural views about merchants and business during the previous few hundred years was directly responsible for the tremendous increase in human affluence and living standards that resulted from this shift. The Bitcoin community has a notion that is one of the largest, and that idea is digital sound money. This idea has the potential to truly move the needle.
Or, take a look at things from a another perspective: if technology related to nuclear power is made illegal, then people won’t be able to reap the benefits of nuclear power. Also, keep in mind that the nuclear power industry needs a whole ecosystem full of talented engineers in order to survive. In a similar vein, Bitcoin can only be maintained and further developed by human beings. Therefore, it is true that ideas and culture can alter the world, and it is also true that you may contribute to Bitcoin even if you are not a coder.
Now, let’s all get out there and try to move the train!