Written by Eric Lough
By now everyone has heard of bitcoin, But what is it really? An online currency isolated from any government or bank. A cyberpunk libertarian’s wet dream idea of a currency.
Bitcoin has gained public attention as well official notoriety very early in it’s conception for being an anonymous currency used to trade illegal goods on the dark web. The anonymous nature of Bitcoin made it harder for law enforcement to track buyers and sellers on illegal marketplaces. Also, Bitcoin is untaxed and does not follow regular exchange rates.
Though, as of late Bitcoin has gained attention for another reason. With trust of governments at an all time low, investors are constantly looking for investments with as little government intervention as possible. Wall Street’s response to Trump’s anti-regulation rhetoric is clear and shows investors need less regulation to feel safe investing into markets. The decentralized nature of Bitcoin is seductive to investors because they do not have to worry about government intervention like taxes or inflation. The peer to peer Bitcoin network also allows traders investors; big and small to seamlessly and securely exchange funds.
Then Bitcoin went mainstream.
On august 1st, the Bitcoin network experienced a “fork.” The “fork” was an adaptation to the Bitcoin network to create two separate versions of the Bitcoin ledger called “blockchains”. After August 1st, Bitcoin owners were left with their Bitcoin as well as Bitcoin cash. The creation of Bitcoin cash allows for even faster transactions. This change was necessary as Bitcoin becomes more popular, the volume of transactions on the bitcoin network have increased drastically.
Since The “fork”, Bitcoin has almost doubled in value. Bitcoin cash has also doubled in value since the first of august. These currencies are seeming like better and better investments as improvements and acceptance move to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum have caught the eye of investment giants such as Microsoft, Chase, JP Morgan and Intel. Ethereum is similar to Bitcoin; operating on a blockchain but allows for both public and private ledgers. In early 2017, These companies formed the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance to help demonstrate Ethereum technology. Big names like JP Morgan and Chase creating a strong foothold in the cryptocurrency markets are validating the legitimacy and need for decentralized currencies.
Cryptocurrency markets are a representation of societal shift from trusting governments to trusting technology. Some would say the first big step in the future of Independence from government.
These currencies were conceived as a great concept but have become a necessity and a reality. Cryptocurrencies are here to stay; making the future of state currencies bleak. The skyrocketing demand, and subsequent value of Bitcoin as opposed to regulated inflation is a stark comparison.
The necessity for cryptocurrencies continues to grow as technology decentralizes and liberates centralized markets. It is simple. Do investors trust the internet- the interconnection of human thought- and technology more than your their own government? Cryptocurrency markets have shown distrust in governments is no longer a fringe idea. It is reality. Governments are no longer needed to regulate currency. Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency are just foreshadow of inevitable decentralization of man from government.