As the global economy continues to be the topic of interest and concern, the people of the world search tirelessly for an answer to the never-ending crisis of economic confidence. Gold has been a safe-haven for many people who fear that the corruption of global government and the mishandlings of our money masters will soon sink the floating currencies of a toppling global economy. Although gold has served our economic endeavors time immemorial, it unfortunately shares the same trappings of the other controlled currencies within this global economy. In the case of gold, the fixing of its price is determined daily by five of the most powerful banking institutions in the entire world. These also just happen to be a few of the same banking institutions that have played pivotal roles in the creation of our current financial predicament. Just as gold pricing is fixed by the gurus of modern finance so too are the floating currencies of the world, which find their footing in the foreign exchange market, which relies entirely upon the interdependence of the foreign exchange rates of the day. In a global community whose faith in financial institutions and governmental guidings is swiftly fading, likewise the controlled currencies and gold fixings of those institutions are fading alongside them as well. We are left with a single question in response to this declining confidence – If not this system, then what? Could it be that the answer to that question lies within the ever-expanding and enlightening conversation of the internet?
Over the past decade there has been a revolution happening within the minds of the global citizen. Each of us, everyday, is being empowered, we are realizing that no longer are our ideas confined to the rhetoric of experts and talking heads, but instead we can be the experts of our own experience. We are now finally in control of the conversation. The governments of the world are finding it harder and harder to sell citizens the necessity of representative governance, this is because the people are coming closer and closer to the realization that they can now represent themselves more freely than any corporate shill can. The proliferation of ideas and the empowerment of the average person is all well and good you say, but what exactly does that have to do with gold and floating currencies?
In 2011, Adrien Chen at Gawker wrote an article about an underground website called “the Silk Road” that is facilitating the black market transactions of a budding internet drug trade. For many people like myself this would be the first time that we would be introduced to the Silk Road as well as a new currency that was being used on the site called bitcoin. Bitcoin is a crypto-currency and in addition to being used on the internet for illegal transactions is also being used for many other purposes as well. Vendors that accept Bitcoin range from the online drug dealer to the local dry-cleaners. Bitcoin, recently has gained the interest of the global community because of the sudden rise in its value over the past few months. In January one bitcoin was trading at around $15.00, as of this post the bitcoin is trading at $126.20 on Mt. Gox and over the past few days the price has been perpetually rising.
One of the more interesting aspects of this new currency is that it is not controlled by any government nor banking institution, but rather it is a digital currency that relies upon an open source, person to person, network of transactions. Bitcoin, in this way is providing a new global currency that is not only free of failing governments and the trappings of global banking institutions, but also mirrors the new paradigm of the internet community which includes innovations such as crowd-sourcing, open-source programming, free file-sharing, etc. If the internet and the information revolution has taught us anything over the past decade, it is that the decentralization of power has led to an expansion of possibilities and new ideas.
So, in the case of our money, will we merely be destined to be the perpetual purchasers of interest-laden toxic currencies provided to us by the powers that be, or will the future of our financial maneuverings find the freedom that our ideas are only now beginning to enjoy? Bitcoin, with its promise of anonymity, and its disconnection from centralized banks and governments is providing users with freedom that is seldom experienced in the court of finances and greed. In the battle for economic dominance, bitcoin ultimately may provide the people with the power and freedom to dictate the strength of their own economy, instead of depending upon the inflationary illusions of our modern money magicians.
Although, Bitcoin very well may not be the answer to our current economic problems, it is a de-centralized currency that’s price is finalized by the free transactions of a global internet community. If anything, this provides us with a new way of looking at how we handle money and ultimately how we manage the distribution of wealth and power. Bitcoin is a mark of a new economic revolution, cultivated in the conversations of a cypherpunk community, interested in the freedom and privacy of all people. Let us continue the conversation.
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