A Bitcoin Thanksgiving or (What Bitcoin owes to Social Media)
Unless you’ve lived under a rock or only been exposed to the mainstream media over the last couple of months, you may have heard about Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is money, digital money and its been around for about 5 years, its acceptance, like many internet based services is happening at an exponential rate. Bitcoin right now is the best performing currency investment on Earth. In fact Bitcoin has been around as long as Twitter and Facebook, at the end of 2008 and into 2009 the internet and those engrossed in its workings, spawned a whole host of magnificent web platforms, using WEB 2.0 technology, which allowed them to convert those ugly, sometimes vast and confusing spreadsheet based databases, tables and forms into sexy interactive interfaces.
Think about it for a moment, before Twitter or Facebook the best you could do to legally voice an opinion in public was to write a ‘letter to the editor’. If you were really lucky, or you were sleeping with the editor you might have gotten your letter printed as long as it wasn’t too controversial or upset the establishment in some way.
Just five years later in the course of a single day you can sign a dozen petitions for as many causes spread across the world, you make a controversial statement and have thousands agree, disagree and debate it with you in a matter of hours, you can seek and find like-minded people from across the globe as easily as making a local phone call. What’s happened; is that ‘the users’, began to trust the cloud and it’s software. eBay, PayPal, Amazon and Apple all helped us adapt, because the platforms proved themselves reliable and consistent. I mean how often is Facebook down?
Into the WEB 2.0 arena came the banks, after much huffing and puffing and carry on about security they began to introduce internet banking, people began to use it and it was good, We, the ‘account holders’ didn’t like the fact the banks were still charging outrageous fees for these self-service facilities, but we put up with it, because it meant less hassle, no more tellers or queues at the ATM’s, just work your wealth from a home.
We became accustomed to the fact that our money was just numbers on a screen, we moved them from one column to another and it was easy, the interfaces became more intuitive and sexier again, what has happened is we have distanced ourselves more and more from physical cash, we use the cards, to swipe and pay most of the time.
Suddenly there is Bitcoin, detractors carry on about the fact that it’s not a physical thing, you can’t hold it! So what? You can only buy stuff online with it! So what, I only buy stuff online anyway and PayPal and Visa a screwing me everyday
Looking at your Bitcoin balance in your digital wallet, is no different to internet banking, they’re just numbers in columns and we send and receive them like any other money, the big difference is that there is no bank, no institution taking a cut because they can. Bitcoin protects itself and your wealth at the same time, so yes digital currency could not be where it is today except for the work of the social networks, for the work of the banks who were so eager to get a cut of the online economy, they paved the way for Bitcoin to step up and take the plate.