January 26, 2018. By Brian C. Haggerty
One may ask, “How does an educator, author and speaker on the subjects of soft skills, business etiquette and communication transform into a Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Educator?” Easily, because fundamentally, I believe in freedom. I believe in the ultimate and inherent goodness of human beings who, when left to make their own choices and decisions, will both learn from their mistakes and support and help one another. In my core has always been my deepest belief in the sovereignty of human beings, their right to self-determination and my eternal and enthusiastic support for such a thing.
In 2013, I first learned about Bitcoin. I had little to no understanding of what it was or why anyone would want it, but I could tell immediately there was something to it. As a Classical Liberal and lover of freedom, I could sense the wafting aroma of liberty, privacy and sovereignty which Bitcoin conveyed. I spent days, then weeks, reading and consuming all I could about this new, revolutionary and disruptive technology; trying as I could, with limited technical background, to understand and wrap my head around its larger meaning and ramifications. Would it work? I couldn’t know. Would it last; would it grow and would it be used by the masses? It was too early to know. After several weeks of consuming all I could, I ultimately moved on; knowing that the hour had not yet come to devote such time and energy to something on which the “jury” was to still decide. I did, however, make sure I got some Bitcoin.
Fast forward several years. The questions to which I once sought answers began to answer themselves. Bitcoin did work. It did last. And it did grow and get used. I began to turn my attention back to the Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency world. My morning routine of 5AM awakening and reading up on my topics and areas of interest led to my reading up on anything related to Bitcoin. Having learned so much several years earlier, I needed no convincing. Now I wanted to understand it all, such as how and why it worked? What made it work? What potential roadblocks or weaknesses lay ahead? I continued to consume information at a rapid pace and, before long, admitted to myself that I was addicted to and obsessed with Bitcoin. And it wasn’t just Bitcoin, the coin. It was everything related to it. It was the world-changing, disrupting, deflationary and playing-field leveling affect it was beginning to reveal at a rapid pace.
The greatest impact is decentralization. For centuries, in order to conduct larger-scale commerce, humans needed a central authority of trust; namely, a bank or a central government which could oversee and provide such trust. Bitcoin operates outside of such central authority in that its underlying technology, the blockchain, provides the needed trust in a way that is better than a central, single authority. This is because a centralized authority is easily corrupted and, in most cases, as history shows, usually is. This means that the power to control money would no longer be in the hands of a few, but in the hands of everyone who used it. In essence, it is the global democratization of money. Only an elitist involved in the central control of money would argue against such a thing.
The second greatest impact and, arguably, the greatest ramification of decentralized money is that Bitcoin provides the four billion people on this planet who either do not have access to banking or, at best, have access to limited, corrupt banking now not only had access to banking, but would become their own bank. As more and more people on our planet have Internet access—albeit minimal access through satellites and accessed on cell phones—that is all that is needed for them to use Bitcoin. This means that we can level the playing field and open the world’s economy by welcoming those billions of people who otherwise could not. It means allowing them to gain control over their financial lives, futures and be given the opportunity of innovation, education, healthcare, infrastructure and the most important of all, self-governance. One can only marvel at the idea of the massive global increase in wealth and economic output as billions join a world economy from which they have been bared through corrupt governments and leaders around the world.
The final impact, though, is what it will mean for those of us in the First World. While we have not suffered from the effects of no access to banking or corrupt despotism, we have experienced the inflationary effects of our current fiat based financial system which is, in fact, under central control. This central control decides when and how much money to print; causing everyone’s wealth to lose value, little by little. We have no vote, no say and no control over the policies which have allowed our debt-based fiat currencies to flourish. We also have no privacy in that every single transaction in today’s world is centrally monitored, recorded and accessible only to governments and corporations who use this data for their own purposes. We are told that these actions are “necessary” in order to “protect” us from terrorism and criminal activity. Indeed, our old, antiquated institutions which once existed to provide trust have degraded into an extremely small, elite group of bankers, policy makers and governments who seem far less interested in freedom, and more interested in maintaining their own control. I ask you, which is more corrupt? The criminal element of society has changed little throughout humankind’s history as a percentage of our population. To disallow the ninety five percent of the population from its right to self-governance and choice of its money is the height of despotism. This is why the old system is ending. This is why is must end. And it is all because of Bitcoin.
Over the past several months, I realized that my consumption of knowledge led to my knowing more about Bitcoin than 99% of the population. I do not, though, consider myself an expert. I am merely an informed enthusiast. Months ago, friends and family had little to no interest in hearing me speak about it. But in the fall, that changed. Daily texts, messages, emails and phone calls from my circle caused me to realize how little the public knows or understands. I also began to see the typical liars, cheats and opportunists begin to take on a Wild-West style frenzy to cash-in on the Bitcoin mania leaving the uneducated public susceptible to fraud and financial loss. What causes good people to be taken in by such things? Ignorance. Not stupidity (Though that sadly reigns among some), but purely a lack of knowledge of Bitcoin and what it means for everyone.
There’s a famous paraphrase from the book, Freedom’s Battle, which says, “First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you win”. I would say that this defines the Bitcoin Revolution more than anything else. Understand, we have entered the “attack” phase and it has only just begun. Banks and financial institutions, as well as governments and policy makers who once ignored, then laughed at Bitcoin are now in full attack mode. The usual narrative that “We need to regulate Bitcoin because of criminals, terrorists and money launderers” and let’s not forget that lovely, heart-warming little idea of, “We need to protect you from all of this”, has become the mantra among the old institutions as they meet privately, with champagne, caviar and limousines, in order to protect their wide-spread controls over their money supply. They do not want Bitcoin. Bitcoin ends their system which leads to the end of their control. They now say, “Bitcoin will crash. But blockchain is good and we want to explore that”. Well, let me translate that for you. This is their way of saying, “We cannot control Bitcoin. We fear it. So instead, to trick you, knowing how little you understand Bitcoin, we want to create our own blockchain cryptocurrencies which are centralized, ensuring our continued control and survival of our debt-based, fiat currencies. Thank you, and go back to your ignorant, consuming lives and leave the money to us.” I challenge anyone to say this means otherwise.
I want to make it clear that I am not against regulation, so long as it is honest regulation designed to protect the people from the many scams and frauds which are and will continue to be perpetrated in the world of Cryptocurrency. I trust the people to do what is right. Bitcoin and its underlying technology ends the need for governmental and central control over money. It ends inflation. It brings the entire world and all of its people into and onto a global economy led by, controlled by and built by the people. Will there be bumps and challenges along the way. Absolutely! Will this happen overnight? No and it shouldn’t. Will Bitcoin and those of us who embrace it be attacked? You bet! Do I care? No.
It is because of these reasons that I have begun to transition my educational talks into Bitcoin. I believe that the only thing separating us from the potential, world-wide adoption, use and trust of Bitcoin (Or whatever Cryptocurrency winds up being the one chosen and used by the people) is education. People need to know and understand Bitcoin. They need to see through the daily nonsense of fear-based headlines being put out by the old system which is clinging for dear life. When they do, they will not only trust Bitcoin, they will love it and they will use it. And together, we will create a new, honest and participatory world economy for all human beings.
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