What is Bitcoin? To some Bitcoin is just another currency or something equivalent of digital gold. I beg to differ. Bitcoin is not just a currency and payment gateway but a social, political and economic game changer. Bitcoin is fueling a movement towards common sense economic principles and most importantly global financial inclusion.
In October of 2008, an individual with the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, published the first white paper on Bitcoin entitled, “Bitcoin: a Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System”. Satoshi highlighted a new technology he was developing as an open source project. What he may not have realized was the extent of the freedom promoting nature of Bitcoin. As a digital payment gateway, Bitcoin is a tool to send money to anyone around the world with internet connection. Bitcoin also has many promising features to promote financial independence, security, and expediency in transactions.
What many continue to ignore is that the current economic infrastructure is simply not working. How is it, that we have a global financial ecosystem that does not receive enough scrutiny when literally, according to the World Bank, 2.5 billion people around the world do not have access to bank accounts. To be clear, these individuals are not only located in remote areas around the world but even in the United States. Bitcoin changes the outlook for the unbanked population here in the United States and abroad. Now, I can literally send Bitcoin to my friend Alakanani in Botswana to donate to her outreach project whereas prior to Bitcoin, sending funds would be an onerous process with many middlemen and certainly hefty transfer fees.
One does not need a bank account to receive and transact in Bitcoin. Whereas before, sending money overseas depended on services like Western Union and international banking wires, now one can simply send Bitcoin overseas. Additionally, to fill in the gaps of needing Bitcoin sent overseas converted to local fiat currency, services like BitPesa make this possible. BitPesa, unlike Western Union, offers the transferring of funds through Bitcoin at a 2-3% transfer fee guaranteeing same day delivery and funds sent to relatives in KES (Kenyan Shilling). For a fiat equivalent service, Western Union would take out 12-25% in transfer fees and there is not always a guaranteed same day delivery. Let’s just consider this cost saving for an individual seeking to send funds overseas to family members. Again, with remittance and assisting the unbanked, Bitcoin is a credible solution.
Closer to home in the US, Bitcoin is a tool to wean off our debt ridden spending habits. Consider this: one can only spend the amount of BTC one has in his/her Bitcoin wallet. This concept of living debt free on an individual and governmental basis is revolutionary to say the least. Imagine individuals not spending money they do not have and furthermore, the government scaling back to stop spending money it does not have. Certainly, it will take for a society to transition over to fully operating with a digital currency, but the concept of Bitcoin opens the door to further dialogue on individual and corporate fiscal responsibility. Bitcoin is a tool to change the financial trajectory of the lives of individuals and even the habits of a bloated government.
So how can you now get involved in this social, political and economic game-changing movement? Invest in Bitcoin. The price is lower now and there are opportunities to not only purchase Bitcoin and hold onto this currency for a store of value but also transact in Bitcoin. Through services like BitPay, many merchants are signing on to be able to accept payment in Bitcoin. The neat aspect of this all is that the currency, holds a value proposition as well as ease of use and security. This value proposition is certainly beyond that of any inflating fiat currency.