Erik Weijers, a month ago
Is it a coincidence that Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin Whitepaper on Halloween? Regardless, since that 31st of October in 2008, Bitcoin has been a ghost haunting and taunting the traditional financial system ever since. Let's look at five ways in which it has done so.
The decentralized way in which the Bitcoin network is designed is the essence of peaceful resistance against central authority. No middleman is required; no shenanigans like in the traditional financial system are possible. Just immutable code and miners sweating it out and plebs running nodes to defend the integrity of this new financial network.
Bitcoin's logo is orange: what respectable brand in finance choses that frivolous color? Bitcoin did. In 2010, the logo settled on the white B against an orange background. Maybe the orange symbolizes fire - the energy that backs the network. Whichever way it may be, 'to orange-pill someone' has since been the way to describe the act of making someone aware of Bitcoin's advantages compared to the traditional financial system.
In 2011, two years after its birth, Bitcoin demonstrated it was more than a proof of concept or a nerdy way to pay for pizza. It was the currency of choice on online black market Silk Road: it could be used in a mature (albeit illegal) online economy. Just like Bitcoin was internet native, so was Silk Road. Both were applications that were born online, and not copy-pasted from 'meat space'. Of course, the fact that Silk Road made the sale of drugs possible, created a stigma for Bitcoin. 'Money for drug dealers!' is an echo of that time that still can be heard.
Any rebellious entity worth its salt must be banned by China at one point. Otherwise, what's the point? In December 2013, the People's Bank of China prohibited Chinese financial institutions from using Bitcoin. It was the first of many bans confirmed that Bitcoin had entered the final stage alluded to in the saying 'First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you'. In 2017 China would ban trading and in 2021 mining. Bitcoin shrugged it off in the way a rebellious teenager deals with being expelled from the classroom: 'don't care'.
In 2017, a now infamous paper was published claiming that emissions from Bitcoin mining could push global warming over 2 degrees higher. It later turned out that this paper was fabricated as an experiment by college students to go viral in the media. Still, the paper is being cited by hostile parties as of today. Like any pubescent boy or girl who paints its hair orange, Bitcoin faces bullies. Classmates and teachers are confused by this new appearance of money and hurl things at it. Bitcoin faces the bullies head on by calmly stating the facts. Money has always been backed by energy (compare gold). Also, Bitcoin could even become carbon neutral or negative in the coming decade.
Dec 07, 2022
Africa is one of the places where many blockchain related projects promise to change things for the better. Cardano has entered partnerships in Ethiopia and Tanzania to educate developers and offer blockchain-based solutions in several fields. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is open-source and not driven by a single company unlike Cardano, but there are still players which expect that Bitcoin will make a positive impact on the continent.
Dec 05, 2022
Since the fall of FTX, the number of times influential people have claimed Bitcoin or crypto will die, has gone up. But it is still remarkable that the number of these so-called 'Bitcoin obituaries' is in a downtrend. Are the sceptics less sure of their case?
Dec 02, 2022
A researcher and former climate activist has established a new methodology to determine the percentage of the Bitcoin mining energy that comes from renewable sources. By including so-called off-grid mining, he estimates Bitcoin's total energy generation at 52% from zero-emission sources.
Dec 01, 2022
In a blog post called Bitcoin's last stand, the ECB has revealed its negative stance towards Bitcoin. It views the current relative price stability as 'an artificially induced last gasp before the road to irrelevance'. The attack came at a day on which it also attacked the new uncensored Twitter.