We stand at a point in time where we could have a fresh start and a better economic infrastructure- but who decides what will come?
To say that anything beneficial has come from Covid-19’s havoc-wreaking global pandemic would at a glance, be nothing short of callous. With millions ill and hundreds of thousands of dead, the virus has changed the way life as we know it exists. But this isn’t the first time in somewhat recent history that humanity has faced the precipice of change with the promise of a fresh start.
In July, the World Economic Forum put forth an initiative set to “improve the state of the world”. Noting the “inconsistencies, inadequacies, and contradictions of multiple systems” as some manner of novel problem that have set world leaders at a “historical crossroads”. But are these issues new? Or are they simply a consequence of long maintaining the status quo despite every opportunity to enact change?
Covid-19 has laid bare many of our economic and social shortcomings to be sure. From healthcare chasms, racial disparities, economic farces, and a reliance on a system that rarely has our best interests in mind. Largely because of this window into the failings of capitalism that the virus has provided, many are turning towards places like Bitvavo, in order to begin exploring better financial options in cryptocurrency. Looking for a decentralized locus of control in a very chaotically centralized world.
In 2008, following the global financial crash and subprime mortgage crisis, Satoshi Nakamoto released a then little known white paper. While the paper laid out plans for a better system of currency, it also was a scathing review and damning condemnation of what was to be expected should the future of finance and monetary policy not undergo some serious change.
But, in keeping stride with each financial crisis of generations before- 2008 had little effect on future policy. Since that time, capitalism and the policies that protect it have merely stagnated, filling in the cracks with all of the dirt that is swept under the great rugs of Democracy. In the United States, healthcare is still a luxury few can afford. Globally, banks still use depositor’s money for their own financial gains, and the entire economy as we know it is still based solely on the mindless consumerism of those who can scarcely afford it. We build our way out of debt, yet there are millions without homes. We continue to waste precious resources on disposable follies. Propelling the world’s population forward on an unsustainable trajectory that the majority loathe, but feel impotent to change.
This feeling of uncontrolled sodden destiny can be distilled into a single epitaph of frustration- centralization. Everything requires approval, forms to be filled out and permission to be granted; all of which beget fees, or fines, or some manner of payment. We are no more in control of our own finances than we are in control of our access to good food, or political representation of the proletariat. There’s no need for Bill Gates to microchip vaccines, because we are already barcoded. From the moment we are born until the day we die, we are registered, monitored, and controlled by a central authority.
The novel coronavirus has enabled the common individual to more clearly see how they are often left behind and forgotten about by a failing centralized power. No differently than any post-war recession or other economic fallout generously provided by those elected to protect. However, what sets this moment apart from so many others isn’t just the glaring need for change- but the fact that we now wield the technology in order to achieve it.
This isn’t a call to anarchist battlements, or the interlude to a Marxist revolution, merely a proposed alternative to the analogous options we’ve been given thus far. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin offer a simple and elegant solution to the dissolution of fruitless power structures of oversight. Using distributed ledger technology that is maintained by the individuals that use the currency, with open and earnest figures available to anyone who cares to look. From a structure that was purpose-built to be free from outside manipulative practices that result in crippling inflation and apprenticeship deflation.
Bitcoin offers a better currency that fits a global economy, as a borderless currency paradigm that could easily tokenize any system of goods or services, bringing back a system resembling barter and trade, but built for trust-less capitalism. A safer alternative to many centralized banking practices as personally identifying details aren’t required to transact funds. Better allowing the functionality of peer-to-peer trade contained within the borders of an already familiar financial system. Creating a collaborative economy.
Despite its destruction and devastation, covid19 has also served to show us just how interconnected the global population is. How much we rely on places we’ve never been, and people we’ve never met. Supply chains, manufacturing, production, and financial institutions all serve to close the gap of distance. Where an interruption in one place quickly becomes translatable to the instability of another.
The virus is something that has shown us all without question that the global economy does indeed exist and is quite important for each of us to flourish. Unification may be the only way forward from this point, and centralized unity is a contradiction in terms. In order to be able to face the problems that undoubtedly lie ahead, there has to be a systems approach that is free from alienation of the individual. A monetary system that is trust-less and controlled by those that interact with it is an excellent place to start.