This is an opinion editorial by Leon Wankum, one of the first financial economics students to write a thesis on Bitcoin in 2015.
As I walk through the ruins of Machu Picchu, an Inca fortress built high in the Peruvian Andes and dates back to the 1450s, I see the remains of magnificent buildings and structures built by a long gone civilization. To this day we cannot explain how the Inca built it or what exactly it was used for. Historians know that the Inca used Machu Picchu as a sacred place to house about 700 high priests. A place full of magical mysteries, Machu Picchu is known for its buildings with intricate ashlar walls and astronomical alignments that join massive stones without mortar.
Machu Picchu, like the pyramids in Cairo, is part of a series of humanity’s greatest achievements for which we do not fully understand how it was built; pyramids in Teotihuacán, Mexico; and Coricancha in Cusco, Peru. How were the Incas able to carry and then align large stones up a 2,430-metre mountain, which is difficult even with the most modern tools?
All we know is that the Inca lived in harmony with nature. They joined an agrarian society that used the forces of nature to build cities and sanctuaries that still stand today. The philosophy of life in the Andes was based on taking advantage of nature without destroying it. According to Juan Carlos Machicado Figueroa, “When the Stones Speak,” examples of this way of life appear at archaeological sites ranging from early cultures to the complexity of Inca society. Generally speaking, scientists are obsessed with the idea of solving the question of how the Inca managed to build their buildings, and they forgot to understand why and what thought was behind these structures.
We ask ourselves, “What can we learn from these ancient cultures?” we should ask. Technology needs to work in harmony with nature, and so do we.
Just as the Inca work in harmony with nature to create magnificent castles and sacred places, Bitcoin exists in harmony with nature to create solid money from energy. Solid money is money that is not subject to spikes or decreases in value, supported by the self-correcting mechanisms inherent in the free market system.
Contrary to popular belief, money is not a product of the state; It is a natural product of our environment. On a metaphysical level, money is energy. We use our time and energy to make money. So money is a store of our energy, a store of value. Energy should be plentiful and accessible to all. Any central system, such as a central bank trying to manipulate money, creates an unnatural imbalance.
Traditional central banking systems, such as the Federal Reserve, are subject to boards and government agencies that control the money supply and distribution. In contrast, bitcoin is entirely mass-generated by the network at a rate defined when the system was created and known to the public, to quote Andreas Antonopoulos’ chapter “Mastering Bitcoin”.
Bitcoin is an open monetary system that anyone can access.
For the Incas, gold was valued for its energy, not its purchasing power. He was the representative of the sun, the life force of the Earth. Like the sun, which serves as the source of energy for all life on Earth, Bitcoin serves as an inclusive financial system that anyone can participate in. Bitcoin is the first successful attempt to create digital property that can be sent securely to someone else without the risk of third-party blocking. Again referring to Antonopoulos, as of today no one has been able to disturb the mining process or find a way to mine bitcoin without using the necessary Bitcoin software with its built-in security and self-reliant value system. It is money backed by mathematical proofs.
Despite what the mainstream media tells us, Bitcoin’s use of energy for the production process is not bad for the environment; It is a natural process. The way mining uses energy makes bitcoin money because money is energy. The law of conservation of energy, also known as the first law of thermodynamics, states that the energy of a closed system must remain constant: it can neither increase nor decrease without external influence. The universe itself is a closed system, so the total amount of energy available has always been the same. However, the forms that energy takes are constantly changing. Energy is never wasted; used. Just as a child eats to grow, humanity uses energy to move forward. Miners use electrons and generate bitcoins. They literally create digital gold from energy.
In fact, Bitcoin will enable humanity to use energy more efficiently, make progress, create wealth and establish a healthier relationship with our environment. It is estimated that up to 30% of the energy produced is wasted due to losses in generation, transmission and distribution. Bitcoin miners are trying to capture this energy because they need to find cheap energy to lower their cost structure. For example, companies like Great American Mining use excess gas from oil production to mine bitcoin.
Oil drilling produces gas. Since the drilling takes place away from the residential areas, the gas released has no off-site use. Gas is very difficult to store and bring to residential areas, so most of it burns. Combustion of gas is called flaming. A gas combustion engine can be used in industrial plants such as oil refineries or chemical plants. Bitcoin mining does not depend on residential areas; can happen anywhere. Great American Mining takes advantage of this by capturing the emitted gas that would otherwise be burned and polluted for bitcoin mining. It shows how mining can solve the so-called energy crisis.
Additionally, a study published by the Bitcoin Mining Council estimates that 58.5% of the global mining industry is powered by renewable energy, as renewable energy is among the cheapest energy sources. This makes their use very attractive to miners, which in turn helps to make the use of renewable energy more efficient.
Technology is adopted by the people who need it most first. El Salvador became the first country to accept bitcoin as legal tender on September 7, 2021. The Central African Republic followed in 2022. Both countries are located on continents that are plundered for their natural resources. War-ravaged places are caught in a vicious cycle of trauma, war, and suffering.
Financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, created by the international community to provide aid to developing countries under the leadership of the United States, have failed. They enslaved the developing world by putting them in debt instead of giving them the opportunity to develop further. Creating debt obligations is a soft form of imperialism. does not help; it makes everything worse.
Those who benefit from the current financial system are trying to fight Bitcoin. The organization’s resistance to change is a recurring phenomenon throughout history. In 1633, the Catholic Church imprisoned Galileo Galilei for fear of losing power for his correct argument that the planets revolve around the sun and that the sun is the center of the universe and not the earth. The Catholic Church believed that the Bible said that all other planets revolved around the Earth and that challenging this belief was considered an act of heresy. Back then, a person could be prosecuted (and even executed) for disobeying religious teachings. Similarly, governments and central banks today are trying to fight Bitcoin as it threatens their position of power. It is not in these institutions’ interest that an open money network exists outside of their control, so they demonize it and argue that it is bad for the environment, but the opposite is true.
Ever since President Richard Nixon announced that the United States would end the convertibility of the US dollar into gold on August 15, 1971, central banks began to implement a fiat-based system with no floating exchange rate and no currency standard. The term “fiat money” comes from Latin and means “let it be done”. Fiat is a type of currency that is not backed by a commodity such as gold and derives its value entirely from government decisions. It is a debt-based system in which central banks create and lend fiat money only for the promise of repayment in exchange for the buyer.
Any central bank adopting bitcoin in the developing world has a chance to compete with the world’s most powerful central banks by acquiring bitcoin, a debt-free asset. This challenges the global power dynamic. As a decentralized, open money network, Bitcoin ensures that everyone who uses it is independent.
Mass adoption of Bitcoin will take time. It may take centuries, but it will happen.
As Robert Breedlove points out, Bitcoin is software, software is code, and code is information. Knowledge wants to spread. The Bible has survived many empires, so Bitcoin has the potential to outlive any individual, party, and group that tries to fight it. Bitcoin will not die as long as there is a computer running the Bitcoin protocol. We have effectively created this new form of life that will outlast all of us (and possibly humanity).
bitcoin hope because it allows anyone in the world, regardless of gender, race, location or age, to store value and save for the future. This results in positive second-order effects. The inflationary fiat system we live in today encourages short-term thinking. The money we earn today will lose value in the future, so we spend it on things we don’t need. Because we don’t care about the future, we are constantly encouraged to consume, waste the earth’s resources, and make bad decisions. Bitcoin is different. disinflationary. It encourages long-term thinking. As Bitcoiners, we are more aware of the value of our money as its value increases. Why should I spend my Bitcoin on a car today when I can use it to buy a house in the future?
People are taking more responsibility and can see a better future on the horizon because there is a greater sense of freedom because of Bitcoin’s qualities and what it allows. Once you’ve embraced Bitcoin, you pursue work that you find meaningful. You build more meaningful relationships and live a more meaningful life. These second-order effects apply to the individual and humanity as a whole because Bitcoin is an open network that anyone can use.
Can we imagine a united humanity? Probably not, but Bitcoin makes us dream. Imagine if we could build on each other rather than take from each other. If one eats, we all eat. When you work, we all benefit. This is the power of an open network that is open to all, controlled by no one. With Bitcoin, there is no “us and them”, there is an “I” from which a universal “we” emerges.
Many cryptocurrency companies are trying to capitalize on people’s need to comply with false promises, but these efforts are only made to enrich certain individuals. Bitcoin is here enrich humanity. It’s about intention. Alone we can go fast, but together we can go far.
Bitcoin does not try to change our nature. Works with nature; is part of nature. It is a combination of ancient wisdom and scientific knowledge. A bridge between the old and the new – the future.
This is a guest post by Leon Wankum. The opinions expressed are their own and are owned by BTC Inc. or may not reflect the views of Bitcoin Magazine.