In a previous Bitstocks’ blog article, Vee Tardrew argued that Bitcoin Core (BTC) sucks as cash and therefore functions nowhere near Bitcoin’s original promise of being peer-to-peer electronic cash (per the Whitepaper).
I won’t lie to you, some of our readers (notably the pro-BTC group) responded with a solid: Meh!
“If you want Bitcoin to work like cash, use the Lightning Network,” some said. (Lightning Network agendas and vulnerabilities revealed here)
Plenty hammered on about Bitcoin’s role as an electronic store of value, saying that it isn’t a payment channel for micro-payments but rather LARGE ones. (BTC as a store of Value myth busted here and here)
For others, Bitcoin’s primary WIN is the anonymity it’s brought to transactions. (Anonymity myth busted here)
Given the narratives that Bitcoin Core has introduced to the Bitcoin community over the past couple of years, it’s hardly surprising that people have come to so easily dismiss the importance of Bitcoin’s peer-to-peer cash facility.
“Before 2017/2018, BTC’s official story was ‘new money for the world’ or ‘money of the Internet.’ In the past 2 years, BTC shifted to a ‘digital gold” and ‘store of value’ narrative.
A sudden change of narration is always suspicious, indicating an intent change.”
One commentator remarked that NO technology is the perfect solution for every use case. Fair enough. But that begs the question:
WHAT IS Bitcoin’s use case? And, what if it’s NOT what you’ve been told???
Indulge me and put out of your mind everything you’ve been told about Bitcoin, just for a while.
Now think of the Bitcoin blockchain, in its broadest terms, as a data network with a number of novel characteristics.
Though Bitcoin is more commonly known for its monetary aspect, its name hints at the two-sided nature of THIS form of cash:
Bit = data. Coin = Cash.
Think of Bitcoin as programmable money, and the transactions we commonly refer to as data interactions.
In practice, it opens up a world of new applications. Read on for detailed examples...
A second key characteristic of Bitcoin is that it lets parties (people, businesses, computers) communicate and record data so that it can’t be altered afterwards. You can think of this as Bitcoin’s secret sauce, as its immutability eliminates a central point of failure - be it a crooked CEO or an exhausted IT professional. The data once recorded and inscribed with a timestamp and its provenance, can never be fiddled with, without being detected.
Add to that Bitcoin’s capacity to scale to process big data (eventually, the entire Internet of Things), the low cost and near-instant speed of transactions (data interactions), and what you get is an infrastructure that can be utilised by anything from your garage brewery, to a global supply-chain system.
Though many Bitcoin Core pundits promote BTC for the anonymity it lends to your transactions, it doesn’t take a lot of research to bust this myth. The narrative is so far fetched, that the US government already used the Bitcoin blockchain to crack ‘Dark Net operators’ and put them behind bars as early as 2014. While the Bitcoin blockchain was designed with privacy features in place, it’s the perfect tool to trace illicit transactions and hold perps accountable!
With this unique combination of ingredients, Bitcoin solves a whole lot of problems the world is currently battling with!
At present, the Internet offers users a world of ‘free’ information and a ton of ‘free’ applications. What we don’t often think of is the hidden cost to us, the user.
If you don’t pay for the product, you ARE the product.
Most of us impatiently scroll through the T&C’s and grant permissions for accessing these online services, just to get it the hell over with!
But occasionally, as with the current upheaval about mobile Covid-19 applications that allow governments to track your whereabouts, the implications hit us like a ton of bricks.
The reality is that most (if not all) of the free applications you’re using on your phone or desktop make money by collecting your data!!! Some track your location by checking your WiFi connection and the Bluetooth devices in your vicinity. Others, notably Facebook, record your activity across your entire device, even when the app is closed! There are even those that require permission to access your camera and audio when the app itself requires zero audiovisual information to function! I’ve seen it for myself…
Data privacy is one critical issue. Another is the value you are giving away to corporations that are training AI devices to effectively cut human labour out of the equation.
Data is the new currency and the oil that will fuel the fourth industrial revolution. In this data-driven economy, the absence of ownership and fair remuneration of our data could lead to data slavery!
Already NOW, some of the most common companies we interact with daily - Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter - make BIG money through collecting and using or reselling OUR data.
“In 2017, the five biggest American IT companies had a combined valuation of over $3.3 trillion, and made up more than 40 per cent of the value of the Nasdaq 100.” - Conor Sen, via Bloomberg Opinion
Dr Craig Wright, creator of Bitcoin, explains how his vision of Bitcoin fits in within the data-driven economy (paraphrased):
"I don't want a world where we have people isolated by machines. I want a world where everyone is integrated. A world where everyone can be part of something bigger than themselves - something they can be proud of. People need a chance to interact even if it's small - like where you can have an app on your phone that lets you participate.”
This vision of the data-driven economy as one of participation, instead of one where humans are replaced by machines, is only possible if Bitcoin retains its unique combination of characteristics - immutability, programmability, traceability, and scalability.
But, what would that look like for you and for me? Glad you asked!
In a recent address to the Baikal Blockchain & Crypto Summit, Dr Wright sketches some scenarios that we can all relate to.
Bitcoin’s Importance for the Future Internet - the Internet of Money
The future Internet, the Metanet, is being built on the Bitcoin (BSV) blockchain, upholding the goal of empowering consumers. It will be a commercial Internet where participation is valued, and we can all earn from the data we create and contribute.
Because bitcoin transactions (data interactions) are programmable, we can create new online business models. Users will know, upfront, what their data will be used for. Because of Bitcoin’s micro-transaction facility, we can be remunerated for our contribution (even if it’s a fraction of a penny per click or like). Because of Bitcoin’s traceability, we can verify if our data is being used as intended, and retract access if it’s being abused. Because of Bitcoin’s scalability, we can run the entire Internet on its infrastructure, at a speed and cost that makes the nuts and bolts disappear into the background.
Please Note: the only Bitcoin implementation to retain these characteristics, as per the original Bitcoin’s design, is Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV).
Now, let’s take Bitcoin’s attribute of allowing privacy while ensuring that transactions (such as data communications) are traceable and, therefore, auditable...
If you continue the train of thought, you’ll see how Bitcoin can lend itself to clearing up the murkiness of modern-day political campaigning AND elections!
Wherever in the world you may be, you’re probably well aware of the allegations of foreign interference in the US elections of 2016. Accusations range from the manipulation of voters through online propaganda to the promotion of fake news through paid advertising.
Right now it’s impossible to know whether or not these claims are founded. But that all changes when the Internet itself is hosted on Bitcoin’s immutable data record that allows the traceability of data interactions to its source!
Dubious election polls and disputed results also fit in nicely within Bitcoin’s range of problem-solving skills.
In a recent interview, Ari Kuqi (founder of Legally Chained and co-creator of the Bitcoin Attestation Protocol) explained how simple it would be to implement voting on the blockchain. Voter identity would be verified (no dead or fake voters), the voting record would be public and auditable (verifiable by logging a blockchain query through an online blockchain explorer), while keeping the particular vote of each individual private.
Since we’re talking about the reliability of data metrics, let’s talk about science’s problem with replicating research results from one study to the next.
At times, we’re dealing with clear and simple scientific fraud. At other times the problem is systemic, like when there’s a conflict of interest because of the parties funding a study (read: Big Pharma). And then there’s the issue of evolutionary biases: our inherent nature to tweak results or interpret them to confirm our pre-existing beliefs. There’s also the ‘Positive bias’ of scientific journals where negative results are vastly underrepresented in journals. And THIS is the data that researchers, doctors and policymakers rely on!
It’s a $h!t show, all right!
What if we used Bitcoin’s data infrastructure in scientific studies?
What we get is a system that records all research data as it occurs, in a non-biased, unalterable format, so each study can be verified by external auditors.
“As BSV continues to be developed and adheres to what crypto has meant to be since its inception a decade ago, it will have the ability to alter the financial landscape by providing a single, global data store that cannot be changed or manipulated. It singularly has the ability to create a more efficient economic system, while maintaining the inability for a currency to be artificially built up or knocked down as is seen today with fiat currencies around the world.”
I could continue with my sketches of Bitcoin’s use cases in industries from supply-chain to finance, but for that, you’ll have to download our (free) eBook. (Or we’ll be here forever!)
To cut a long story short: none of these use cases would be possible without the characteristics of immutability, scalability (cheap, instant transactions), and programmability of Bitcoin as exclusively retained in Bitcoin SV.
And so, dear readers, I urge you to question the mainstream Bitcoin narrative.
I invite you to think bigger and reimagine your world, your business, your social media interactions, as they COULD BE if they were built on Bitcoin’s magic infrastructure.