Cryptocurrency is the most liberating technology the world has ever seen. But, if you live a middle-class life in a developed country, the world-changing power might not be clear at first glance.
You live with reasonably secure banking, reasonably accessible credit, somewhat stable currency, and a government that has some respect for the rule of law. You’ve likely never experienced serious inflation, and as a result, it is easy to be complacent.
But for most of the world, the financial institutions we take for granted are non-existent. You can’t trust your bank, you can’t access credit, and you’ve lived through massive inflation that has eaten away your savings.
In Argentina, Venezuela, Greece, India, China, Nigeria, or most countries that make up the majority of the population on earth, innovation in money is desperately needed. And thankfully it has arrived.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies mean that you can save some money instead of watching your Bolivars turn into nothing. They mean you can send money to relatives without outlandish fees. They mean you can get paid for your work online and work around burdensome restrictions.
Cryptocurrency puts power back in the hands of the individual. It incentives value creation and allows productive citizens to keep the value they are creating instead of having it siphoned off and destroyed by corrupt politicians and rent-seekers. This is an amazing advancement, but the true power of cryptocurrency won’t be seen until we experience the next great financial crisis.
There was a taste of this in Cyprus and Greece, where the price of Bitcoin skyrocketed as capital controls and bank “Bail-Ins” pillaged citizens wealth. But that was early days of bitcoin and the infrastructure to go from fiat to cryptocurrency was much less developed.
The next time a currency teeters on the edge of failure, no matter where it is in the world, it’s people will have a way to save their wealth from complete destruction.
Capital controls and other tricks to maintaining government power by pillaging citizens are ridiculous in a world with cryptocurrency. When you can simply walk out of the country with all of your wealth, the government will have much less recourse and ways to save itself from the destruction of its fiat currency.
Cryptocurrency matters, because it means that no matter where you are born, or what state you are a subject of, you can truly own the fruits of your labor. You can earn, you can save, you can support your family, and you can escape to a better country with the majority of your wealth intact. In just the beginning of an incredible transfer of power back into the hands of individuals that will keep governments in check.