Last updated on January 2nd, 2018 at 12:00 am
Yesterday while doing my daily Bitcoin Reddit review I stumbled upon a movie by Andreas Antonopoulos. Andreas is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and well-respected figures te bitcoin. He talent a lecture at a Bitcoin San Fransisco meetup. It’s very brief (24 minutes) and is very likely one of the best explanations I’ve everzwijn heard about why governments and banks tell us that Bitcoin isn’t safe.
If you want to see the entire movie here it is (commence at 1:17 after all of the fluff):
However, if you just want the main points I determined to give my private summary of this super significant talk.
Bitcoin is innovative, so innovative that sometimes people have a hard time gripping the concept of what it means to have a decentralized system (and what is it good for). They think that if there is ter fact such a system, that can produce predictable and unalterable results (also known spil hard promises), wij need to fix it.
They are telling is, if a system can only produce “hard promises” it’s dangerous to the public since nothing can be altered once it’s written (or sent te the case of Bitcoin). Consumers won’t be protected from cases of fraud or theft since everything is irreversible. They are telling “Bitcoin’s immutability is a bug not a feature“.
However think of Bitcoin transaction spil a program and not spil payment. Since the concept of an irreversible payment is a bit scary. But a Bitcoin transaction is a program – t he program is irreversible, not the payment. The program is executed exactly spil written – predictable. It cannot be appealed, reversed or censored.
It’s a program that has a hard promise spil a foundation but can be softened by extra programatic features to protect consumers . For example adding multisig, escrow and refund mechanisms..
Now the concept of hard promises becomes less scaring and much more powerful.
But today payment systems aren’t built on hard promises, they’re built on soft promises. Which means that when you go to the bankgebouw you’re hoping that the canap will fulfill their promise and permit you to withdraw money. However soft promises are lightly violated – By i nfluence, money, connection, violence and political power. And so wij encounter situations te which our money is taken from us without our consent.
Hard promises can’t be violated by anything. They are immutable.
Why do wij use soft promises spil our payment system? because up until today there wasgoed no other way to conduct payments ter a way that will be agreed on by the public. So one has to zekering and wonder, now that wij can actually stir to a hard promise system, why aren’t wij? Why are do banks and governments tell us that Bitcoin is dangerous?
One assumption would be that if wij eliminate systems based on soft promises a loterijlot of those who are presently ter authority will be redundant. And so te their own self rente they are using a narrative of puinhoop and violence if authority is liquidated (spil bot done across history many times before).
Wij are led to believe that the opposite of authority is anarchy, puinhoop and violence. However that is not true. The opposite of authority is autonomy, and it doesn’t give us puinhoop but the highest of order which wij have never seen before. Predictable outcomes that can’t be switched by authority.
A good example for an autonomous system is the Internet. The Internet gives us a hard promise of “once something is publish it cannot be eliminated or censored”. Such a promise is not liked by people of authority. Think about it, w ho suffers the most from such a hard promise?
Is it the public that understands they need to be a little more careful with what they postbode online?
or the people te power that can get their secrets exposed on a system that cannot be muffled?
The people te position of authority tell us that they are there to protect us from unlawful use of our funds. However how many times has a payment done without your consent to thesis authority figures has bot reversed or cancelled. One the other mitt, how many times a payment you made by your own will to a political cause (e.g. Wikileaks) or some contra institution organization has bot declined.
Another assumption of why banks and governments don’t want a system of hard promises to take control could be because it would reduce their control of what gets written, and more importantly – what gets erased. R ecourse is mainly used spil a mechanism of control. The system of recourse doesn’t protect consumers, it protects authority.
Soft promises feed hierarchy, hard promises feed autonomy.