I just read this back to check for spelling/grammar and honestly it sounds a bit like ranting about nothing, but still worth a publish IMO because if only one person learned something then it was not for nothing. So on that note:
Childhood-me often dreamed of owning my own car, house, private plane (yes I did) but one day came to a rather shocking discovery: We the people, never really "own" any of this. Not by my definition of ownership anyway. Let's define the word shall we: The state of being an owner; the right by which a thing belongs specifically to some person or body; proprietorship; possession as an owner or proprietor.
When I was growing up I thought that when you own something, you already paid for it or someone gifted it to you and thus you didn't need to spend any more money on it in order to keep it. A sort of guarantee that you will always have it, like with video games back then: Don't really enjoy the game but just want to give it a try for now? Then rent it. If you really like it and want to play it continuously and show off to your friends? Then buy it. How else would it be yours then? If you have to keep paying for it in order to keep having it, it would simply be called renting/lending right? Ohhh what a naive child I was.
The details will vary depending on where you live, but most of you who put a paper/polymer bill in your wallets and think you own that money are basically wrong. Money, bank cards, coins (etc) are all the bank's property, simply "lend out" to the people to use in their daily lives. This is why it's illegal to literally go burning "your" money and in some countries even punishable with several months imprisonment.
At one point I thought it would be a fun idea to use my bank's newly introduced printing option for their clients' bank cards, to print a satire cartoon about the dark and shady world of banks on my bank debit card. But the bank rejected this image and said they didn't want this on the card where the bank's name and logo would also be displayed on. I actually was about to take it to court since the terms of this printing service only mentioned hateful, racist or sexual images to be prohibited, but was pretty much saved by my university's law teacher who took the time to read the terms and conditions of my bank in its entirety and noticed that it stated that any card the bank issued to its clients, which btw bank debit card holders all paid 2 Euros a month for, would ultimately still be the bank's possession. Meaning that they would always have authority over the cards, meaning they would de facto also have the final say on what you are allowed to print on the card regardless of the printing terms since the card I paid for and carried around in my wallet was technically still their property. That's a point if I ever saw one, so People 0 - Banks 1.
Bitcoin changed all of this but before we get into that, let's break my other childhood dreams as well and move onto cars. Don't get flabbergasted when you see certain people driving around in their 2023 Mercedes S class model, many of them simply get bend over in extreme unfavorable leasing contracts. But that's basically lending, the point is ownership right? So, let's say you own a decent 2015 car, certain European countries will have you pay up to 90 Euro per month on vehicle tax, and nowadays with the high gas/oil prices average European gas tax is about 0,60 cents per liter. Together with the insurance obligations, this totals to about 500 Euros per month you need to pay in order to keep your car on the road.
The only way you can actually "own" a car without it sucking you dry every month is if you don't drive it, park it on private property like in a big yard, declare it as a non-driving vehicle to your country's vehicle authority and have someone push you around in it.😂 So if you don't pay the mandatory vehicle tax you can "own" as flashy of a car you want, but be sure that they will come and tow that thing away whether you fully paid for it or not.
Same with your home. Did you get shocked by the insanely high numbers for European gas tax? Home property tax, i.e. fully paid off and fully owned houses can get far worse. When owning your own house, in many European countries it is not uncommon for an average size/price house to at the end of the tax year end up costing you 10 to 20.000 Euros. Now this may seem like a long shot at first but people's situation changes all the time. One can be wealthy and healthy one day, and suddenly lose it all and incapable of even working the next. But if under whatever circumstance you were somehow first capable of buying a house and then later on even struggle to pay the electricity bill, you can bet your last Sat that if you can't afford the hefty tax payment they will come and confiscate ''your'' house and sell it in order to get that tax from you. What kind of "ownership" is that?
This is why many rich people still have mortgages btw despite being able to fully pay off their homes, because the bank's mortgage rate would technically mean you owe the banks, and thus the banks are the ones who actually own the house, relieving you from the heavy property tax burden. But, that comes with its own risks as we saw before in this poor guy's case. So....hefty taxes for us which push us towards banks, while they are exempt and made a business out of it? Sounds like a point to me: People 0 - Banks 2.
Last and certainly least: Private planes. It's beyond cringe I thought this would be a cool thing to have, but did you know when certain people (music bands/politicians etc.) who take their own plane to somewhere have to pay like 100K a day for leaving it at hanging around at the airport until they take off again? It's not like they have their own hanger or space to park it in every country they go to right? And I can imagine the kerosene and costs to maintain it would leave a huge dent in your wallet as well so pray tell childhood-me, how would we pay for all that?🤷
I know I said Bitcoin has redefined "ownership" but that's not entirely accurate, Bitcoin adheres to the actual meaning of the word. Owning 1 Bitcoin actually brought back the purest definition of ownership and sovereign control. Sure, just like with the car you have addendum costs like the device, internet and electricity in order to access Bitcoin, but you know what happens if you don't have these things for a few months? Nothing. You know who'll come to confiscate and auction your Bitcoin away? Nobody. People 1 - Banks 2. Yes they are still ahead, yes they still control the game, but dammit, we got one back. Defi and non-censorable trade through DEXes is not 100% there yet, but I believe this will be the ultimate equalizer once we do get there.
But to be fair, you could technically leave your money in the bank the same way you could leave Bitcoin in your wallet for 5 years and both would still be there. Only thing is that the money would of course be less than what you left 5 years ago because of the bank fees and because of the annual inflation that money would also be worth less, but it would still be there. Your 1 Bitcoin on the other hand would still be exactly 1 Bitcoin, just don't expect anyone to be able to tell you how much it'd be worth by then.😂