I found Mark Helfman's recent article "Why Bitcoin Matters to Millennials" to be thought-provoking and, for the most part, highly relatable. Below is my response to his article intended to help communicate ideas between team community writers and readers.
"Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality." ~Dalai Lama
I was born in September of 1989, which makes me a millennial. It seems I am the perfect candidate to respond to Helfman's article as it is focused on how Bitcoin means a great deal to the Millennial generation, which currently represents people born between the years 1981 and 1996. However, the term is loosely used for younger generations - I fall right in the middle of this timeline demographic. I'm not proud of it, but I try to make a difference for those above and below my age groups.
I agree with Mark on several counts, starting with Bitcoin, which is to say the software engineering behind Bitcoin and blockchain technology is more than money, despite being a monetary currency of value. I've also noticed the laissez-faire attitude of non-government involvement in cryptocurrency markets, a term generally noted in economics to represent systems that function better with minimal to zero government involvement. I can most definitely relate to growing up in a time where "the greatest transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich, while the poor remain poor," as Helfman stated.
There is then the statement that "the system has failed," to which I reply, the system never succeeded for the people in the first place. Politics have begun to become integrally tied to cryptocurrencies as they are now a significant market, the only market that has more than recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic crashes. War, religion, race, sexual identity - these have all suddenly started to affect the marketplace through civil and corporate unrest.
The government did fail us, but the government is changing. Bitcoin regulation has appeared. Services such as Paypal and Robinhood want to hold your assets in a form where you do not have access to your private and public keys and do not own them. Many countries have passed laws in relation to cryptocurrencies already, so government involvement is inevitable. I've seen other writers argue that even with the rise in DeFi currencies and exchanges, nothing is genuinely decentralized as that money can be followed until it reaches a centralized currency for an exchange to FIAT.
I argue that it was the previous generations that allowed this to happen by presenting us with a rigged system to vote for the lesser of two evils; taking the blame for trying to clean up my elders' mistakes is not on my to-do list. I cannot take responsibility for how the masses raised their kids when I was busy raising myself. This new frontier is one small beam of hope for our crumbled economy here in the USA. China has already demonstrated that renewables are more profitable than traditional energy sources after sticking to the Paris Climate Accord signed with former President Obama.
I feel that leaders are in a controversial spot right now because there is such strong opposition in massive numbers on both sides; it's challenging to maintain any form of conservative stance without looking undeserving to one party or the other. It is times like these, I am proud to be independent and prefer to evaluate individual instances in my own way, on my own time. To create a better sense of diversity, I believe we need to seek the truth; the truth is the only thing that can genuinely silence ignorance. Honesty and knowledge give people the power to make informed decisions that will likely benefit one another instead of having them at each other's necks on every issue, particularly those related to money.
"Bitcoin fixes this" is a loaded statement after discussing issues like failed economies, fraudulent and failed leadership in government, and the general mistrust of authoritative political figures in young people. I argue that blockchain technology offers many applications for solving political system issues, such as blockchain in US voting polls, to create an ultimately unhackable and accountable system. For me, one recent area of interest is blockchain tech within agroecological systems to help fairly manage resources on a smaller local scale - a subject I plan to write on further.
However, there are areas in which I beg to differ; while Bitcoin has many attractive features, it is weak compared to modern derivations and evolutionary results such as EOS, Nano, XLM, or Ethereum. The statements you've made about Bitcoin being programmed not to do many things that most FIAT corporations enforce, as well as the context around it being software that does not care, can be equally applied to other cryptocurrencies, if not more so around ones that have been developed with these interests in mind, and improvements over the slow and power-extensive Bitcoin. I waited all night for a few BTC confirmations to clear yesterday; they should only take 10 minutes, and that is a ridiculous amount of time to wait for a crypto asset with a transaction fee; this is 2020, after all.
I feel your point falls flat on its face when you have to consider cashing out of your cryptocurrencies and staying within the law. The moment it hits your bank account from a centralized exchange, you are back to playing the man's game and subject to the same laws as everyone else. While this is currently a legal gray area, it will not remain that way. The software won't change - but the laws on using the software will, and then the software will have to be developed (altered) to adapt to those laws and the holders' new priority demands. Alternatively, software would be developed to break them.
My conclusion is that we agree on a great many things, my friend. But I also think that your views are short-sighted when it comes to the level of control that will be in place over "gray markets." To directly answer your question, I will always trust a system that is mathematically proven and entirely in my power with no third party required. Still, one has to be always conscious of the fact that at any time, laws and market changes can render your assets to be worthless. You have to be ready to evolve with cryptocurrencies as a whole, as I've learned all profits in this racket come from having your money in the right places at the right times.
Questions and comments are always welcome. I look forward to your thoughts, Mark!
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This article was originally published on Voice.com
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