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Why should normal people care about cryptocurrencies, blockchains, etc.?

So I’m a normal guy. I work for normal money. I’m not interested in gambling or trying to make a quick buck. I’m also not a super-inventive future tech entrepreneur.

My understanding is that blockchain tech essentially makes normal real-world processes (sending money, contract management, etc.) more tamper-proof, where “tampering” is defined by the blockchain’s creator (be it Satoshi on the one hand or the Chinese government on the other). Is that a fair characterization? Will it essentially be like the internet, where it will be pervasive in society, but comparatively few people will understand its internals? Or does this stuff demand that people be more engaged in order to not get financially (or otherwise) screwed in the future?

What do you think?

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28 Comments

  1. “Will it essentially be like the internet, where it will be pervasive in society, but comparatively few people will understand its internals?”

    Short answer: yes.

    No different than how people don’t understand how card transactions work and yet use cards for every day purposes. Lots of people still think that when you buy groceries at the store with your debit or credit card that your account is instantly debited and the merchant is instantly credited – as if the payment path was your account -> merchant’s account, no intermediaries.

  2. Great honest question. I love it.

    The long answer is, I recommend the following 3 books to get some insight.

    – The Bitcoin Standard (not because bitcoin, but because money history)
    – The Price of Tomorrow (an uncommon opinion of the future)
    – The Sovereign Individual (because Western Society is slowly making us dependent, instead of independent)

    [https://www.hodlfire.com/books/](https://www.hodlfire.com/books/) for a list and short break down.

    ​

    **Personal insights into why people should care.**

    This is a financial technology leap for the financial system.

    It’s VHS to Netflix, no in-between technologies. Cumbersome tapes you pickup, to, on demand, any time, any where.

    When computers, internet and email came out, people didn’t want to turn them on, or learn. Regardless of their personal opinion, the technology provided such great efficiencies, people had to learn.

    Those who waited, found it the hardest. And they were forced into it.

    Exactly how it will be integrated into society is hard to predict. Some will be hidden, some will be in your face. But the more knowledge you have about what it is, how it works, the better you can adapt to the new technology and know when you are making a good decision or being taken for a ride.

    I hope that touches on your question and line of thinking. There are many aspects to what this technology is and will do. It’s not just money. Just like the internet was not 1 or 3 technologies rolled into one.

    It is well beyond that, and I believe will have a significant impact that other old systems will not be able to compete with.

  3. My answer to this question always is: in order to fully understand cryptocurrency and its impacts, you must first fully understand the concepts of **currency and money.** Not only what they are but how they’re made (supply) and how they’re circulated in our economy. Once you realize how blatantly manipulated the supply of money is, and thus the degradation of its value, can you understand the revolutionary potential of cryptos.

  4. >Will it essentially be like the internet, where it will be pervasive in society, but comparatively few people will understand its internals?

    Yes. In fact this is going on in a lot of use cases of Crypto where people are interacting with an app, and may make a purchase and have no idea they’re interacting with a blockchain.

  5. Blockchain tech isn’t the innovation. The innovation is combining that with distributed Proof of Work and automatic difficulty adjustment. As more people mine bitcoin, the rate at which it is mined never increases. In fact it decreases every 4 years. More miners only increases the security.

    Programmed supply and traceability means we know exactly how much exists at any second in time and when it moves. Anyone can audit this, not just banks or governments. If your govt uses bitcoin, you can maybe tell if they are lying about where the money goes, or at least how much they are spending.

    More to your original thinking, bitcoin serves also as a general record of human time and truth. Once something is written to the bitcoin blockchain and sufficiently confirmed, it is permanent, period. This consensus mechanism could be used in many ways, and you hear people say how ‘blockchain can be used for voting’ and stuff like that, they are referring to this ability to gain consensus from people who don’t trust each other.

    But mainly, bitcoin is decentralized and censorship resistant, meaning no individual entity can control bitcoin or stop other people from sending bitcoin transactions. You know in TV shows or movies when the character gets their bank account ‘frozen’ – bitcoin laughs at this scenario.

  6. Hi normal guy, there’s a bit in this question but let’s first look at the problem, THE MONEY. Money we call fiat is backed by nothing, it once was back by gold (so cash was and IOU). 50yrs ago the US decided it would remove the shackles of this pairing, which in turn gave them the flexibility to print money whenever needed. Now, they said they would only ever print to push through slow growth times to encourage spending, but it’s had a terrible effect on the working class as inflation of good and services rise, so too should wages and we all know that hasn’t been happening. So what can we do if our wages don’t keep up with the amount of inflation, and how can we ever save for the future? How can we save for the future if our money tomorrow will be worth less then today?

    The answer? Find assets that hold or grow in value over time. Now precious metals has done a great job of storing value over time but not space. It is impractical in a globalised world to move gold and other metals, hence BITCOIN is the first digitally scarce asset open for all to buy and sell to store their value (money) over time and space. Furthermore, it’s the most secure network in the world, using more computing power than google, Facebook and Amazon combined. Bitcoin holds value better than fiat or precious metals because no more then 21mil coins can ever be in existence, which is hard programmed into the code. Lastly, no government entities control BITCOIN. Meaning you can truly be sovereign with your finances.

    To tackle the second part of your question, I think it’ll go the way of the internet. Bitcoin is clunky right now where you do need to know somewhat of the back end to make it work, but it will eventually be like the internet is today, where a more friendly user interface will enable its use by everyone without having to learn the backend.

  7. For a normal guy who works hard for his money, it’s the best hedge against inflation. You’re also able to lend out your bitcoin and earn 6% plus interest (depending on the site) compared to 1-2%in a traditional bank. Also, the banks or government can’t take your Bitcoin.

  8. from an understanding perspective the internet analogy is a reasonable one. like the past few tech bubbles, there is a lot of interest in blockchain technologies right now. a lot of teams are experimenting with a lot of interesting projects, but it is difficult to predict what has staying power (like so many failed email, media, ecommerce sites, and so many ignored protocols, services and solutions) for “normal people” most of it will happen in the background just like most of the internet does. you will benefit from faster, cheaper solutions, and you will probably have new services in the future you didn’t know you wanted (no one knew they wanted social media until it happened) just like you don’t need to understand the underlying protocols and architecture of these internet services, you won’t need to care about how the cryptocurrency world is stitched together.

    there are a few archetypes that appear with any potential change like this:

    – visionaries that see a new future and have the wherewithal to make it happen

    – true believers that promote and use the new solutions because they believe they are right

    – fanboys that value the hype more than the solution (we can put media in this category too)

    – investors who look to the new solutions as opportunities to diversify portfolios for potentially higher rewards for the higher risks

    – scammers who prey upon the marginally informed to make a quick buck

    i think it is gartner’s hype cycle that explains this from the perspective of early adopters, etc. which is also a reasonable way of looking at things.

  9. Yeah you’re more or less right. I think it will become ubiquitous to the point that people don’t even notice that they’re using it. Kind of like card payments now, they all run on the internet-enabled payment rails that the banks built, but not many people think about or know how they work from a technical perspective.

    I think everyone should care about cryptocurrencies. Uncensorable and immutable records are a revolutionary concept that we’re unfortunately losing through institutional co-option.

    I think it’s a product of the general financialization of blockchain. Like, we largely talk about crypto in money terms now, whereas a reorientation of how data ownership and preservation functions are being lost in the noise, and I think those are the places that blockchain could be truly revolutionary.

  10. >more tamper-proof, where “tampering” is defined by the blockchain’s creator

    The consensus rules are defined by the community as bitcoin is an open source project

    > where it will be pervasive in society, but comparatively few people will understand its internals?

    Likely , yes. Many people can understand Bitcoin economic principles but not many people are programmers to understand the code.

  11. Because government issued money is designed to steal from you.

    Hold a better money. Bitcoin.

    No need for cash, stocks, bonds, derivatives, the Federal Reserve, or any shit like that.

    You shouldn’t care a cryptocurrencies or blockchains. You should only care about Bitcoin.

    Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, but that’s not what makes Bitcoin special.

    Bitcoin uses blockchain technology, but that’s not what makes Bitcoin special.

    See. You think those technologies are important. They’re not. Bitcoin is important. It’s only ever been about Bitcoin. Scammers and fraudsters will have you believe you can take a component of Bitcoin and be successful with that tiny part of Bitcoin alone.

    No. Bitcoin is the only perfect recipe for money. There’s a fixed final supply of only 21 million BTC. There’s already 8 billion humans. So each 1 Bitcoin holds and will hold a tremendous amount of value.

    The thing that Bitcoin really does and that nothing else on Earth can do is this: Bitcoin solves incorruptable money. Bitcoin is immutable. Not even the #2 cryptocurrency Ethereum can even claim that. Only Bitcoin is immutable. Only Bitcoin is incorruptable. Every other cryptocurrency and traditional digital wealth storage technology is centrally controlled. Some bitch has the keys and is living large, which sucks value from the system due to the corruption.

    Only Bitcoin fixes this. Everyone can view the entire Bitcoin blockchain. This will always be true as well. This is a foundational key to Bitcoin. Bitcoin is open. Anyone can participate. There are no gatekeepers, timekeepers, wardens, CEOs, officials, foundations, etc. Nobody can just edit the database without following Bitcoin’s rules.

    Bitcoin is perfect.

    The reason YOU should care is that you could use Bitcoin as a savings account that averages a 200% ROI. That’s a good enough reason right there.

    Another good reason is that Bitcoin is neutral, apolitical money. Buying Bitcoin means that governments will have less power over you and less power to create war. The stronger Bitcoin gets, the weaker governments get.

    My advice is to learn as much about Bitcoin as you can and then buy as much Bitcoin as you can and never sell it. You never need to sell Bitcoin. That’s why the price goes so damn high so fast. Noobs need to learn how to use their Bitcoin instead of selling it like a moron.

    You can already get a loan for anything using Bitcoin as collateral. Bitcoin is superior money to the dollar. Time is definitely on Bitcoin’s side.

    Bitcoin is basically super money and anybody who says otherwise just doesn’t know wtf they’re talking about.

    Learn more:
    https://www.hope.com/en/websites

    Why there’s no good criticisms of Bitcoin:
    https://endthefud.org/

  12. Imagine open databases of public information that cannot be redacted of information. Imagine being able to tie blockchains to government decisions and then tying that to consumer facing apps.

    Imagine at the local, stare, and federal levels what this could do: create a level of accountability that does not exist today.

    It’s not the silver bullet, but it sure can help provide a foundation to build better/improved societal systems on top of.

  13. People are gonna be screwed, let’s make no bones about it. Totally screwed. They will be crying in less than 10 years.

    Bitcoin is an ideal and a protection against people getting screwed by big finance, banks and governments, by currency devaluation, QE, bailouts, etc.

    However, there have been lots of great technologies that offered protection to “people” against seriously untoward things that were happening in society at large. For example:

    – Linux and open source software

    – GPG encrypted email

    – De-Googled/non-Google smartphones

    – etc.

    Where there was Linux and OSS, people chose Windows and proprietary software with back doors to every govt and corporation on the planet.

    Where there was GPG-encrypted email people chose centralised plain-text email and entrusted all their business and their comms to Microsoft and Google.

    People line up for days in the cold and wet to get their Iphone monitoring device which tracks every single breath they take, never mind everywhere they go and what they do, and with whom.

    People gave all their data voluntarily to Facebook, making domestic spy agencies redundant overnight.

    So, you can figure out where this is all going, vis a vis Bitcoin vs CBDCs.

    Yes, people will be crying as their Universal Basic Income is cut short for expressing the wrong opinion on social media, while living in a rabbit hutch apartment owned by Blackrock and Vanguard. Countryside off-limits, independent self-starter business banned.

    There is nothing we can do for “people”. They’ve got their football. They’ve got their Kardashians. They’ve long forgotten what Wikileaks did for them, or what Snowden revealed to them about their own government. LONG forgotten. They’ve got Kardashians and football, don’t you know…

    We chose Bitcoin to save OURSELVES. Not the people.

  14. >Will it essentially be like the internet, where it will be pervasive in society, but comparatively few people will understand its internals?

    This is a great insight, and one I think is very true. To answer your main question, normal people *don’t* need to care. While Bitcoin is revolutionary, so was Beethoven, and all most ‘normal’ people know about him is that he was deaf.

  15. May I add to this question? Collectively I’ve worked in the banking industry for 3 1/2 years (almost 2 years at one and currently going on 1 1/2 at my current.) I am very new to crypto and am trying to learn as much as I can because I feel I should be in the know, not just for my job and the effects it could have but also just in general for my life. Would it be a valid and reasonable fear for me to have about what the future of crypto could mean for my career? I understand when debit cards really broke out there were lots of people saying it would kill the in person side of the banking industry. Is this a similar fear to that, that I am currently tossing about or could is positively impact the banking industry?

  16. The simplest way I have come to explain why I believe in Bitcoin when discussing it with the people I know (with out going into any details or specifics)…

    I simply ask one question…

    I can afford to be wrong about bitcoin, in that I only buy what I can afford to lose, but can you afford it if I am right?

    This is not a short term get rich scheme, it is the future (IMO).

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