Criminal activity on blockchain makes for a staggering 0,3% of all transactions
Bitcoin could be the end of the dollar if the United States doesn’t step in and gets real with blockchain and cryptocurrency.
The U.S. dollar is losing ground
Think about the money.
United States dollar (USD) holds nearly 60% of all money reserves, with 40% of global debt being held in that currency. The USD is an international reserve. If every other currency plummets, you can always fall back on the good ol’ dollar. Foreign exchange markets gladly accept USD for any other currency, and you can buy your groceries, pay rent, and order stuff online.
The idea of the mighty dollar has been around since we’re alive, but only so long.
Before the USD, the world relied on the British Pound to serve as the global reserve currency. British Empire dominated the colonialized world of the 19th century. London was the epicenter of international commerce. Merchants and people in business traded pounds in London, Manchester, Birmingham, and other commercial hubs, including China, Africa, Australia, and other parts of Europe.
If you asked the people of the 19th century about the future, they wouldn't be able to imagine the world without the great Pound at its center. However, the First World War absorbed Europe, Britain lost its influence, and the United States took over as the major global economy. Scholars call it Pax Americana.
The world started trading in US Dollars. Britain abandoned the gold standard and later the silver standard. High officials met in Bretton Wood and accepted the Federal Reserve as a vouching institution for the dollar's value. USD is nothing more than an idea we all entertain. Some may argue it’s the only shared religion in the world — money.
Before the GBP and the USD, the world relied on Dutch commerce in the 17th century, and before the Dutch set sail, the Spanish Empire ruled the world, and the Real (Spanish currency at the time) was the main currency for commerce.
Historians can take this argument to the Roman Empire, where everyone traded in Roman Lira. If history teaches us anything, it’s that we shouldn’t blindly rely on flawed systems. The US Dollar is a flawed system we all happen to entertain.
The world has slowly turned to a basket of currencies in the 21st century, with the rise of the Euro, Canadian Dollar, Japanese Yen, and Swiss Franc. The idea of the mighty dollar is losing ground, and everyone has the memo except the American government.
Total collapse never happens overnight. The cultural, political, and economic decline is decades in the making. The American influence has been losing steam ever since the horrific events of 9/11 devastated American ideals, taking countless lives in the process.
Today, we’re living the 20th year of American steady fall from grace. Sodoma and Gomorrah had the most fun before judgment day, Spaniards danced as their King borrowed Money, and Dutch outperformed themselves for a minute before losing all control. The British still think they rule the world.
The optics matter, and it’s all askew in the west.
Bitcoin is a national security threat to the United States.
Most people know about Bitcoin, altcoins, and, more recently, Non-Fungible Tokens. We have all heard a great deal about blockchain. However, 97% of the global population has no idea what any of it means. Explaining how blockchain works could bore you to death, and you’d probably miss on why it’s a national security threat.
Here's a way to put everything in perspective.
Imagine the Internet in the 1980s.
American Military, or more precisely ARPANET, connected nodes into the first communication networks in the 1970s. IBM developed the first PC in 1981, and the commercial internet didn’t enter the mainstream until the early 90s.
The United States created and developed the internet of today.
The internet created new American wealth. It brought an excess of jobs to the United States and birthed Silicon Valley, smartphones, streaming services, car-hailing apps, Airbnb, affordable travel, YouTube, Zoom calls, and countless other life-changing services we take for granted today.
What would the world look like if the United States abandoned the idea of the Internet in the 1980s? Even worse, what if the Attorney General tried to prosecute the hosting providers on the grounds of potential illicit activity?
The internet would still grow as it is inherent to human nature.
But the United States wouldn’t call the shots. American contractors wouldn’t build global internet grids. Uber, Amazon, Airbnb, and Google would not be American companies, and America wouldn’t be the #1 country on the planet.
The first Bitcoin was minted in 2009
Twelve constant years of growth and technological adoption followed the boom in the crypto world. Local consumers grew distrustful of financial institutions, older men in expensive suits, and global banks. Wall Street became a synonym for greed and shame as its financial orgies almost destroyed the world. Bitcoin rose as a punk movement against the elite who gambled with our collective trust. The currency introduced a system of public ledgers that an individual entity couldn’t game to its advantage.
Is Bitcoin the final answer to corruption and institutional greed? Probably not, in the same way as LAN and Dial-up are not the internet connections we use today.
The future is on the ledger
Blockchain, the supporting technology behind Bitcoin, has been developing outside the world of finance, too, as the internet is not solely a messaging service. Non-fungible tokens are solving significant problems in the world of art ownership. CargoX boosts a ledger system to organize the shipping world and rightfully claim the Bill of Lading with every shipment. Other companies are solving identity theft, cross-border payments, and countless other issues.
The ledger technology (blockchain) permanently records every transaction, so it’s verifiable by all other entities. The system makes it impossible to steal, plagiarize, and otherwise claim ownership of foreign stuff.
If you go back in recent history and philosophy, ownership is a concept that takes humans apart from animals, as argued by John Lock and many other Western Philosophers. Your dog can’t own a house, iPhone, or lease a car. You can. When you make something yours, you tend to take better care of it. Jeff Bezos paints this story with a vivid brushstroke in Amazon shareholders‘ memo. He said that casual tenants wouldn’t hesitate to nail the Christmas tree into the hardwood floor of a rented house but would never do so if they owned the place.
Let’s put all these digressions in perspective. Suppose America abandons the idea of ownership and emerging global technology. In that case, it will lose the default worldwide currency and lose any global influence in matters of local importance. Like Spaniards and Britons, American citizens will slowly earn less each year and have less fun before they finally start running solely on the pride of past glory.
The history offers glaring indicators for what could happen if the US government doesn’t take blockchain technology seriously.
Holding to the ancient ideals has never done any good in the world.
Let bygones be beygones.
Trump Administration Took a Position Against Bitcoin in the last days in the office.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr played on the fear of American citizens by blasting Bitcoin as national security.
“Current terrorist use of cryptocurrency may represent the first raindrops of an oncoming storm of expanded use,” the Cyber-Digital Task Force shared in a report in late 2020. “Cryptocurrency also provides bad actors and rogue nation-states with the means to earn profits.”
The current circulation of criminal money in cryptocurrency makes for less than 0,34% of the total trading volume. “But the potential for abuse is much higher,” as the past administration tried to frame it.
Imagine if the internet had the same treatment.
Imagine if the Right-wing populists launched a cultural and mental attack against the development of the internet because terrorist organizations and rogue-nations can use it to spread influence.
Terrorists were doing an excellent job of spreading fear before bitcoin, the internet, or even smartphones. Would you still live in a world without technology because it could be used for criminal activity?
Most drugs, guns, and other illicit activities are still financed with the USD because it’s the most widely accepted currency.
Should we ban all dollars then? That would be ridiculous.
Sawing distrust against the future, technology, and playing on fears of American citizens hasn’t done any service to anyone except totalitarian governments that can use it as a bargaining chip for future plays.
If the United States doesn’t step up its game in developing a more transparent blockchain, the whole western world is at risk of losing any economic advantages it once held.
Some may argue it’s for the better.
Others would claim it’s a nation's natural destiny — to collapse under its belly of prestige, complacency, and privilege.