American HODL is a Bitcoiner who has been promoting the innovation for over 8 years. In this interview, we discuss why is Bitcoin important: what makes it an improved version of money, why society needs it, how it improves inclusion and thereby the world, the proof we have that Bitcoin can work, and how the world will look in the future with and without Bitcoin.
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This is the first in a series of special What Bitcoin Did shows aimed at opening people to the basic principles that underpin Satoshi Nakamoto’s innovation. Bitcoin has been in existence for 14 years. Whilst the adoption rate is tracking other paradigm-shifting technologies like the internet, we are still very early. Most people still don’t own Bitcoin. And, for those that do, a lot are still to fully properly grasp its properties and potential, and therefore understand why it’s important.
The majority of people are yet to comprehend Bitcoin’s capacity to better individuals and the world for a number of reasons. It is an innovation rivalling the disruptive power of any technology that has come before it. Those who grasp it are still in awe of its elegant and revolutionary design. But, because it risks upending the balance of power between individuals and the state, it rarely gets a fair representation in the mainstream media.
Further, Bitcoin touches on many fundamental tenets of modern society. Firstly, it is a new form of money, purposefully outside of the scope of centralized control. So, to understand Bitcoin, one must understand the principles of money and trade. Secondly, it has been developed to account for the manifest risks of increased surveillance of individuals in the electronic age. So, to understand Bitcoin, one must understand why privacy is the bedrock of democracy.
Bitcoin also requires an appreciation of cryptography, the internet, game theory, economics, politics, philosophy, and energy. It’s the analogy of peeling an onion, where awareness at one level enables the next layer to be peeled away revealing hidden characteristics. Someone on this journey of discovery is said to be going down the Bitcoin rabbit hole. It takes time and effort.
Those embedded within the Bitcoin community know that understanding Bitcoin is a process. But further, they know the profound awakening that comes to those who open themselves to it. The period of time before you properly understood Bitcoin will be manifestly distinct from the period of time after. This is when the hyperbole from those advocating for Bitcoin suddenly seems understated. Asking why Bitcoin is important is the start of that journey.