Bitcoin is a trend with all the ingredients necessary for changing the world. It spreads virally, funds its own growth, and can’t be controlled from any central point. Like the Web, it could eat the world.
Bitcoin could be the beginning of a massive transfer not only of wealth, but of power — a shift to a new social order. If you change the money system, you change the economy; that in turn changes society, government and industry. The shift to Bitcoins would be more than an economic shift, it would be a shift to a new social order — one built around a “freer market” economy.
Such a shift would be a lot more likely if a new grassroots organization were formed to accelerate, promote and protect the emerging cryptocurrency economy. By helping the cryptocurrency economy to fund its own evolution and defense, it would have a better chance of surviving the inevitable challenges it will soon face.
As this new digital economy emerges, the mysterious Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, could turn out to be one of the most important historical figures of our time.
How Bitcoin would change the social order
The current global social order is ultimately based on our underlying monetary systems and economies. Stable (and unstable) economies are what drive geopolitical change, and in turn, they deeply mold our societies and cultures.
The global economy today is managed, and some would say even controlled, by elite central bankers, including private corporations such as the U.S. Federal Reserve (contrary to popular belief the Federal Reserve is not actually a branch of government, it’s a privately held and privately governed corporation that makes money off of the US Economy).
The reason that Bitcoins are despised by central bankers is that they threaten to undermine their control of global currencies and money flows. If that were allowed to happen, they could lose their grip on global economic activity. This could seriously destabilize the current global economy and the prevailing geopolitical balance of power. It all comes down to money, after all.
Bitcoin’s potential to undermine the very foundations of our economies is bad for central bankers, but not necessarily bad for you and me. Some might argue that the central bankers are a bigger threat to the world than Bitcoins (that depends on whether you believe the world is heading in the right direction or the wrong direction under their control).
Cryptocurrencies can’t easily be regulated or traced, and they have the potential to introduce leaks in the system that could break the carefully constructed paradigms of existing fiat currencies and the power structures that have evolved to manipulate them. In other words the entities that control and benefit most from the status quo old money economy stand to benefit least if cryptocurrencies gain traction.
But painful or not, evolution happens. Crytpocurrencies have all the hallmarks of a change whose time has come. Whether they succeed in the current form, or they simply become a digital currency replacement or equivalent that is just as regulated and controlled as existing currencies remains to be seen. Either way they will change our lives if they are allowed to happen.
The Transfiguration of Satoshi Nakamoto
For the Bitcoin revolution to really achieve sustained hypergrowth, it will need advocacy. There will need to be a way to divert a portion of the Bitcoin economy towards funding initiatives that advocate for, and protect, a healthy, prosperous ecosystem.
I would propose that Satoshi Nakamoto could be reborn in the form of a nonprofit organization: The Satoshi Nakamoto Foundation (SNF) that would have a simple mission: Help the digital currency economy continue to grow and prosper.
The Satoshi Nakamoto Foundation should support and promote all legitimate cryptocurrencies, not just Bitcoins, and it would need to be carefully designed to ensure transparent governance. Look to the Wikimedia Foundation and the W3C, for examples. Two excellent Bitcoin-centric examples are the Bitcoin Foundation and The Mastercoin Foundation.