Bitcoin and the legitimacy crisis of money
A lot of intriguing and conflicting things have been said about Bitcoin in the past few years. Some see it as the salvation of the financial system, others as a new toy, appealing only to bitcoin and the legitimacy crisis of money technologically savvy. Say what you will, but so far, Bitcoin is a technological success. Minor glitches aside, the developer community that originally rallied to launch this project forward turned an immature, yet mind-opening computer protocol into a functioning monetary system, operated and used worldwide.
It took incredible creativity and innovation to combine knowledge in software engineering and cryptography with a bitcoin and the legitimacy crisis of money political sense, game theory with international diplomacy and computer networking with coalition forming and mass persuasion. Bitcoina decentralized monetary system, aims to be the new money for the Internet arena, eliminating lack of trust and reducing risks to the monetary system that are brought on by human involvement and decision making.
But even Bitcoin is a machine that is programmed by mere humans. Under the hood, politics can still be divisive when developers disagree on important code changes. The reward is, of course, proving the other side wrong, and saving the day for millions of users. Oh, and those B itcoins in your pocket, too. So how can such integral decisions be made in this new challenging environment containing so many different players? Until the end ofBitcoin had a single voice: By the end ofNakamoto disappeared, leaving a large vacuum in leadership.
Since then, the Bitcoin community has been left with flesh and blood developers whose legitimacy is tested with every decision they make. The debate bitcoin and the legitimacy crisis of money exacerbated by the huge financial stakes for participants and by a trust-no-one mentality — ironically, the same mentality that brought forth the need for the Bitcoin system.
Unlike other software projects, a small tweak in code will affect the entire ecosystem. The technological bets he took have propelled the once-hobbyist operating system into billions of smartphones and millions of servers. With a clear vision of scaling the project, Torvalds stepped in countless times, accepting or rejecting changes.
As the original inventor, never bowing to political correctness, his authority was unchallenged. To handle the growing number of Linux types and the difficulty of managing them, Torvalds created Git, a decentralized repository of code, allowing people to interact and share code easily.
Bitcoin and Git have a main similarity, as they both deal with getting to a consensus: Git has changed the politics of code development. You no longer need to beg for a central authority like Torvalds to accept your code change.
Every code change is essentially a little fork, but merges became much easier. With changes moving around freely, developers compete on the merits and usefulness of their version. How does a piece of code get merit?
The authority behind an official version still underlines a struggle of power, but more voices can be heard, and forks are less dramatic. In practice, Bitcoin rules are set in the code of the official version. Subtle differences between implementations can lead to several competing versions of the Bitcoin ledger, the main database of all Bitcoin transactions. They have this unwritten contract with the Bitcoin community: These are commonly known as Alt-coins and do not enjoy the same popularity bitcoin and the legitimacy crisis of money Bitcoin.
Another possible solution is being promoted by the team at Blockstream. The VC-funded company pushes for experiments to happen within the Bitcoin currency, but not as part of the main system. This introduces flexibility, allowing the core developers to innovate without compromising the currency. Opponents see it as a backdoor to coerce the Bitcoin protocol in a more government-friendly direction, taming the beast.
Much like Git, these experiments, known as side-chains, separate the human consensus debate of what should be the authorized version from the underlying code-change mechanism. Meanwhile, they keep the one consensus that seems to unite Bitcoiners: Keep Bitcoin alive and strong! Previous attempts by the community have been extremely problematic, at best. VC-funded companies could play a larger role, bitcoin and the legitimacy crisis of money most would rather pretend that Bitcoin will be maintained by others.
Companies that step up to the job will have their work cut out for them, proving their value to the community while being deemed agenda-free.
Can we really create a human-free consensus? Nakamoto left us with an experiment. Strong leadership does in fact help forge consensus.
Voor wat beteft: waarom iets verhuren als ik zelf geld erop kan zetten en laten draaien. By not trading with emotions, we can instead make money from overreactions in the crypto market. I think this could have a significant effect on prices.
This book is intended to introduce readers to the major geometrical topics taught at undergraduate level, in a manner that is both accessible and rigorous.