Two things are undeniable: We are living in times of massive change, and Bitcoin is a part of it.
We are living in times of massive change, a “fourth turning.” The book “The Fourth Turning” by Strauss and Howe covers centuries of history and shows that demographics and other factors lead to massive change in societies every 100 years or so.
Generations change distinctly: the ’60s were different from the ’50s and the ’80s. But a fourth turning is a different level of change. If history is any indication, in this fourth turning we will see changes in maps, society, religion, belief systems and we may see the very nature of economics and money itself change.
Bitcoin came into the world at the right time. Any earlier, and Bitcoin could not have practically been used due to internet usage rates. It is interesting that Bitcoin is here just as the global economy faces such massive change to the old-school fiat system that has been running for the last half century and driving our world into the ground. The old fiat system is unsustainable. Bitcoin presents the ultimate hedge against the failed monetary policies of central banks.
It’s key to remember that central banks don’t just devalue the money of citizens, their very existence causes some of the greatest evils that we see in modern society. In a world of sound money, people would value their hard-earned coins more. People would also have custody and control over their own money. If politicians had to convince people to voluntarily pay for wars, for-profit prisons, and heavy regulations. citizens would exercise much more scrutiny over where their money is spent.
Whether you believe the narrative of bitcoin as better money or not doesn’t matter. It would be hard to deny that we are in a fourth turning right now. The last year and a half has seen some of the most dramatic change that people have seen in the last 50 years or more. So, there is no question that we are in times of massive change. The only question is what role Bitcoin will play in this.
Bitcoin has been around for 12 years now and has created wealth and built an entire industry around itself. Bitcoin is now held by tens of millions of people and has become a global phenomenon. Bitcoin is on the radar of everyone in the world, from the poorest to the richest, from the vaunted halls of power to the streetside corner store.
We will never know how Bitcoin would’ve done without the extraordinary economic events of the last several years. The massive spending which began more than 20 years ago and started reaching unsustainable levels around 2008 with government bailouts has been thought to be unsustainable by many for several years. This last year we have seen more money printing than what we’ve seen ever before in history.
This massive money printing increases Bitcoin’s appeal. Bitcoin is a more major part of the global financial system than most realize. This is not reflected in the market capitalization right now. Bitcoin is still smaller than Apple, but its impact, importance and its message is much greater. We have a country adopting bitcoin as legal tender. We see major banks and brokerages offering bitcoin exposure and bitcoin-related products. We have an entire industry with varying degrees of quality which has cropped up around and adjacent to Bitcoin.
When you think about Bitcoin relative to the current world and the backdrop of the weaknesses in the central banking system, it’s not so lofty to say that Bitcoin just might save humanity. Remember that the problem with central banking only begins at the debasement of the money of the people. The true problem is that it centralizes power and creates these massive money honeypots which contractors vie for. The Afghanistan war alone cost taxpayers — specifically children who will be paying this debt for years — $2 trillion. The most effective way for government contractors to receive handouts in the deca-billion range is to promote fear. So, now we have companies that have a vested interest in promoting fear so that taxpayers will support giving their own money back to those companies. This is the end of an empire with broken thinking — it leads to death and it’s evil. And Bitcoin fixes this.
There is so much broken in the current system that it is very difficult to fight. An alternative way to fight is through peaceful use of another form of money. If you deny the politicians their money, then you deny the tyrants their money. Money of the people is more peaceful. Money of the people is free of coercion. It’s voluntary. It can be one of the most meaningful revolutions the world has ever seen without anyone needing to fire a shot.
The good news is that we have Bitcoin. The good news is that we can see light at the end of the tunnel. We can starve the beast of war and aggression which is fueled by fake fiat money printing processes. We can build a society based on voluntary exchange of trade and with the foundation of solid, sound money. The kind of money people measure wealth in. Like gold of centuries past. Sound money inspires savings, it inspires wise investment, it inspires people to avoid risks and it fosters innovation.
Some fourth turnings see even more significant epoch shifts in the world, such as the creation of the printing press. The technological revolution that we are in right now and that Bitcoin is a central part of will see our global economic system and monetary systems radically change.
Overall, this change will be for the better. Just as we saw a separation of church and state centuries ago, we can see a just separation of money and state today. People using voluntary decentralized money would be a freer people and centralized powers will have their significance reduced.
The old saying “money is the root of all evil” is wrong. Indeed, this is an easy mistake to make — for money and economics has been at the center of much of our world struggle. Great evils such as slavery, wars and great things like trading routes, art, languages and culture have all been influenced by money. Money has been one of the most crucial tools for the growth of humanity. Money is a way for people to share value based on goods and services provided to them.
We cannot only reduce the power of tyrants and evil, we can increase the power of the people with sound money. Fix the money, fix the world.
This is a guest post by Bruce Fenton. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.