The New Freedom: Bitcoin, Blockchainiacs, and the Alternate Universe
Bitcoin is marching toward $8,000. It could plunge tomorrow. But if anyone is willing to bet on a permanent derailment, they may be missing the golden ideology fueling the boom. Bitcoiners and their millennial brethren want a revolution, and they’re willing to put their fiat where their convictions are. To disavow Bitcoin is to let the JPMorgans of the world win. It would be a complete capitulation to traditionalist views that egregiously support wealth accumulation for billionaires with a side of corporate control and centralization.
In the alternate universe, the blockchain devours banks and credit cards, and smashes the concept of authoritarian ownership of people via workdays, cubicles, and 6-month reviews.
In the alternate universe, new types of groups form where peers (aka strangers) experience the benefit of smart contracts and transactions that reduce the amount of time it takes to build trust. If trust can become more instantaneous, the corporation will cease to be the primary organizer for trusted alliances, and society can start burping up the indigestion of work-related stress and unendurable commutes. It can cleanse and reinvent itself.
The concept of Bitcoin and the blockchain pairs perfectly with the concept of the gig economy, where bosses who dictate every square inch of your day are as revolting as prison guards. Younger Americans are reinventing freedom. It’s not enough to shout “Down with the banks! No more credit card debt!” The reinvention is about one’s personal time and space.
- Since 2000, 1099s have gone up 22%, while the traditional W-2 forms have stagnated.
- Between 2003 and 2013, all industry sectors experienced growth in non-employer businesses.
- 24% of Americans report earning money from the digital ‘platform economy’ in the past year.
- Nearly one-in-ten Americans (8%) have earned money in the last year using digital platforms to take on a job or task.
- Nearly one-in-five Americans (18%) have earned money in the last year by selling something online.
- 68% of Americans feel that these jobs are good options for people who want a flexible work schedule.
- 54% of older adults don’t want to work full time any more.
- 23% of those who utilize digital “gig” platforms for work are students.
- 26% of gig platform users consider themselves to be employees of the services they use to find work.
- The number one motivation, cited by 42% of respondents, was fun, or because the work gives them something to do in their spare time.