In an episode of the Tom Woods Show, Bitcoin core developer and chief technology officer of digital wallet Casa Jameson Lopp explains his overall interest in Bitcoin from a societal perspective.
If one believes that all of the current monetary systems in place right now, regardless of government or organization, are man-made, one can conclude that Bitcoin is just another system – a newer and better invention.
Lopp outlines what he sees as its core advantages.
“While Bitcoin never has and never will have any sort of fiscal policy to try to maintain a specific value, we do know that the emission schedule of Bitcoin is set, and is practically impossible for that to ever be changed. It’s technically possible, but the likelihood of that consensus to change it is basically zero. And so I figured to myself, well, at the very least, it sounds like an interesting hedge to keep some small portion of my portfolio in Bitcoin because it’s just a little bit more trustworthy than these other systems that are controlled by people pulling levers willy-nilly on a whim.”
Lopp adds that there are many different reasons why Bitcoin may be valuable to someone, and that the value he sees in Bitcoin may not apply to other people. But BTC and cryptography at large change the balance of power for everyone.
“When we use the term ‘asymmetric warfare’ in the context of the digital age and cryptography, this is basically what we’re talking about: the ability to defend your digital life at a very low cost to yourself and to be confident that you are secure because you know mathematically that the cost for someone to attack you would be thousands or millions of times greater than the cost that you have spent defending yourself. And that is when the game really starts to change.”
Deep beneath the system, the status quo often reveals ways in which Bitcoin can create improvements, particularly when trusted third parties are banks, financial institutions and governments.
A quick Google search for “corrupt government” returns 23.9 million results with top news stories from major media outlets implicating figures at the highest levels of the US government.
A search for “money laundering” returned 16.8 million results with the lead story revealing that an ex-Morgan Stanley banker has been jailed over Greek money laundering.
In addition to removing reliance on highly corruptible third parties, Lopp says the original use case for Bitcoin as a censorship-resistant tool was proven on the internet with the dark web.
“This was the first truly free market on the internet where people could buy or sell gray market or black market goods, and there was no way for any payment processor or other authority to freeze or reverse those payments.”
In the grand scheme of things, Lopp breaks down the problem that Bitcoin is trying to solve.
“In the white paper, Satoshi [the anonymous creator of Bitcoin] specifically said that the problem is that current systems require a level of trust in third parties to essentially help you intermediate payment across distances. So whenever you’re requiring some third party to intermediate the exchange of value or the exchange of data, or really the exchange of almost anything, that third party they may be trustworthy now and they may be trustworthy for a long time but they can arbitrarily decide to start screwing around with you and make your life much more difficult.
We’ve seen plenty examples of that. Just in the past few years, we’re starting to see more and more examples of de-platforming or examples of various payments processors and banks refusing certain people to be able to use their platforms because they’re doing something politically incorrect or gray market area. Not necessarily even illegal, but just something that company doesn’t want associated with them.
And so, if we want to be able to have truly sound money and to be able to economically interact freely, then we can’t have even the slightest ability for some random third party even to say ‘no’. And that’s essentially what Bitcoin does. It creates a system where you follow the rules of the system, and you don’t have to follow arbitrary rules that are set by any other third party because you are then transacting directly with whoever else you want to on the system.”