Bitcoin was born from the ashes of the 2008 financial crisis. Its pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, made this clear by coding the headline from a well-known UK newspaper into the first Bitcoin block (known as the Genesis block) ever created. The headline read, ‘Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks’. For Bitcoin users like us, this serves as a stark reminder of the chaos that can occur when too much power is placed in the hands of centralised, unaccountable authorities. Excitingly, it also reminds us that holding and buying bitcoin is the most powerful yet peaceful way to bring about a better financial future.
The catalyst for change
More than a decade has passed and the world faces the threat of an even deeper recession.The coronavirus lockdown has resulted in near-total economic shutdown. As a result the world’s central banks are engaged in record levels of money printing, creating trillions of dollars from thin air to artificially prop up what is already a fragile system. The argument for printing money makes sense to many; currently, it serves as life support from total economic failure.
But this comes at a cost. The actions today are perpetuating problems for future generations, burdening them with the largest peacetime public debt ever seen. Closer to home (or the wallet), everyone will feel the impact of even greater inflation (more money in supply), with the spending power of our hard earned money dwindling faster than ever before.
The hard truth – whether you choose to believe it or not – is this irresponsible system of money, corrupted control, debt and, value erosion, will stop when people lose trust in it. If you want proof this can happen, look through history (Zimbabwe, Germany, Venezuela). Diving deeper into each example, you will also notice that failing money systems have a direct correlation with failing governments. Sound familiar? The question is, will you be in a position of strength or weakness when the buck finally stops?
Protect yourself from the mania
Bitcoin is the only way to insulate yourself from this broken financial system. Unlike traditional money which can be printed ad infinitum, there is a fixed and finite supply of 21 million bitcoins, so it’s impossible for anyone to manipulate its supply. Over 18 million bitcoins are already in existence and we know the fixed release schedule and supply amount of the remaining coins, which are spread out to be released until 2140. They are also not cheap to ‘print’. In fact, they are incredibly energy intensive to create and represent a lot of stored value.
The way Bitcoin was designed makes it the perfect hedge against the current system because it is rare, finite and unable to be controlled or manipulated centrally. As such, holders are encouraged to save it responsibly rather than spend it as demand grows and it becomes scarcer. However, if you do wish to spend it, you can do so unencumbered by bank rules, government regimes or other imposed restrictions present within the current financial system. Most excitingly of all, this revolution is open to anyone: all you need to take part in the Bitcoin economy is a basic smartphone.
As good as gold
We can look at how the price of Bitcoin has reacted during the ongoing crisis and compare it to a recognised, age-old safe haven asset: gold. As the pandemic broke, the price of gold became very volatile for a couple of months and has been slowly increasing in value, proving its safe haven status. It is worth noting that it has become much harder to purchase physical gold due to stockpiles depleting, retail closures and mints closing.
Bitcoins availability during this crisis has not been affected; it was and continues to be available 24/7, 365 days a year. As with gold, Bitcoin’s price experienced volatility for a couple of months and then began rising again and is back at pre-crisis prices. That’s pretty spectacular for an asset that’s rarely mentioned as a safe haven.
Since March, two things have become clear: our fragile financial system is buckling under the strain of new challenges, yet Bitcoin has proven the resilience and operating stability needed to protect those invested in it against chaos. Today, even people once opposed to the idea of Bitcoin are becoming more attracted to it, as its fundamentals get stronger and stronger. Bitcoin’s time has come: no longer is it a wild card, traded among a small band of technological idealists. As finance’s ancient regime passes into history, Bitcoin will define the world’s next era of money. Now is your time to get involved.