The world is doomed. Thanks, Bitcoin.
To a person who’s life’s work was advocating and working for a system that served his purpose very well, it is understandable that 87 year old Warren Buffet senses Bitcoin being as existential a threat to him as ‘rat poison’, squared even. It will, naturally, all come to a Bad Ending.
And Bitcoin is, of course irrelevant, according to Jamie Dimon CEO of JP Morgan bank. He couldn’t care a less about it. He won’t talk about it ever again. He made sure people knew how irrelevant it was, and warned that ‘stupid Bitcoiners’ would eventually become unstuck, several times over the course of the year. Meanwhile clients of JP Morgan using its trading pipelines were among the most voluminous traders in Bitcoin markets, furthermore, JP Morgan was happily overcharging clients making crypto purchases. And in 2017 the crypto markets achieved a higher market capitalisation than JP Morgan itself. Then Dimon considered that staying quiet about the whole thing would be a good idea. Soon enough he will become even quieter.
Yep. Soon these fogeys and their ageing contemporaries around the globe, copy-pasting the same reactive rhetoric – death rattles of an old world – will all be very silent. Dead, buried and irrelevant. The rising innovators of today already smile at now-stale tweets and snippets from these old-time financiers archived on Wikipedia.
Disintermediated systems like Bitcoin, Ethereum Smart Contracts and other cryptocurrencies take the middlemen that Buffet and Dimon represent out of the picture. Complex systems and other middlemen will emerge as a new and more distributed system takes hold. As we approach the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin’s debut, it can be seen that decentralised and disintermediated systems work even better than their originators expected them to. Pandora’s box has been open for a while then…
What does this mean?
Crypto-based disintermediation for money systems has another consequence; no longer do governments and their reserve banks have a monopoly over the issuance of currency, or a value-exchange medium. With blockchain and other related technologies, that privilege is now extended to anyone. The Internet disintermediated the exchange of information. Whole new classes of middlemen emerged; What are the crypto-based Amazons, Ebays and Ali Express – the Skypes, WhatsApps, Facebooks and Snapchats of crypto? What about the Apples, Ubers and Googles?
Because they are coming.
Bitcoin and its children are doing the exact same thing with value as what the Internet did with information. Just like the Internet is disrupting and eating traditional businesses by allowing decentralised information exchange and data transfer, crypto will also disrupt, because it allows decentralised value exchange and wealth storage.
Here’s a thought: If every productive generation, or even every subculture that wants to do it, can decide to build and preserve its own system of wealth, what would that world look like? This concept of a disintermediated system, on which Bitcoin is based to maintain its own distributed ledger, threatens even Bitcoin itself.
One day even Bitcoin and its contemporary cryptos will be ‘grandpa’s coin’.
Pity the Buffets and Dimons of this world. They have no inkling of the magnitude of this change. The world they knew is walking dead now. Of course, persistent ghosts like them will still wander and moan, at least for a short while.
As for the rest of us - we’ll still be around when the new world emerges and – for better or worse – it’s coming fast.