In this week’s “Penning Down The Thoughts” series, Jimmie is taking the Pen team (and the readers), through anecdotes of how the blockchain, cryptocurrencies specifically bitcoin has opened a new world for the masses of the global population. A group of people who didn’t have access or escape for that matter before the emergence of the blockchain. Read on and understand what it all means.
Financial freedom for everyone is just around the corner. The world's most populous network is adopting Bitcoin, which is the Internet. The world's largest economy is adopting Bitcoin, the internet. The world's biggest communication network is adopting Bitcoin, again the Internet. We have transcended borders.
Awarded-winning journalist Laura Shin told once a story about women bloggers in Afghanistan being paid in Bitcoin. One of the women had an abusive husband and saved up her Bitcoins and eventually was able to divorce him because she was able to control her money when she earned the Bitcoins.
In the early stages of the Internet, we were told that it was only for criminals, pedophiles, and scammers, but it turned out years later to be a lot more. Because of the Internet, third countries can connect and get information from around the world and by that get the opportunity to build businesses and a better life for themselves. The new generation is living on the internet, and blockchain and Web3 will push this trend even faster.
In the early stages of bitcoin and blockchain, there was an anarchist movement that drove the use, and we saw some shady business going on. It was either drugs, pornography, arms sales, or money laundering. The Silk Road was a black market, on the dark web where the buyers and sellers used Bitcoins to fly under the radar of the authorities. It had one million users until the FBI showed up and shut it down. They caught the guy running it and confiscated the coins held in escrow by snatching his computer. And then they locked him away for life. case closed. Crimes and shady business will always de where there is money. But blockchain technology shoves that it’s a lot harder to hide and get away with criminal activities because of the protocols and the transparency of the ledgers and all the transactions. Today Chainalysis is an American blockchain analysis firm headquartered in New York City. The company was co-founded by Michael Gronager and Jonathan Levin in 2014. It sells software that aids its customers in blockchain analysis and has sent out its annual report showing that today criminal activities on the blockchain are less than 1 % of all transactions showing that all the innovative and legal regulations that have been built and brawled into the crypto ecosystem are working and making it a sustainable system for the word to use in the future.
No doubt crypto-assets and cryptocurrencies can be a tool for criminal activity. But so are dollar bills or the banking system. And let's not forget the blockchain is a public ledger. It's useful for uncovering crimes. A former federal prosecutor named Kathryn Haun was the one who discovered that there were a couple of federal agents that were pilfering the Bitcoins that the Government had obtained from the Silk Road case for their gain.
And what was interesting was she got a tip that there might be one agent that was doing this. But from looking at the movements on the blockchain itself, she realized that there were two people. The prosecutor could see those Bitcoins being moved. And when the dirty cops tried to sell them for dollars, they got busted.
About 2 billion don´t have access to banking, just because they don’t have an ID, whit this new technology, the only thing they need is a smartphone and they have access to banking. blockchain (DeFi) banking.
But if Bitcoin is this uncontrollable, non-censorable technology. Can the blockchain also enable global free speech?
In some places, it already does. One Chinese student tried to report a sexual assault and was silenced by her college. But she knew that she could attach a message to the metadata of an Ethereum transaction. So she spent 15 cents and now her letter outlining her story and the threats she received is on the public Ethereum blockchain where it will remain unchangeable forever.
We also see blockchain and crypto assets being used to donate and send money to countries that are under restriction, or in any way cut off from the traditional banking and financial network because of war, sanctions, dictatorship etc.
NGOs around the world spend millions on just handling and sending money to different projects in the world. There are definitely opportunities in blockchain technology to optimize this process and get more value for the donations they get.
Wikipedia also got donations and payments in bitcoin years ago, to obtain operation under the whistleblower case. Another thing you can use text data in your transaction is to document that you are the true owner of the wallet and the assets held in it. Something many still are waiting for Craig Wright to do and prof he is Satoshi Nakamoto. I will get back to Craig Wright, he is dividing the space.
“Penning down the thoughts” is a series compiled by the CEO and Co-Founder of Penning, Jimmie Hansen Steinbeck. A compilation of his vast experience, knowledge, failures, successes, know-how & ideas. Jimmie has spent the last decade (almost since the birth of bitcoin), working in the crypto, blockchain (also known as Web3) space, as an investor, entrepreneur, and expert advisor to numerous crypto companies.