Columns, Opinion

Modern Toolbox: Crypto is a silent protest

Within the span of three months, Bitcoin’s value rose two times in worth, and the Ethereum price grew almost three times. At this rate, cryptocurrency is embarrassing other investments.

Now, to be entirely transparent, I have a crypto portfolio. I’ve enjoyed watching the gains, but overall, I’m somewhat indifferent to the 2020-2021 bull run.

In almost any crypto investment community online, you’ll find a horde of people clamouring, saying something like, “[X cryptocurrency] to the moon!” or “[Y crypto] to 100k?” While I wouldn’t be against my portfolio growing in value, these people are missing the point entirely.

Crypto isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Crypto isn’t most people’s ticket to millions. It could be, but it isn’t.

Crypto represents a power shift.

Jaeyoung Choi

If crypto continues to grow, it won’t just be our financial system that changes — the foundation of society will change. The entire world, as it stands, is built on centralization.

While shifts to centralization in political and societal organization may have pushed humanity to our current level of societal development, it’s difficult to look at the financial system’s inequality, governments’ irresponsible regulation practices and hedge funds’ influence over the markets and say that our current system works.

Crypto is a silent protest against the status quo.

A financial system that excludes people and exacerbates inequality was never going to be viable in the long term. We were eventually going to wake up to the circus that those in power have created.

Current cryptocurrencies may not even be the currencies of the future. They could just be the catalyst to a bigger financial revolution. In a couple decades, people could look back at Bitcoin and see our equivalent of dial-up internet — antiquated and laughable.

What’s important, however, is that crypto today is the beginning of a societal recognition and protestation against the decades of banking and financial industries’ exploitation of the poor, such as through state lotteries and payday gambling. Crypto tells us, “You don’t have to live that way anymore.”

What are the alternative methods of value storage?

When you ignore Bitcoin, Ethereum and every other crypto, you’re mostly left with stocks, gold, real estate, U.S. Treasury bonds, derivatives and savings accounts.

Alexia Nizhny/DFP STAFF

Stocks are a market dominated by the rich, gold is the value storage equivalent of a fax machine, real estate is almost exclusively for those who can handle the upfront cost — in other words, the rich — derivatives highlight the inadequacies of the current system and savings accounts give you breadcrumbs in interest payouts.

Do you really want to put your money in those?

My final point is one I’ve explored in a couple of my articles: The near-absolute control that a government can wield over your value isn’t a good thing.

Sure, you can make the argument the U.S. government is exceptional and has done well with managing the dollar — if you ignore the Great Depression and the Great Recession or former Presidents Ronald Reagan’s and George W. Bush’s administrations.

Ignore all of this history and you can make that argument.

The fact of the matter is that middlemen in between you and a currency should not exist. Crypto has proposed the first real solution that would effectively cut out the government — the middleman, in this case — with un-abusable code.

Do you want to trust a man? Or would you rather trust a rock-solid computer program?

If you want change in society, protesting in the streets can have some effect. But the global movement to decentralize our finances and take back our economic power will be the most powerful legacy of our generation.





2 Comments

  1. Sungbin Jang

    wow this was such a great read

  2. Ryan Logan

    Pretty based if I do say so myself

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