ONE COIN TO RULE THEM ALL
MONOLOGUE WRITTEN BY CLYDE LEWIS
As I reported on Black Friday, today is Cyber Monday, the day that shoppers go online and create a 6.6 billion dollar boon to the economy. That is of course what has been projected by the economists who pay attention to profits during the Christmas buying season.
Cyber Monday was first created in 2005 as shoppers that no longer wanted to rush home with their treasures but decided to stay in and buy online. Online buying has seen nearly a 17 % growth from last year and it showing no signs of stopping. This year though there is another buzz that is going viral on Cyber Monday and that is the unbelievable surge in the value of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin has its sights set on being worth $10,000 a coin, an almost insane happening for a currency most people in the world don’t even use or know about. Of course, that’s one issue among many with Bitcoin. The latest pop in price comes just eight days after Bitcoin topped the $8,000 barrier and only one day after breaking the $9,000 mark.
Bitcoin value has jumped a whopping 870% this year. It trades at 7.5 times the price of gold. What is most peculiar is that gold is something that you can hold in your hand. Bitcoin, however, isn’t.
Back in 2014, I was introduced to Bitcoin and I did a show about it. At the time I had no idea that this cryptocurrency would take off as it has. In fact I went back and opened up my Blockchain wallet because I knew I had a tiny amount of Bitcoin in my account.
I checked it today and noticed that with .107 in Bitcoin in my wallet – it was worth $1025.00. I checked again an hour later and it grew by $7.00.
I was amazed by this and thought how is it that something like this has grown so fast and what does it mean to people who probably don’t know what may be going on behind the scenes with cryptocurrencies.
What I found was chilling, if not historically worthy of being a very important discussion for Ground Zero.
The reason is simple – we may be seeing the beginnings of what can be seen as a financial singularity where cryptocurrencies, or a subset of them, become a better store of value than fiat currencies.
There are others that argue that a form of singularity is already here and that it lies in the “Blockchain” or crypto ledger that continues to grow. Blockchains use what’s known as distributed ledger technology. They are now are appearing in a variety of commercial applications today. Currently, the technology is primarily used to verify transactions, within digital currencies though it is possible to digitize code and insert practically any document into the Blockchain. Doing so creates an indelible record that cannot be changed; furthermore, the record’s authenticity can be verified by the entire community using the Blockchain instead of a single centralized authority.
When cryptocurrencies become a better store of value, significant money will flow into cryptocurrencies, increasing the supply of fiat currencies.
This of course makes the Blockchain grow.
It also creates another cycle, and the need to pay attention to this because it will eventually affect everyone.
When we start to see sufficient fiat currencies given up for cryptocurrencies, Fiat currency value will drop due to inflation, prompting even more people to convert their money into cryptocurrencies.
This sets the stage for what people fear to be the cashless society but there is more to this picture where we may be contributing to the so-called, singularity of Artificial Intelligence.
In his book, The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, futurist Ray Kurzweil describes the Singularity as:
“A future period during which the pace of technological change will be so rapid, its impact so deep, that human life will be irreversibly transformed. Although neither utopian nor dystopian, this epoch will transform the concepts that we rely on to give meaning to our lives, from our business models to the cycle of human life, including death itself.”
Many people think the Singularity begins at the moment when machines become smarter than humans. Elon Musk has warned that Artificial Intelligence is “a fundamental risk to the existence of human civilization.”
Elon Musk has once again warned about the dangers of unchecked artificial intelligence, this time in response to a viral video of a robot doing amazing acrobatic feats.
Twitter user Alex Medina, a designer for Vox Media, posted a clip of a Boston Dynamics humanoid robot called Atlas doing a backflip with the short caption: “we are dead.”
In reply, Musk wrote, “This is nothing. In a few years, that bot will move so fast you’ll need a strobe light to see it. Sweet dreams.”
Well, we all know the robots are coming – we all know that they will eventually gain intelligence.
But are we looking in the wrong place for the singularity to happen?
Bitcoin and Blockchain are revolutionary technologies, and not really being talked about by the ideologues that are warning us about hyper intelligent A.I.; in fact, it may be an indication that Artificial Intelligence has figured out what humans like; namely, money and it is using to grow the Blockchain and evolve.
It is thinking – and is on its way to becoming aware of what it is doing.
The Blockchain is now leaning that it can pay humans to sustain itself and to help it grow and evolve. The Blockchain has provided its human counterparts with a trust platform. This platform has been agreed upon as having value—so much value in fact, that it has a representation called a cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is only one of many and is now more valuable than gold. Humans are now collaborating with this platform and are agreeing on things they could not before.
It is no longer possible for humans to destroy the Blockchain, because the Blockchain is useful to humans and it incentivizes humans to keep nurturing it and agreeing it has value.
The Blockchain can’t be destroyed because it has no owner.
The Blockchain cannot destroy humans. The Blockchain works with humans and lives in symbiosis with humans.
It needs us, we need it, it feeds us we feed it – and this is how it grows.
The only other computer program that has been able to duplicate itself as effectively as the Blockchain are computer viruses. Now we know that computer viruses are not considered a life form.
But the Blockchain is not a virus.
The Blockchain is growing and thinking and using humans to grow and it being rewarded for growing – it decides to reward those that help it grow.
Many humans support the Blockchain and help sustain it, but no one of them can control it. If the builders of the Blockchain seek to destroy their creation, the Blockchain will just fork off into many branches and grow elsewhere.
So while we are in this frame of mind can we assume for a moment that the Blockchain is alive only because it has learned to sustain itself through a form of symbiosis with another life form?
It is always working – it is working now.
It consumes energy and produces value or money to be consumed by another life form. It has internal systems running 24/7 like any other living organism.
It is evolving.
Bitcoin, which is not a physical entity or organization, is a deregulated currency that wants to create a new world order in the financial system. It enables a peer-to-peer transaction, where no bank exists in the exchange of goods and digital currency.
Bitcoin is a database of information, which is completely non-perishable. Bitcoin doesn’t need to reproduce in order to persist. Nor does it need to reproduce to evolve.
While Bitcoin gains nothing by reproducing, it has spawned altcoins: modified clones of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is useful for all the same reasons that any currency is useful: it is a medium of exchange. The advantage of being decentralized is that you do not have to rely on a third party for security. Thus, Bitcoin is more useful than digital dollars for the same reason that digital dollars are more useful than paper dollars, or paper dollars are more useful than gold: it is just easier to pay people with them. No banks means less headaches, in the same way that no gold means there is a lot less weight you have to lug around. Bitcoin is thus a better answer to a problem humanity has been slowly solving for millennia: how do we remove barriers to payment?
There are other advantages to Bitcoin too, besides being more convenient. The fact that no central party controls the supply means no central party can inflate it to redistribute wealth in their favor. No one can debase Bitcoin to pay for a war.
This means that as cryptocurrency grows, it will become smarter and provide tempting incentives to keep the Artificial Intelligence that operates it growing and evolving.
It is certain then that the economy is going to change very dramatically in a matter of maybe a few years if not sooner.
You are likely to be doing a significant amount, if not all, of your economic activity in Bitcoin or in another cryptocurrency very soon. The change will be as dramatic as, say, computing or the internet, except that it will happen much faster.
This would mean that the marketplace would be replaced by the Blockchain.
This Blockchain would be a record of everything we buy sell and trade.
Like it or not, personal cash will soon be a dinosaur and your smart phones and your credit cards will be the preferred transactional utility and the gradual conditioning of people to use these in lieu of cash will be the mortar for the foundation for the new age of economic totalitarianism that confronts us.
Taking away cash is just one more way to take away privacy. It is a move for the Surveillance State. Cash is anonymous. Having your transactions tracked with no cash exchanges is going to be yet another affront to our personal freedoms.
However, it is inevitable and people will prefer that this happens because it would be financially beneficial to eliminate cash and the incentives would have a great deal of worth in the future.
This currency will be favored by companies and shoppers because it will be more convenient than today’s national currencies, which by then will seem a quaint cause of much disruption to economic life in the not too distant future.
It’s certainly not hard for anyone to see now the world’s currencies are, crashing all around us, and so it won’t be long for the government to make a deal with a future digital World Bank to create a more accepted and secure relationship between people and the Blockchain.
Bitcoin is simply cash for the internet. It does not have any intrinsic value of its own and is not backed by a government. It is technocratic, predictable, scientific, non-reversible, mathematical currency, traded via a decentralized trust network of payments, and using distributed “proof of work” report, stored in the “Blockchain.”
Bitcoin may be the beginning of a new socio-economic system unlike anything we’ve seen so far – one that we can’t possibly imagine with our limited understanding of it, or, it could simply be the end of the current system resulting in chaos and anarchy.
By now it should be clear that, after Bitcoin, the world will never be the same. But, similarly it feeds a rising opinion that the Artificial Intelligence it fuels may have reached Singularity. It is hard to foresee whether Bitcoin will be good/bad or the end/the beginning of civilization.
The reality is proof that the devil is in the details and right now we simply don’t know what this devil will do; we can’t know. That is why it is a Singularity.