Technology has accelerated us into a future that looked very different from even one decade ago. Most significantly, the internet itself has changed almost every aspect of how we live our lives. For the better and for the worse, depending on how you look at it.
What the internet did for us was provide a better, faster, interactive medium for communications and information. We solved many problems with it. Have a question? Google it. Want to buy something and get it delivered in a day? Amazon. What is everyone up to? Facebook/Instagram. Even just looking back at the last decade (yes, it’s almost 2020!), our lives have been simplified and made more convenient in some way thanks to the internet.
Although we have solved many problems with the internet, we created some new problems for ourselves. Vast amounts of our data is trusted with companies that cannot be trusted with it: Facebook, Equifax and Yahoo to name a few. The internet made it easier to prey on and exploit vulnerable people: Romance scams, identity theft, extortions, etc.
The internet did not create inherently good and bad uses for itself. We did.
The point I’m trying to get across here is that the internet in itself is a tool. It can be used for good and for bad. Just like how a simple tool like a hammer could be used to construct a beautiful home, or be used to utter threats at people. The same can be said about the blockchain (or Bitcoin as a prime example of a blockchain). It’s a tool that provides an accurate, transparent, uncensored record of its state at any given time since its inception. Whether you use it as a store of value because your government has hyper-inflated (stole the value of) your currency or you used it to pay the hacker who installed ransomware on your computer — it’s not the fault of Bitcoin, just as these problems are still not the fault of the internet’s existence. I hear too many people discredit Bitcoin specifically because of its media portrayal as the “currency of the dark web and criminals.”
I’ll help you debunk this myth of what many people consider to be an “anonymous/pseudonymous” currency. Bitcoin is by far, one of the most transparent, traceable currencies on Earth. If you are planning on using Bitcoin for nefarious purposes, you are leaving digital footprints of your transactions for anyone to audit. Especially, if there are links to known addresses associated with criminal activity. These digital footprints are trails that are engrained forever (well, so long as Bitcoin is still around) into the blockchain. Just add some analysis to it and it’s been good enough to catch the infamous Silk Road’s founder Ross Ulbricht and take down the largest child exploitation ring on the dark web. I’ll also note that US dollar bills probably have more traces to cocaine (Pablo Escobar) and traces OF cocaine (quite literally) on it then whatever was sold on the Silk Road with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin doesn’t choose what transactions to process and what to omit. It doesn’t care if you’re sending money to grandma or to the admin of a dark web site. Bitcoin and blockchain, is for everyone. Just like the internet… unless you’re China.