Special Report: Bitcoin Legal Tender in El Salvador as of September 7, 2021
September 7th marks the historic start of Bitcoin as legal tender in the tiny Central American country of El Salvador. It is also the official reveal date for ECI’s newest, highly anticipated venture!
Bitcoin in El Salvador
The smartest people in the world (yes, I’m generalizing) do not work for moribund ruling cabals who survive by bullying and manipulating human flocks. The smartest people in the world work in crypto, where they are building a path of escape from Bronze Age rulership. And if you’re tempted to think that sounds overly dramatic or doctrinaire, please attend a few crypto conferences and see if you change your mind.
Those of us of the escape artist mindset have long been eager to separate from the abuse of the old world, but in general we dared not imagine something better: All such efforts have proven to be either scams or hopeful far beyond reason. And so treating Bitcoin as more of the same was the routine thing to do. As it turns out, however, this one isn’t going away, and it’s slowly overflowing the world.
Given our history, the cynical response is to trust nothing and crawl into our shells, but what if this one really does have legs? What if it really will build a better world? My goal today is to convince you that this may be true; that it should be considered as a real possibility, and not tossed away because we’ve been hurt in the past.
How Many Years, How Much Hostility Are Required?
How much blind suspicion does something new have to endure before continued suspicion becomes ridiculous?
At this point, Bitcoin has been through almost thirteen years of critiques, slanders, hate and abuses. If fact, there have been several hundred proclamations of its death, from more or less every high perch.
And yet, it remains.
And yet, it thrives.
So, at what point does continued abuse signify nothing more than sour grapes and a tragically rigid personality?
The fact is that cryptocurrencies (of which Bitcoin was the first), are part of the world and are not going away. We can either deal with that or crawl back into our cynical caves, but neither will change the fact that Bitcoin is.
And so I’ll move on to the real question of the day: What do we do about it?
The New World: Imperfect, But Better
The world we live in is primitive; our job is to make it progressively less primitive. And that’s what Bitcoin was built for. It’s not a one-shot panacea and it won’t spawn a perfect world, simply because humans aren’t ready for a perfect world. We are, however, ready for a better world, and Bitcoin has become a major pillar in that effort.
Here are things that Bitcoin does:
- Censorship-resistant currency. There is no one who can stop you from doing business with whomever you want. In other words, tyranny is displaced; it has no handle to grab. Bitcoin doesn’t know or care who you are, and the system has no mechanism for reversing anyone’s transactions.
- Secure and verifiable transactions with no trusted party. There is no one that controls Bitcoin, and no one knows who will certify the next block of transactions: it’s random. Bitcoin is only a computer program; there is no boss, no office and no emergency switch. More than that, anyone can process transactions (and be well-rewarded for it), while no one knows who will process the next block. It provides trust, with no trusted party.
- An inflation-free store of wealth. Only 21 million bitcoins will ever exist, and almost 19 million exist already. The rest will come in small dribs and drabs over the next century. If you want to provide for your children and grandchildren, nothing is more inflation-proof than Bitcoin, not even gold.
- The smartest, most motivated people in the world are engrossed in this. Once people grasp what Bitcoin really is – the seed of a better world – they commit hard. Throngs of smart and powerfully committed young people are not something you should ignore.
And so the Bronze Age model of rulership – the few order everyone else around, take their money and are called righteous for it – is being over-written. That process will take time, of course, but these people – millions of them by now, I suspect – are not going away. Even the terror of power hasn’t worked: Several of them have already been jailed and abused; it only made the rest of them harder.
We’ve had awesome tech since 2009. What’s being built now are the practical overlays that bring functionality to all the grandmas and grandpas of the world. That’s precisely what’s underway in El Salvador, and it’s spreading everywhere. (It was well underway before El Salvador, of course.) The Lightning Network is the primary technology being used, but there are many others, from currencies designed for micro-transactions to decentralized exchanges to who-knows-what-comes-next.
Crypto is also replacing traditional finance. You can now take loans, write loans and construct any sort of contract that Wall Street can. And, you can automate all of them, so you’re still trusting no one or almost no one. This is the Wild West, with all that THAT implies, but not only are fortunes made in precisely such places, new worlds are forged in precisely such places.
This is the realm where previously unappreciated talents can come out and play: There is no barrier to entry! And it’s precisely these areas where experienced people are needed. Wall Street doesn’t want your knowledge and expertise, but crypto is wide open to it. If you get involved and find something important that’s missing, you become the person to build it!
That’s the exciting part of it all: What happens next is whatever we make happen! If you’ve ever wanted a situation in which you really, truly changed the world, here’s your opportunity. It won’t last forever, but for the next several years it stands open to any who have the courage to step in and build. Bitcoin in El Salvador is just the beginning.
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