An Abstract by@knut.svanholm

An Abstract

Knut Svanholm HackerNoon profile picture

Knut Svanholm


Yes, abstract. An abstraction. That’s what cryptocurrencies are. Yes, there’s the great spreadsheet in the sky we call the blockchain but that consists, solely, of code and mathematics. Mathematics and code, in turn, are basically just speech. Means to an end, a way to express a thought process. That’s what this article is too, an attempt to capture the fleeting glimpses of imagined clarity we call thoughts and putting them on paper. The concept of sound money and how it will change the world spawn fresh thoughts and ideas all over the globe on a daily basis. Once you’ve fallen into the rabbit hole you won’t be able to stop thinking about the wonderland you found beneath the surface. You automatically begin to question everything. Suddenly, everything you thought you knew about money, banks, trust, authority, prosperity, legality, borders, education, inclusion, exclusion and freedom of speech gets turned on its head. As soon as you get to experience exponential growth first hand everything else in your life starts to feel unimaginative, time consuming, unfocused and boring. Your job, your mortgage, your savings and your petty little problems seem to shrink as you start to grow and zoom out. You develop a helicopter view which seemed unreachable just a couple of years ago. You’ve picked up the sweet scent of freedom and you’re on the prowl now regardless of what you did before.

I recently reaped the edible weeds of Bitcoin cash and Bitcoin gold from a couple of paper wallets I had in an envelope. Three golden tickets, each with an address and a private key on them in the form of a QR-code and also written out as a string of characters. The third ticket was empty and the first two contained about a Bitcoin each. I cut the empty wallet away from the other two and put it back into the envelope. Before I started meddling around with the extraction of scam coins, I sent the Bitcoin from the first paper wallet to a hardware wallet but I hadn’t yet determined what to do with the coin on wallet number two. After giving the matter a bit of thought I decided to send it to the third wallet, the one back in the envelope. I started the app on my phone, entered the correct address to wallet number three, swiped the private key QR-code on wallet number two and pressed send. Ding. I looked down at the paper and the envelope on the table in front of me. I had just beamed the value assigned to one paper into an envelope right next to it. I’ve used paper wallets before but this time the surrealism of it all really struck me. The papers looked exactly the same as they did the moment before the whole ordeal yet somehow I had teleported actual money from one piece of paper to the other. Imagine being able to do the same to dollar bills. Just as there will never be a dull day in crypto these practises will never cease to amaze me. The feeling is akin to that feeling you can get when you fly when you suddenly remember that you’re actually flying and how surreal and cool that is.

Speaking about aviation, at almost every international airport in the world you have to declare any large sums of money when you cross the border and enter into another country. They can scrap that now, it’s obsolete. A brain now stores money. Money is but a language and the world just decided to use a new common tongue. A new language in which you can express value, but not supremacy. Oh, and you can’t lie. The concept of programmable money and what we can do with it is still in its infancy but the possibilities are endless. There is now a way to tell an objective truth, a way to make any statement verifiable. You can pin stuff to the Bitcoin blockchain and you can trust it like you trust maths. You can now call anyone on the globe and give them any amount at any time by uttering twelve words. So, first goes the border controls, then goes the banks and then goes the rest of our institutions, one by one. Nothing’s sacred. We’re entering a new era and thoughts have never mattered more. Think carefully. Think again.

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