When discussing the term “revolution,” the images that come to mind are often violence either in France in 1789 or America in 1775 (unless you are a student of Cold War history). But there is a different kind of revolution that can cause the same upheaval, but has often resulted in strong benefits for society. The Neolithic Revolution was technological changes that resulted in agriculture, allowing the first great civilizations to grow. The Industrial Revolutions created the great industries that drove the modern world. The Green Revolution allowed developing nations to grow enough food to feed their starving people. These revolutions changed the way society and economics work. The most recent revolution is the Internet Revolution, which has changed much of the world, but now we are in the middle of a new revolution, that goes hand in hand with the internet: the Bitcoin Revolution (or perhaps the Blockchain, depending on your view). The two revolutions interconnection can be viewed most easily when looking at ecommerce, which is what this article shall strive to do. Before I continue though, I wish to point out that I will not be looking at the technical aspects of both inventions. Other articles and people are much more qualified to do that rather than myself, instead, I will be looking purely at the user side.
When looking at the Internet and Bitcoin Revolutions, the important thing to understand is that both have promoted, decentralization, easier access to economic markets by entrepreneurs and consumers, and globalization. Both Bitcoin and the internet offer decentralization by providing access to goods and services from any point that there is an internet connection. No longer does one have to go to a bank or a grocery store, if one so chose. This allows easier access to markets by budding entrepreneurs, now they can sell goods much easier, and more people can buy products. This in turn has promoted globalization. Despite the decentralization, there has also been globalization, as now communication and economic exchange has been made much easier across borders. This might seem paradoxical, but it can be explained by understanding that today’s globalization is based much on the individual as governments or large corporations. All three of these aspects of the Bitcoin and Internet Revolutions can be viewed through ecommerce, and specifically WordPress and how it can, and has, been combined with Bitcoin to promote these three aspects and create new economic growth.
Small businesses are a popular talking point for politicians, as expressed in the opening of this recent John Oliver sketch. Yet, as pointed out later in the same video, they often throw them under the bus. Bitcoin and the internet offers an alternative to promote small business. The internet has opened up a huge market for small business owners. By 2021, an estimated 2.14 billion people will be digital buyers. That’s a heck of a lot of people.
This offers a huge opportunity, and its an call entrepreneurs are answering. Increasingly, more and more sales are being made online.
But entrepreneurs need a software that they can use to set up shop. The answer there has increasingly been Wordpress and its ecommerce platform called Woocommerce. In Scandinavia, Wordpress is so common that its competitors are essentially non existent. It offers an easy to use system, and high customization. One can easily set up the design of their shop, and can use a large number of plugins made by fellow users to increase functionality. This opens up ecommerce to the average person. No longer does one have to rent a store front, go to the store front daily, hoping that someone will stop in, paying rent and air conditioning, etc. Now all one needs is internet, a computer, and a place to store the goods. This promotes decentralization, many economic institutions are no longer needed, and instead people are running businesses out of their house.
And with the internet, globalization grows, since anyone can access WordPress, entrepreneurs can sell their goods worldwide, as long as they can be shipped. This is where the Bitcoin Revolution comes in. Bitcoin offers an opportunity to achieve the same thing WordPress has with setting up small businesses, except with payment systems. Dealing with the problems of international trade can be hard, even with the internet. Currency provides the first problem. Credit cards and PayPal helps, but both have their issues, mainly a need to be connected to financial institutions or pay large fees. Bitcoin offers the alternative: a decentralized yet also globalized currency. There is no need to worry about banks or large fees, and no need to convert currencies for international trade. Some are already looking into how to adopt this on a larger scale, you can check that out in one of my previous articles.
By adopting Bitcoin, small business owners have the chance to take control of their payments. They can decentralize their payment model so they will get more of their income directly to their pocket, and can participate in international digital markets much easier. Think of the two scenarios: first a Chinese customer paying with a credit card, versus one paying in Bitcoin. In the first scenario, the American shop owner has to pay a credit card fee (as does the customer), then wait for the banks to transfer the money, and then pay an exchange rate from Yuan to USD. That’s ignoring all the possible government and bank interference that might happen in special cases. Compare now to Bitcoin, the Chinese pays the product, paying the small transaction fee, and the Bitcoin is sent straight to the shop owner’s wallet relatively quickly.
Some companies have already started to fill that role. Blockonomics is a start up that offers a quick and easy Bitcoin payment solution, and they’ve been spreading quickly through many shops including PrestaShop and Magento. However, the focus has been Woocommerce, since the foundation and aim is so similar. Together, Bitcoin and ecommerce can jump start a new economic revolution.
Technological change drives economic growth. The recent technological changes is no different. The Internet and the Bitcoin Revolutions shall create a huge impact in economics for years to come. It both decentralizes the market, but also promotes globalization. This allows many new people to get involved in the market, both as producers and consumers. If politicians actually liked small business as they claim to, they would back these two revolutions. We will see if they shall.