Bitcoin’s 10th Anniversary

This January marked the 10th anniversary of a great moment in history when the first, the so-called «genesis block», containing 50 cryptocurrency units was mined in the Bitcoin blockchain. What went totally unnoticed ten years ago has spawned an entire series of events which evolved so much at this point as to impact certain aspects of the worldwide processes.

Indeed, the above anniversary presented an easy excuse for everyone and their brother to write a couple of thousand characters of text enriching the internet along the way. And why not, frankly speaking? Ultimately anyone has the right to earn their keep, and especially when the occasion is so tempting. Plus, among tens of carbon-copy articles dedicated to the bitcoin’s anniversary and published in various languages one can spot, every once in a while, those containing noteworthy thoughts and ideas.

While I totally recognize the right of each and everyone out there to publicly share their thoughts on any topic whatsoever, I would now like to use my own right of this sort and outline my personal observations themed as follows: «10 Years of Bitcoin: Results and Outlook».

First, and most importantly

Cryptocurrencies have become the de facto standard for settlements between counterparties active in markets which, according to some «spherical government in a vacuum», should not exist in the first place. Ten years ago, monitoring and control over financial transactions, and international transactions in particular, were continuously improving, and people involved in illegal activity of any kind were growing ever more nervous. And here you go — bitcoin, what a gift! Contemplating and testing technology capabilities took a few years, and, ta da — last year’s transaction turnover in Dark Web totaled $600 million.

Each time I stumble upon estimations like that, I can’t help but ask the authors: how do you know? Were you standing over the counter facing customers or were you responsible for converting crypto into fiat? What calculation mechanisms did you use? How did you arrive at these numbers after all? Considering what Dark Web looks like from the inside for an occasional visitor (a tourist rather), $600 million in transactions over the entire last year sounds like a joke.

Second and less importantly

In the last 10 years, governments that actually set the global geopolitical agenda failed to come up with a consensus as to the blockchain technology. Commenting on the reasoning of the people in power today is even more dumb than trying to explain the rationale behind crypto market players’ actions not being one of them; therefore, I’d simply mark the very fact as important.

Third and almost as important as the second

Large corporations are carefully but consistently testing the potential of replacing any of their usual business processes with similar ones but based on the «impossible-to-lie» technology. And I can totally understand them: although one’s inability to turn a blind eye to some things when it’s really necessary may prove to be fatal for a business as a whole, there’s no way one could hide from the technological advancements but missing the train on an opportunity is easy. Corporate managers are brave and smart people running experiments in full swing; and even inventions exhibiting some sort of success started to emerge.

Fourth

The global population, rather than some categories of people who need the technology to do some business, now have heard the words «blockchain» and «cryptocurrencies», and gradually familiarize themselves with these terms. We should also remember that passive promotion of a phenomenon usually precedes its mass adoption and entrenchment in social processes.

Fifth

Social anarchists of various sorts got very excited as their masters started funding them in crypto, for the sake of, you know, anonymity. As a result, these anarchists concluded that bitcoin is a symbol of liberty («we will destroy this world of violence down to the foundations» and all this stuff) with obvious implications. And this way, after proved safe and reliable, financing of the «anarchist internationale» migrated to cryptocurrencies almost completely, which couldn’t but annoy the officers of those agencies responsible for ensuring that no burning of cars, trampling on flower beds, and window smashing is taking place in the territories they are in charge of; and most importantly, that those eager to do so get no money. And, you know, I totally understand these officers.

Sixth

Quantum computers are just around the corner, and they are reportedly capable of breaking any blockchain encryption at a blink of an eye, and thereby making the very concept of blockchain security almost useless. I know nothing about quantum computing but something tells me it’s not that simple.

And that’s enough, I think. And the key idea, as well as the conclusion of this text, is quite simple. Over the period of ten years that the first and major cryptocurrency exists, there’s been not a single advancement involving the blockchain technology that could surpass in importance the very fact of this technological ideology’s emergence. The world still has no real clue how to use it properly and what we now is a total mess. Ladies and gentlemen, the only thing we can do is waiting to see what this story evolves into in the next ten years.

You know, a wise professor once said to his students: «Colleagues, in today’s world, if an amateur responds to a formally reasoned opinion of another amateur regarding geopolitics with „I don’t know“, more often than not it is a mark of intelligence.» The same thing with me — I have absolutely no clue what will happen to blockchain, cryptocurrencies, the Dark Web, and to the rest of the items on this list. But I will be following the developments with a genuine interest.

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