Research

All Things Bitcoin; What's in a Name?

August 4, 2021
Steven McCormack
1 min

Let us start with the basics, folks. What is this Bitcoin malarky? I'm probably not the best person to ask, to be perfectly honest. For dependable and juicy details, I refer you to the bitcoin.org FAQ or the Bitcoin wikipedia entry. Instead I offer you my own perspective on the whole endeavour. I'll express what I find relevant in the best way I know; in layman's terms. I'll also let you in on a little secret. I'm primarily writing these pieces for myself, in an effort to improve my understanding and conviction. But you are always, always welcome to tag along for the ride. So on that bombshell, away we go!

What's in a Name?

Before we do anything, we must talk about terms. Bitcoin is often referred to as a cryptocurrency. Sounds pretty damn wooden, no? It reminds me of the 'Information Superhighway', a clunky description we once used for the internet. Crypto is even worse. An easy, throwaway term that lumps Bitcoin together with all sorts of dubious projects, agendas and activities. We all have to start somewhere, however. And in a strictly technical sense, crypto-currency makes sensible associations with encryption, security, value transfer etc. (which we will cover soon). But with my wandering mind, I can very quickly advance from Crypto to Crypt, and before you know it I'm musing about Dracula, dungeons and general darkness. No wonder it is frequently demonised by traditional media.

This Thing Actually Works!

Bitcoin could do with a gentle reframing. An association with something a little more familiar. Bitcoin, in my humble opinion, is a digital asset. A far less defensive term, don't ya think? In the early days (from say, 2009 to 2017), Bitcoin had to fight for recognition. It really needed to get straight to the point. Cryptocurrency is safe! Cryptocurrency is secure! C-R-Y-P-T-O! This marketing strategy has succeeded beyond anyone's wildest expectations. With Bitcoin now firmly established, it can afford to feel more confident. Network effects are now in play. The dry technical terms of old can give way to something more aspirational. Bitcoin leads the charge in an exciting, emerging asset class.

Just One More Thing

And before I wrap up, consider this. With Bitcoin, the internet finally has a conduit for value transfer; a monetary superhighway that we can all benefit from. We have the investing equivalent of a Swiss army knife; a digital asset combined with a monetary network, and regulated by a scarcity protocol. Now that tee us up nicely for the next phase of exploration.

Signing out, Steven.

Photo by Radek Kilijanek on Unsplash.

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