WAVE Trophy 2018
In case you wonder why somebody would advertise for Bitcoin, let me explain. In the past, to make a non cash payment, you had to rely on multiple companies. Each one of them cut a slice of the transaction to make a profit. Companies are for-profit organizations that have a budget for advertisement. Bitcoin in contrast is a peer to peer protocol that cuts out the middlemen, and makes payments as secure and cheap as possible. Because there is no centralized organization that profits from the transactions, there is no central marketing budget. So, like with open source software, we rely on word of mouth and user advocates.
Starting as team Bitcoin was already my idea last year, but I was too late to find sponsors who would pay the participation fee. I just kept the name for this year's tour. Charles might be more a fan of Ethereum, but I think most people need to understand Bitcoin first, before they could appreciate smart contracts.
I have been a vocal Bitcoin promoter for seven years. When I first learned about Bitcoin, it was a revelation. It was something that I waited for, without knowing. Back then it was a technical experiment, and I feared it would fail to gain adoption, as so many innovative cool new projects do. I thought that what the nascent project needed the most, was places where it could be actually used to pay for goods or services. That is how I started accepting BTC for paragliding tandem flights in mid 2011.
The main appeal to me is that there is now, for the first time on the internet, a payment mechanism that works directly and reliably. When credit cards were designed, the Internet was not around for another couple of decades. When PayPal was founded, they intended something very different from what it has become. Only because it is a centralized organization, it was vulnerable from external corruption. ApplePay and the likes just add on top of the mess.
To participate in the Bitcoin echosystem, no approval is necessary. It is open access, open innovation, open source! It is incredibly liberating to be able to open as many accounts as you want to compartmentalize your finances, without paying ever more fees. It is incredibly reassuring to know a merchant receives the money instantly, and you can prove it easily. Also for the merchant it is a big relief not having to worry about chargebacks. The payment is instant and direct. The five different third parties in the chain, that all want a cut, and that all can fail the payment, are no longer involved.
The secondary value proposition of Bitcoin is the store of value. While nobody can steal from you when you take a bit of care, it would be nice if the actual value would be a bit more stable. Unlike traditional currencies, no small group of powerful individuals can decide to de-value their nations currency, to fund their wars. It is a currency whose value is determined on the open market. Because Bitcoin is still young and much smaller than ordinary currencies, the lower liquidity causes the price to move more than what we are used to. Unfortunately those swings scare off some people, even when it usually averages out well in the end. Instead the volatility attracts a different kind of people, namely speculators. And the speculation is how Bitcoin is usually portrayed in the mainstream media. This is why it is still important to promote the primary use case for Bitcoin.
Bitcoin brings freedom and self-sovereignty to the people. But freedom has never been granted without the people demanding for it. Gatekeepers and rent-seekers in the current system don't want to loose their grip. A lot of fear, uncertainty and doubt was spread about Bitcoin lately. So we need to do something to make not only the name known, but also what it stands for. This is why I put a BTC sticker on my car.