What is Bitcoin REALLY?

While the title says bitcoin, I’m really using that as a catchall, and I intend to address cryptocurrencies and tokens in general. I’m fully aware that in the literal sense they are not all the same, but the mental scaffolding that underpins the whole of the space very much IS the same, and that’s what I want to dig into.

Here goes.

Cryptocurrencies are the method of compensation for those who host and run their representative decentralized ledgers (blockchains, peer-to-peer). If you host the Bitcoin ledger and process the cryptographic hashes that run the network, you get paid in bitcoin. Same goes for other cryptocurrencies.

Tokens are a bit different, in that they are compensation for supporting projects built on top of existing blockchains (often secured via an ICO, or initial coin offering), but for the purposes of this post I’ll refer primarily to cryptocurrencies to represent both.

A ledger of course is a record of transactions intended to prevent double-spending or skimming, but since a single ledger is subject to tampering and requires a high degree of trust, the double-entry ledger system was created.

By having 2+ copies of your ledger, kept in different locations, and managed by different people, you create a system without a single point of failure, and thus create a system where less trust is necessary AND where risk is reduced. This is a good thing (and a 700+ year old idea).

Blockchains do this, but they have many copies of the ledger, and because of the decentralization are very difficult to tamper with. This is even better. Continue reading…

Waste of Time?

Clear glass hourglass with red sand dripping down

How many times in life has someone told you “that’s a waste of time”? How often have you said those words to someone else, or even to yourself?

Here’s the thing: nobody other than you can define what is or isn’t a waste of your time, because it’s YOUR time.

It belongs to you and nobody else. You can and should use it as you see fit.

Frankly, anybody trying to tell you how to use or not use your time is judging your life and your choices according to their programming, their biases, their desires, their world view…and such a judgment is almost certainly worthless because it’s all about them.

When someone says “that’s a waste of time” to someone else, what they really mean is “that’s not how I would spend my time”, or “that’s not how I think you should spend your time”, or maybe even “I think you should be spending more time on/with me”.

Making someone else’s choices all about you…rather selfish, don’t you think?

If they are not you, they are not qualified to judge your path.

Continue reading…

Option XYZ

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled

I imagine most people have probably heard or read the Robert Frost poem The Road Not Taken, or at least this small piece of it, at some point during their childhood education ๐Ÿ˜‰

You’ve probably also heard phrases like “Thinking Outside the Box” or “Option B”, right?

While shit like this may sound lovely and empowering, in reality it’s just a run of the mill false dichotomy.

Continue reading…

The Words That Divide Us

To be honest, I am (somewhat ironically) struggling to find the words to do this concept justice ๐Ÿ˜‚

But what the hell, let’s give it a whirl!

Have you ever heard the saying “The pen is mightier than the sword”?

Not only is this statement fundamentally true, but the depth to which it is true is absolutely incredible, and I’d wager it’s something very, very few have thought about at a deep enough level.

Words are tools…but also weapons…and chains.

Continue reading…