In the First Time, the internet was created. With it came, the gift of unrestricted information sharing. New avenues for human development became available, uniting the few and opportune online denizens.
Almost twenty years passed and the internet evolved to what we know today as Web 2.0. From its meager beginnings of academic research and limited functionality, or contact-providing corporate websites spawned an immense network encompassing half the world’s population in a “connected” fashion, allowing any kind of information to be disseminated at will. The possibilities for internet applications are infinite, as are the promises it holds for acting as an off-ramp for technological progress acceleration that could lead humanity to the stars and away from the surly bonds of prejudice, centralized obtuseness, greed, and all the other vice that keep mankind bound.
But the internet hit rock bottom, when control started taking over individual freedoms and the greed of the establishments controlling financial lifeblood started choking transactions, strangling opportunities for economic and personal development.
Bitcoin: From Hermit To King
Launched in 2009, Bitcoin was the answer to the challenges of centralized payment scalability. Obscure and shunned by most, it quickly developed as the instrument that could break the fetters holding personal financial freedom in the clutches of fiat channels. The Bitcoin network swelled over the last decade, much like the internet did since its inception.
It is application that determines the future of any technology, for being obscurely used by a limited group of specialists dooms broader market prospects. Bitcoin never feared such a gloomy scenario, considering that it was initially developed as an instrument of transaction – essentially facilitating the flow of economic lifeblood without any of clots that impede the speed, convenience, cost, and, most importantly – the value of the means of payment.
The internet may be approaching its next evolutionary phase – a fully decentralized Web 3.0, but that phase can only be achieved when the supporting instruments and mindset are developed well enough to allow its integration into the global economy. The fact of the matter is that the global economy itself is already moving in the same direction that Bitcoin has paved – embracing new realities that the people – the main constituents of any economy – actually want to see implemented.
The stranglehold of centralization is outdated and can longer prove its viability in a free market and, in essence, contradicts it. The laissez faire concept was an economic breakthrough that lacked the necessary technological basis to become successful. In much the same way, modern application of laissez faire is impossible because of the absolute need for regulation, without which chaos would likely unfold. The same applies to Bitcoin, which is a tool for ensuring financial freedom, but freedom is not for free and must be regulated in one way or another to provide the necessary framework for preventing crime, fraud, manipulation, corruption, and all the other vice that threaten a free economy. There are some who believe the Bitcoin code itself is enough to guide behavior and all else shall just naturally come into balance. Others believe regulation ought to be imposed and guarded by government.
Web3: Bitcoin and the Future of the Internet
There are anywhere between 400,000 and 800,000 Bitcoin addresses displaying activity every day. Statistical analysis would reveal that anywhere from 300,000 to 500,000 unique users are thus either sending or receiving Bitcoins daily. High-load days for the Bitcoin network have seen as much as 1 million active addresses, which would mean that Bitcoin is not only held by whales, but by average users, thus proving its popularity and usability in the global economy.
The next phase of Bitcoin’s development must go hand in hand with the rise of Web 3.0, since Bitcoin is the perfect medium of exchange within such an online environment, corresponding to its need for speed, scalability, transaction costs and others. And since Bitcoin has made it possible for people to transact value on a peer-to-peer basis, it has enabled the development of a whole new world of applications and industries.