— Andreas Antonopoulos
At its core, bitcoin represents the replacement of trust through institutions with trust through networks.
Why does this matter?
Because for centuries, to coordinate any activity between large numbers of people, we had to have something to trust. And until now, the best answer to that problem of trust was institutions.
Institutions are collections of people governed by rules and policies that have attempted to create trust through tradition, reputation, and longevity. But institutions of trust are failing. And they are failing all over the world.
They are failing when they are newspapers. They are failing when they are political institutions. They are failing when they are banks.
And the reason they are failing is that they represent systems of scale for industrial nation-state societies. And we are no longer industrial nation-state societies.
Instead, we are now information societies on a global scale. We are now trying to solve problems that affect not just 70 million people in one country, but the 7.5 billion people on one planet. And for problems of that scale, and for collaboration on that scale, traditional institutions do not work. They fail to scale.
They are not evil. They are not deliberately corrupt. They simply fail to solve the problems of a global society.
And yet just as we have seen these institutions fail, we have also seen the emergence of new systems of governance, new systems of global collaboration – systems that do allow us to collaborate, communicate, and solve problems at scale.
The first of those systems was the internet. And with that, we saw the first system of communication that transcended nations… that transcended borders… that allowed anyone, everywhere and anywhere, to communicate.
Bitcoin represents that happening to money.
It represents a network-centric system of money that is beyond the nation state… that allows people to collaborate on a global basis… that allows anyone, everywhere and anywhere, to participate in a global economy – without barriers, without ID, without credentials, simply through the act of running software.”