“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a thousand battles” – The Art of War
It’s a Thursday evening, as I sit drinking coffee while building our exchange platform with our team when my phone pings with the news that the Reserve Bank of India has just banned the regulated companies from allowing access to the Bitcoin network. I slowly lean back, fold my arms and start wondering what a decentralized and tokenized future will look like. How can we assist in enhancing the greatest invention since the Wright Brothers took flight and embed it into our daily lives to empower everyone to be interconnected at the touch of a button irrespective of their geographical location, language or heritage.
We need to encourage interoperability, accessibility and usage to truly gain traction of Bitcoin and Open Banking so that we can lift any social inequalities that traditional payment systems pose.
I envision a world where a tradesman earning his weekly wages in Nigeria, can convert it to airtime at the local corner café to load onto his phone, which he can seamlessly use to send an instruction to the nearest bank 300 miles away and open a bank account for him in which he can start storing his hard earned Naira. When his monthly family responsibilities come along, he can effortlessly convert his Naira to Bitcoin so that, practically instantly, he can send it to his family in Peru, (and at the fraction of the cost compared to any of his other options), who can then spend it in Peru in either Sol or Bitcoin at the choice of a button.
For this vision to come true we need not only enhance Bitcoin, but we need to open up everything. Cellular network providers need to open up, banks needs to open up through Open Banking, Crypto currencies need to become interoperable, integration into application needs to be seamless. This is not going to be a vision driven by one community. We need to collectively start aligning across industry, across platforms, across currencies and across systems.
Moving value should be as easy as moving data across the internet.
As far-fetched as this vision might seem to most, I believe we are already starting to move there. Unconsciously by some and consciously by others.
Bankers are currently scratching their heads trying to figure out how Bitcoin has become as big as it has and how they can protect their monolithic, hierarchical banking solutions. Banks are on a warpath to kill Bitcoin and are pulling out every trick in the book to achieve that. You name it and the banks have tried it.
What I believe is coming is a move by the reserves and banks that is going to leave them more exposed than they think. They are going to bargain on the misinformation of the general layman by campaigning directly to them. The banks and reserves will create sovereign currencies built on the principles of Bitcoin and Blockchain and embark on the biggest marketing campaign we will ever see, trying to convince everyone that they are the same, if not better than Bitcoin.
It won’t be… but for a while they will gain traction and they will convince many. And if we are wise we will encourage them to do so.
And this is why…
The lack of explicit skills in the Blockchain space is obvious, so for the banks and reserves to successfully implement their sovereign cryptos they are going to have to approach and depend on the skills of the experts that have breathed this space for years. These experts will then be coding within a Trojan horse behind the banking walls and have the ability to design the sovereign cryptos with interoperability in mind making the on ramp to Bitcoin and other cryptos even more frictionless than the banks and reserves may have intended it to be.
We will then have the absolute freedom to move between sovereign currencies and Bitcoin anywhere in the world.
Once we can freely do that, the world becomes our oyster and with the smartest minds in the world working in the Crypto space the rest will start taking care of itself.
Teams developing projects such as Aion, Icon, COMIT, ILP and Lightning Network, who are all driving towards interoperability amongst cryptos and ledgers, will allow us to move between applications, blockchains and currencies at the touch of a button.
Solutions such as Blockmesh and Rightmesh will give us the ability to transfer data cost-free over a mobile networks. This will force the cellular network providers to wake up and start figuring out how to compete, which will give them the great idea of adopting a Blockchain and a crypto of their own to protect their cellular networks.
Fortunately all that this will do is create more interoperability and more freedom.
Once we get the network providers it will all be too big to stop and we will start seeing the drastic killing off of centralized, mammoth organizations into decentralized, cryptographically governed platforms… and freedom will have won. The banks, reserves and governments that are welcoming Bitcoin, Blockchain and Open Banking will find their place in the future of a decentralized world, however the ones that continue to fight the battle will ultimately lose the war.
This will make us ripe for the next biggest innovation since Bitcoin…