Like the Internet, Bitcoin is already promoting a cornucopia of prosperity and human development in various and mysterious ways. When performing financial transactions with Bitcoin, you enjoy numerous benefits — namely: transparency, some degree of anonymity, no charge-backs, low transaction costs, no taxes, and security. What more can you wish for?
Also Read: Nostradamus Foresees the Death of Bitcoin
In fact, Bitcoin is already generating unintended benefits that Satoshi Nakamoto and other early Bitcoin developers probably never imagined. The same thing happened with the advent of the Internet and, before that, with the introduction of the printing press, steam engine, telephone, and radio.
Consequently, in each of these instances, civilization changed its course dramatically and irreversibly. For example, the main goal of the Internet precursors was basically to establish a resilient, fault-tolerant network of computers, to be used mainly for communication purposes. Shortly after its creation, however, the Internet rapidly moved from the defense and academic world into the business world. Next, the Internet spread into our homes, creating new industries, new jobs, and new ways of doing things, which its founders had never dreamed of. Similarly, the eventual impact of Bitcoin could be all encompassing and pervasive, creating mind-boggling opportunities. Let’s look at a few of them: new jobs, more food for the poor, and empowerment and freedom for women.
Bitcoin creates jobs. Isn’t that amazing? To be sure, a review of job websites shows that Bitcoin not only creates jobs but, also creates new types of jobs. Indeed.com, Monster.com, Simplyhired.com, and many others, list employers seeking to hire highly motivated developers, cryptographic researchers, business architects, project managers, and many other professionals. Likewise, writers, journalists, bilingual representatives, product managers, accounts payable managers, and marketing coordinators are in demand. Websites specialized in freelance job opportunities, including Elance.com, Freelancer.com, Peopleperhour.com, also post of all sort of jobs related to Bitcoin. Interestingly enough, Bittask.com and Coinality.com advertise jobs which pay in Bitcoin. The Twitter collaborative job board, @bitcoinjobs, also posts many jobs related to Bitcoin, as well as jobs paid with Bitcoins.
Buying More Food Instead of Transaction Fees
Creating new jobs is not the only benefit technology — including Bitcoin — can give society. New technologies can cause immediate and unexpected types of changes. For example, since 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone, this indispensable device, although widely used by businesses, governments, and homes, never reached millions in Africa and other remote areas of the world. There was never enough money and/or political will to install the wires (landlines) to reach these people, mostly poor. So, when a technological revolution occurred with the advent of cellular telephony, in one giant leap, wiring each house was no longer required. Thus, people living in remote and rural areas rapidly gained access to wireless telephone services.
Similarly, thanks to Bitcoin’s speed and low transaction costs, Africans and many others living in third world countries and surviving on remittances can greatly benefit from the digital currency. Incidentally, a CNN report mentions that millions in sub-Saharan Africa do not have a bank account, and according to experts, Bitcoin could help these people to pay bills and manage their finances. That is, these people will be able to use more money to buy food rather than to pay for Western Union and other money transfer operators’ fees and disadvantageous currency exchange rates.
According to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), women in low-income countries produce more than 90% of food used for domestic consumption, while working in poorly productive land and lacking access to agricultural resources and financial services. Accordingly, to achieve women’s economic empowerment, UNIFEM calls for strategies that will facilitate women’s access to financial services, including remittance transfers.
Bitcoin is already being used to enable women’s empowerment. In fact, women living in countries where their freedom and most basic rights are constrained are starting to use Bitcoin as a powerful weapon to become more independent and improve their economic situation. For example, the nonprofit organization Women’s Annex Foundation (now it changed its name to Digital Citizen), has as one of its goals the empowerment of women and children in developing countries to establish sustainable economic livelihoods. This organization uses Bitcoin to help women. The CNN article titled “Afghanistan’s women find empowerment through code and Bitcoin” tells how the Women’s Annex Foundation educates girls in Afghanistan about technology, and so revolutionizing salary security for women through payments in Bitcoin.
Overcoming Malicious Minds
Granted, like the Internet, Bitcoin may be exploited by malicious users. Many of us, at one point or another, have fallen victim to Internet crime: email extortion, hackers, scams, phishing, sex trade, etc. Actually, the FBI reported that in 2014 it received over two hundred thousand complaints for over $800 million and that virtual currency schemes reported to the agency have more than doubled since 2013. As the popularity of the cryptocurrency increases, “criminals have comprised new ways of capitalizing on this market, bilking millions of dollars from victims around the globe.”
Obviously, Bitcoin’s reputation has been greatly damaged thanks to events, accusations, or allegations abundantly circulated by the news media, such as the case of the Silk Road website, which was used for trading illicit goods and services. And, thanks to the bankrupt Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchange, in which hundreds of Bitcoins belonging to customers simply vanished.
Certainly, many crimes have prevented Bitcoin from flourishing more rapidly. Fortunately, however, like the Internet, Bitcoin’s advantages eclipse its disadvantages.
Bitcoin is only a few years old. It was launched in 2009. Yes, it has suffered many setbacks and still has to suffer many more up and downs and overcome many flaws. However, it is here to stay. Why? Because in spite of malicious minds, and all sorts of crooks, Bitcoin offers us great opportunities to change the way we live and the way we do things for the better, unimaginably better.
How do you think Bitcoin will benefit society? Let us know in the comments below!
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