Bitcoin’s value is directly proportional to its usefulness and acceptability.
The more you can buy, the more useful it becomes, the more valuable it becomes. Why OpenBazaar is the rocket that will take Bitcoin to the moon and why we need you to help build it.
The US dollar is the #1 fiat currency in circulation (and reserve currency) in the world, but it really has no value except the one we all give it.
Everywhere in the world the US dollar is recognized and it’s “real” value I believe comes from this ubiquitous recognition and acceptance. As soon as its price starts to get too high more currency is issued, as soon as the value starts to go too low the fed will buy it back and burn it, therefore its value or strength is synthesized by the federal reserve banks. (the strength of the USD vs EUR is merely the result of interventionist design by bankers setting interest rates and controlling the supply of currencies)
To put it in layman’s terms, if tomorrow you wanted to pay for a coffee, and the cashier would refuse to take your USD dollars, how valuable would it be?
Since Overstock.com adopted Bitcoin it became clear to me that the most important factor towards making the value of Bitcoin higher and stable is usability. I’ve come to this realization not when I get to buy things there, but when I can’t buy things there and I’m forced to go to Amazon or eBay to get those things.
The limited inventory in Overstock.com makes me feel my bitcoins are useless as they sit there on my wallet day after day (as ~3,600 new coins are “minted” every 24 hours), until I eventually find something that can be bought, or someone that will accept Bitcoin for payment somewhere else in the world (graphic designers, musicians, writers in Latin America have taken my bitcoins as form of payment during the last year, making Bitcoin useful in those latitudes even for a few)
Bitcoin will only be as useful as the things/services it can get you.
You can have all the Bitcoin you want in your wallet, but if nobody is willing to take it from you it’s worth nothing.
can you go now and buy a coffee in the corner using the Bitcoin wallet in your cellphone? can you put gas on your car? can you pay your bills with Bitcoin? can you buy your lunch today? The answer is probably not for most of us in September 2014, and it will continue to be tht unless we get Bitcoin to be useful online first for everyone. Not just to buy, but also to sell things.
How Bitcoin’s value grows through usability
Bitcoin’s value will grow (maybe non linearly) through this compound effect cycle: 1. The more things you can buy with Bitcoin, the more Bitcoin you will have to buy so you can spend it.
2. The more people spending Bitcoin, the more entrepreneurs and companies that won’t want to miss on accepting Bitcoin (with your help via the OpenBazaar network), therefore you will be able to spend Bitcoin on even more things.
3. The more Bitcoin that is being bought, the less Bitcoin available for everyone that becomes interested -as there’s a well established amount of Bitcoin being mined everyday, currently ~3,600 new bitcoins every 24 hours-, the more expensive a finite resource like Bitcoin becomes. #ToTheMoon
“I’m starting with the man in the mirror” — Michael Jackson
You can sit with arms crossed and wait for the businesses in your neighborhood to eventually start accepting Bitcoin, or you can print a bunch of banners with big bullet points why your town should be the first Bitcoin accepting town in the county, city or state and attach them to posts, hand them out to business owners, or better yet get friends to help you do this.
You can sit and wait for Bitcoin ATMs/Vending Machines to magically pop out of nowhere and let others bank on such opportunities for entrepreneurship, or you can start researching what it takes to put one on your favorite café or place of high foot traffic in your town. Or easier, you can start buying and selling Bitcoin to your friends and family, therefore turning your contacts into a human Bitcoin ATM network. Need cash? sell Bitcoin to the person next to you, save yourself the time and fees.
Now you might be thinking that it’s too much work right now to do all this, and it’s true, most people don’t know what the hell Bitcoin is, and if you live in a first world country, chances are most businesses out there don’t even think they need something like Bitcoin as they already have their businesses working just fine with cash and credit cards.
Success Online Comes First.
That’s why I think Bitcoin needs to have a success so overwhelming online that there’s no way it can’t spill over to the physical retail world.
We must make Bitcoin succeed online in a way that it is impossible for the mainstream to not know what it is, once this happens, it will be used massively, and not only it will get used, I’m confident it has everything it needs to become the prominent form of value exchange in the world because it simply is superior in many forms to old fiat, it’s a payment infrastructure that can scale today in ways no banking network could ever do it, all it takes is people installing an app and using them.
Just like you don’t send letters over snail mail and you send email, just like you don’t read yesterday’s news on large, wasteful inconvenient pieces of paper, just like you don’t listen to CDs and listen to mp3s, Bitcoin has the potential to do the same for paper money. It’s 2014 and we’re still using paper money, it’s really funny when you think about it.
So… You can sit with arms crossed and wait for eBay, Paypal, Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple! they’ll implement Bitcoin and change the world for you, and if you are holding like a spartan, they will make you a millionaire overnight. yeah right.
Change will only happen if you do something, and if you get others to think the same way.
Bitcoin is a peer to peer currency, and it needs peer to peer actions.
That is why I’ve joined OpenBazaar. OpenBazaar is peer to peer e-commerce technology that will enable everyone in this planet to trade with one another, without intermediaries, using Bitcoin.
Building a technology which will enable billions of people to trade with one another, without having to ask for permission, without having to pay for fees, without the need of banks, or credit cards, will be an immense challenge, even more so as it does not belong to any company, it’s being built in the open, but that means YOU can help us.
If you can code, you can help us, there’s already over 50 amazing contributors helping build and fix the first versions of OpenBazaar.
If you can test, you can help us.
If you have something to sell, then you can help us, we need your perspective, we need to know how you need to use it, the more use cases we can cover, the more useful Bitcoin becomes.
If you can design things, you can help us, we need people with a vision for friendly and simple human interaction to help us design how people will use this technology, this is technology to connect people in friendly and open trade.
If you speak multiple languages, we’ll need you to help us translate and make it accesible to people of ALL countries.
If you can read and write, we need you to help us maintain the documentation accurate.
If you have the time and you like helping others, we need you to be a part of the community to help others solve issues.
If you are good at talking to people, good at using social networks, or have great ideas for marketing, we need you.
If we all do our part, OpenBazaar will happen sooner than we think, hundreds of millions of products will be part of the network and the most amazing and varied long tail of product/service offering ever seen in the history of mankind will be available at our fingertips, and to buy those things, people will need to use Bitcoin.
Join OpenBazaar and let’s finally make Bitcoin happen, we don’t have to wait, we all can act today.