Bitcoin’s invention back in 2008 couldn’t have been timed better. The financial crisis was just coming to a boil, leading people to question the competence of central banks and major financial institutions.
When bitcoin began to enter the mainstream consciousness in 2011, such skepticism was still very much alive. The European debt crisis was just getting underway. And Wikileaks’ publication of U.S. state department cables followed by the blacklisting of the group by payments companies at the urging of the federal government showed the world just how much power the government could wield over an individual’s ability to spend his own money.
The idea that bitcoin is an unstoppable force that would ultimately be used to wrest power from the establishment was championed by the media, which loves a good David vs. Goliath story. And a small group of dedicated users are still clinging to that notion. But as countless economists, financiers, and other naysayers have pointed out, revolutionizing the global financial system requires more than just the earnest intentions of a couple hundred thousand believers. In the real world, Goliath almost always wins.
Bitcoin and the blockchain technology that supports it, however, remain ingenious inventions. And this has not escaped the many