It is a basic notion that “truth” is all that matters. In terms of knowledge, in terms of decisions, in terms of existence: the only sine qua non is that the basis of action and consideration is “true.”
Theoretically, this may in fact hold up, but in practice, “perception” is something that can have a long life, whether or not it corresponds to the truth.
The reason why I bring this up is because in the office today I walked into the break room for a coffee and some financial news network was on the TV. And I noticed, for the first time, that right along with the NASDAQ, the Euro, and the price of crude, they were showing the live price of Bitcoin.
This is astounding for many reasons.
First of all, it proves conclusively that all those who, at least initially, predicted that Bitcoin would perish ignominiously (people such as Jamie Dimon, Nassim Taleb, Alan Greenspan, Paul Krugman, etc.) are WRONG. Absolutely, unequivocally wrong.
Bitcoin has made it. Everyone knows what it is. Not many people know how it works. But they know it exists. And because they know it exists, over time, people will understand it more and more. And with that understanding, people will start to question the orthodoxy of national fiat monetary monopolies. People will become accustomed to holding and exchanging multiple private forms of currencies. And, people will come to understand how the power to issue currency has been abused by the central banks, and how this unilateral monetary system has created such problems as inflation, fiscal deficits, and the wealth gap that people always recognize as problems but don’t understand where they come from and how they’re solved.
Does Bitcoin have its enemies? Naturally. And this, too, is indicative of its rising power. No powerful force in history has been without its enemies. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil was broken up by the government. Glass-Steagall broke up the banks when it was perceived that they had become too powerful. Today, Jeff Bezos has become the target of the government’s current need to bust up a big company. SEC chairman Gensler recently spoke before Congress. It was a speech full of poorly-chosen metaphors that tried to paint Bitcoin as some evil force, but what it really did was give it its imprimatur as the newest powerful force in the global economy.
Of course, the central banks and governments of the world have no one to blame but themselves for the existence of Bitcoin. If taxes were reasonably low, if transferring money around the globe were quick and easy (as it should be given our current state of technology), if the money supply were not skyrocketing into the stratosphere, THERE WOULD BE NO NEED, NOR EVEN A DESIRE, FOR BITCOIN.
But Bitcoin, now, is here to stay. It may not stay exactly what it is today. It may be that Ethereum or some other coin, takes its place at the top. But the idea that national fiat currencies are the only rational form of money is gone. Perception has been changed. Because while perception does not always jibe with the truth, sometimes it is the path that leads to the truth when the truth is too obscure to see.
Perception is what needed to change for us to realize that we could ride in some random person’s car instead of waiting in the cold for a non-existent cab in Times Square. Perception is what needed to change for us to realize that we could stay at a marvelous apartment in Buenos Aires for $150 a night, instead of at a 5-star hotel for $500 a night. And perception is what we need to realize that we can hold our wealth in digital coins that can be easily exchanged peer-to-peer instead of dollars or euros that pay us zero interest and come attached with a long list of annoying fees.
For change to happen, the first step is a change in perception. A lightbulb that gets turned on to allow us to see a possibility. And that is where we are today.