I admit there are times when I ask myself if I’m crazy. If I’m just wasting my time on this whole idea of a new electronic cash system.
But then I start imagining a world without central banks, a world where our money is no longer controlled by the state, a world where maybe there isn’t even a state at all.
I know most people who own crypto don’t care about such things. They just want to imagine what life will be like if they can 100x and cash out. But those people are thinking small.
The thing with electronic cash, or ecash, is we need to let our imaginations run wild. Start simply by imagining being able to send a few bits of ecash to someone on the other side of the planet as easily as handing over a dollar to someone standing next to you. Now imagine if this new form of money isn’t limited by borders because it relies on a network that isn’t controlled by any government or corporation. Money that can finally give us the ability to have a global economy that is truly free. Because for the first time in history we have money that is both inflation-proof as well as being a better medium of exchange than any currency known before. The latter also means ecash will be able to handle microtransactions, and add more precision to price determination. Just as going from using precious metals as money to using paper money was an evolutionary leap, I believe going from paper money to ecash will be equally as big, if not more.
The advent of the internet gave us access to an unprecedented amount of information and ideas. But in recent years it’s becoming increasingly difficult to sift through all the noise. But what if we could attach a value to every interaction? What if our attention could be monetized so that people will now pay you to pay attention?
Unlike the money printed by governments, ecash is also different because it isn’t a debt instrument that is owed the moment it comes into existence. This is because ecash isn’t just printed out of thin air, every bit is paid for by proof of work.
Ecash will give us back our privacy by allowing us to transact peer-to-peer without having to use a trusted third party. But it can also do much more than just allow us to remain anonymous on the internet the same way you’re anonymous when paying in a store with cash. It gives us the ability to prove our behavior, an immutable record allowing us to demonstrate if we did or didn’t do something.
I believe that ecash can help us hold each other accountable. Because our public and private keys can do more than just secure our money, they can secure our identities and reputations across the internet. Those same keys will give us the option to have total control in a way we never did before. This will force banks to compete for our business. And no bank will be too big to fail because we can all be our own banks. We will no longer need to give up our online identities to the Googles and the Facebooks of the world. Now we will truly be free to be whoever we want to be.
I ask myself what will the world be like in this new paradigm? How will ecash change our behavior? How will our incentive structures change? How will ecash help us maximize human capital? And will we see the world differently knowing that this network connects us to every human on the entire planet?
But still I feel I’m just scratching the surface. Because I believe ecash goes beyond merely being electronic cash. The maintenance and upkeep of the network itself, the process of improving it and moving it forward, it’s all part of the experiment. For me the growth of this project has the potential to lead to the emergence of new governance models. It could help us find ways to incentivize doing what’s best for everyone, because maybe we’ll finally learn that what’s best for everyone can also be what’s best for ourselves.
I’m still here because I believe the ecash project can give us a world full of leaders instead of rulers. A world where we have the freedom to follow who we want, or follow no one at all. A world where we have free markets that are no longer susceptible to the whims of a handful of people. A world where people are no longer incentivized to start wars, but to work together and find consensus.