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The Promise of Bitcoin: Alternative Currencies and Anonymous Markets

By: Fergus Hodgson - @FergHodgson - Feb 2, 2014, 8:50 pm

Yaël Ossowski writes the “Question the Narrative” column with the PanAm Post, and he is a true international man — dividing his time between Canada, the United States, and Europe. Recently, he introduced bitcoin to a mixture of libertarians and economics enthusiasts in Austria. Here is that presentation.

Ossowski says bitcoin is something “our generation, specifically, can use to really push our message of freedom, of individual liberty, of alternative monetary systems.”

Although difficult to define, given its innovative nature, he notes that bitcoin is open source, “peer-to-peer,” which means it is accessible to all — at least to everyone with an internet connection. He contends that it draws on computing technology we are already familiar with, but it now applies that technology to transactions.

This notion, of a completely digital currency, may be difficult for many people to get their heads around. If you want to understand the background, Ossowski recommends the initial white paper on the matter, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” (see below).

There is a lot one could unpack in this presentation, but I want to note that I agree wholeheartedly with Ossowski’s assessment. The promise of bitcoin, and of cryptocurrencies in general, is paradigm-shifting.

“It comes to not being controlled by governments, that exist to tax people . . . [and] fund various projects such as wars or welfare states,” he says. In the case of bitcoin, “there’s no middle man.”

Bitcoin will continue to be a topic of great interest at the PanAm. You can see our archives on the topic here and here.

Fergus Hodgson Fergus Hodgson

Fergus Hodgson was the founding editor in chief of the PanAm Post, up until January 2016, and he now studies finance at Tulane University in Louisiana and Francisco Marroquín University in Guatemala. Originally from New Zealand, he has also lived in Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Ecuador, Ireland, and the United States. Follow @FergHodgson and his Facebook page.