Continuing our Gratitude list, so after reading the BitcoinWhitepaper and being enthralled by it in 2017, like most we started delving into the “what and why is money” rabbit hole. Guess I stumbled upon Andreas M. Antonopoulos through youtube lecture videos and eventually got my hands on his book, "The Internet of Money". Here are three learnings that have not only educated me but also played a pivotal role in my endeavor, #TheInternetOfValue:
Understanding the ‘Why’ of Bitcoin: The book unveils the history of money, drawing parallels with how new tech is received and evolved. I still vividly remember his anecdote of how cars were heavily regulated.
“In the budding era of automobiles, the Red Flag Laws in the United Kingdom stipulated that self-propelled vehicles be escorted by a pedestrian waving a red flag or carrying a lantern to alert bystanders of the vehicle's approach. The Locomotives Act of 1865, also known as the Red Flag Act, went further to dictate that at least three persons be employed to operate such a vehicle. If the vehicle was towing more than two wagons or carriages, an additional person was required to manage them. One of these individuals had to precede the vehicle on foot by not less than sixty yards, carrying a red flag constantly displayed to warn riders and drivers of horses of the approaching vehicle, signal the driver when necessary to halt, and assist horses and horse-drawn carriages in passing the vehicle.
Much like the initial skepticism around cars, Bitcoin too faced its share of doubts. Antonopoulos’ narrative helped peel back the layers of conventional monetary systems, making a compelling case for the digital currency's existence and its potential to redefine financial frameworks.
Inspiration Behind 'InternetOfValue': While conceptualizing a title for my book on community economy, initially, the term 'InternetOfSkills' resonated with the core theme of skill-based communities. However, as my understanding deepened, the title transitioned to 'InternetOfValue'. This change encapsulated a broader understanding of an individual's well-being, intertwined with their engagement in multiple skill-based communities. The term ‘InternetOf’ was a nod to the inspiration drawn from this enlightening read, Internet Of Money.
Beyond the Book - The person: Antonopoulos' lectures on YouTube were an initial source of knowledge trove. The scene of him passionately discussing Bitcoin to a handful of people around a small table / large hall was a display of unyielding belief. While at times his passion bordered on fanaticism, it was his conviction in the potential of decentralized financial systems that stood out. It’s not just about believing in something, but also having the guts to stand by it and educate others, regardless of the size of the audience. You can disagree with his thoughts sometimes but you can’t deny his passion!
The journey through "The Internet of Money" and the subsequent deep-dive into Antonopoulos’ lectures have been nothing short of enlightening. The ripple effect of his insights has not only enriched my understanding but also significantly influenced the thematic essence of my book.
Bitcoin whitepaper asked a profound question (is there a need for “trusted intermediaries”?) but it was too technical and The Internet Of Money made it easy for everyone to understand the real power of the question the whitepaper had asked. Eternally grateful to you, Mr.Andreas.___PS: I’m doing this series of gratitude letters to all the books and people who have inspired/nudged me to #TheInternetOfValue as an opportunity to revisit them / their works!