Why Decentralization Should Be For Everyone — And The Dream Of Bringing It Worldwide
Bitcoin provided the world with the first real use case for a decentralized financial asset — something that could store and transmit value without the need for a third party intermediary. The implications at the time weren’t well known, in the beginning Bitcoin was considered more of a joke — fake internet money. But its proof of utility ultimately led it to becoming the most well known and valuable cryptocurrency — with tens of thousands of others following in its footsteps. For the first time, people were able to send and receive value without a bank keeping its finger on the pulse. People had total control and ownership over their assets. A new age had dawned.
But while this opened up many possibilities, it also challenged the powers that be. The powers that had, for centuries, controlled the events of countries and the world through control over the creation and distribution of currency. Think it over — you work hours on end for a paycheck which is then deposited from a bank account into yours. You wait while the bank “processes” the deposit (a simple transaction that can be performed instantaneously). In some cases these deposits take days (again, almost all can be performed instantaneously). The bank makes interest off of your money while it is in limbo (and you’re left waiting without a check), makes interest while it sits in your account, and if you decide to take advantage of a savings account the bank will pay you a fraction of a fraction of a percent.
Consider our financial investing structure in the United States, for example. There are limits on how much you can invest, where you can invest, how often you can invest — except if you’ve been granted the title of “accredited investor” which is nothing more than a barrier to entry. If you believe in the concept of accredited investing, then you believe it’s the government’s responsibility to babysit people and their investing decisions. More likely, you’re probably in a position where accredited investing restrictions don’t affect you. In other words, you enjoy the barriers to entry, while they work in your favor. These financial restrictions run contrary to decentralization — which by it’s definition allows for active participation by all. Anyone who participates in a decentralized system has a say in how that system operates.
Imagine how threatening it would be, not just to big banks, but to elites if there existed no barriers to entry to participate in the decentralized market. There are far more people who don’t make the accredited investor definition, than those who do. The balance of power would tip in the favor the masses. This — is the argument most in favor of regulation of decentralization use. The ignorant masses making decisions regarding things they couldn’t possibly understand. That’s the rationale given. However, the ones making that argument aren’t looking out for the benefit of the collective — they are looking out for themselves. To advantage themselves. Their motives are suspect. They’ll counter by saying “if you want to participate, get yourself to their level.” Kinda hard when the bar continues to be raised, and people are increasingly squeezed out of opportunities.
We’ve seen what happens when “regulation for the good of the masses” gets out of hand — those at the top prosper, those in the middle reaching up suffer. So when we discuss regulation in a decentralized system, it needs to be with that context in mind. There’s nothing wrong with creating rules and protections — only if those rules and protections serve the majority. And those rules should be decided on BY the majority. Not by a small group of self-serving elites. That, there, is contrary to the meaning of decentralization. I say, to those elites who like regulation and barriers to entry — stay where you are. The traditional financial structure has MORE than enough for you. But don’t try to bring the bits and pieces you like from the corrupt centralist financial system into decentralism and try to paint yourself as a champion of decentralism. You aren’t. You’re a wolf in sheep’s clothing and true decentralists will see right through you — ears, eyes, teeth, and claws.