Libertarians flocked to it “because of the potential that Bitcoin offered, as a decentralized form of money.” That is now over.
By Nathan McDonald, Sprott Money and cross-posted from WOLF STREET
Today we are going to take a trip down memory lane and rewind back to the year 2012 – the year in which I discovered Bitcoin and registered an account on the now famous Bitcoin Talk public forums.
This was truly the wild west of the Bitcoin era, when almost no one knew what Bitcoin was, nor did they even remotely care to know. It was a scoffed at idea when mentioned to others, and members on the public forums would openly talk about how often they were laughed at by family members and others within their circle for even remotely thinking about the idea. It was a “scam” through and through and was not going to last.
Despite this extreme negativity, this small community continued to grow. Libertarians flocked to its banner, because of the potential that Bitcoin offered, as a decentralized form of money. Bitcoin was for the community, maintained by the community and was the community.
Community was a key word. It was a word that was paramount to the success of Bitcoin. Without it, we wouldn’t see the staggering numbers we see today. This push ever onward by the community is why Bitcoin was able to get its footing and build the foundation it vitally needed to survive and prosper.
Businesses popped up and flourished within this community. Bitcoin-only shops catered to those within and services became readily available. People sold precious metals, cookies, and there was even an eBay-style website for Bitcoin-only transactions. Bitcoin was known as a near-free-to-use “currency”, as transaction fees were almost non-existent and hyper-fast.
Now, sadly, let us fast forward to the state of the community today. Bitcoin Talk still has a community of sorts, but long forgotten is the idea of helping one another and creating its own ecosystem. For years now, holding has become the only valid idea. Barely anyone supports each other in a meaningful way and the once-flourishing ecosystem has all but eroded away.
Transaction fees have ballooned to upwards of $20.00 per order, making it almost impossible for any small business to accept Bitcoin as a payment option. Traditional credit cards, or other forms of payments have once again stolen back their crowns…