Bitcoin represents a mental stepping stone, a philosophical spring board from which I’m better able to envision a future not controlled by the State and its numerous appendages (the FBI, CIA) and countless subsidiaries. By breaking the link between money and sovereignty (there are neither Presidents nor sovereigns printed on bitcoins), Bitcoin paves the way for a tidal wave of cultural, social, and technological innovation and progress. Since Bitcoin offers an Internet of Money with no inherent overlap with existing (i.e. fiat) monetary and financial systems, over time as adoption rises, people will be motivated to keep an ever-increasing proportion of their value in Bitcoins because it is better money. This last point is not debatable; it is not an opinion, it is not fake news, it is fact. Fiat money is not yours (aside from cash; but what portion of your value do you hold in cash?) - it is merely an IOU, a ledger balance. When you log into your online banking (assuming you live in one of the advanced economies where we have access to such financial services), the money that you see and claim to “have in your account” has in reality been lent out or applied to some probably more risky strategy like trading or financing of some exotic, complicated deal loaded with tantalizing fees for the bankers involved. If - or rather, when, given the history of financial crises, which seem to be part of the human economic condition - there is a run on the bank and the FDIC, you will be forced to get in line with all the rest (and probably take a massive haircut, i.e you will lose most or all of the money held in bank accounts).
This is simply not the case with Bitcoin. You are your bank. Bitcoin is strictly a bearer asset, where possession of the private key that allows your coins to be spent is ten-tenths of the law, so to speak.
But, bitcoins are not very useful today. I have to wait at least 20 minutes for my transactions to be confirmed; transaction fees are too high, I pay nothing to use my credit cards. Why would anyone ever use Bitcoin?
Ask the people in Africa, South America, East Asia, and so on, where each morning you wake up and hope that your grab bag of problems created by Big Brother doesn’t have a surprise waiting for you. That list includes things like profound corruption & graft, the social strangehold wraught by nepotism at all levels of socieyt, hyperinflation of your currency that destroys your purchasing power on a daily basis, oppressive political regimes which rob & pillage the people, and so on.
If, 10 years ago before Bitcoin was invented, someone has asked you the following question, how would you have responded?
How long would it take to design an Internet of Money which is not controlled by any central arbiter, no government, no corporation; a freely accessible network that cuts out the banks and turns the global financial-monetary system on its head and renders it utterly useless?
I suspect you’d either laugh, stare, or walk away, thinking something like, “Dreamers, who needs ‘em.” We all would have. Bitcoin has existed for 8 short years and it’s already significantly better than SWIFT, ACH, and most bank transfer services around the world.
In 10 years, maybe 5, all the “problems” that exist today with Bitcoin will be solved. Lightning Network is coming, SegWit will be adopted, and the impact of Bitcoin’s open, permissionsless protocol allowing for exponential innovation will render all the world’s fiat currencies laughably, hopelessly obsolete with no shot of ever catching up. From there, the virtuous cycle of utility begetting adoption ad infinitum will kick in, and then it’s simply game over for the incumbents.
So, what happens to things like taxes when, in the future, everyone is storing their value in Bitcoin, where it is easy to hide it from the prying eyes of the State and even your spouse? It will trigger a forced revolution, a painful, messy, chaotic breaking with the past - a cultural & social forest fire which will wipe out the old guard and the incumbents, anyone standing in the way of progress, and will give the future over to the nerds and to the Individual. Power structures like governments will no longer be able to domineer over their “subjects” by dictating and controlling what they can (buy things at Wal-Mart, please!) and cannot (that politician is evil, and since you donated to her you must be, too!) do with your money. The State and any centralized entity will only be able to grow as large as the exact number of Individuals which explicitly “vote” to support that structure, where voting is represented as financial support - buying a product from a company, paying for a service, donations, or even paying taxes if you’d like.
The future is bright for the Individual, but the transition will be difficult. And we really haven’t even begun yet. Remember: all exponential relationships appear to be linear at the beginning. I hope I live long enough to see the revolution in full swing.