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A lesson for Elon Musk

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A lesson for Elon Musk

In his guest commentary, Pascal Hügli takes on the “Dogefather” and Tesla boss Elon Musk.

Elon Musk recently spoke again about BTC. After his erratic actions of the past few months, the tech visionary no longer had really big credit among the Bitcoiners. At the recently held B-Word conference, star investor Cathie Wood and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey have once again given him a stage. So even though the BTC community had already written him off, one could hope that the richest man on earth would rehabilitate himself with smart statements about BTC.

What was touted as “The Talk” in the run-up to the event turned out to be an undisputed discussion with little added value. In an egocentric manner, Musk once again talked about himself and his investment – in addition to BTC, he would also own Ether and of course Dogecoin. The Tesla founder confirmed once and for all an assumption that one could already have guessed that it was true: like many of his kind, the tech visionary still misunderstands BTC.

As he did during the Online conversation claiming of himself, he would have thought a lot about money. However, if you listen carefully to the Silicon Valley entrepreneur, you will notice that it is not money that has given him a lot of thought, but payment systems. As a founding member of PayPal, that goes without saying.

Elon Musk’s fundamental misunderstanding

However, there is a crucial one between money and payment systems difference. Money, especially in its fundamental form as base money, is the basis of all economic activity. Payment systems, on the other hand, are scaling solutions that make this money operational. BTC is primarily to be seen as new, alternative (basic) money. The BTC blockchain is designed so “inefficiently” and cannot be scaled arbitrarily, as Musk postulates time and again using the example of Dogecoin, so that the qualities and guarantees of Bitcoins as decentralized, censorship-resistant, tamper-proof and for everyone accessible money receive the best possible stay.

The technological substructure of Bitcoins is ultimately a means to an end and is subordinate to BTC’s function as new alternative (basic) money. Compared to many other cryptos, which are “tech first” for their part, BTC is “money first”. Anyone who puts on these money glasses also understands why BTC is not outdated technology or the Myspace of the crypto world.

One follows the other

When Musk assesses BTC today, he is primarily looking at BTC through the lens of a payment system. That’s not wrong, but he’s just got it the wrong way round. BTC initially wants to be solid money in its essence. The lowercase letter b is often used in English for this basic function of bitcoins.

Bitcoin the network – marked with a capital letter in English – is of course inextricably linked with BTC to money, but the scaling of the Bitcoin network to a global payment network is downstream of money. The progressive monetization of the base layer, also known as the mainchain, seals the establishment of BTC as money. The Bitcoin blockchain serves this (basic) money as the basic settlement infrastructure. The following applies at this level: Money first!

The question that justifiably arises: does innovative technology play no role at all with BTC? Will BTC always simply remain censorship-resistant, non-inflationable and tamper-proof money that does not scale? That gives the answer to that question Lightning network, an additional protocol for sending BTC. BTC units in the form of SATS that are sent via the Lightning network live up to the network name. The whole thing is as quick as lightning.

This technological upgrade makes BTC technically fit for the payment function. For a few weeks now experienced this BTC network experienced a significant growth spurt. Lightning brings BTC to the masses because it creates concrete use cases that solve real problems. At Insight DeFi, we’re already looking forward to being able to report on it practically in the future.

Payment system without volatility

The criticism of the whole thing is often: How should BTC with its price volatility be able to assert itself as a means of payment? Here, too, the answer is clear: he doesn’t have to. BTC is intended to function as a means of payment without having to be a means of payment. How is that supposed to work? The Lightning Network enables dozens of payment options without necessarily having to rely on BTC as an asset. Payments in all possible national currencies can be processed via the Lightning network without being exposed to the price volatility of BTC.

State fiat currencies of any kind can be exchanged for BTC. The BTC units (SATS) used for this are sent directly to the recipient around the globe via the Lightning network in no time at all. The steadily growing financial liquidity of BTC ensures that the cryptocurrency can be exchanged for the corresponding fiat currency at the recipient’s location. Exchange rate fluctuations are irrelevant because the overall process is almost instantaneous. The innovation, the cost savings and the “convenience” are huge.

Read the original text – but do it correctly!

Bitcoin is money and payment network at the same time. Both have incredible potential and are mutually reinforcing. The latter inevitably follows the former. This so important nuance was already clear to the anonymous founder of Bitcoins, which is why he chose the terms in his white paper with care. Satoshi Nakamoto described BTC as an electronic cash system – a subtlety that has unfortunately been overlooked by many.

Viewed retrospectively, he should have emphasized the term cash, as it has a very specific meaning within monetary theory: Since cash is defined as base money, it typically refers to a base money value of a settlement infrastructure.

Nakamoto also had this intention of introducing the BTC blockchain as a basic settlement infrastructure for a blockchain-native base money. From the beginning, BTC was intended as (basic) money, which, as development progressed, would also be supplemented by a payment network such as PayPal and Visa. The innovation over traditional systems is that while gold is base money, it has no inherent payment network. Payment systems such as PayPal and Visa, on the other hand, have no inherent base money and are therefore dependent on fiat currencies such as the US dollar.

BTC offers a synthesis here that combines the best of both worlds. A (base) money on which a seamless payment network is created that only exists for the purpose of scaling BTC. Not least because of this, BTC is also called super gold by some clever minds considered moving within the trajectories of an unstoppable PayPal network.

All content in this article is for informational purposes only and in no way serves as investment advice. Investing in cryptocurrencies, commodities and stocks is very risky and can lead to capital losses.

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