Continued from Part 2
"So what'd you think of making your first Bitcoin Cash transaction?" I asked.
"I don't know why I got so excited. It wasn't really any different from using my Starbucks app if I think about it," she said.
"You're right, for people living in the first world, they probably don't see a need for Bitcoin. We have credit cards, Venmo, Apple Pay, but that's kind of missing the whole point."
"So tell me, what is the whole point?"
Despite talking a big game, I'm embarrassed to say I didn't know how to answer her. Everything that came to mind sounded either too grandiose, or too frivolous. To her credit, Ashley just sat there patiently sipping her coffee, waiting for my response. Grandiose it is, I decided.
"The whole point is to change the world," I said.
"How?" she asked.
"It's hard to say exactly. It's like with any new technology, you can't predict all the different ways it's going to be used. What I do know is I want to find out. Imagine discovering electricity, or the internet, and then not making the most of it. That's what would happen if we don't eventually adopt the use of cryptocurrencies."
"If you think it's that revolutionary you must have some thoughts about how it might potentially change the world. You can't just assume Bitcoin is going to magically fix everything because you hope it will."
She was right, of course. Despite her difficult questions, I was glad she was forcing me to use my brain.
"Let me ask you something. Do you think the advent of the internet has made the world a better place?"
"In what ways?"
"It's made everything more convenient. Like finding directions, and shopping, and getting information."
"But it's also created new problems as well right? Problems that the people who first helped build the internet may not have seen coming. But overall, I agree, there's no denying the internet has made our lives better. It's also brought the world closer together, and given more people a platform to make their voices heard, no matter their opinion. Either way, I think the more informed people are, and the easier it is for us to connect with others and share ideas, the harder it is to keep people oppressed."
"So you're saying the internet helps us achieve and maintain our freedom," she said.
"Yes, but the truth is we're still not free. The internet as we know it today is controlled by a handful of giant corporations that are bound to act according to the laws of our governments. Basically, they are what's known as a central point of failure, and therefore, they are not censorship resistant. If one day you decide to say something that Facebook or Google or Twitter doesn't like, they can easily deplatform you and silence your voice. That's not the kind of future I want to see."
"Reminds me of something I heard in a documentary once. Something about how instead of having the elected and the electorate, what we have now is a country of rulers and the people they rule over."
"Edward Snowden,” I said.
"Yeah! It was a fascinating documentary. So are you some kind of anarchist or something? Or anarchocapitalist, or whatever they call it?"
"No, I'm just a regular guy that learned about this Bitcoin Cash stuff a couple of years ago and have been falling down the rabbit hole ever since. I guess I've been red-pilled as the cool kids like to say."
"Nice Matrix reference. But I still don't get how Bitcoin Cash is supposed to change the world, or why you support that version versus regular Bitcoin."
I smiled because she was right once again. No wonder this stuff hasn't taken off, I thought, it's so damn hard to explain.
To be continued...