On October 31, 2008, Bitcoin's creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, posted a 9-page text document entitled "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" that presents the features of an innovative electronic payment system.
Actually launched in January 2009, its price was low compared to today and its use was limited to a few nerds and libertarians.
In 2017, the price of Bitcoin exploded from USD 1,000 in January 2017 to USD 20,000 in December.
After a significant drop in value, its price stabilized at USD 4,000 in the fall of 2018.
It was during this period that I became acquainted with crypto-currencies and entered this particular world by chance.
I was in my final year of business law and had to hand in a research paper which would be an important note in the validation of my degree.
Already interested in new technologies, I opted for the subject of crypto-currencies.
My objective was to bring this notion of crypto-currency closer to the basics of French law in order to better understand it.
And to understand you have to define.
Since at that time few legal authors spoke about this subject, and since there was almost no regulation, I had some difficulties to apprehend this new subject.
So I had to do my own research: DYOR
This proverb that I didn't know is particularly important in the crypto world. In fact, I think that this proverb is true for all areas of life, especially law.
After almost a year of research, I finally handed in my dissertation entitled "Legal Aspects of Crypto-assets" which tried to answer the question:
Are Crypto-assets real currencies?
By studying the regulations applicable to currencies, there was no doubt that Crypto-assets were not. However, the study of their practical applications confirmed that Crypto-assets were used as a substitute for traditional currencies.
This is moreover the theory accepted in French law: money is both a value and a medium.
Crypto-assets are a value, but their support is not recognized as a currency because of its monopoly.
The blockchain represents the support of this value, which exists only because it is used as a value, as were shells from time immemorial.
My research led me to be interested in the most modern applications of crypto, i.e., decentralized finance, ICO, decentralized exchanges etc...
This is because the blockchain is a medium that is not limited to value in itself: it is a mode of dematerialization of financial securities, which is called tokenization.
Tokens therefore incorporate financial rights (tokens blocked in smart-contracts), voting rights (governance tokens) or property rights.
Once the result of my research was returned and my diploma validated, I postponed the continuation of my research to later.
Twelve years ago to the day, the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin white paper, certainly without imagining that his creation would meet such a fate.
When I look back at the past since that date, and since my entry into the world of cryptos, I don't know what to think about it.
The world of cryptos and a world of freedom that allows all users to benefit from a value transfer technology that works with a minimum of obstacles anywhere in the world.
This possibility has almost always been the monopoly of the state, which today subcontracts this activity to private banks.
From this point of view, the blockchain has not been the expected revolution, since the crypto market is also a market of freedom, which implies the same shortcomings as traditional financial institutions (centralization and profit-seeking).
However, these meeting points between classical money and Crypto-assets prove that this technology is here to stay.
Like all human inventions, they become what the users make of them.
Multitudes of projects exist, some promising, others not. Some are interested, others not. It is the human being above all.
Thank you for your attention and for reading my article.