Flitz is a Lightning Network gateway that allows you to buy Bitcoin. If you’re new to all of this, that phrase must sound like absolute gibberish to you. To understand the Lightning Network, one must first understand Bitcoin. And to understand Bitcoin, one must first understand Euro’s ! So, I’ll start of by explaining traditional currencies.
Money is such a central part of society that it’s impossible for people to give any coherent definition of it. Yes you might have heard about the Holy Trinity: Store of Value, Medium of Exchange and Unit of Account. But that’s a load of 💩 that boomer economists tend to throw around to hide the fact that economics isn’t even a real science. They’re all just making stuff up as they go along.
Instead of rigorous definitions, let’s look at how an average person’s interaction with money goes:
- You open a bank account.
- Get a job, watch as the number on your bank account goes up by a certain amount every month.
- Watch as the number decreases because of your monthly rent payment.
- Go get some groceries: Swipe your card at the shop.
- Buy stuff online: Pay with your card
- Dream of buying a house: Go ask your parents for a boatload of money, go beg the bank to give you a loan, and pay an exorbitant amount of money to someone who already has multiple houses. Hope the ridiculous real estate market lasts forever so you’re not the one holding the bag.
As Satoshi said himself, the problem here is all the trust that’s required, at every level of the pyramid. There are 2 main themes here: privacy and purchasing power. And they are both manifestations of existing oligarchs (both in the private sector and in the government) trying to grab more and more power.
- Your privacy when doing payments is non-existent. Wether you use a credit card, a debit card, an online payment, your bank app: the data of your transactions is monitored, aggregated, sold to everyone under the sun that pays for it, and flagged if it is deemed inappropriate. Between the moment you sweep your card and the money appears on the merchant’s bank account, they are processed by a legion of payment processors, credit cards companies, and god knows who else. Allmost all payment worldwide are processed in some way by 2(!) companies: VISA and Mastercard. The infrastructure requires large-scale surveillance to function, so there must be a better alternative. GDPR doesn’t protect you because it has carved out exceptions for al kinds of financial data, but you should never rely on the law to protect you anyway: it’s better to rely on technology that can’t be evil instead of counterparties that promise they won’t be evil.
- Purchasing power is declining left, right and center. And I’m not even talking about what happened after COVID. Real estate prices have gone through the roof since 2008, indicating that nothing in the financial system has changed and everything is as rotten as it ever was. Luckily the price of a beer is stable, so people drink to forget they will never own a (decent) house. Indeed, the price of the one thing that nearly everyone wants to buy is increasing at an instoppable pace, and the pandemic has only made it worse. Interest rates being near 0, a perverse feedback loop is created where rich people feel renting out property is the only thing that generates some cashflow, so they take out another loan, which they can get easily since they have enough assets to make the bank feel comfortable enough to let them borrow at rock bottom rates. People advocating for more government intervention to stop this spiral are missing the point: government intervention is what got us here in the first place. Yes, the central bank has become a political institution and everyone knows it. They might save us from short-term harm by keeping the printing press rumbling, but they are inevitably kicking the can down the road and they won’t be able to save us from the demons at the end of said road.
The reasons above are the reasons why Bitcoin is important. Yes, the price may go up and down and up again and down again, you might make lots of money or you might lose money. But that’s not what it is about. It’s about a revolution. A truly grassroots revolution based on open-source software and freedom of transaction. A most peaceful revolution.
If you still aren’t convinced, take some time and listen to the words of Andreas Antanopoulos:
In the next article, we’ll explain what Bitcoin is and how it works.