We at Celsius Network believe that blockchain is about so much more than just flipping digital coins to get rich. Blockchain is about freedom, liberty, security, veracity, and progress. These are ideals that some of the brightest minds in history have stood up for, and if blockchain technology had been around in their time, they would’ve taken a real shine to it. From former US presidents to celebrated literary experts, here are five historical figures that would have wholeheartedly embraced blockchain.
Former President Andrew Jackson was an outspoken critic of banks, central banks, and their impact on the political process.
Jackson was involved in the fight against the Second Bank of the United States. According to UsHistory.org, the bank “was a depository for federal funds and paid national debts, but it was answerable only to its directors and stockholders and not to the electorate.” In other words, it was in many ways a precursor to the modern central bank — such as the US Federal Reserve. It would have been a private bank that served its wealthy masters, not the public.
Jackson’s desire to defeat the bank “became almost an obsession.” One of his key reasons for opposing the new pseudo central bank was concerns that it would damage the hardness of the US dollar. In simple terms, that means it would weaken the buying power of the dollar over time, thus leading to increased inflation in the hopes of easy credit for short term gains.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are the ultimate “hard money.” They have no need for central banks, can’t be printed at will for short-term gains, and are highly resistant to inflation. If he had cryptocurrencies, Jackson could have said goodbye to the bankers.
Milton Friedman was an economist who believed that the Federal Reserve should be abolished. His reasons for disliking The Fed relate to its poor performance in managing the US economy, among other criticisms. He further argued that fractional reserve banking (when banks loan out more money than they have in deposits) should be ended.
As a libertarian, Friedman believed that The Fed should be “replaced with a computer program.” He described this in an interview with the Hoover Institution back in 1999, saying:
“I would substitute a computer for [The Fed], not a central bank. All you would have to do is have it buy or sell X dollars of securities. It is purely a technical matter.”
Bitcoin is not a debt-based currency. While essentially all fiat currencies today are based entirely on debt, Bitcoin and other similar cryptocurrencies are more akin to gold. Compare this to the Federal Reserve where each time they print one dollar, a debt is created that must be repaid by the government. Lastly, Friedman’s dream of passing over control to a computer could easily be realized through stablecoin design.
Sometimes the truth seems like sand slipping through one’s fingers on a windy beach. That’s almost certainly how Solzhenitsyn felt during his youth and adulthood living in the Soviet Union. Solzhenitsyn went on to write one of the most important pieces of literature, a detailed account of life behind the iron curtain and the merciless censorship and constant changing of facts by the Soviet regime. Censorship was so pervasive in the Soviet Union that editing photos to remove people or other details became commonplace.
Solzhenitsyn himself was also the victim of censorship, with his earlier works being forced out of the hands of would-be readers.
Blockchains allow for true immutability of information. Once a record is placed onto a blockchain, it can never be altered, censored, or deleted. For an intellectual like Solzhenitsyn who wanted to share his writing with the world, blockchain could have been a way to get around harsh censorship. It could also be used as a record of proof in the event that someone or something tries to change facts or figures.
Ada Lovelace was a brilliant mathematician and early computing pioneer. She envisioned a world where computers could do so much more than just calculations — or that those calculations could be harnessed for something much greater. She suggested that while computers may deal entirely in numbers, those numbers could be assigned to represent almost anything. That representation is what lead Lovelace to believe that computing would be so much more than just the solving of math equations.
Lovelace was the first person to create an algorithm specifically designed to run on a computer, and this was back in 1840. Today she is remembered as an influential pioneer of computing, decades before computing as we know it today existed.
Lovelace predicted that computing would become more than just solving equations. Blockchain and cryptocurrency represent this exactly. We’ve reached a point in our development of computing that we’ve created a system where any abstract concept (money, ownership, contracts, and more) can be represented by numbers in a distributed computer system. That system (or group of systems) now spans the globe and will undoubtedly only grow in influence and importance.
Staying one step ahead of counterfeiters — that was the goal of Benjamin Franklin during his younger years. From his print shop, Franklin developed techniques to try and outmaneuver the increasingly sophisticated counterfeiters that did their best to make fake local currency. The acts of the counterfeiters frustrated him to such a degree that he printed the phrase, “To Counterfeit is DEATH” on some of the notes he produced.
To fight counterfeiters, Franklin used a printing with “distinctive contours of leaf spines, stems and veins” that made copying the notes exactly nearly impossible.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies simply cannot be counterfeited. The system is designed so that every unit of bitcoin can be tracked all the way back to the day it was mined. With paper notes and coins, counterfeiters only need to fool the quick glance of a human eye. Cryptocurrency aside, blockchains are being used to help prevent other kinds of counterfeit goods such as food and medicine from entering the global marketplace. This is done by tracking goods and shipments as they move across the world through unique ID codes. If he had access to blockchain, Franklin could’ve breathed a sigh of relief knowing that he would never need to fight counterfeiters again.
Which historical figure do you think would’ve embraced blockchain and cryptocurrency? Let us know your ideas in the comments below!
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