With it's decentralized ledger and world-wide access, Bitcoin is not only an interesting investment, but it is also undermining every financial & political system on earth that requires us to trust a central entity to keep a record, and to speak that record back to the public for proof or decision making. Here are the things we spoke about at our round table – they give me some hope for the future that didn't exist in a real way before bitcoin.
The need for real life banks is gone, they can exist for other useful/different reasons, but everyday large scale transactions and most daily personal banking needs, and generally financial security are all no longer bank dependent (nor credit card/website dependent).. Just this alone could really change a lot. If all the resources and money lost to huge salaries, "legal corruption", along with a now very archaic infrastructure (right down to air-conditioned skyscrapers) and untrained staff, were all translated into savings for the common user, the world market would be very different. The amounts of profit that banks make alone is staggering. At least in the billions per bank per year in 1st world countries. Then there is the fraud… Our personal estimates of 10s of trillions of dollars saved over short amounts of times (a few years) seemed almost conservative when taking everything into consideration.
War resistant money! Bitcoin means that people can flee their homeland, leave their home and everything they have, get to some other safe place, use an airport internet hotspot and access their entire life savings without interruption. Also, as a whole, the public money is safe, even if taken over completely, when the military takes over, when the religious wars are waged, no money will necessarily be at risk. We wondered, if wars could not be funded by robbing the country being invaded, could they be fully paid for by taking natural resources and land alone? We weren't sure, but it would take out a big bite. There were so many different little reasons we came up with around war, but I'll move on.
Voting. No need to dwell on this one, obviously voting and fraud is a big conversation these days. A blockchain based voting system is surely going to shed some light on the true opinions of the nation. We were not so sure if this would be a big deal or not, but we decided its best to be sure fraud is dealt with at this level of decision making. But also, since voting could potentially be in your hands, on a phone or device, maybe we vote together on some of the simpler decisions, it could deflate the pressure on higher levels of govt to make these decisions, maybe they could spend some time on important things etc… Why spend so much time discussing things in govt when we could know the exact sentiments of the entire country very quickly and cheaply. This blockchain tech doesn't exist yet so I'll leave it alone.
Immutable history. I mean, this is the first time there is the potential for human history to be recorded in a verifiable way. We could actually be able to all agree on what happened and how it happened because there is a decentralized ledger. If one pays close attention to how much merit and importance we put into history and how things went…With modern education there is a constant need to show you how to feel about the world, why we are the good ones & who is bad. The internet feeds this desire to new heights of addiction. A blockchain of events, not only financial but of all events could change our relationships worldwide.
I know some of these things are blockchain based ideas, I personally believe the bitcoin blockchain is capable of doing all of these things in some way, or at least the network could power & secure these types of tech. Being the one largest, most secure, immutable ledgers on earth with no central authority, there is a reason to continue on with Bitcoin as the main blockchain. These few things I mentioned above are just a small example of the earth-changing things that Bitcoin is capable of, we have only scratched the surface.
I have a well-protected masterseed that I have not memorized, and memorizing it won’t help since it could already be compromised. My solution is to use a clever passphrase on top of that masterseed. I’ve been looking around in Mycelium because I read somewhere that you can appear to access your bitcoin wallet and show any bad guys that it’s empty by using an incorrect passphrase. This makes so much sense that I want to do it, at least just for fun.
As I understand it, the masterseed encodes an integer which is the private key for a bitcoin address, and also a chunk of entropy that is used to generate the paths in the resulting HD wallet. When a passphrase is used, the effect is to change the masterseed so that an entirely different HD wallet is the result. So with one masterseed, you can have as many (invisible!) HD wallets as you want. The feature required is the ability to restore from the masterseed plus passphrase. Indeed, if the wallet is locked with the passphrase, then entering the wrong passphrase gives you a new wallet (and you’d have to realize on your own that you entered the wrong passphrase).
That is my dream: to be able to run Mycelium in front of a bad guy, enter my passphrase, and show that I have zero-balance. An additional feature would be the option for old transactions to show up so that it still looks real, but like everything has been spent.
I have an Android with Mycelium, and I’ve looked at the cold storage and backup features (and the “Advanced” add-a-key feature) and I can’t find a place where I can enter my 12 masterseed words PLUS passphrase and get a new wallet. The only place I found like that is for cold-storage spending, and then it says “no funds found” (as expected). It could at least give me a btc address so I could send some funds to my special secret passphrase address.
I have heard countless arguments that if BU ever gained 75% hashrate and forks, then it must be called Bitcoin because it is the longest chain according to Satoshi’s whitepaper. This statement is absolutely false. The whitepaper only used the longest chain rule to help determine which chain is Bitcoin in the event the Bitcoin network is being attacked. Because there will be more honest nodes mining, the longest chain wins. The longest chain is only used to determine winner…
I.e. if you have loyal guards with guns – quite safe, whereas if you live in a hostel – no so much. This may be true of many other bitcoin storage options, but I am trying to work out why Trezor in particular is touted as such a great leap forward, when there seems to still be this massive vulnerability