Why choose Bitcoin? Why choose it as money?
The answer to this question lies in the fact that you can even ask it.
Let us recall, you are not asked to choose the dollar (or the Euro, the Pound, etc..). You are born into a world where the dollar is money and where the law says you must accept it as money and everyone around you accepts it as money. And so you take for granted that is money. But if you look closely you’ll see that the dollar isn’t particularly fair money, or very good money, or very hard money.
On the other hand, nobody has forced you, or anyone else for that matter, to use Bitcoin. Noone ever will. No law has been passed dictating that you or anyone must accept Bitcoin. So why should you start to think of it as money?
There are long lists of Bitcoin’s features that people give for why it is better than the dollar (and gold as well). But more important than any one feature is that bitcoin asks you to use it instead of forcing you to. You do not have to accept bitcoin, but you can if you choose to. And bitcoin plans to work hard to get you to do this.
To be your money Bitcoin needs to earn your confidence as well as that of hundreds of millions of other people. Think of what must be true for it to become accepted by a hundred million people, and then a billion of them when each and every one of them must actually choose it.
Moreover, to stay as money it must remain the best choice so that nothing better can come along and take its place.
These two reasons — the need to earn your choice and keep on earning it is what forces Bitcoin to become the best money in the world. Although there are lots of ways to describe Bitcoin, one fundamental way is to say that Bitcoin is a process of becoming and remaining the very best freely chosen money the world has ever and will ever see, according to those who choose it.
Really, how could the dollar, which commands you to use it, or gold, which cannot improve, compete with this? Neither can earn your choice. Whatever it is that people need from money, Bitcoin is the only entity in the world that will improve and adapt to best suit those needs. Interestingly, it turns out that one capability people value in Bitcoin is just how darned hard it is to change, how slow it is to change and how meticulously detailed every aspect of every change is. That’s actually a feature called incorruptibility.
So why choose Bitcoin? Because the very fact that Bitcoin needs you to choose it means that it must be worthy of your choice, which forces it to continuously be better money than any alternative. This creates a self-reinforcing cycle where it just keeps getting better and getting more people to choose it. And more people choosing it itself makes Bitcoin better money, which in turn gets more people to choose it, which makes it better, and so on.
Want more? This entire series (plus a 26th bonus article) is available as a pdf or kindle ebook at https://swanbitcoin.com/whybitcoin.
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This article is the first in a series answering important questions about bitcoin in short, easy to read, yet insightful ways. I’m calling these “Why Bitcoin”