The Digital Evolution of Money. Unraveling the Shift: From Traditional Currency to Digital Assets
September 25, 2023
For many during the last century, the promise of financial security in North America was through employment, the acquisition of property (a house), and the expectation of a pension to sustain you in retirement. After the Second World War, these were the ideals that were sold to the lower and middle class.
Money is a construct that we have all been born into. We have inherited the traditional economic models of our ancestors, and our governments and central banks typically tweak that model when the need arises (wars, market crashes, inflation, etc). Ideally, the people that hold the power in these institutions are mere custodians who are supposed to be responsible for bettering the lives of their citizens. However, given all of our societal and technological advancements in the last century, the traditional financial system appears more broken than ever. Money and the legacy stakeholders of the financial system continue to be gatekeepers to your financial prosperity and independence.
Today, wealth inequality is greater than ever. A university education has never cost more in North America. Inflation continues to spiral out of control, and central banks are inclined to maintain or further raise interest rates. Our governments have printed money at will, and the devaluation of national currencies is confirmed by their diminishing purchasing power. Even when our governments had an opportunity to learn from past mistakes, it seems that those very same gatekeepers continued to set policies that have increased the wealth inequality gap.
Our society has been on a crash course towards a money revolution. With the advent of computer technology, the previous limitations of various societal constructs can be tested. When humans are pushed to the limit, creative minds will find new paths. Such was the case after the 2008 housing market crash when Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the world to Bitcoin.
Bitcoin offered the world a peer-to-peer payment system with a fixed (and unalterable) money supply, where all transactions are verifiable and immutable. Built on the UTXO model blockchain, the network is maintained by computers around the world that mine Bitcoin’s Proof of Work algorithm. As a result, the network is decentralized and is designed such that it can not be controlled by a single entity.
Fast forward over a decade and blockchain technology has grown significantly to create a whole new asset class, known as cryptocurrency. Since Bitcoin, this new financial sector has evolved to be much more than a peer-to-peer payment system. Blockchain developers now strive to create smart contract platforms that offer solutions beyond the financial industry. Decentralized finance (DeFi) has the potential to unlock financial independence with products built on smart contracts. Instead of banks gatekeeping access to liquidity, you can participate in liquidity pools on decentralized exchanges and earn interest from loans through numerous decentralized applications (dApps). Essentially, through the power of smart contracts, you can join the banking class and put your money to work for you - all without the need for a 3rd party intermediary.
Not since Bitcoin has there been a fairer blockchain launch than Ergo. The Ergo Platform is built to be a blockchain for everyone where smart contracts empower the average citizen to take control of their money and be free from financial oppression. Ergo is not just a financial tool, it is a social movement. It is a community of free thinkers and dreamers that believe in open source design and the ability for humans to collectively better the world through honest and transparent technological advancements. Ergo employs the time tested UTXO design that Bitcoin is built upon and incorporates smart contracts through its native programming language, ErgoScript. The result is an incredibly powerful and robust blockchain that prioritizes security above all else.
If this is the first time you are reading about the Ergo Platform, we encourage you to take a look under the hood of this powerful technology. If you are a developer or entrepreneur and are curious how your idea and/or product will benefit from the Ergo blockchain, you are encouraged to participate in the next ErgoHack from October 13-15, 2023. This competition will focus on the development of tools, products, and dApps that further the adoption of Ergo’s technology as it relates to mainstream technologies.
Stay tuned for the next article in our discussion on the Digital Evolution of Money, where we will explore digital wallets and the ways they can interact with the blockchain.