It’s been 14 years since Bitcoin’s inception, and the narratives around it haven’t changed a lot. We still read how it’s money for criminals, an energy waster, and how it will never be a store of value because it’s not as good as gold.

These statements are narratives we hear from outside the Bitcoin social layers. You often read or listen to them in the media while having a pint with your banker friends. Funnily enough, this was always the case just before the price pumped or we prepared to go into a bull market.

However, in recent years we also saw some of the narratives within the Bitcoin social layers shift. Innovations like the Lightning Network or Liquid are a big reason for this. Bitcoin, at its core, is still slow by choice, but with these innovations, we see things speed up massively.

Although both solutions are still relatively new and not used by many people, they have won over a lot of supporters. Some of them are so convinced that they created new narratives. One of them was that Bitcoin is no longer a store of value, although most of it is still HODLd, a medium of exchange because you can now pay with it in seconds.

Many don’t call it Magic Internet Money anymore because it has evolved and should now be accepted as a currency. To them, that term is outdated and often resembles the narratives we read about Bitcoin in the pre-Lightning or Liquid days.

We’re Still Early

I know we read this sentence a lot in the Bitcoin space, but this whole ecosystem is still tiny compared to what’s out there.

For most people who’re not on nostr or Twitter all day, Bitcoin still seems weird. Granted, the negative press is not helping, but for most of them, it’s not a viable option because most of us in the West don’t need it.

It looks slightly different in the Global South or countries with high inflation. Still, many consider Bitcoin a speculative asset, not an alternative to the Fiat system.

Suppose they’re courageous or eager enough to dig deeper and jump down the Bitcoin rabbit hole. In that case, they’ll discover a few avenues, from the energy debates to new economics principles and the cypherpunk movement.

However, this happens if a person jumps down the rabbit hole. For the rest of them, Bitcoin is still a weird Internet thing, and if they had to describe it, they would call it: Weird Internet Money.

Now, let’s embrace the term more instead of fighting this and doing the typical Bitcoin thing we always do: to be weird and obnoxious online. Bitcoin already has a PR problem, and we won’t fix it if we continue to fight these narratives. Especially if they come from people we want to help and support soon.

Let’s Use The Internet For Good!

So far, we’ve established that the Bitcoin community shouldn’t shy away from the term Magic Internet Money. We should embrace it instead of fighting it and trying to make Bitcoin seem cool. Because if you compare the Internet and Bitcoin with each other, you’ll find a lot of similarities.

In essence, both protocols are here to transfer information. One is a bit more versatile; although it took us some years to get web interfaces and applications on top of the internet, the other is still in its childhood.

Both technologies have a decentralization aspect to them. Granted, the internet lost a lot of its early flair thanks to Big Tech and three-letter agencies taking over, but at its core, it still allows applications to be decentralized.

Email is a great example, the core protocol is decentralized, and anyone can engage with anyone on the network. However, more and more people started using these Big Tech companies’ free, simple-to-use services. Bitcoin is very similar to this but with one subtle difference.

The main layer allows everyone in the network to own a part. If you own the keys to your wallet and you’re in control of it, you essentially own a piece of the timechain and become a co-owner with all the other people.

This is impossible on the Internet because the main layer is always controlled by an entity or a group of people. I don’t want to open that Pandora’s box because it’s complicated to explain how the DNS system is managed. For the sake of it, we can call it anything but decentralized.

However, if we ignore the struggles with the main layer, we’ll see many more similarities. Bitcoin has the Lightning Network and other Layer Two solutions to boost efficiency. Whether you want faster payments, a new monetization tool to reward everyone online or secure your Bitcoin better, there is a solution.

The same can be said for the Internet. Since the U.S. government started to crack down with backdoors to everything, new layers or applications popped up from things like PGP to own protocols like Signal. These are just two examples that protect users’ privacy. New frameworks also pop up to ease getting websites, blogs, or information online.

However, the internet struggled in one place, money. There were attempts, but inevitably, all failed because you always had a centralized entity controlling everything. This is a problem because governments can shut them down, or third parties can attack them.

These days we have digital money in the form of credit and debit cards, which can be spent online with services like Stripe or PayPal. But the same issue remains, they’re companies and can act as gatekeepers. Just look at how they shut down the trucker protestors in Canada in early 2022. This cannot be the base for Internet Money, as the money should be decentralized and distributed evenly.

That’s where Bitcoin comes in. It was on January 3rd, 2009 when Satoshi Nakamoto released the first version of the Bitcoin software and offered it to the world for free. Anyone who was tech-savvy enough could get set up and mine Bitcoin. It took a few years to be spendable, but we inevitably got there. The beauty behind Bitcoin is its decentralization and its openness.

I can trust a third party if I want to - I urge you not to and to self-custody as much as you can - or I can take it upon myself and fully own my Bitcoin property. I say property because there is more to it than just your wallet. You can run your node, have an ASIC at home, or be part of a Bitcoin company. All of these things are properties that are integrated into the ecosystem.

For the first time, we have a monetary good that allows everyone in the world to engage with or pay someone on the other side of the world. The technology can also be integrated into modern web infrastructure, allowing us to build new products for different markets. Just think about what’s possible with creators and the Value4Value model.

Sure, we’ll get to a point when the world will embrace Bitcoin, whether as a medium of exchange or a unit of account. However, it will never lose its reputation as Magic Internet Money because it was the first and arguably the last of its kind. Ever since that January in 2009, the Internet has had its currency. We, as Bitcoiners, should embrace this more and not be too hostile about the term but optimistic about the future that Bitcoin will enable.

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