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Of Bitcoin, Cynics and Incumbent Disbelievers

March 2018

Typically, there are two kinds of people that are against change: Cynics and incumbents. Cynics will always resist change, it's in their nature. They can't really offer any sort of rationale for their negative outlook, they just view everything that is part of change through sombre lenses and just prefer the status quo.

Cynics run the gamut: some are just mildly pessimistic and don't really much care either way what happens next, so long as they get to spread some doom and gloom before it happens. Others are vehemently against change, any kind of change. And what's more, they will argue till the cows come home that they're right about stopping things from changing.

Incumbents, however, are a different kettle of fish. Incumbents only occur in the vehement variety, their vehemence coming forth from their fear of being made redundant as a result of the disruption caused by change. That said, some incumbents can be quite crafty; they'll proffer their incredulousness and their arguments wrapped in seeming indifference or even resignation. But this approach is nothing more than a ploy to try and make their nay-saying message ring more prophetic.

Cynics have been arguing against change since for ever. I can hear the grunts now: Why would you want to use this spangled "fire" thing when eating our mammoth steaks raw has been just fine for us since the dawn of time? Looks like fire is more dangerous than beneficial. Just look at how easy you burn your fingers. And what happens when the fire goes out of control? No fire for me thanks.

Once the world got a hold of commercialism, incumbents joined the fray.

Why would you need a motorcar when horses have been in use successfully for thousands of years? What's the motorcar driver going to do when instead of a road, there is a narrow and sandy track. What will he do when he encounters a river? Of course if he's decided to take his journey on a trusted horse, he would have traversed the track, as well as the river, without so much as a pause.

The horse and carriage lobby must have sounded something like this. Joined of course by the horse smiths, the horse breeders and all other horse-related industries.

Imagine the arguments during the early days of the airplane. You can hear them now: if man was meant to fly, we would have had wings. Man will never fly. What's more, we don't need to fly anywhere, since we already have trains. Trains can go a blazing 50 kilometers per hour! Surely that's fast enough. Exactly how fast do you want to travel anyway?

So argued the railway firms, track-building outfits, as well as the telegraph incumbents. All of these stood to lose so much once flying to far-away places - God forbid - should become accessible and affordable.

Internet? Why would anyone in their right mind need internet? We can already stay in touch with friends and family by writing letters and even by telephone. And we're getting all the news we need from tv and our newspaper. This works just fine.

Those were surely the words of the telcos worldwide, the post offices, as well as publishers, newspapers, along with other industrial behemoths who'd thoroughly relished in their monopoly positions until then.

Who needs Bitcoin when you have Fiat?

And now it's the banks, money remitting firms and the credit card companies. All of them are stumbling over each other to knock, belittle, criticize and otherwise disqualify Bitcoin. Why would you need Bitcoin when gold and money have been in use successfully for thousands of years?

Yes, the fear for disruption runs deep. The most we can hope for is hackneyed parroted one-liners about Blockchain perhaps becoming somewhat useful at some stage in the future. But Bitcoin? It's nowhere near as good as money, nowhere near as good as gold and, in fact, rather an unnecessary evil, given its widespread use amongst criminals.

But not all of the finance/payment incumbents are this blinkered. Some, like PayPal, know that if you can't beat them, it's better to join them. To wit, PayPal has publicly paved the way for including Bitcoin-related payment options into their repertoire. In fact, as a whole, PayPal has been rather generous when commenting on Bitcoin, in particular Bitcoin's promise.

Perhaps, unlike most financial institutions, PayPal understands that you can't really stop an idea whose time has come. All the protestations against the motorcar, the airplane, internet, mobile phones, all of the fear mongering, the mud-slinging, the discontent, all of it was in vain back then. And all of it will be in vain today.

Bitcoin is here to stay. You ain't seen nothing yet.

Thinking of getting some crypto? This is how you do it. / Buy some.

I wrote the above article myself and it expresses my own personal opinions and views on Bitcoin. I am unable to guarantee that the information and/or results will be correct. Furthermore, whilst I own some cryptocurrencies, I do not receive compensation for my writing and I have no business relationship with any of the companies mentioned in above article. In addition, I am not an investment advisor and above article is for purely informational purposes. Investors are advised to personally undertake adequate due diligence, or to consult a financial advisor in order to determine what assets - if any - are appropriate to invest in.

Bryan, a Singapore PR, has spent two separate stints in Singapore, spanning close to two decades. As is the case for most non-techies, although Bryan's first exposure to Bitcoin was around 2010, it wasn't love at first sight. However, Bitcoin's impressive resilience, meteoric rise and world-changing potential have converted Bryan, to the extent that he has now pivoted to fully commit to Bitcoin.

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