How Cryptocurrencies Like Bitcoin Can Democratize Money and Society
As cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin break new records seemingly every day, could this lead to a financial and cultural revolution? Or are we not quite there yet?
Cryptocurrencies have recently gained popularity as an alternative to conventional monetary systems. Blockchain is a system in which a record of transactions made in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are maintained across multiple computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network. Cryptocurrency has no centralized bank controlling the flow of money, but rather a decentralized system controlled by algorithms.
Crypto has been hailed as a way to democratize finances for all, not just wealthy elites. But with the rise in popularity, what are the potential pitfalls of these online currencies?
“Blockchain is a way of digitally marking the development and moving around of this money—you’re making sure that it can’t be counterfeited. They do it in such a way that it’s anonymous and decentralized, but secure,” Zeus Yiamouyiannis, author of Transforming Economy, said.
“The current monetary system can be manipulated; the supply can be manipulated to benefit very few people over the many. As we’ve been seeing over the past few decades, the same pattern keeps emerging and it’s growing, and that is greater and greater gambling by the big boys, to the point where they inherently fail through their greed. And guess who bails them out 100 percent of the time? The little guy who had absolutely nothing to do with it,” Yiamouyiannis said.
How is Planned Obsolescence Harmful to the Environment?
Upgrading to the latest computer or cell phone model has become a habit for us and it’s one that is actively encouraged by the companies manufacturing our devices. This practice of planned obsolescence is nothing new, but now with the components and chemicals needed for our tech gadgets, we need to start considering how planned obsolescence is harmful to the environment.
What is Planned Obsolescence?
The term planned obsolescence, or designed obsolescence, can’t be mentioned without referring to the Centennial lightbulb in Livermore, CA, which has been burning since 1901. The lightbulb was manufactured in the 1890s by the Shelby Electric Company, and hangs in the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department.
The light was originally a 60-watt bulb that now shines at about 4-watts, one of the secrets to its longevity. It has been featured on numerous television shows and even has its own live webcam that updates every 30 seconds.