2020 was unforgettable, especially for Bitcoin. To commemorate this year for our readers, we asked our network of contributors to think about Bitcoin’s price action, tech development, community growth, and more in 2020, and what all of this could mean for 2021. These writers responded with a collection of thoughtful and thought-provoking articles. click here to read all the stories from our End Of Year 2020 series.
Departure from 2020
This year was a wild ride.
We’ve seen a blitzkrieg about civil liberties all over the world. The current new normal is nothing less than a dark and previously unimaginable dystopia. The population has hitherto been eager to comply, even to the point of reporting each other for non-compliance and, in some cases, demanding further restrictions on their own freedoms be introduced.
Information warfare is everywhere, with hugely accelerating censorship deployed through corporate media and Big Tech platforms. As a result, an already divided population is more divided than ever before. Reality has branched out and people cannot easily verify which fork holds the truth.
Amid all this chaos, Bitcoin remains the constant, pushing out blocks of verifiable truth every 10 minutes. Absolutely resistant to censorship. A bastion of freedom and rationality that gives much-needed hope to those who have discovered it.
We started 2020 with around $ 7,000, with a hash rate of just under 100 EH / s. At the time of writing, the bitcoin price is $ 26,998, with a hash rate of around 140 EH / s. The fundamentals of Bitcoin have been getting stronger and the Number Go Up technology has proven itself.
Bitcoin’s biggest day of 2020 was undoubtedly May 11, block time 630,000. Bitcoin did the opposite of the fiat printing presses and went through the third halving, halving the inflation rate again. This happened in symphony with central banks around the world going full-blown to an unprecedented degree, sending a powerful signal to those who were not fully asleep. The metaphor of Bitcoin as a lifebuoy suddenly resonated stronger and more urgent than ever before. The core mechanism of Bitcoin’s Number Go Up technology became visible to all, diminishing new supply in a world of increasing new demand.
As of May 11, only 6.25 BTC are being spent per block, or a total of 900 BTC per day. One company alone, MicroStrategy, has since withdrawn more than 40,000 BTC from the market. This represents approximately 45 days of fresh bitcoin supply. MicroStrategy stocks have skyrocketed nearly three times since then, and Gigachad Michael Saylor has shown boardrooms around the world a way to store their excess cash reserves that will be hard to ignore.
In my opinion, 2017 was the year that Bitcoin won. The SegWit upgrade was finally activated successfully, ending a brutal civil war in the Bitcoin community. A “war” that, in my opinion, was produced more by business interests and bad actors than actually reflected the situation on the ground. Keeping the block size small and scaling off-chain has always been a good idea for those who understood that decentralization is everything in Bitcoin.
But why am I starting 2017?
Because 2021 seems to be the year when the first major upgrade after SegWit is activated. It looks like Schnorr / Taprott will bring much-needed privacy and scale improvements to the table. These consensus rules have already been merged into the Bitcoin Core code, but the activation method remains undecided.
Bitcoin is currently seeing a growing divide between those who view the cypherpunk ideals of censorship resistance and privacy as inviolable and sacred, and those who seem to think that these ideals hinder Bitcoin’s adoption and that Bitcoin should evolve in harmony with the political system and comply to the requirements of governments.
Any change to the protocol, or even proposals to change it, are potential attack vectors that can be used to harm Bitcoin. Hopefully Schnorr / Taproot is the last major upgrade to the Bitcoin base layer. The faster the protocol solidifies and is considered an immutable constant, the better it is for Bitcoin in my opinion. We must avoid creating any kind of opening for those who want to change inflation rate, supply cap or other important characteristics in the future. The hardest money on earth needs rules set in stone that are impossible to change.
It remains to be seen if we will have a peaceful and non-controversial activation of Schnorr / Taproot. I think there is a risk that once again we will see government and corporate interests along with bad actors and powerful individuals who are usually focused on the short term value of their bitcoin holdings, battling it out against those who use Bitcoin as an extremely powerful weapon of individual sovereignty that the world will change dramatically. However it plays out, I am sure Bitcoin will come out stronger and hardened on the other side.
In the future, I am extremely optimistic about Bitcoin. The current nasty endgame of the fiat system is what Bitcoin was made for; a readily available tool to take back our sovereignty. The phase for accelerating Bitcoinization is perfection, and 2021 looks likely to be the year when it all explodes to a whole new level of awareness and acceptance. I predict serious FOMO will come in from both retail and institutions by 2021.
None of this would have been possible if the ones who weren’t making me the most optimistic and optimistic about Bitcoin’s future hadn’t been. Everywhere I go I see people building, creating, writing. A vibrant nest of Cyber Hornets that never sleeps. Existing projects are getting stronger and new ones are popping up faster and faster. New use cases are identified and expanded. An explosion of art and cultural content. Grass roots and organic. A very real sense of growth and acceleration.
Bitcoiners really are a special kind of people. Independent minds who have finally found something that resonates strongly and deeply. The Bitcoin Rabbit Hole is an in-depth journey that gives motivation and dedication to those who discover it. And there is no exit.
The network effect is extremely strong. We now have more Bitcoiners in positions of power and influence than ever before. More HODLers Of Last Resort. More highly motivated Cyber Hornets willing to fight and die for protocol. Bitcoin has been spreading for 12 years, growing its mycelium organically through ghosts and infrastructure around the world. And it has never been more necessary.
This is a guest post from Hodlonaut. The views expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.