Crypto and the Hidden Kingdom


What do you think of an NFT as a birthday present?

Kids and teens can say, “Great.”

Almost everyone over the age of 50 says, “To what?”

You know, a non-fungible token.

What is that? So what?

An NFT is a single, non-interchangeable unit of data stored in a blockchain (digital book). Still not clear?

You may remember Napster in the 1990’s, an Internet site that shared music by allowing anyone to download music files to their MP3 player. (All readers under the age of 20 just said, “What?” It’s like an iPod but, like, really bad). Once music became digital, it was easy to share with the world with the click of a mouse. The downside – and the illegal part – was that most of the files were hacked, which means stolen.

Today we send millions of files of all kinds worldwide. But what if there was a system that protected digital assets from being hacked, had control over who owned that digital file and showed where it was transferred? Sounds impossible, right? Well, not so much.

Enter blockchain, a distributed registration system that allows everyone to keep track of digital assets – who owns what and what transactions have been made with it. Most have heard of Bitcoin, a digital currency built on a blockchain platform. Now that I’ve mentioned Bitcoin, you’ll find yourself in one of three groups: (1) the maximalists of Bitcoin, who are ardent believers and evangelists of Bitcoin; (2) non-coiners, those who can’t understand why someone put their hard-earned dollar into such a crazy idea; and (3) everyone else: those who are still trying to figure out what all the fuss is about. Full disclosure: I’m in group 3.

Whether it’s Bitcoin, Ethereum, or one of hundreds of other “currencies” (the preferred name for cryptocurrencies by its proponents), the new technology is appealing because it levels the playing field in terms of finance and offers potentially great benefits to participants. . Of course, assuming you are part of group 1 above. It’s like banking without banking commissions, transactions without monitoring, and savings without the intervention of central banks. Each of these currencies represents a community of users and believers. Coins work and gain value as more people join your network.

A small example of the power of this network effect is Dogecoin, a cryptocurrency that was created as a joke. People wanted to join in the joke and started joining the network. In fact, many have joined the Dogecoin joke that caught the attention of a major sports team, the Dallas Mavericks of the National Basketball Association. The Mavericks made their merchandise affordable with Dogecoin. I bang? The joke became a real means of transaction and gained more than 5,200 percent in price over the past year. To be clear, I’m not recommending Dogecoin or giving investment advice here.

Non-coiners mock the idea of ​​the crypto as something born in the dark mind of a computer hacker to be used by groups of renegades and criminals. It’s not for reputable and experienced investors, they decided. However, it’s hard to ignore the fact that there are now “$ 2 trillion” in various currencies and these networks are growing at an exponential rate. The growth rate of these platforms now exceeds the speed at which the Internet and the World Wide Web have been adopted.

Young, hungry and ready for the new

Younger generations are more open not only to adopting this new technology but to participating enthusiastically in the digital economy, where old forms are being replaced by new ideas and technology that makes them easier. Young people seem to understand that systems that have allowed their parents to thrive as owners of wealthy, middle-class assets will not be as generous with them. They recognize the world today as a place where brokers and bankers, functional and financial intermediaries, have taken much of the wealth out of the system for decades to come, leaving gloomy prospects for those without hard assets.

Many people are looking for cryptocurrency, decentralized finance and tokenized assets as a more viable option. They see their future in Bitcoin, Ether, smart contracts, NFT and Web 3.0, which will radically change the way we conduct transactions and how we decide what is considered valuable. New technology and ideology will bypass the old financial systems and allow future generations to bypass the mountains of debt contracted by previous generations.

In this new digital world, the old boundaries are being removed. The structures of national borders and national currencies are replaced by communities of participants. This provides access to financial services that were difficult to acquire for some segments of the population. A network effect of these new digital assets is being created as users grow exponentially, under what is called the Metcalfe Act. The value of these networks will be realized only in the coming years, but there is a growing belief in their accumulated power. According to cryptocurrency proponents, the “old guard” is still desperately clinging to its “hard assets” and does not understand the value of a currency that appears to be created from a single computer code. Ironically, this is despite the fact that investments in stock markets and housing are soaring because central banks print money “from the air”.

We all hear that the definition of madness is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. Perhaps the younger generations understand this and see the madness of today’s economic systems. Perhaps they have intrinsically more faith in their own energy, ingenuity, creativity, and community. Perhaps this is the true core of any economy anyway: the energy and dedication of people working in the economy, not those who have “property rights” over profits. Perhaps they have come to understand that something is only valuable when enough people believe that it is valuable.

We are heading for a collision between the old and the new system of money, finance and transactions. How things will unfold remains to be seen, but it would be short-sighted to rule out new ideas and technologies when a very large cohort of generations are adopting it. They favor a more egalitarian world over an opportunistic approach of winners and losers. It may point to a shift in Protestant ethics and the spirit of capitalism, which has created enormous wealth for many historically Protestant nations, but has left entire continents behind, with little chance of catching up. Maybe now that the children of that work ethic are also facing a bleak future, calligraphy is on the wall.

Eras transitions

As these enormous tectonic changes take place at the base of modern economies, it is grounded — and reassuring — to remember the incarnation of Jesus. Even more powerful than the most publicized NFT in the media, a social revolution began with the birth of Jesus. Jesus came into the world to tear down the old foundations and build a new kingdom. Believers should study how such profound transitions of times unfold.

Bitcoin certainly shouldn’t be equated with the gospel, but both realities offer the promise of something better for people who have little, a community of believers for the underprivileged, and opportunities for the hopeless.

Jesus could not have sent a stronger message to our world today than by his choice to become a poor peasant of an undesirable city, born under a cloud of inaccuracy, living in a besieged nation. He did not choose to come as part of the rich old guard, but was fully integrated as a member of the new kingdom he was revealing. The old ways of doing things had given way to casteism, elitism and division. The poor were oppressed in this world, with little hope of salvation in the next. Jesus completely rejected that “superior” class, condemning his materialism, hypocrisy, and lack of compassion.

When Jesus walked this earth, he did not set out to “change the world,” at least in the usual way. He walked with a small group of men and women to help them see this new kingdom. He shared his joy, energy, and enthusiasm in building a new community of faith. It offered a new way of valuing people, their actions, and their intentions. This small community of believers was to become the evangelists of his kingdom. And when these 120 people caught sight and received the power of the Spirit, they set fire to the world with a power never seen before.

The gospel proclaimed by Christ to the hopeless had enormous power, and the message went viral. That same message proclaimed today can also have a tremendous impact. Not because the language used is different, but because, again, there are actions that match the words. In the twilight of our economic era, the actions of generosity, compassion, and care for our community are a marked differentiator. In Jesus, people saw a Son of David. Jesus acted with the authority, dignity, and benevolence of a king, in contrast to earthly rulers.

What if the world saw in us a son, a daughter, of the King, co-heir with Christ, who breathes the air of royalty? Like who has a seat at the table, and not like those who fight for the remains that fall from it? What if we really believe we have already inherited it as a son or daughter? Would we continue our efforts for material wealth? Would it change the way we treat ourselves? Despite the chaos, struggle, corruption, and injustice in the world, will we find peace and joy? Have we become a beacon in a dark world that attracts those who walk groping in the shadows?

Jesus came to this land near the point of failure of the ancient Hebrew social and economic systems. He used the failure of those systems as a lever to start his new kingdom. The dichotomy has revealed to many the true virtues of God’s principles. It is appropriate for his return to seem imminent as we approach the point of failure of our current capitalist system. As the old guard desperately tries to maintain this system, the new generations eagerly seek change.

Young people are turning to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, where they see the promise of something better. They are building communities and systems that seek to break down barriers and offer new approaches. They enthusiastically accept the change because they see that the current system is broken. Inspired by a new world of potential and optimism, they evangelize, while others who see the system as a zero-sum game tend to accumulate and protect. It is unclear whether this new currency will work; if this blockchain revolution is successful; but the energy that drives the idea is palpable. The goals and objectives of this movement, to create a fairer world with more opportunities for all, are what many are embracing.

Why it worked and still works

People of all ages, cultures, states, and religions came to Jesus as they listened to the promise of something better. Jesus proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of heaven that broke down barriers in his age and in all ages. He revealed the transforming power of glimpses of that new world. Once you see it, you can’t wake it up. That look changes you when you meet her.

The power of this kingdom is real. It transcends all the power, position and money that our culture considers crucial. Goodness knows no state. Real joy is priceless. Peace in our hearts is more powerful than an army. According to God’s Word, the citizens of the kingdom of heaven will usher in a new era in a glorious final display of the beginnings of their kingdom.


Tim Aka He is an associate treasurer and investment director at the Seventh-day Adventist General Conference in Silver Spring, Maryland.



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