Bitcoin and Digitization: Overhauling Society in a Digital Age
Many people look at digital trends and label them as mere phases. Despite the presence of the e-book, for example, many still prefer print editions of the texts they read. They hate going digital for some reasons, a particularly common one being that “their brains just won’t go there.”
Also read: The Bitcoin Question: Buy Now or Cry Later?
Which is why a good question to ask is, “How smart do you have to be to use and understand bitcoin?” Well, you don’t have to be a genius. Bitcoin, in many ways, operates in a manner similar to standard currency or stocks. You can purchase with it, you can trade it, etc. Those of us with a Coinbase account or anything similar knows that once you get the basics down, there’s not much to stress over.
But the question of real intelligence in this matter doesn’t necessarily apply towards bitcoin usage, but to one’s overall attitude towards bitcoin. Many still look at digital currency as something that will eventually disappear — something that will lose popularity and ultimately die out. Current times don’t necessarily suggest this, and those who intelligently see bitcoin as an addition to our ongoing digitization rather than something that’s merely “running through the mill,” likely understand this to a greater degree.
As our society flourishes, we are stretching deeper into an ongoing financial age. As mentioned with the e-book above, texts are now being delivered through computerized means. Many offices and companies around the world have gone paperless. We pay bills online, and we send emails and resort to social media to get messages across to our friends and neighbors. It’s rare to see anyone pick up a pen and paper these days and write a formal letter that gets sent through the mail.
We also rely on things like Google Docs, OneDrive, and iCloud to “share” things digitally. Rather than having to print our items and mail them, we merely send our would-be recipients the links to the documents we’ve created. Rather than printing out school assignments, we post PowerPoint slides online.
Our digital reliance is growing like never before. Bitcoin is part of this ongoing movement, and those who would continue to deny the entrance of a digital age are merely looking through a protective lens. They likely feel as though advancements in technology — as well as changes in how the world operates — threatens their way of life. However, digitization doesn’t necessarily threaten morality or the principles we hold as a society. It doesn’t threaten good judgment or business ethics. Things are only changing on the surface, and it doesn’t represent the end of an era, so to speak. It merely suggests the start of a new one.
When Guttenberg invented the printing press in the 15th century, it did not die out 500 years later in the face of computer advancements and societal changes. Rather, it advanced along with those who would operate it. His creation is considered by many to be one of the most revolutionary items to ever exist, as it invokes a service that we still use to this day. When the days of mass publishing and computer printers arose, the printing press simply took on new forms. The basic function is the same, though, and the item itself, packaged in a Lexmark or Hewlett-Packard box, may look different, but still exists wholeheartedly…
And despite the the growth of our digital age, the rise of paperless societies and global media sharing, an invention like the printing press is not likely to meet its end in the near future. After all, we do still rely heavily on printing. Perhaps not as heavily as we did 100 years ago, but the service cannot be considered obsolete. Books are still published and printed traditionally, and there are certainly teachers out there that prefer to have reports turned in by hand.
However, through our vastly expanding digital methods, one cannot help but wonder what revolutionary changes and creations we’re likely to witness firsthand in the next 20, 30 or even 50 years. Bitcoin has already led to something of a revolution already. What will follow in its footsteps?
What will our age of digitization lead to next? What would you like to see in the future? Post your thoughts below!
The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those of Bitcoinist.net.