It’s hard to summarize in a short blurb, but there is one thing everyone seems to agree on – Bitcoin polarizes people. Some believe it’s the answer we’ve been waiting for while others think this “magic internet money” will only lead us further down an environmentally destructive path of economic ruin and moral decay. In his Ted Talk, Dr. Michel Rauchs explores why Bitcoins provoke such strong emotions from those who love them or hate their presence.
Dr. Rauchs frames his exploration by discussing the two different types of people in the world of cryptocurrency -those who love Bitcoin and those who hate it. He argues that both sides are right in their own ways, and that it’s important to understand both perspectives before making a judgement about Bitcoin’s role in our society.
For those who love Bitcoin, Dr. Rauchs explains that it represents a unique opportunity to create a new financial system that is not controlled by governments or banks. This decentralized system has the potential to empower individuals and give them more control over their own finances. Additionally, Bitcoin could help reduce fraudulent activities, as all transactions are recorded on a public ledger (known as the blockchain).
However, those who hate Bitcoin often point to the fact that it uses a lot of energy to power the network, and this energy consumption is only increasing as more people use Bitcoin. They also argue that the decentralized nature of Bitcoin makes it susceptible to be used for illegal activities, as there is no one authority that can shut down the network.
Ultimately, Dr. Rauchs believes that whether you love or hate Bitcoin, it’s important to understand both sides of the argument. Only then can we make an informed decision about the role cryptocurrency should play in our society.
Dr. Michel Rauchs is a Luxembourgian born cryptocurrency researcher. Having been interested in the intricacies of monetary and financial systems for a long time, Dr. Rauchs went down the proverbial rabbit hole after discovering the cryptocurrency Bitcoin in early 2014, and has yet to find his way out. For the last two years, he has been leading the Cryptocurrency and Blockchain research program at the Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge, where he co-authored six research studies and co-created the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI), a real-time model estimating Bitcoin’s annual electricity consumption. Dr. Rauchs is currently a Senior Research Associate at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and an Affiliate at the MIT Media Lab, where he is working on projects related to digital currencies and blockchain technologies.