What is Bitcoin? Some people say it is digital gold or gold 2.0, a store of value that is appropriate for the digital age we are entering. Others say it is a new kind of cash that will eventually become the new global standard replacing all other forms money. While both ideas capture different ways Bitcoin can be used, at the base level Bitcoin is an open-source, decentralized, peer-to-peer network that records the transaction of a fixed supply of digital accounting units over time without the need of a third-party for verification. So simply put Bitcoin is a software for sound money.
In order to best understand the need for such a software, we must first understand what sound money is. Money is basically something that we use to represent value so we can store our wealth and make transactions for goods and services. Sound money simply means, money that has certain characteristics that make it most useable. Sound money has 5 basic characteristics:
- Divisible, allowing us to transact at varying scales.
- Durable, meaning it persists over time.
- Recognizable, which lets us quickly determine its value and verify it is not counterfeit.
- Portable, making it easy to secure and move across space.
- Scarce, providing resistance to supply inflation and counterfeiting.
People have used many different things as money over the years from seashells and glass beads to tally sticks and precious metals such as gold. Obviously, some things are sounder, i.e., they work much better, than others.
Seashells, for instance are divisible and portable, but they are not durable or scarce – anyone can just crush them to reduce the money supply or find more to add to it. Gold money like coins and bars have arguably been the best money that humanity has come up with. It has all the characteristic except one: portability.
Because of the lack of portability of large amounts of gold, banks were formed to warehouse the gold and then paper certificates, or IOU’s, were printed to represent the amount of gold being held. These certificates were then distributed into the public and then used as money. This was the best system that humanity had ever come up with except for one problem. Greed.
Over the years the banks and the governments that run the banks eventually start to print more IOU’s than there are gold bars in the vaults to back them. This leads to the loss of trust from the holders of the paper certificates and eventually the government turns to fiat money which is money ‘by decree’ or ‘because I said so’ and has value equal to the strength of the military of the government who prints it.
This story is as old as time.
People create value, value is stored in money, government corrupts money, people overthrow government and the process cycles repeatedly all because we were unable to find a money that could not be corrupted by us. Until now, that is…
As described above Bitcoin is just a software, but it is a software that was designed with all five of the characteristics of money. It has a fixed supply of 21,000,000 digital coins or tokens that can never be destroyed or duplicated which makes it durable and scarce. Each bitcoin is made up of 100,000,000 units called Satoshis (or Sats) so it is easily divisible. Because is it digital, it is portable and recognizable so there is no need for anyone but the owner of it to hold it. So, there it is, perfect money that cannot be corrupted.
According to Saifedean Ammous who wrote the popular book, The Bitcoin Standard, “Bitcoin can be best understood as distributed software that allows for transfer of value using a currency protected from unexpected inflation without relying on trusted third parties.”
Bitcoin is the perfect money. However, just like any new technology, it will take time before everyone adopts it and it becomes more stable. At Native Ceuticals, we try to promote health on every level even at the monetary level. Sound money just means healthy money and as experts in the field of health and wellness, it is only right for us to both use and promote the use of the healthiest money the world has ever seen.
Therefore, Native Ceuticals is happy to announce that we are implementing Bitcoin payments on the lightning network throughout our entire company. We are working with a global leader in Bitcoin adoption, IBEX Mercado, to make it possible to pay with Bitcoin in our stores and online. All our licensees will also be able transact in Bitcoin on the corporate level for inventory purchases saving them on transaction fees.
This is just the beginning, and we look forward to what future innovations Bitcoin will bring. We will be offering more material on how to buy Bitcoin, how to use it, how to store it, etc. In the coming weeks and months.