Bitcoin: The World's First Decentralized Organization


Comparisons between the market capitalization of Bitcoin and publicly traded companies used to make me wince in frustration. Trying to contrast the world’s first successful digitally native currency to a single industry is narrow minded, let alone a single company. However, as I continuously surrender to the process of meeting people where they are on their bitcoin journey, I realized I can use this comparison to illustrate Bitcoin’s strengths in a different way.

Rather than trying to conceptually pull Bitcoin up to the level of global currencies, I suggest conceptually pulling global currencies down to the level of publicly traded companies. This temporarily negates the necessity of delving into the history of monetary theory when trying to explain Bitcoin.

A Note to Investors:

In order to accomplish this, imagine that USD and BTC are tickers on a stock market. Each is a company with employees, management policies, price performance history, legal obligations, and publicly traded shares. Now that we are operating at the same conceptual level, let’s take a look at the status of these two companies.

The board of USD has a long history of diluting its shares and more recently has been issuing new shares at a very alarming rate. Much of the dilution is benefiting the board while the employees are working their tails off for reduced pay. On the other hand, BTC does not have a board of directors. It is employee run and the employees maintain a collective agreement that the shares will be issued at a fixed, predictable, and declining rate with a maximum supply of 21 million. In order to work at the company you are required to adopt the steady issuance policy.

Company USD is clearly strong arming competition around the globe and forcing people to conform to their standards. They have been top dog for decades and have swallowed up most of the global market share. As a result, they hold tremendous leverage over their competition, but they’ve grown complacent and are losing their edge. Expenses to maintain overheads are growing more cumbersome by the day and debt loads are far past responsible levels. The price performance for investors holding USD stock is in the red approximately 90% since 1971 and is showing no signs of a serious rebound.

Company BTC is managing a grass-roots marketing campaign which is gradually gaining traction, but it has yet to go fully viral online. BTC is a disruptive tech company with fourteen years of volatile, but steady growth in value and adoption. Their share of the global market is extremely small in comparison to the incumbent; creating dramatic upside potential. The management structure is lean and overhead costs are shared by the employees while the organization itself holds zero debt. Price performance for investors holding BTC stock is in the green approximately 200,000% since 2013 and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Rational investors may bet on both horses, but weigh their allocation based on current events. Market conditions are transforming quickly as a new startup called BRICS is making pre-launch announcements. BRICS seems to be interested in stealing market share from USD. This will have a profound effect on USD as their business model relies on them being the sole provider of their service.

BTC investors tend to hold the stock tightly. Approximately 70% of the stock has not changed hands over the last two years despite tremendous volatility. There are some large stockholders in BTC who may be triggered to sell off their shares for one reason or another, but many of the smaller investors are passionately scooping up those discounted shares at every opportunity. Due to the entrenched nature of USD, it has some cards up its sleeve to attract new investors and slow competitor growth, but its days of true market innovation are in the past.

On the other hand, BTC is innovating at a consistent rate and is on track to continue taking market share regardless of competition. Their product has fundamental qualities which the competition won’t be able to match. Ultimately, of the three companies, BTC is the only one which is digitally native. USD is running a hybrid brick-and-mortar/online system, but is not optimized for a strictly online model. BRICS does not have a working prototype yet, but its digital presence is unavoidable. Legacy customers will make more sober comparisons between the available options once they realize all global commerce will be migrating to a digital format.

A Note to Employees:

Defined simply, every individual who adds value to the network could be considered a BTC employee. Under this definition, every investor is also an employee. As are miners, developers, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs who involve themselves with bitcoin software or hardware. Vendors accepting bitcoin for goods or services also add value to the network commensurate with the value of those goods and services. Investors who purchase bitcoin are in competition with each other, while also benefiting each other. Investor holdings add value to the network by reducing the circulating supply.

The resulting condition is one in which each participant in the network is working for every other participant in the network. Rewards are distributed relative to investor holdings. BTC is owned and operated by the employees. Examining the bitcoin circular economy through this lens; every bitcoin user is simultaneously an investor, an employee, and a business owner. Each user chooses their own level of involvement and all roles are accepted or rejected on a voluntary basis.

Cohesive teams outperform teams which struggle to reach consensus. Fortunately, the bitcoin community was constructed around a mathematical consensus machine. Despite continuous disagreement within the community, we are ultimately forced to reach a collective agreement every ten minutes. Each of us have taken unique paths to understanding the importance of bitcoin and we all support the network in a specialized way. Even those who attempt to attack bitcoin provide their own form of value. We can thank them for helping to educate us and to point out potential vulnerabilities in the protocol.

The Latin root of the word ‘compete’ is competere to “strive in common, strive after something in company with or together”. As we compete we can all grow stronger together. To ignore the collective nature of Bitcoin would be to ignore the facts of reality. Millions of individuals are currently acting as a decentralized collective in order to run the bitcoin network based exclusively on the incentives of the protocol. Without them I would have nothing to write about.

Groups do not exist without individuals and individuals do not exist without groups. If we so choose, we can strive to live with compassion for other living beings. However, this is far from a prerequisite for employment by the Bitcoin network. Coercing anyone to behave ethically or compassionately completely negates the value of these virtues. Under this new paradigm there are no obligations, only offerings.


We all make choices regarding how we deploy capital and allocate our personal energy. Putting faith into the bankrupt fiat behemoth rather than taking a meeting with the fresh challenger in the market is a much greater risk than most realize. Luckily, Bitcoin will never have layoffs or a hiring freeze.

Viewing Bitcoin through this lens sets aside the ideological and moral arguments in favor of a sober look at the network in comparison to its competition. This approach may simplify the conversation or it may stifle a call to action, but not everyone is ready to face the atrocities of the fiat system. Some invest primarily with rationality; working to maximize profit above all else. Some invest more with their hearts; avoiding investments which don’t align with them morally. Unfortunately in the fiat system, it is not possible to do both. Invest wisely.

This is a guest post by Source Node. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.


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