When Satoshi Nakamoto published the bitcoin white paper ten years ago, the idea was to create an electronic cash system that might compete with the likes of Visa. But instead of using it to make payments, most of us ended up adopting Satoshi’s creation as a vehicle for speculation. So rather than use Visa as a foil for bitcoin, let’s compare it to some of the more speculative products provided by Wall Street.
Bitcoin evangelists promised us that by cutting out intermediaries, bitcoin would save everyone time and money. For speculators, this means that by betting on decentralized tokens rather than centralized products, we remove Wall Street’s greedy suits from the equation. The irony is that, in liberating ourselves from Wall Street, we speculators actually end up paying much higher fees than we otherwise would.