Oleg Andreev

Software designer with focus on user experience and security.

You may start with my selection of articles on Bitcoin.

Author of Gitbox version control app.

Author of CoreBitcoin, an implementation of Bitcoin in Objective-C.

Lead developer of FunGolf GPS, golfer's personal assistant on iOS.

I am happy to give you an interview or provide you with a consultation.
I am very interested in innovative ways to secure property and personal interactions: all the way from cryptography to user interfaces. I am not interested in trading, mining or building exchanges.

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Bitcoin Value Proposition

More people are willing to “invest in Bitcoin”. Before doing that they need to understand what it is and what it isn’t. Someone asked me if it’s okay to “invest in BTC for a year at current prices”. This way to put it is to admit that you do not understand the value of Bitcoin. You will buy at $1000 and sell all at $800 during a sharp reaction to some piece of bad news. Don’t do that.

Bitcoin is a great bet. If most people own a little bit of Bitcoin, we will wake up tomorrow in a new world. If they don’t and everyone goes home, your investment is fundamentally worthless. Bitcoin is as pure as money can ever get: it’s either a global standard, or it’s purely an object of art valued by few. You do not invest in Bitcoin, you switch into it.

If Bitcoin becomes the world money, people will massively sell off their currencies, gold, silver and some low-risk investments (like bonds or extra real estate). Rough calculations give us a figure higher than $10M of today’s dollars per bitcoin.

But what fascinates me personally about Bitcoin is not a nice monetary reward, but a transformation in our society that comes as a side effect. Even if me and you put no money in Bitcoin today, our lives will be so much better if Bitcoin wins.

Real Bitcoin value proposition is in removal of large-scale destruction and giving an unseen before amount of economic freedom.

As an example, the total debt of the U.S. government is $17 trillion and growing [1]. This debt is owned by the banks that create dollars in exchange for that debt. Government simply promises to pay off this debt with the same money (plus interest) that it is supposed to extract from the taxpayers later. It’s not only impossible economically, but it’s logically invalid. To return more debt-based currency, they’d need to issue even more debt.

You may think these numbers do not affect you personally, but consider what this money is being spent on. Total cost of the war in Iraq since 2003 is an astonishing $6 trillion [2]. Almost one third of today’s total debt. During this war more than 1 million people were killed [3]. In other words, folks working in military earned $6 million per one person murdered.

Ask yourself, who gave these trillions for the war? What investors thought it might be a good idea to invade Iraq, lose a bunch of money and have people hate you? The answer is that there are no investors. All this money is being made up by the central bank in exchange for more government debt. And due to tons of laws, regulations and taxation people have to accept this funny money for their work.

Bitcoin does not allow this. It’s a single, absolutely transparent ledger where anyone can see how money is being created. There’s a fixed supply which cannot be increased overnight by a single man. If people adopt Bitcoin as their standard money, governments would have to pay for their wars from taxes. And people will feel how their taxes actually work. Not even mentioning that taxes will be much harder to extract if peaceful citizens decide to oppose their government. By simply being a world money, Bitcoin will prevent massive murder and destruction. This alone is worth making a bet on, in my opinion.

After removing disastrous wars, people will find themselves not only in a safer world, but also with even more opportunities. Anyone can trade with anyone else on the entire planet, absolutely safely, anonymously or publicly. Every teenager can join the global market whenever he wants. Every person can save money for a rainy day without Paul Krugman telling him why it’s good that his savings lose in value. Every business is more protected against racket by having secure cash as an ultimate insurance against temporary losses. Programmable contracts [4] allow incredible new business models that are otherwise impossible, lowering the cost of lawyers and auditors. The entire internet will shift from advertisement to more directly funded services as micropayments become viable.

If you understand all of this, you should desire these changes and participate in them. If you don’t agree with me, you should not invest in Bitcoin at all. You can’t have just a cute payment protocol without all global consequences that necessarily follow. Bitcoin is a single package: either it completely fails, or it turns all people into wealthy peaceful anarchists.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_of_the_United_States

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financial_cost_of_the_Iraq_War

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War

[4] https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Contracts