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Bitcoin & the end-time

25-12-2017 - Posted by Andre Piet

If you have followed the news in 2017, the concept of Bitcoin could hardly have been overlooked. Especially the spectacular price increase of this digital currency has always been the subject. In 2010, 2 pizzas were sold for 10000 bitcoins. But ever since, the value has risen exponentially. Against all criticism from financial institutions and also after various crashes in the price in recent years. The latter mainly as a result of hacked websites where bitcoins were managed. If one had to pay a thousand euros for this currency at the beginning of this year (2017), the value has now risen to fifteen thousand euros (mid-December). Although in the media all the attention goes to this phenomenal price increase, in essence, that is not what it is all about. Bitcoin was not designed for speculation or to make people rich. Let us therefore have a close look at the concept and subsequently ask the question which role Bitcoin could play in the future. Especially in the light of what we know from the Scriptures about the financial system in the end-time.

Internet money

On the 3rd of January 2009, under the pseudonym Satochi Nakomoto, an article was published with which a completely new approach to the phenomenon of money was ushered in. Cryptocurrency, i.e. internet money, where people can transfer money to each other completely outside the bank or government (peer-to-peer). Bitcoin is money that can be managed and transferred via an app by anyone who has a computer, tablet or smartphone. The program is open-source, which means that it is public property.

2009

The timing of the launch of the concept in 2009 is very telling. In the autumn of 2008, the credit crisis hit its peak and the banking system was at the point of collapse under the gigantic debts. Banks did fall and the intervention by central banks was needed to ward off the crisis. In practice this meant that the debts were ‘resolved’ by creating much larger debts. Since the credit crisis, the total amount of debt has increased by an additional two thirds (!) worldwide! 2009 was the perfect time to introduce a totally new concept of money. If the bankers are so unreliable, could a money system be devised whereby banks do not play a role? This question had been around for some time and the internet should offer the solution. But how?

Blockchain

Satochi Nakomoto gave the answer: Bitcoin. Behind it is a very new technology, called blockchain. That is a public shared logbook containing all transactions. Completely transparent. Bitcoin is a ‘currency’ that relies on this advanced technology and mathematics, without interference from any authority. Boundless and worldwide. Almost free of charge anyone with this app can transfer money to anyone and anywhere in the world. And that within a few seconds. Bitcoin is also called ‘digital gold’ because the amount of bitcoins is limited to 21 million. It is fundamentally scarce. This is in contrast to the current money, which central banks can print at their discretion. Which also automatically reduces the value of the money. Leading to inflation. In countries where the national currency has thus become completely worthless, such as e.g. recently in Zimbabwe and Venezuela, Bitcoin functions as a safe haven and a beloved alternative.

The advance

The concept of cryptocurrency is revolutionary. It will not come as a surprise to anyone that the banks warn enormously against the development of this internet money. Because the increase in internet money means loss of ground for the financial institutions. What email was for the postal companies at the time, that is what bitcoin is for the banks. Because it makes the banks largely redundant. The technological application of the cryptocurrency is still in its infancy. According to experts, cryptocurrency is now about where the internet was in the early 90s. But the development and advance of cryptocurrency has proven to be unstoppable in recent years, partly due to the arrival of countless other cryptocurrencies alongside bitcoin.

Ban

The big question is how governments and central banks will respond to this advance of cryptocurrency. In the Western countries they warn and protest against it, but so far it is more barking than biting. And with decreasing success. That is why here and there, there is also a plea for the ban on cryptocurrency. As recently defended by a well-known economist and Nobel laureate (Joseph Stiglitz). But in the boundless world of the internet such a prohibition is difficult to implement. By prohibition one renders the ‘currency’ not impossible but it will go underground. Governments are scared back for such a measure. Even a strict country like China that curtailed cryptocurrency trading earlier this year did not ban the bitcoin.

 A monetary revolution?

Are we on the eve of a monetary revolution? If not, who or what will stop the advance of the internet money? If so, which consequences will such a revolution have? Will the transition from the current fiat money to cryptocurrency go slowly? By which the banks silently lose their meaning and are ‘eaten’ by internet money? Like the internet has done with so many industries? Or should we fear that a new credit crisis is needed first? Or will the rise of Internet money and distrust in the banking system go hand in hand and reinforce each other? The coming years will answer these questions.

No free trade

Speaking about the future of buying and selling is not simply a matter of looking in a glass globe. We read in Revelation 13 about the regime of the end times. Two ‘beasts’ are described there of which the first represents the dominion over the nations (= the beast from the sea) and the second over the land, that is, Israel (= the beast from the earth or the land). This last figure is also called “the false prophet” (Rev. 19:20). He will cause the people under his rule (the land, Israel) to worship the image of “the beast from the sea”. From other Scriptures (Dan.12, Mat.24, 2Thes.2) we know that this refers to an abomination or idol that will be placed in the temple of Jerusalem. It is the time of “the great tribulation,” which will last forty-two months (Rev.13: 5). What matters now is that whoever goes along with this cult of worship will get a sign on the right hand or on the forehead. By owning that sign one can buy and sell while everyone who refuses that sign will be excluded from economic life (Rev.13: 16-18). Anyone who reads something like that in 2017, thinks involuntarily of subcutaneous chips, a technology that is currently under development. The reign of “the beast from the land” is totalitarian. Religion and economy will be dominated by “the beast”. For the boundless freedom of buying and selling as it is being promoted with Bitcoin, there will certainly no longer be a place. To stay alive one will be forced to buy and sell illegally. Via cryptocurrency? Or will the internet be completely restricted?

Many questions are remaining. However, one thing is certain: if internet money should indeed become mainstream as a global, decentralized currency, then the freedom that this generates will not be to stay. For an economy to be definitely not based on interest and debt (read: the banks), we have to wait for the next eon under the rule of the Son of David!

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