Why Bitcoin Is Your Best Weapon Against Censorship by Money on the Internet.

Decentralization is the answer to the problem of censorship on the Internet.

Written by Sylvain Saurel - In Bitcoin We Trust

Social networks are everywhere. Almost everyone has at least one account on a social networking platform today. The most popular ones being Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok.

Because of their popularity, but especially because of their infrastructures, these platforms have considerable power over the population.

For example, you could see at the beginning of 2021 that Twitter or Facebook had the power to ban from their platforms the president of the United States at that time, a certain Donald Trump.

I won't waste time judging here whether these platforms acted in the right way or not by ousting Donald Trump. On the other hand, it does show that no one is really safe from the will of these platforms.

Centralization gives total power to social networking platforms like Twitter and Facebook

The reason these platforms have so much power over users is that their systems are centralized.

You decide to connect to Twitter from your smartphone or a computer. The Twitter application or your browser will launch a web request to Twitter's servers. This server is nothing more than a computer whose job is to run websites.

Once the request is received, the server executes some computer code to make different checks. The most important one for what we are interested in here is that it will verify your identity as a user of the platform. If you have the right to access the content of the platform, then the server will send you back data that will then be displayed on your smartphone or web browser.

This is the classic functioning of a Client-Server type of computer architecture:

You are the Client and Twitter plays the role of the Server. In the case of Twitter, the number of servers is important to be able to answer all the requests of millions of users. However, Twitter controls all the servers. De facto, Twitter has all the power to ban any user from its platform.

This problem of centralization goes beyond the framework of social networks

I used Twitter as an example, but it's the same with Facebook and all the other ultra-popular social media that hundreds of millions of people use every day.

When you get banned, you have no recourse. You've probably already know someone who has been a victim of this omnipotence of these companies.

I have used the example of social networks here because it is something that speaks to everyone. With the current monetary and financial system, the same thing is happening. The system is totally centralized. It is in the hands of central bankers and governments.

So your money that is in the banking world can be taken away from you at any time. Your transactions can be censored if these powerful people who run this system decide to do so for totally arbitrary reasons.

It is your money, but it is trapped in this system over which you have no control.

Millions of people around the world suffer from financial censorship

This power of censorship over money endangers hundreds of millions of people all over the world. In Western countries, you may feel safer from this than people living in emerging countries or under authoritarian regimes, but the risk is the same.

To free yourself from this financial censorship, you need to change your paradigm. This means switching to a decentralized and permissionless system.

How do these two fundamental properties of the Bitcoin system protect you?

The Bitcoin system also uses servers like the banking system or the systems of platforms like Twitter or Facebook. These servers are called nodes in the Bitcoin world. These nodes continuously run the Bitcoin source code all around the world.

The difference here is that these nodes are not owned by a single entity. What's even better is that you can, and should, run your own node on the Bitcoin network. All you need is a modern computer and a decent Internet connection.

After a few days of initial synchronization for your node to get the history of all transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain, you can be an active node on the Bitcoin network.

You don't need any authorization for this. Anyone can do it. That's a fundamental difference.

Bitcoin solves this problem by decentralizing its network to protect its users

When you send a transaction to the network, the Bitcoin Node software looks for nodes in the network around the world to connect to. When a transaction reaches the first node on the network, that node will then propagate it to all the nodes it is connected to. And so on.

In the end, your transaction will be propagated to the entire Bitcoin network:

The fact that there is no central authority ensures that you cannot be banned from the network as is the case with the systems mentioned above. Running your own node on the network allows you to have this guaranteed access to the network when you make your transaction.

However, even without running your own node on the Bitcoin network, you can't be banned from the Bitcoin network.

For someone to be banned, the majority of the thousands of nodes on the network would have to decide to change their software to block you. As a reminder, the majority of these nodes have not upgraded their software for several years now. Some even run on the Dark Web.

No one will listen to you if you try to convince them to block a particular person.

Final Thoughts

Bitcoin protects you from this censorship that is becoming a constant threat on the Internet. By protecting you from financial censorship, Bitcoin gives you access to freedom. You can now choose to live your life on your own terms without fear for the fruits of your labor.

Beyond Bitcoin, the goal for the years to come will be to see the emergence of decentralized social networking platforms that will compete with Twitter and Facebook in terms of popularity to guarantee true freedom of expression for the greatest number of people.


In Bitcoin We Trust

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