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Decentralized currency and blockchain technology, especially Bitcoin, are the clearest paths towards security and financial freedom, not only in America, but for the entire world. We are continuing to see large corporations like MicroStrategy, Tesla, and Block investing in Bitcoin. This gives Bitcoin the big business financial backing that many investors wanted to see. Working class people are investing their 401ks into Bitcoin as well as Bitcoin ETFs and we are seeing a massive shift of people's money moving from the centralized banks into a decentralized market.
Protecting proof of work is direly important. We have never had the opportunity to have a global monetary system with open market competition, until Bitcoin. Rather than appointing a singular authority over a monetary system, such as the Federal Reserve and centralized banks, proof of work has created an environment where anyone in the world can compete for Bitcoin's issuance. Monetary issuance is now in the hands of the people, not a singular appointed authority. This revolutionary system is why it takes so much energy to perform the proof of work model. Decentralizing a monetary system ensures no one has special privilege above the rest. This is different from our current centralized monetary system because there are no advantages for those in control and their wealthy donors. A key difference between proof of work and proof of stake is that wealthy individuals can spend exuberant amounts of money on hardware in order to compete and gain advantage for new issuance.
Without proof of work, decentralized currencies will become centralized and destroy the point of cryptocurrencies. Proof of work has been proven to be highly secure with over 10 years of experience. Proof of stake has yet to be hard tested and the security is questionable at this time.
Miners should be able to run their own nodes. This enhances the system's security and helps to keep the blockchain from being manipulated. Without security, the blockchain holds little value to users, no different than the current centralized system. We need to be protecting decentralization so as to put the power into the hands of the people and not a few powerful and wealthy special interests.
We also need to protect the right to self-custody. In order to achieve self-sovereignty one must have control of their own finances. With custodial wallets this is not possible. When an exchange controls people's finances there is little difference to a centralized bank doing so. They can charge fees for transactions, payments, and even withdrawals. They can even deny the withdrawal of a persons finances! Exchanges have also been know to be hacked resulting in billions of dollars worth of currency being stolen. Custodial wallets store keys which can be hacked and accessed by third parties, where as non custodial wallets the keys are private and not stored together on specific servers. We must protect a personal private wallet and not force people to use a custodial wallet that belongs to an exchange.
That said, there are legitimate questions about the environmental impact of proof of work, such as the material and electrical efficiency of old hardware and the enormous amount of electricity consumed to process algorithms during mining.
It also needs to be stated that 56% of mining uses renewable energies which makes cryptocurrency mining one of the greenest industries in the world. It is more profitable for mining facilities to switch to renewable energy sources which gives them an incentive to go green. The more incentives we offer mining facilities, the more sustainable the industry will become.
We should be working with giant electronics companies like Nvidia and AMD to create legitimate, low cost, and highly effective mining hardware rather than the over priced low hash rate cards they have been putting out. We could even help these companies accomplish this by reallocating subsidies from the fossil fuel industry towards this program which will reduce the carbon footprint of cryptocurrency mining. Along with improving the efficiency of hardware we need to be laser focused on reducing the power consumption needed to mine by working with mining businesses to get them all on renewable energy sources. Many facilities are already switching to solar or geothermal to power their facilities. Again, we could reallocate subsidies from the fossil fuel industry into making sure that every small home miner and large facility have access to quality and affordable clean energy for operation.
We have entered the unique age where financial freedom is not out of grasp anymore, but an actual reality. Becoming self-sovereign is the dream of many but historically has only been achieved by a few. People can finally control their own finances and achieve financial freedom from centralized controllers.