The legendary Milton Friedman, winner of the Nobel Prize in economics in 1976, predicted the existence of Bitcoin approximately 30 years ago.
The winner of the 1976 Nobel Prize in economics, Milton Friedman, predicted the existence of Bitcoin in 1993. Although the video was resurrected in 2018 by Dennis Parker on his account on the social network X, its impact continues to surprise.
During an interview in 1993, the economist predicted that a decentralized form of money would be born to complement the web. In his opinion, this form of money typical of the new technology that was born at that time (the Internet) would contribute to minimizing the role of the State.
Although the now deceased economist praised the birth of the network and predicted the new digital money, he also warned about the risks. He expressed that this type of electronic money that would be independent of centralized entities could make life easier for criminals.
Milton Friedman and the Bitcoin Prediction
The fact that Friedman predicted a form of money similar to Bitcoin reflects that conditions were already ripening for a transition. The old financial system, although it had one of its worst crises in 2007, had already shown serious cracks since the 1980s.
Surveillance, centralization and the lack of financial privacy gave way to theorists of a new phase of finance. The so-called Cypherpunks were the first to propose a type of money that was not tied to centralized entities such as banks and governments.
In that sense, although the existence of Bitcoin is only about 15 years old, the idea is much older. Before blockchain-based currencies, there were several attempts at digital money that ended in failure. In any case, the foundations and the idea were already in place and all that was missing was a genius like that of Satoshi Nakamoto to materialize it.
This explains why figures like Milton Friedman were clear about the notion of assets like Bitcoin long before it was created.
“The only thing that is missing, but will soon be developed, is electronic money, a method by which funds can be transferred over the Internet from A to B, without A knowing B or B knowing A,” Friedman said.
Monero Fits More into the Economist’s Idea
One of the essential aspects that Friedman saw in this type of money that he announced is that there would be no records. However, in the Bitcoin network there are records of all transactions, which are public and transparent. This allows many companies to determine with a certain degree of approximation the data of those who carry out transactions.
Most people who use cryptocurrencies on a daily basis do so without seeking to protect themselves from tracking. The latter contradicts what Friedman expected from untraceable Internet money. Considering this, it can be said that what Milton Friedman really predicted was not Bitcoin, but Monero (XRM), which is a privacy currency whose blockchain works in opaque mode. This makes transactions impossible to trace, as they are completely hidden from third parties.
These types of privacy assets are ideal for protecting people from totalitarian governments and unfair taxes. However, they are also very favorable for criminals, as the economist warned in the same interview. “Of course, it has its negative sides. It means that gangsters, people who engage in illegal transactions, will also have an easier way to conduct their business.”
By Audy Castaneda