Why Bitcoin Doesn't Need a Leader — Not Even Elon Musk

Bitcoin helps level the playing field because the rules are the same for everyone.


When one of Elon Musk's anti-Bitcoin tweet storms led thousands of people to sell and its price to plunge, my company added $5 million in bitcoin to its corporate treasury.

I didn't doubt Musk's business sense. However, I knew something those investors who only bought Bitcoin for quick return didn't: Bitcoin doesn't need a leader — not even Elon Musk. In fact, no one controls Bitcoin, and that's exactly what makes it so valuable.

Bitcoin is Influencer-Proof by Design

Musk isn't the first person of influence to criticize Bitcoin. In 2017, early investor Roger Ver, who'd earned the nickname "Bitcoin Jesus" due to his ability to convert mainstream investors to crypto, turned his back on the currency he so heavily promoted.

Ver decided Bitcoin's small block size and surging fees had rendered it unusable and became a proponent of Bitcoin Cash, a spinoff currency he argued was more usable than Bitcoin. Its market cap, which he predicted would surpass that of Bitcoin in 2019, still hasn't remotely caught up.

Why? The truth is Bitcoin doesn't need Elon Musk, Roger Ver or the Bitcoin Mining Council to tell people how they should or shouldn't use it. Unlike every other blockchain currency, Bitcoin's leadership, like the blockchain that supports it, is decentralized by design.

The mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, the presumed pseudonym of Bitcoin's founder or founders, left the network 10 years ago. Nakamoto's final email to developers stated that he was moving on to other projects. Just like that, the cryptographic key used to send network-wide alerts was handed over and Nakamoto was gone. This means Bitcoin is not led by a person, but by its immutable vision and hardwired rules. Genius.

Decentralized leadership is a hard concept to understand for those of us entrenched in North America's hierarchical business culture, but the benefits are real. If Musk died tomorrow, for instance, the fate of his companies and investments would be in jeopardy. If Nakamoto dies (assuming he/she/they hasn't already), it wouldn't impact Bitcoin's market cap.

Decentralized leadership also means that anyone wanting to change Bitcoin — and people have tried — would have to convince thousands of individuals to agree to the changes. That's what makes it so valuable. The finite asset will never deviate from the original vision set out in Nakamoto's white paper and no amount of corporate greed, personal agenda, mixed ideology or influence can change it.

Bitcoin's Rules are Written into the Code

Mainstream investors are used to market corruption. They've become accustomed to the dance of buying and selling based on daily hype and market trends that have nothing to do with the reality of a company or asset class.

With Bitcoin, investors don't need to wait and see what Jerome Powell, Chair of the Federal Reserve, has to say about the U.S. economy and interest rates because its framework is fixed. Everybody knows there will only ever be 21 million releases. The monetary policy is set, the network is secure and we can trust that if we send a transaction, it's going to be received.

That's why China's repeated refusal to approve cryptocurrency trading has had minimal impact on Bitcoin's market cap. In 2013, China's central bank barred financial institutions from trading crypto. In 2017, the bank doubled down making initial coin offerings illegal. In 2021, federal bodies banned banks and online payments channels from offering clients any service involving cryptocurrency. Interestingly, China has not banned individual investors from holding cryptocurrencies and has been forthcoming about its intent to create its own digital currency.

With each announcement and media headline, Bitcoin's price took a temporary dip before the market quickly corrected. I don't offer this as a ringing endorsement to buy Bitcoin, but rather a caution to do the research and understand what you're investing in and who's securing the network, circulation and total market cap.

Bitcoin's Impact on Society is Net Positive

Bitcoin's ability to withstand influencers, central bank policy and government edicts comes down to one simple truth: It was designed to create a more equitable future. I don't invest in Bitcoin for quick gain. I invest in Bitcoin because I want to be part of the long-term institutional change it makes possible.

Government control over fiat money contributes to the accelerating global wealth gap. This has become even more apparent because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has turned the spotlight on wealth inequality. Research from Oxfam reveals that from the start of the pandemic to the end of 2020, billionaire wealth around the world increased by $3.9 trillion. During the same period, the International Labour Organization reports global workers' combined earnings fell by $3.7 trillion.

Unlike fiat currencies, Bitcoin is impervious to inflation. This matters because inflation slows the economic growth of entire countries. It stagnates wages causing people to work longer hours for less pay. It helps those with access to cheap capital and punishes savers and the working class as their savings and earnings lose purchasing power each day.

Bitcoin helps level the playing field because the rules are the same for everyone. There's no financial censorship, no physical boundaries and no individual, government, or central bank can manipulate its value. So, as the world awaits Elon Musk's next tweet storm, I'll be sitting back, taking advantage of each dip.

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