Vires In Numeris

Vires In Numeris

The concept of "trust" in the world of cryptocurrency

Samina

Published on Aug 18, 2021

2 min read

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This past week I have been kept up at night pondering about the world of cryptocurrency. What are the barriers holding back this secure, efficient, and transparent financial system that could profoundly change the world? Is this system truly financially equitable for everyone?

I’ve read some bold statements online and through the media, that claim cryptocurrency “relies on trust.” There is speculation that we need to trust the system to adopt it, the same way we trust the US Dollar or other fiat currencies.

Who do we trust is the next question?

We trust the government and banks with our fiat currencies because of the laws that protect the system. Furthermore, this currency has value because the government gives it value. The downside to this is governments have control over the amount of money in rotation and value. In some cases, this works out to boost the economy. In other cases, it can and has caused trouble.

“It is based on the reality that central banks tinkering with the money supply has induced recessions, exacerbated unemployment, and given rise to a global banking system based on profiteering and corruption.” - James McWhinney, Investopedia (Why Governments Are Afraid of Blockchain)

In contrast, cryptocurrency does not have a central authority or an institution behind it. There is not a single entity or a single individual controlling this technology. It is composed only of people who participate in the system. This initiative gives the power and control back to the people.

In reality, cryptocurrency does not rely on trust. The entire premise of cryptocurrency is we should not need to trust someone or some entity to govern it. The “source of truth” is in the immutable and proven blockchain data.

This brings me to “vires in numeris,” or Latin for strength in numbers.

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The proof is ultimately in the numbers.

This famous motto is inscribed on minted Bitcoin and Ledger brand hardware wallets. The idea is relying on the strength of numbers to secure its value instead of central authorities.

After digging, I found the original forum on which the minted phrase was decided: bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4994.msg140..

This refreshing piece of digital history illustrates how quickly grand ideas can come to fruition.

So the next time you hear online that for cryptocurrency to be adopted, think vires in numeris; the proof is in the numbers.

One of these days, I will get that tattooed somewhere on my arm.

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