Twenty Years Ago, Two Men Predicted BitcoinClinton began his second term as President of the United States. Titanic dominated the box office. Hanson’s “MMMBop” stormed music charts. The year, 1997, also turned out to be when two cranks, fringe thinkers, wrote The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age (TSI), published by Simon & Schuster. Catastrophic impresarios James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg wrote a curiosity: a history book focused upon the coming future. Humanity, they urged, was involved in a great transition. Audacious, weird, and at times just plain creepy, the duo managed to hammer out what amounts to cryptocurrency in eerie exactness to its real-life form, bitcoin, a full ten years before anyone, including Satoshi Nakamoto.
Also read: Bitcoin’s Prescient Fathers
“Now the advent of the Information Age implies another revolution in the character of money,” a subsection at almost the exact middle of TSI, written in the late 1990s, starts. “As cybercommerce begins, it will lead inevitably to cybermoney. This new form of money will reset the odds, reducing the capacity of the world’s nationstates to determine who becomes a Sovereign Individual. A crucial part of this change will come about because of the effect of information technology in liberating the holders of wealth from expropriation through inflation,” they write.
Lord William Rees-Mogg died in 2013 at the age of 84. He was a man of letters, having spent a notable stint as editor at the venerable Times of London, the youngest to have ever held the job. He was known throughout his life for adhering to the pinstripe suit long after everyone else had gone casual. He wrote by hand, even with the ubiquity of computers and word processors. He even refused to drive a car.His editorials were filled with gems. When polite British society, of which he was surely a member, tutted at 60s boy band The Rolling Stones for their drug usage, and cheered their potential caging, his Lordship castigated, “If we are going to make any case a symbol of the conflict between the sound traditional values of Britain and the new hedonism, then we must be sure that the sound traditional values include those of tolerance and equity,” he wrote, defending the then-lads. The title of that defense bears reprinting, “Who Breaks a Butterfly on a Wheel?” He also wrote a great deal about economics, and was a fan of the gold standard.
He was around 67 years old when he and his co-author, Mr. Davidson, continued in TSI during the late 1990s, “Soon, you will pay for almost any transaction over the Net or World Wide Web at the same time you place it, using cybercash. This new digital form of money is destined to play a pivotal role in cybercommerce. It will consist of encrypted sequences of multi-hundred-digit prime numbers. Unique, anonymous, and verifiable, this money will accommodate the largest transactions. It will also be divisible into the tiniest fraction of value. It
Twenty Years Ago, Two Men Predicted Bitcoin
BTC News is the world’s premier 24/7 news feed covering everything bitcoin-related.
About Bitcoin News, How to Calculate Bitcoin … · Bitcoin for Beginners Op-Ed